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Monday, 14 January 2008 17:21

Razer delivers with Destructor

Written by David Stellmack

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Review: New surface with performance


Razer
just launched the new Destructor mousing surface at CES last week and we were lucky enough to be able to bring one back for testing direct from CES. While we have only has a short three days to test the new Destructor, we wanted to deliver our review of the new surface quickly as we are excited to get the word out about the performance of this new product.

In our discussion with Robert “Razer Guy” Krakoff, he described the new surface as something that was in between the control side of the already released eXactMat and Mantis. According Krakoff, the Destructor is another step in providing gamers with the ultimate in choices to improve gaming performance. While as we all know gamers can be very particular about the mouse that they use, this is only half of the equation as the amount of fraction and tracking on the mousing surface can influence game play performance more than most gamers realize. The Destructor was co-developed with some of the best pro-gaming players which just goes to show that Razer’s “For Gamers By Gamers” tagline is much more than just clever marketing.

The Destructor is a one sided surface design that features a large 350mm length x 280mm width x 2.3mm thick. The Destructor features an all rubber anti-slip surface on the back which keeps the Destructor from moving around even during the most aggressive mousing moves such as “lift offs” and “rapid swipes”. The shape of the surface is very similar to the eXactMat in the fact that the bottom corners of the surface flair out a bit, but the Destructor is bigger as the sides do not arc in like the eXactMat and the top arcs out more than the eXactMat. Overall the surface is bigger than the eXactMat, but much smaller than the Mantis.

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As has become that custom with most many Razer products, the Destructor includes a padded light weight protective case which allows for protective transport of the Destructor to your local LAN party. This likely a good thing as the Desctuctor is bendable, but it bend too far it is possible that you might crease the Destructor, which could lead to the surface becoming disrupted or grooved in such a way that mouse tracking could be an issue.

The top of the Destructor offers what Razer is calling it’s high precision “Razer Fractal” surface design. Being a user of the eXactMat control side, I found that the Destructor offers a bit slicker surface, but at the same time it offered the kind of glide and friction that Razer has become known for. While the surface is not as slick and frictionless as perhaps the eXactMat Speed side or the Mantis Speed version, the Destructor is a very good compromise between the two. This seems especially true for those that do not like the “Fibertek” cloth weave that is offered by the Mantis.

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We tested the Destructor with both the Razer Death Adder and Logitech G5 mice. We wanted to make sure that we did not just test the Destructor with just a mouse from Razer as we felt that this might give the surface an advantage as Razer could have perhaps tweaked the surface to work better with mice carrying their brand. However, in our testing we found that both the Razer Death Adder and the Logitech G5 seem to work equally well when the resolutions of the misc we set to similar DPI settings. The Death Adder uses a third generation infrared sensor and the G5 uses a laser sensor.

We selected four games for use in our testing which were: Battlefield 2142, Frontlines Fuel of War Beta, Call of Duty 4, and Enemy Territory Quake Wars. In addition, we tested the mouse in a standard Windows XP environment of handling normal tasks such as word processing, Email, and browsing the web.

Both mice tracked well on the Destructor surface. We found that accelerator and movements were fluid and smooth. When necessary, we were able to turn up the sensitivity to handle difficult sniping shots with no problems. We did not experience any drift on the surface, meaning that when the mouse was stationary, the pointer did not move due to the texture of the surface. The feel of the Destructor was solid. Unlike some surfaces that seem to “mushy” areas on them, the Destructor is solid and able to delivery a good feel. Swipes, lift-offs, and precision stops were not an issue with the Destructor.

We would rate the performance in our five gaming titles as excellent and our experience of using the surface in the Windows XP environment as excellent as well. The Destructor was a pleasure to use in both gaming and work environments delivering the precision that we have come to expect from Razer.

As for an improvement in scoring that we could attribute to the Destructor mosuing surface directly, I really didn’t see any when compared to the eXactMat Control side surface that wI normally use. What this means that in the short time that we tested the Destructor, I didn’t see any improvement that I could directly attribute to the Destructor during our real world testing.

The only negative comment that we could make about the destructor is that the bottom edge of the surface is little on the sharp and could dig into your skin a bit depending on how you hold your mouse. It would be nice if Razer would have angled the edges of the Destructor to make the edges of the mat a bit smoother.

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In the end we can fully recommend the Destructor as a high performance gaming surface that combines the best of a hard surface like the eXactMat with the best of a Fibertek surface like the Mantis into a surface that yields excellent control and performance in a package that is offered at a reasonable US$29.99 price tag. At this price the Destructor keeps pace with other mousing surfaces that gamers use. The Destructor delivers excellent quality and it is worth considering if you looking for a mousing surface that is a cut above most of the other choices available to gamers. We award the Destructor our Fudzilla “Reccomended” award. While it isn’t quite a leap forward in mousing surface technology, it does deliver a fast quality surface that offers excellent performance with a wide variety of mice and the surface does not move around which is one of the main drawbacks to many other mousing surface choices.

Last modified on Monday, 14 January 2008 16:54
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