When you first set eyes on the pad you notice how the logo has changed - the old Ratpadz came with a screen printed logo at the top right. The RatpadzGS however comes with a heat branded logo in a 3" x 1" rectangle at the top right of the pad. This new logo will not wear away like the previous one did. You might be thinking that you're losing part of the surface, but I have been using this new version for a week now and have had no problems with this logo affecting my mouse movements.
The other major difference you will notice is that the edges of the pad are different. In the above picture the bottom pad with the wide edge is the old style pad and the top pad with the narrow edge is the new pad. This has changed so that the usable surface is as large as possible without increasing the overall size. The edge is also far smoother than the old edge which gives it a more quality look and feel.
Turning the Ratpadz over reveals the most drastic change of all, on the left is the bottom of the old pad and on the right is the bottom of the new RatpadzGS. By using the ribbed (oo err!) method the pad becomes lighter and less likely to warp. Ratpadz say that the ribbed construction also helps the pad grip the desk - when pressure is applied to the surface all the feet will grip the desk, Ratpadz calls this the "DeskGrip" feature.
The RatpadzGS is held in place by nine polyurethane feet which are countersunk into the underside of the pad to reduce the chance of them getting knocked off. It also helps to keep the pad as close to the desk as possible making the pad more comfortable to use for long periods of time.
The surface has been improved in this latest incarnation. The texture is much finer on the RatpadzGS which resembles the surface of the first generation pad more than the second. I can tell you now, going from the second generation to the third generation RatpadzGS was like going from your standard mouse mat to a Ratpadz for the first time. This could have been due to the fact my Ratpadz was worn down by many hours of gaming, but still this new surface is much smoother than I ever remember the previous Ratpadz being.
With the finer texture however you need to keep the surface cleaner, dust on the pad makes a big difference to the performance. A quick spray with furniture polish and cleaning the feet on the mouse makes the pad seem like new again. If the pad gets dirty they suggest cleaning it with soapy water, but try not to use anything that will scratch the surface.
The RatpadzGS looks huge until you put a large mouse on it, this being the Microsoft Explorer v3. As you can see there is only a couple of inches up and down movement before you run out of space. You might think this isn't enough but with default windows sensitivity I can get from the top to the bottom of the 1600x1200 resolution desktop without having to lift the mouse. I play first person shooter games such as Counter Strike and Unreal Tournament 2003 with a sensitivity of about 2.
With such low sensitivity you would think that I would be constantly running out of pad, but somehow the RatpadzGS seems endless. Remember this mouse mat isn't just for the gamers among us, but it also makes working in Windows a dream so you can be more precise in Photoshop and CAD.
What more is there to say? Everything that has been changed from the Ratpadz to the RatpadzGS seems to have been for the better. You can get your hands on this pad from ukgeek
if you are in the UK, or if you are outside the UK take a trip over here
to find your local reseller. A big thumbs up from me and this has to be worth one of our awards.