I don't know how many of you use aluminum mouse pads, but this is the first one I've ever tried out. Unlike your typical rubber mouse pad, these are rigid. It freaked me a little out at first, but it's pretty cool. You won't get those annoying frayed ends on the edges of the mouse pad, it stays clean, and my mouse has excellent accuracy with it.
The Titan aluminum mouse pad is made by a relatively new and unknown company called GEARED Gaming Surfaces. Although they have been gaming for over 15 years, they've only released two products into the industry. However, if you consider that they spent over one year developing this 10"x12"x1/8" sheet of metal, it may be a little more understandable why they only have those two products.
A lot of people don't seem to know what use a mouse pad is anymore. While it used to be something that helped the little ball on the bottom of the mouse move, people don't use ball mice anymore. (And if you do, you should stop reading now and go get a new mouse. I mean come on! Have some standards.)
Nowadays, mouse pads are mainly used for a moderate boost in mouse accuracy. If you don't have a good mouse pad, the mouse will occasionally skip across the screen (one of the most annoying things EVER, in my opinion). They are also helpful in slowing the wear and tear of your mouse (and desk). As you continuously move your mouse across your desk, it will begin to leave scratches on both your mouse and the desk itself, eventually wearing both down. A mouse pad helps helps protect by placing a (usually) softer material in between the two so it wears away at the pad rather than the important things.
Lots of friction!
The first thing I noticed when I switched from my SteelSeries QcK Mouse Pad was that there was a substantial increase in the amount of friction between the mouse and the pad. At first, I could not stand this difference at all -- it seemed like five pounds were added to the weight of my mouse -- but first impressions are not everything.
As some of my Outer Heaven homies know, I decided to take the mouse pad out for a test drive by playing some Starcraft II. As I played, I gradually got used to the friction. In fact, I actually began to enjoy it there; it was kind of like having a second recognition that you moved your mouse. In addition to that, if you have your mouse set to a high DPI, the added friction gives you a new level of control, since one little twitch of your wrist can send the mouse flying across the entire screen.
However, I should mention that the mouse pad did come with some of their Teflon Mouse Feet, and it did decrease the friction by a somewhat minimal amount.
What's that scratching sound?
Now, I can't attest for other aluminum mouse pads (as I've never used another), but when I started using this mouse pad (without the Teflon feet), it seemed extremely loud compared to my cloth mouse pad. Understandable, being that this is made of metal, but it definitely took some time to get used to hearing my mouse move across a metal slab. When I stuck on the new Teflon feet, though, the sound was reduced by a little bit, so that it was within a range that I got used to during my Starcraft II session.
Ahhh, it feels so nice.
First of all, get your mind of the gutter. One of the perks of having an aluminum mouse pad is that it's nice and cool, even when you use the mouse pad continuously for a long time. I can't tell you how nice it feels to have the cool pad under my wrist (though I can't say it does anything to help my carpal tunnel). It feels so nice in fact, that I sometimes put both my hands on the pad just to cool them down. I think it's a pretty cool feature they probably didn't intend on including. Yes, the pun was intended.
Using a sheet of metal for a mouse pad has its advantages...
So as (probably) most of you know, the rubber and cloth mouse pads tend to have a few problems with appearance over time. With the fraying edges, miscellaneous junk getting stuck to them, and random discolorations appearing over time, you just have to either clean the mouse pad regularly or simply replace it whenever it gets too disgusting for your tastes.
This is not a problem for the Titan. No matter how much you use it, the edges won't fray, and any dust that may settle on it can easily be wiped off with your hand or a cloth. If any of you read my review on the Razer BlackWidow Mechanical Keyboard, you'll know that I hated the fact that it was a fingerprint magnet. I'm staring disgustedly at it right now, as I type this.
Short of dipping my hands in some sort of oil, I was unable to leave any fingerprints on the Titan. However, I was determined to see what it took to dirty this mouse pad, so I ate some potato chips and rubbed my greasy hands all over it. As expected, it did leave marks, but they were only visible in direct light, and were pretty easy to remove with a bit of Windex.
There's more wear and tear than usual.
So remember when I said that not using a mouse pad wears down your desk and mouse? Well, you likely won't have to really worry about it wearing down the mouse pad because the aluminum is harder than the material your mouse is made of, but that also means that the mouse will still be worn down. But fear not! The Teflon mouse feet included alleviate that by wearing down the Teflon feet instead of your mouse. Handy, right? This way, neither your desk, mouse pad, or mouse are damaged. The Teflon mouse feet will wear away with time, but as the mouse pad includes 12, you shouldn't run out anytime soon (and replacement feet are only $3.50).
It sticks to the desk like glue!
With other mouse pads (namely the cloth ones), you can often push on them and they move relatively easily or they kind of bunch up and wrinkle if you have a thin one. With the Titan, it really sticks to the desk; I've never seen anything like it. With any downward force whatsoever, the mouse pad won't move. Even when I placed my stapler on the mouse pad and pushed horizontally, the traction was increased dramatically. Also, if the bottom gets dirty, it's pretty easily washed off with a wet cloth.
I think the GEARED Titan aluminum mouse pad is a decent buy, but I think it might be a little pricey considering it's just a mouse pad. Although if you consider that this mouse pad will last you a while, never fray, show discolorations, and add a clean, sharp look to your battle station, I recommend it.
So to all you people who are using book covers, notebooks, pads of paper, worn down rubber/cloth mouse pads, or no mouse pad at all: look into this one, I think it's worth the buy.