ZOWIE GEAR is a new player in the gaming peripheral market. The company is based in Huntington Beach, California, and will offer mousepads, headphones and other accessories for gamers. ZOWIE GEAR claims their highest ambition is not to become the biggest manufacturer of professional gaming gear, but to become the best. In this review I'm taking a closer look at one of ZOWIE's first products: the P-RF mousepad. A lot of gaming mousepads are made from plastic these days, but Zowie begs to differ and released the RF gaming surfaces, these mousepads are made out of waterproof cloth.
The ZOWIE P-RF arrives rolled up in a cardboard box, this already illustrates these mousepads can be bend without a problem.
There are three versions of the ZOWIE RF mousepad; the P-RF, N-RF1 and N-RF2. The difference lies in the size of the mousepad, Zowie says the N-RF1 and N-RF2 are the right size for laptop users, while the larger P-RF is aimed at designers and gamers. With a size of 340mm x 290mm the P-RF is larger than the average mousepad, and it offers a thickness of 4mm. The N-RF1 and N-RF2 both measure 250mm x 215mm but have a different thickness, the N-RF1 is just 1mm thick while the N-RF2 has a thickness of 2mm.
ZOWIE RF series mousepad features:
Water proof surface , easy for cleaning
Perfect working for all mice
Special designed non-slip rubber base
Pure cloth surface could be bended won't get hurt
ZOWIE RF series specifications:
N-RF1 : 9.8 x 8.5 x 0.04 inches / 250 x 215 x 1 mm
N-RF2 : 9.8 x 8.5 x 0.08 inches / 250 x 215 x 2 mm
P-RF : 13.4 x 11.4 x 0.16 inches / 340 x 290 x 4mm
The front of the mousepad is made out of cloth, it's black and feels rather rough. The surface is made out of waterproof fiber, it has a grainy texture and the edges of the pad are rounded. The P-RF measures 340mm x 290mmm, this size should be large enough for most gamers.
The upper right corner of the mousepad has a small ZOWIE logo. This is perhaps the least durable part of the mousepad, the logo can easily be peeled off although I don't think it will come off under normal usage of the mousepad.
To improve the feel and long term integrity of the RF series ZOWIE used a heat & pressure process. The company explains on its website that cloth mousepads are made by yarn, which is made up of fibers. ZOWIE uses a heat & pressure process to reduce the irregularity of these fibers, to create a smoother surface.
The base is colored dark grey and features dozens of ZOWIE logos, it's made out of natural rubber and a mix of various compounds. Zowie claims this results in better traction and better grid than mousepads with a base made exclusively of natural rubber. This seems to work pretty well because the mousepad didn't slip during testing.
Between the top surface and the base is about 4mm of foam.
What makes this cloth mousepad so special is that it's waterproof, ZOWIE gives the RF series a special treatment to reject absorption of dust particles and water. Accidentally spilling a beverage over the ZOWIE mousepads won't damage them, and sweaty hands won't ruin them either.
Thanks to the special treatment these surfaces receive during manufacturing, it is able to reject the absorption of small particles such as dust or water, thereby enhancing its ability to reduce wear and tear. Furthermore the clothing material used consists of unique fibers that has been woven very tightly together to ensure a flexible and durable surface that is able to resist the massive pressure from wrists and mouse during heavy use.
Some gamers have a problem with sweat being absorbed by their mouse pad, making it very old to look at. After a few weeks of everyday use, the pad will look grey and have white markings from the sweat it has absorbed. Our new technology ensures that the sweat is not absorbed by the cloth, but left on top in form of a small residue, which can be easily cleaned using a wet clothing. With the significant reduction of wear and tear you no longer have to change your mouse pad every few months.
To test if the ZOWIE P-RF mousepad is really waterproof I held it under running water for almost half a minute. The water rolled off the mousepad and after wiping it with a dry cloth it was completely dry.
Below you can see some water drops floating on the ZOWIE P-RF mousepad, the water isn't able to penetrate the cloth surface. This is one of the things I like a lot about the Zowie RF series, regular cloth mousepads can't easily be cleaned but with ZOWIE mousepads you won't have this problem.
I tested the ZOWIE P-RF mousepad for about two weeks with the Razer Lachesis, Logitech MX1000 and Logitech V220 during everyday use and several games. During my testing I didn't encounter any problems, mice glide smoothly over the mousepad's surface and there's enough friction to make very precise movements. The tracking and accuracy provided by the ZOWIE P-RF is very good.
I don't know if the ZOWIE P-RF will last as long as plastic mousepads, but the build quality definitely looks very good. This isn't an el cheapo cloth mousepad, but possibly one of the best cloth mousepads in the market.
The only bad thing about the ZOWIE RF series is that the surface of the mousepad is perhaps a bit too rough for your hands, the texture feels a lot rougher than most cloth and plastic mousepads I've handled in the past.
This is the first product series from ZOWIE and I have to admit they have made a great debut. The ZOWIE P-RF is one of the best mousepads on the market for fans of cloth mousepads, it provides good tracking for your mice, it's well made and unlike other cloth mousepads it's waterproof and very easy to clean. I don't know how much these mousepads will cost in retail stores, but if the pricing isn't stellar I highly recommend them.
The Good Stuff
- Provides good tracking
- Easy to clean
- Can be bend
- Nice size
- Doesn't slide on your desk
The Bad Stuff
- Surface feels pretty rough
I give the ZOWIE P-RF mousepad a 9/10 and our Seal of Approval award: