Big, Bigger, Biggest!

There was a dark and primitive time when I would use whatever was closest to hand to act as a makeshift mouse mat. Usually this would be an A4 graphic novel or the latest copy of my favourite magazine. I would game like this, it sufficed and I thought nothing more on the subject.

One fateful day I was visiting a friend, who has always been very good at first person shooters and I noticed that they had a very professional looking mouse mat sat underneath their Razer DeathAdder mouse. After an initial exchange to mock him for spending over £30 on a mouse mat, he invited me to have a go at Call of Duty 4 using his setup.

Wow! The difference was huge. Scoped headshots I found I could get lined up pretty much at the first attempt, no minor aim re-adjustments. I didn’t feel like I was fighting with the mouse to get it where it needed to be.

So I ended up eating my mocking words and bought myself my very first professional gaming surface and upgraded my mouse to take full advantage not long after that.

So that leads us nicely onto this round up. Not only are there professional gaming surfaces available, but there are now oversized gaming surfaces to counter that other pet hate of mine – getting to the edge of the mouse mat, having to then lift and re-centre it on your mat. Make the surface bigger and suddenly this is less of an issue! Perfect.

To give you a good overview of some of what ‘s available; I’ve got three gaming surfaces reviewed here:  for the slightly oversized ultimate gaming surface we’ve got the Razer Megasoma gaming surface, then for those that want a very large gaming surface but don’t have a deep desk to put it on we have the Razer Goliathus Extended Speed gaming surface and finally we have a huge surface to cover the majority of your desk with the Ozone Gaming Gear Ground Level XL Evo Cloth Surface Extra Large Gaming Mousepad – try saying that quickly three times!

I spent a month extensively testing all three gaming surfaces, not just at home gaming, but also using them at work to see if actually it’s not just gaming that can benefit from having a high quality surface for your mouse (and keyboard as well with two of them). Home testing involved both using them on a desk and in improved sofa gaming in front of the big television.

Razer Megasoma

Razer MegasomaRazer Megasoma

Starting with a surface that’s only slightly bigger than a standard mouse mat (35cm wide x 23cm tall x 2mm thick), but this is no ordinary gaming surface. This is the Razer Megasoma. Constructed from a soft silicon material this is one of Razer’s premium ‘best in range’ gaming surfaces.

Initial impressions before you even get to touch the surface are fantastic. You can tell this is one of Razer’s premium products as it displays their usual attention to detail in packaging. The Megasoma comes in a plastic presentation box/carry case where it sits proudly rolled up awaiting action. Opening this up we are then presented by a very unique (but not unpleasant) smell from the Megasoma due to the distinctive silicon material of its construction.

It is a soft mat with a non-slip back so you can literally stick it to any existing surface and know that it won’t move around when you’re frantically trying to take down a whole squad in your favourite shooter. The business side of the gaming surface has a rough texture to it like very fine sandpaper, but obviously not in any way abrasive or too obstructive to the fine gliding of your mouse across the surface. This fine texture is to make the most of top quality mice with optical and laser tracking i.e. those with a higher DPI. I found that the mouse moved extremely naturally over the surface, even more so than my current gaming surface, Razor’s double-sided Vespula, of which I use the control side.

So how does it actually perform in game? The answer is that it’s quite simply the best gaming surface I’ve ever used.
Every slight movement of my mouse was tracked accurately; each snap of the wrist to quick aim or click in a game was well represented. Also due to the extremely natural feel of the mouse moving on the surface I never felt like I was fighting with the mouse to get it to do exactly what I wanted it to.

Negatives? Well I also game in front of a big television and projector on a sofa. This meant that I needed to use a big A4 book underneath the Megasoma as it’s a soft surface, and not rigid enough for lap or sofa arm mounting. Also as stated in the start of this round up it’s not much bigger than a standard mouse mat, so while the extra inches are welcome, I did occasionally find I was finding the edge of the mat and had to lift the mouse to re-adjust.

You can check stock and avilability of this product here.

Razer Goliathus Extended Speed Gaming Surface

Razer Goliathus - Extended Speed Razer Goliathus - Extended Speed

Moving onto the Goliathus we really start to see a large increase in available surface to actually game on. This is an extremely wide gaming surface clocking in at 92cm(!) wide x 29.4cm tall x 4.3mm thick.

It is not a particularly deep gaming surface, only being marginally taller than your average mouse mat, but it certainly makes up for that in available horizontal surface. For most gamers this is ideal, as the majority of your mouse movements will be large sweeps to the left and right. It is so wide in fact that you can actually have your keyboard sat on it to one side, and still have loads of space for your mouse to roam next to it. This gives an added benefit of acting as a great non-slip surface for your keyboard, ensuring that it doesn’t go roaming across the desk at those typically most inconvenience moments - when all hell is breaking loose in-game.

The surface itself is more typical of your standard mouse mat than the Megasoma but is of a very high quality. It has a nice thick rubber non-slip backing to ensure it stays where you put it, and that also gives a nice padded feel to the surface when resting your wrists on it. The cloth surface where all the action takes place has a very nice texture fine weave to it, so you feel confident that small mouse movements should be tracked accurately.

Most importantly it really did perform when gaming in a wide variety of game genres. While not feeling quite as precise as the Megasoma, it really was very good at tracking movement and detecting quick twitch movements. The fine weave particularly coming into its own on a game like Sniper Elite V2 with mouse settings on a low sensitivity to allow long sweeping mouse movements to provide fine adjustments when lining up those killing shots from afar.

I also found that it worked extremely well for sofa gaming. You could actually lay it down along the length of the sofa arm and it would provide a great surface to rest your arm on and use your mouse on. My wife also commented that it would be great to stop extending gaming on the sofa arm from wearing down the material, so in effect your gaming surface suddenly doubles up as a surface protector. Pretty sweet!

You can check stock and avilability of this product here.

Ozone Gaming Gear Ground Level XL Evo Cloth Surface Extra Large Gaming Mousepad

Ozone Gaming Gear Ground Level XL EvoOzone Gaming Gear Ground Level XL Evo

When I first pulled the Ozone mousepad out from its box… I was amazed. This thing is HUGE! Measuring at 90cm wide x 45cm tall x 3mm thick. It may be that you don’t have a desk quite big enough to fit it all in and it has the potential to fill the entire surface of your desk area. So if you are considering purchasing one just make sure that it will fit where you intend to place it.
Construction is very similar to the Goliathus with a high quality rubber back and a fine weave cloth surface. The fine weave isn’t quite as fine as the Goliathus, but again it is of a high standard… certainly much more so than standard mouse mats. The major difference between this and the Goliathus is that the Ozone is like one and a half Goliathus stacked one above the other. It really is that deep! So certainly no issues with hitting the edge of the surface with either horizontal or vertical mouse movements.

Again the surface feels nicely padded so when you rest on it your wrists and elbows have a bit of cushioning from the surface underneath. In fact it feels so good compared to having a usual desk surface to work on, that I’ve actually been using Ozone at work non-stop since I first too it into work to test. I’ve been the envy of others at work with my softly cushioned wrists and elbows. Awww! I use a multi-monitor setup at work, and having this huge surface to operate my mouse and keyboard in really made a nice impact on my productivity. I found I could go through answering endless amounts of emails without my wrists and elbows becoming as fatigued. Top job Ozone!

All the other doesn’t really make much of a difference if it doesn’t perform the task it was designed for. So how does it fair in gaming? Well actually very good. In every scenario thrown at it over a month’s worth of testing, I can’t remember a single instance of thinking that the Ozone was hindering my gaming in way. While it’s certainly not quite as accurate as either of the Razor surfaces, and the mouse doesn’t feel quite as natural moving across it, the Ozone still does a sterling job of giving the mouse a solid base to track your movements no matter how subtle or violent they may actually be.

You can check stock and avilability of this product here.

So Which Oversized Gaming Surface is For Me?

We’ve got three fantastic gaming surfaces here and really the only way to answer the posed question is to ask yourself which has the most use to your personal setup.

The Megasoma is a top flight premium grade gaming surface that I’ve not come across anything that can better it. If you want to ensure you have the last word in accuracy in games, whether it be performing headshots in your favourite fist person shooter, or quickly firing off skills on your quickbar in Guild Wars 2 (sorry I’m a clicker!) then this is what you need coupled with a high quality optical or laser mouse.

If you’re someone who cannot stand reaching the edge of the mouse mat, or even your keyboard slipping around on your desk, then either the Goliathus or the Ozone XL are the best options for you. Which one of those two entirely depends on the size of your desk and gaming area. If your desk is not particularly deep, then go for the Goliathus. If you have a large desk area then I can heartily recommend the Ozone XL as a great solution.

If you really want to go ‘over the top’ then I found just about the best solution going. I had the Ozone XL covering the desk, with the Goliathus placed on top with the keyboard on the left side, and to the right side I placed the Megasoma to place the mouse on. Gaming nirvana.Try beating that folks!

If you are in the market for an oversized gaming surface then I would have no hesitation recommending any of the three products in this round up. All are cracking quality for your money.

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