Looking at the pad itself, we see Razer’s usual design aesthetic in place. The pad features the Razer logo in green on the upper right corner, the Goliathus logo on the bottom left, and is otherwise plain black. The texture of the surface deserves special mention, as it is what makes this pad unusual. The surface has a heavily textured weave to it, and feels like wool to the touch. If you are used to mousing on a bare tabletop, or a hard mouse pad, the extra traction will take some getting used to. Despite this, I never experienced any hitches, snags, or sluggish movement—all common complaints of cloth pads. The textured weave of the surface also helps to minimize problems with friction due to grit, nicks and scratches on the bottom of the mouse, and other such things. The weave also provides excellent tracking for mouses of all kinds: tests with laser optical, LED optical, and even an old ball mouse showed no tracking errors whatever. The reverse side is coated in grippy rubber, so the pad will stay put on a variety of surfaces: glass, stainless steel, laminate, plastic and stone. (All of these surfaces were used at various locations in the course of one week!)
An issue that sometimes gets overlooked with products like this is ease of maintenance. For a mousepad, this boils down to two questions:
- How easily does it get dirty?
- How hard is it to clean?
Some cloth pads are prone to collecting hand salsa; that mixture of oil and shed skin that ends up making your mouse look nasty over time if not regularly cleaned off. Solid black mouse pads are often particularly bad about this, acquiring a cloudy haze over time as your hand and arm rub against it during play. Whatever material the Goliathus’s surface is made out of, it avoids this problem. After almost a month of heavy use, this pad still looks like new. Cleaning is similarly easy; dirt and dust brush off, while more persistent substances (pizza sauce, soda, BBQ sauce, &c.) can be removed with a damp cloth.
Evaluation & Conclusion
All this is fine and good, but what you really want to know is, will this improve my game? To answer that question, I took the Goliathus to several LAN events over the course of a month, and tried it out with a variety of games, from hardcore FPSes like Call of Duty 4 and Left 4 Dead, to casual-friendly games like World of Warcraft and (dare I say it) Bejeweled. Once accustomed to the feel of it, I noticed something remarkable: the pad simply disappeared from my awareness. Normally the mousing surface makes itself known from time to time through little irritations, like a bit of grit causing the mouse to grind to a halt, or a too-slick surface causing me to overshoot the mark, or a worn spot causing the mouse to drag. The Goliathus eliminated all these little flea-bite complaints, and let me focus on my game. Rapid, consistent headshots became the norm with sniper weapons, and leading with rockets and grenades ceased to be a chore.
People often ask, is it really worth bothering with a special mouse pad? Isn’t the $5 cloth pad I got at Wal-mart enough? If all you’re doing is surfing the web and playing Minesweeper, then sure, a cheapo cloth pad is enough. If you’re one of those people…chances are you wouldn’t have even taken the time to read this. For a gamer, of any level, accuracy is the difference between chump and champ. You can have the most stupendiferously awesome gaming mouse ever to grace a USB port, and still have it all ruined by a poor surface. For $19.99 (MSRP), the Goliathus is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your game.