PCXmods X-Trac Zoom Review
What is this you ask? What is the Zoom? The Zoom is PCXmods next portray into the high performance mouse pad segment which we are proud to review. It is the next X-Trac line of quality mouse pads made for the avid gamer. We will be telling you if this pad is slick or not worthy of your money. Let’s head to the review shall we?
Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, Pcxmods was started in March of 2002 by a group of PC gamers. We wanted to impact the modding community with new and exciting products like our caffeinated soap and laser cut fan grills. After we had attended several local LAN parties we were talking with other PC gamers about what kind of mouse pads they were using. We saw pads that looked like dinner plates and others that remotely resembled fruit roll-ups. Apparently, most of these people seemed unsatisfied with what they were using. That’s when we decided to make a better optical mouse pad. The first pad created we called the X-Trac Standard. It was similar in size to most of the pads we were used to seeing. The main difference was the hexagonal print on the surface and the finely woven cloth material. We tried several different designs, but none seemed to make our mice track as well as the hex and random dot configuration seen today. <patent pending>
As time passed, people began to ask for a larger mousing surface. That’s when the X-Trac Pro was born. It measures 8.5” X 11” and the gamers that tried this pad thought it was awesome. Actually, we were happy with it too, but we knew we could to go further. Our most recent pad is the X-Trac Pro HS or hard surface. This pad, we feel, is one of the best optical mouse pads available today. It is approximately 50% smoother than the X-Trac Pro cloth pads and the print has a 1200dpi resolution as compared to 300dpi with the X-Trac Pro and standard.
No matter if you are a hard-core computer gamer or a casual user, we have an optical mouse pad to fit your needs.
The PCXmods X-Trac Zoom arrived to us well placed in a new Global Priority box as opposed to when we had the PCXmods X-Trac Pro HS in an envelope. PCXmods have changed and given more attention to their package. Opening up the box found that the pad was secured with bubble-wrapping to ensure no wreckage.
The PCXmods X-Trac Zoom looks very similar to the X-Trac Pro HS we reviewed because the use of the honeycomb pattern. This pattern is used because of its tried and true heritage. PCXmods has fine-tuned the pattern giving it a more optimized feel.
Let’s see what PCXmods had to say about this:
“The new (patent pending) 4x hexagonal pattern works extremely well with most programs that require definitive mouse pointer location. Within each hex are a series of random dots. The exterior of each hex has a dithered pattern; both are designed to minimize any mouse cursor fade or jitter. The really great thing about the X-Trac Zoom is its thinness. It is as thin as a credit card! On the backside of the X-Trac Zoom is a specially formulated rubber backing called the Sure Grip II. If you have not yet tried any of the X-Trac products, then you should treat yourself to the speed and power of the X-Trac Zoom.” I couldn’t agree more.
I then asked Christopher about the concept of the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom. What did they want to accomplish? This is what he said:
“The concept behind the X-Trac Zoom is targeted at people who like a thin pad as well as size changing abilities. Unlike the other X-Trac mouse pads, the Zoom can be placed partially underneath most keyboards minimizing rocking from side to side and skewing the feeling of your keyboard. The Sure Grip II really holds on to most desktop surfaces without any slippage.”
As usual the logo is placed in the bottom right hand corner and the new PCXmods X-Trac Zoom logo looks cool in my opinion. Oh yeah, the hexagon patterns are bigger now.
The unit measures 8.5” X 11”, the size of a piece of paper. This will be enough surface area for everyday use and gaming.
Flipping the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom over reveals rubber that holds the pad down to the surface it is on. Once again, the rubber is very good at gripping the surface. It’s now called the Sure Grip II.
The pad wouldn’t slide off the desk no matter how much pressure I tried moving it around my table. This held true for the PCXmods X-Trac Pro HS, so I am happy to say the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom brings along this attribute.
The pad works with both optical mice and ball mice. We will see if the mouse pad lives up to it’s name.
– 8.5” X 11”
Note – Do not bend or fold the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom, as you will ruin your new pad. Try to keep it flat for best performance. For surface cleaning, we recommend most normal household cleaners such as Windex or similar. To clean the Sure Grip II backing, you can use a damp cloth.
As you can see by the small note at the bottom that you should not bend the pad because it's just stupid if you do.
There is one thing that is very unique. That is the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom is very thin. As you can see by the photo, it’s as small as a floppy. A better comparison would be the thickness of a credit card, but thinner. I found this to be a little more comfortable than the X-Trac Pro HS.
Enough talking dude, get on with the testing
Again, there is no right way of proving to you that this pad is good or not good, only a comparison between the PCXmods X-Trac Pro HS and the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom will do. Of course in my opinion.
It still looks sexy
I used the Logitech Optical Wheel mouse and Crystal Optical Mouse we reviewed recently and both exhibited same results. The pad was smooth and easy to move. Using a variety of programs like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, and browsing the internet was very easy. There is one thing I'd like to point out, using the Logitech mouse on the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom was a teeny bit louder. The only change I heard was the sound one of the mouse moving on the pad. The Crystal Optical Mouse had no difference.
Playing UT 2003 and Quake 3 Arena proved to be really smooth and the tracking was really good when I needed to move the mouse just slightly when I was caught in the corner fragging opponents.
The pad without the hard surface still manages to really shine in tracking abilities. The pad is literally on par or even better than the X-Trac Pro HS. I just can’t tell the difference. This could be a good thing, or a bad thing. I take it as a good thing.
Here is the tracking results:
PCXmods has done it again producing another fine product, this time without the hard surface. During my use with it, it proved to be in ways the same as the PCXmods X-Trac Pro HS and in some other cases better. It was more comfortable to me, I just don't know why. The only downfall I see is that the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom is more expensive than the PCXmods X-Trac Pro HS. Thankfully we have a special offer taking place at the end of the review.
I rate the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom a...
Pros and Cons
SPECIAL OFFER: We have teamed up with PCXmods to offer the PCXmods X-Trac Zoom for $12.95. So you get $2 off. When ordering, tell them Modsynergy.com sent ye and mention Modsynergy.com $2 off deal.
Go to www.xtracpads.com, their new site. PCXmods is now an X-Trac distributor rather than (perceived) as the manufacturer