Model: Surface 1030 XL
RRP: ~£35 (At time of review)
To complement today’s review of the Ms-3, we also have the Func Surface 1030 XL (1030) mousepad to put through the Play3r review lab. The 1030 XL is the larger of the two current surfaces available from Func and is the successor to the legacy 1030 which got Func up and running as a serious peripheral supplier. It features a reversible surface and it’s modestly sized at 36cmx28cm.
- Surface material: Polycarbonate
- Surface type: F30.r / F10.s
- Thickness: 4 mm / 0.16 in
- Size: 36×28 cm / 14×11 in
- Weight: 502 gr / 0.93 lbs
- Warranty: 2 years
With the pleasantries out of the way, let’s take a closer inspection of what Func bring to the table with the 1030
Func continue their low-key and simplistic design found in our Ms-3 review with the packaging and presentation of the 1030 too.
There is a small layer of protective foam inside the box (not present) which protects to the top of the 1030 during transit. Overall, initial impressions is that it’s a solid effort much like the Ms-3 in regards to build quality and finish. The packaging materials seem completely recyclable as well with the only plastic coming in-form of the 1030 itself.
As you can see from the underside there is plenty of floor space designated for the rubber feet. With every axis covered it appears Func have gone out of their way to null any possible travel incurred by the 1030 itself and the layers of traction provided by the feet should mean less lift off when moving the mouse fast.
The other surface:
Bonus shot of the MS-3 on the 1030 XL.
As you can see the Func branding itself is low profile and isn’t in any sort of egregious colour scheme as their orange logo branding may suggest.
Of the two the surfaces the less-abrasive of the two definitely has a “cheaper” feel to it, similar to the dearth of plastic ones you’d find in primary school during the early 00’s along with the ladybird RM mice:
Onto performance, then, to see how both sides of the 1030 coin works out.
The first thing I did with regards to reviewing the 1030 was to see which side I preferred. Out of the two, I much preferred the abrasive side compared to the more flat, vinyl like surface. The smooth side of the 1030 didn’t feel any worse, or at least definitely worse, but the rough side just felt better to pan across with my mouse.
It may also be worth noting that, much to my surprise, the smoother finished side wasn’t any quieter. Neither surface is particularly loud, but they both generate different noises so that may be of interest to someone who prefers a certain mouse sound over another. The best way I can describe it is the abrasive side sounds more like the mouse upon a desk or table, the smooth side more like the sound of two sheets of paper rubbing together – try it!
In terms of in game performance, it’s been great using the 1030. My usual surface is of the spongy, foam variety which sometimes it feels you’re pressing into rather than travelling with your mouse. The 1030’s hard surface, which ever side you use, means that you feel like you’re getting maximum travel and ability to pan comparatively. This resistance in part is also helped by the slew of rubber feet and their placement as touched upon in the closer look earlier in the review. The centre and edges of the 1030 are all built upon a rubber platform in the frame below to you always get a uniform resistance around the mousepad.
The shape of the 1030 is spot on too. The ever so slight arcing to the surface is perfect for flying and panning in Battlefield 3 (notably great in the chopper) as well as having your skillshot up and running on games which have them. You can pan down (or up) and at an angle without running out of space or feeling uncomfortable in the same way you might off a similar area ‘square’ mousepad or ever feel the need to lift off and re-centre your mouse.
The only negative I could pick up with the 1030 was that the placement of the rubber feet sometimes generated a less than snug fit of the surface within the frame. I’d find my mouse sometimes beached so to speak on certain parts of the 1030 where I’d find the mouse rotating rather than panning. This was only noticeable when I was using my mouse in wireless mode (having it plugged in must just give it that extra bit of fraction across the surface to stop the issue) and when it was positioned just off centre where it happens there is no significant rubber feet.
The 1030 is a solid mousepad as far as gaming mousepads are concerned, there is no mistaking that. With that in mind, I don’t feel too convinced that spending £30, giver or take, is the best investment a gamer can make unless they currently don’t have a mousepad of any kind and are using the most knotted piece of wood known to man as their desk.
Func’s package is as clinical and well built as the MS-3 is that I reviewed, but there just isn’t competitive market for £30 mousepads in the same way there is for £60 gaming mice. Speaking completely from a personal point of view, I’ve never been asked for a mousepad recommendation by anyone, mice and keyboards on the other had I have, so I’m not sure where the 1030 lies and I’m not sure I’d ever recommend it to anyone unless they specifically said they have £30 to spend on a mouse mat.
With the 1030 price in mind you can certainly get a lot more mousepad for your money elsewhere. My daily pad as an absolutely massive Razer Goliath which cost half as much, is the same height and over twice as wide. Do I prefer the feel of the 1030? Absolutely, but it doesn’t feel like it should cost twice as much and definitely not at half the size.
To conclude this review, if you absolutely have to have a mousepad and the 1030 meets your space and price requirements then go for it. It’s superbly built, easy to maintain and unlike my Goliath, doesn’t look like a goblin has bled out all over it. One final thing to consider is that 1030 L is only slightly smaller and around £10 cheaper, if you do really want to buy into the Func brand that may be worth looking into instead.
Strong individual product from Func but is prices itself out of the competition.