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Review: 3M Precise Mousing Surface

by David Ross on 12 May 2000, 00:00

Tags: 3M (3M)

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3M Precise Mousing Surface

With the release of the MS Intellimouse Explorer, with no trackball, companies are beginning to realise that people still using traditional mice need to feel wanted. Cue an onslaught of new mouse mats, hard surfaces, cleaning products, and this 'Precise Mousing Surface' from 3M.

Not to be confused with an ordinary mouse mat, the Precise Mousing Surface is aimed to do exactly what it says: give a surface for your mouse which allows precision use. Just listen to this marketing ploy: "Take your mouse for a spin on the 3M precise mousing surface. We're confident that once you do, you'll never go back to your mouse pad - for a lot of reasons". Read on to see what we thought here at Hexus.com.

At first glance, the 3M mat (sorry, mousing surface) was impressive - an attractive green logo from the Razor Boomslang range fading to black at the edges. The pad is oddly shaped - designed to cut out all the areas of the mouse mat that you never travel to. The underside is plain white rubber, which grips any surface very well. The ultra thin design takes a bit of getting used to after a hefty mouse mat, but after a while you forget this pad is there and it feels like you are 'mousing' directly on the table. 3M also rave about the 'patented microstructured surface' on the Precision Surface - this is meant to improve mouse traction, performance and control. The easiest way to describe the surface is this: you remember those cards you used to get on cereal packets where the picture changed as you moved the card? Well it's that surface :).

The mouse doesn't run over the pad as smoothly as on an ordinary mouse mat - there is a small bit of friction present. This does, however, fulfil the purpose of the pad, making precision work easy, even at high pointer speeds. I set my mouse to the highest possible speed, and precision work was easy, as the surface prevents any unwanted slipping. Next, I tested the pad for it's gaming qualities. Sniping was easy, as the precision came into the equation again, although fast turning was not as easy as on an ordinary mat.

In conclusion, the 3M Precision Mousing Surface is an excellent alternative to the ordinary mouse mat. It allows precision work from graphic design to gaming to be done without slips or fumbles. My only problem with the pad is that it is a tad too small. The areas which have been cut away (those areas that you never use, such as the top right-hand corner) are fine - it's just that the pad is missing about 6 sq inches of useful surface, which really makes a difference if you are using a slower pointer speed. Overall, however, this precise mousing surface is excellent for those who want the flexibility of a ball-less mouse but are using a track ball.

Do you reckon they'll bring out a Britney Spears version?