Hello again everyone, I am back with a new review, seems quite a while since my last one.
Today I am going to be looking at an often overlooked addition to a players gaming arsenal, the gaming surface or mousemat. When selecting all the parts for your setup it is always a good idea to take into account what desk surface you have, especially if you want to protect the desk from wear or simply get the most out of a great mouse sensor.
Fnatic have now been supplying gaming peripherals for a few years and they regularly refresh the range to include new features and innovations. While the focus may normally be on the gaming device itself, they do offer accompanying deskware.
The Retro Asphalt:
- Size 380 x 290 x 3mm
- Weight 317g
Focus 2: (Medium size)
- Size 380 x 290 x 3mm
- Weight 209g
First up we have the tube that the Fnatic Asphalt medium gaming surface arrives in. Nothing much on the outside except for a sticker saying Halp I’m Stuck so perhaps this isn’t the retail packaging.
Unpacking the Asphalt mat I realise that nice tube packed it in rather tight and it is taking an age to settle down flat. It features quite a cool design especially for Fnatic fans and would look great as a LAN surface.
The underside of the mat is rubber and ridged to ensure very good grip on the desk. It’s not just a cheap cloth mat.
Getting a closeup of the cloth top you can see the texture amidst the graphic. A textured rather than smooth mat should ensure good tracking from a mouse sensor.
Moving on to the Focus 2 mat we get a completely different and bigger box, even though the dimensions of each mat are the same. The glossy finish to the box depicts an image of the mat along with the size with graphics to show other available sizes in the range Large, Square and Desk.
The rear of the box gives us some specs and some marketing.
In contrast to the Asphalt with it’s fancy design, the Focus 2 lives up to it’s name by only offering a Fnatic logo in one corner, the rest of the mat is plain black. Great for those that like a more understated look.
Just like the Asphalt, the Focus 2 has a rubbery ridged underside for gripping the desk, these mats won’t slide around easily.
A closeup of the cloth and it appears to be made of the same stuff the Asphalt has. No differences are noticeable at this stage at least.
Performance and Testing
The only way to test a mouse mat is to actually use it, so I have given both these gaming surfaces a few days to play with – even taking the Asphalt to a LAN party for that ‘on the road’ test. I found the mats to be made from pretty much the same materials and offering the same performance and so I have reviewed them together from this point.
Moving around windows and general internet browsing use, the mats feel comfortable to use, just the right amount of squishiness from the 3mm thick matting and a textured yet smooth surface meaning no snagging. The size is more than acceptable for many DPI ratios giving plenty of space to move at low DPI should you be doing any delicate work. I felt no issues with tracking at all during desktop use.
Of course being from Fnatic it is generally expected that these mats would experience some gaming and so have to be able to live up to some heavy and variable speed use with varying levels of hectic. The lack of any drag from the material with excellent tracking enables the mouse sensor to perform very well, I didn’t have to adjust my play style to use the mats, they just picked up and did the job. At the LAN, the Asphalt was used on a fold out table with a textured plastic surface; gaming performance was great all the while absorbing imperfections providing they weren’t too deep like table-join grooves.
Fnatic produce these mats with other designs and they are well made aside from maybe a lack of stitching at the edges, this does risk the top material separating from the rubber surface over time, especially with wrist draggers such as myself. The surface material is excellent and doesn’t snag. The rubber underside, with its ridges, grips well on any surface including smooth glass, so no sliding mats here.
An excellent accompaniment to any decent mouse sensor, the tracking offered by these mats will suit anyone just fine. A decent size and easy enough to take on the road, these make great LAN mats or for when you don’t want to fill your desk with a single large mat.
So to start with lets get the prices in, I found the medium Focus 2 online for £12.99, the Retro Asphalt however didn’t seem to have any independent retailers selling, but is available directly from Fnatic for €19.99 which for a nice print is a bit of a price increase over the plain black mat. That said, their pricing is comparable to other branded gaming surfaces so isn’t out of whack.
These Fnatic gaming surfaces are well made and the pricing is just about right. The material offers excellent tracking in games with a pleasant overall feel with no snagging or rough areas and the rubber underside prevents slipping on just about any surface. The sizing of the medium mats is just about perfect for multi-use scenarios, other sizes are however available to suit individual requirements. With the lack of stitching around the edges I am going to keep the award at a silver level for the Focus 2 and Retro Asphalt mats and they are recommended for consideration especially if you’re a fan of Fnatic or have matching peripherals.
Thanks to Fnatic for sending through the Focus 2 and Retro Asphalt Gaming Surfaces.