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Friday, September 26, 2014

Gadget Review: Mionix Propus 380 Gaming Surface

Review by Nick H.

Mouse pads come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, but few really bring anything terribly new or innovative to the table. The Propus 380 is different than any other gaming surface I have used to date in that it is slicker, faster and more easily used in different places than a typical fabric one.

In terms of dimensions, the Propus 380 is akin to oversized mouse pads. It measures in at 380mm x 260mm. While this falls short of being a mouse mat for keyboards, it offers ample real estate for sliding around a mouse without the need to pick it up and centre it again. The Propus 380 is also very thin at 4mm of thickness. This is a low, unobtrusive profile that when combined with the rubber underside does not slip or slide at all, even during heavy use.

Instead of being made of fabric, the Propus 380 is comprised of PVC-plastic which gives it a firm, sturdy feel. There is also no fraying and it can be used in different places as a result. I have used this on wooden tables next to my computer as well as the arm of my sofa when I am playing games on my computer using a wireless mouse and my big screen television. The only potential drawback to this design I can see is that the Propus 380 cannot be rolled up for transport, but it is so thin that if you are using a laptop case or briefcase, it should slide right in without any problem.

The surface however, is what really stands out here. This is a much slicker surface, which allows for fast and frictionless mouse movement. However, it also tracks very, very well. I recently reviewed the NAOS 8200 by Mionix and one of the coolest features of that mouse was its ability to read the accuracy of the surface it was being used on. Some of these surfaces were pretty ridiculous, but I thought I would try them out anyway. So, for example, the arm of my chair rang in at 50 per cent. My smooth wooden table provided a 30 per cent rating, while a rougher wooden one provided 50 per cent. My gaming mat scored a 60 per cent. The Propus scored a 90 per cent rating, easily the best of all the different surfaces I have tested so far.



Even with my mouse DPI turned up quite high, there was little to no pixel skipping to be had. I tested the Propus 380 with nearly a dozen different mice that had a range of DPI settings. Some of the mice were LED-optical and others were laser and the DPI ranges were as low as 1,000 and as high as 8,200 and they performed better on this surface than any other pad or mat I had on hand.

The surface has a shiny/ sparkling aesthetic that likely aids in the tracking efficiency. If there is a complaint to be levied about the surface itself, it is that it is not as comfortable as some mouse pads out there. There is no padded wrist support, and the surface, while smooth and frictionless on the mouse is a more abrasiveness than a fabric pad would be.

The Propus 380 combines the best of all worlds, with a wide surface, frictionless gliding movement and near-perfect tracking for both laser and optical mice. The hard surface and rubberised bottom make certain that this mouse pad does not slide around and can be used on a variety of locations. All in all, arguably the best high performance mouse pad I have used so far.

 

- Nick H.
US Editor



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Gadget Review: Mionix Propus 380 Gaming Surface
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