As a whole, this group of mouse pads has shown that not only was XTracGear on top of the game years ago with the Ripper and Ripper XXL, but they remain at the top of their game with the Carbonic. Although the Carbonic is smaller in size, there is a defined advantage to the contrasting pattern applied to it. By this, we mean that while the Ripper pads will last quite a long time, there will come a time when worn spots will appear, and tracking will become much less sensitive. We are talking two or three years down the line here, but all the same, even if you are to wear down the Carbonic, that pattern will allow the sensor to keep tracking, even if the individual threads get much smoother over time.
We also liked that across all three samples, we could not fray the edges of these laser cut pads from use at the edge of the desk, or intentionally rubbing an edge to try to make it lift; it just can't be done. One last thing we do want to cover is that all three pads are not spill proof, but we did spill some liquid on ours, and if you are fast, it beads for just a few seconds and is easy to clean. However, if the liquid is left too long, it will sink into the foam and it will require harsher measures than just a swipe with a rag to remove the liquid.
On an individual level, we find the Carbonic a bit lacking, but only due to its size. Even though it is small, the Carbon Fiber pattern applied to it did allow us to raise our DPI/CPI setting into the 5000 to 6000 range, and still have pretty good control over the movement. The nice thing is that even when we did drop the DPI levels into the 1000 to 2000 range, we found the pattern in the cloth really helped us with Photoshop. Of course, precise aiming is also easy to accomplish, but you can't track that enemy too long, or you may end up running out of mouse pad before you can pull the trigger. The fact that it is small can be advantageous though. If you were to get competitive, and feel that another pad just won't do, the Carbonic won't take up much room in a bag with your mouse and keyboard.
As far as the Ripper is concerned, this is what we prefer in a mouse pad; it's not too large, and not too small; as Goldilocks would say: "this one is just right." While it's not as aggressive as the Carbonic, we found that with the mice we tested with, at high DPI or on the low-end, there is a fair amount of room, and a slick glide to all the mice we used on it.
When it came to the Ripper XXL, we were very impressed. Its enormousness will allow a mouse, keyboard, USB hub, mouse bungee, your phone, and hell, even a large pizza can sit on here with all of that other gear already there. If you do not care for the constraints that any average sized mouse pad delivers, then this should definitely be a serious consideration for you. Whether you are using high DPI, or low DPI, it really doesn't matter, as you will be very hard pressed to run out of room, or have the need to lift the mouse. All in all, if you are going to go big, then go big with the Ripper XXL, and don't bother with something that will always restrict you in some manner. Most users of the Ripper XXL will love the fact that the majority of any table top can be a mouse pad.
Out of the three XTracGear mouse pads we considered today, we did like the precise control of the Carbonic. The Carbonic is a step above the other two solutions when it comes to those who need the utmost in tracking when doing all of those finite things that most gamers never even think about. This makes the Carbonic better for all around use as well, not to mention it is much more portable than the other two.
The Ripper has its place as well for an all around good mouse pad to use; it tracks just fine, and it is smoother to glide on than the Carbonic in our opinion. We just wish these pads still came with the Teflon mouse feet and sticker that the originals shipped with. When it came down to the Ripper XXL, it really is a different league of mouse pad, as it does take up most of your desktop, and it may even be too large for some. However, if you have the room, we definitely suggest you try the freedom it offers to your work or gaming environment.
As far as pricing is concerned for these products, we feel that each of them is priced very well, even on their MSRPs. Although, if you shop around as we did, you can find some pretty decent savings, and that makes these pads from XTracGear even more appealing. While we really can't say that any one is specifically better than the rest, as they all have their advantages and disadvantages, we will be awarding these pads as a group, taking into account where XTracGear has come from with their Ripper and Ripper XXL, and how it all plays into their latest Carbonic mouse pad design.
PRICING: You can find the XTracGear Carbonic, Ripper, and Ripper XXL for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.