The PC has always been a mainstay throughout my gaming ‘career’ and I don’t ever remember not using a mouse and mouse pad while playing with (and working on) the big beige box, and while the basic design and functionality of these two co-dependant PC accessories hasn’t changed at their core, their look and feel have evolved dramatically.
Over the years, I’ve alternated between either using or not using a mouse pad depending on space and the quality of my desk – a flat, smooth surface is usually enough for me. The mouse pads that I have used have either been solid chunks of plastic or cuts of grippy material, and while they’ve all worked to certain degrees, I can live without them.
The Razer Vespula Gaming Mouse Mat, however, is the first exo-surface accessory that I’ve tried that actually has a demonstrable positive affect on the functionality of my mouse when I work and play. The key feature of the Vespula is a dual-sided design that allows for what Razer promises to be enhanced control (on one side) and greater precision (on the other side).
Simply flipping the mouse mat around will give you access to either the smoother ‘Speed’ surface or the rougher ‘Control’ surface, but funnily enough, in my experience both surfaces acted opposite to the way Razer intended – my mouse movement was much smoother on the Control surface, and I was able to perform more precise movements on the Speed surface!
Regardless, the Vespula still provided what it promises (even if the other way around for me) and both sides are very much suited to the tasks at hand. Carefully rifling through files on folders on my PC was aided by the mat, while playing more deliberate, precision-based games like Portal or Antichamber worked well. On the other hand, super twitch-based games like Quake 3: Arena felt slick on the pad allowing me to thrash my view around the world to quickly take aim and fire.
The Razer Vespula comes with an additional grip mat that slips in under the mouse pad itself, with an attached gel-filled ‘memory conformance’ wrist rest, which aims to save your wrist from fatigue during extended gaming or work sessions… but I’ve never been a fan of these sorts of things, and after a half hour of giving it my best shot, I decided that my mouse control was hampered by the rest. I know other people swear by a wrist rest for their mouse, but my mouse grip and movement is probably kind of unconventional so they usually just get in the way.
For a recommended retail price of $34.99 (+/- R310) through the Razer store, and $26.99 (+/- R240) through Amazon.com, the Vespula is a little pricey, but when you consider that similar ‘performance’ mouse pads can cost anywhere between $10 / R100 and $45 / R400, I think Razer’s offering provides the kind of performance and comfort you need, with a product that seems just about the right size (320 mm x 260 mm) for a desk or cramped LAN session.
If you’re still using a material-based mouse pad that’s well past its sell-by date and you’re looking for a solid replacement to last you well into the future, the Razer Vespula Gaming Mouse Mat is a great option.
|Aesthetics||3/5||Kind of angular and ‘space age’ looking|
|Quality||4/5||Solid and durable, but not scratch-resistant|
|Functionality||4/5||Works as advertised, except backwards?|
|Value||4/5||Slightly pricey, but in line with similar products|