High performance and high design – Kyle Lunau
This product is available from the The Heatsink Factory.
Func Industries LLC is “a leading provider of precision mousing surfaces for competitive gaming and other professional PC applications”. What’s also very nice about their products is that you can create your own mousepad design; in addition they offer a number of interesting gaming products worth checking out.
The Archetype 1030 MBA mousepad is what I’ll review. The 1030 refers to the two surface types available – 10s smooth or 30r rough. The MBA refers to machined billet aluminium, which makes up the base of the pad I am reviewing today.
So without further adieu, some pictures!
Lets start out with the packaging. The Archetype arrived on my doorstep in a standard brown envelope via FedEx. The Archetype was very well packed with the envelope lined with bubble wrap:
…and the mousepad in a bubble wrap sleeve:
Included in the package is a very small cord clip for your mouse. This clips on to one of two positions on the pad and allows you to control your mouse cable’s position so it doesn’t send the stuff on your desk flying when you do a 180 in Counter Strike! As I have a wireless mouse, I will not be using the cord clip:
Also included is a setup brochure and guide to getting the most out of the pad:
And of course the mousepad itself in all its glory:
Just a little background on the image, as it was just a fluke I got it in the first place. I was playing a quick round of CS:S with bots, came around a corner with the AWP in my hand, had a CT bearing down on me, pulled the trigger and – nothing. CS:S HAD CRASHED!
After cursing CS for a minute or two I realized, “Hey that image would look great on a mousepad” and here we are. After Photoshopping the image to make it look even more cool, I sent it over to the guys at FUNC and had my gamer name slapped in the lower left for good measure. Looks pretty good eh?
Okay now on to the other features of this pad (besides the ability to customize it to make all your gamer friends jealous). On the back we have 7 non-slip feet (the FUNC sticker in the middle is one), the two positions for the cord clip and two odd sized holes in the MBA base. Hmmm… what are these for?
This is one of the main selling points of the Archetype. As you can see, the mousing surface can be completely removed from the base. But why would you take the surface off the base? Well this is because the mousing surface is two sided. What this means is that when one side wears out, you can just flip it over to a brand new side of the same type or you can have two different surfaces, one smooth, one rough.
This means you can choose how much resistance your mouse gets at any given time. Plus if you get one with two different sides, you can figure out which one you like best. I surprised myself with my preference for the rough side, going into this review thinking I would only use the smooth side. Guess not! And in case you were wondering, any image you place in the FUNC Custom Gear Utility will be put on both sides.
And a shot of the mousepad in its new home on my desk:
During gaming I found the rough surface provided the extra tactile feedback needed to make good shots in FPS games and the smooth side is great for non-gaming tasks.
Well I have to say I was REALLY impressed by this mousepad.
It exceeded all of my expectations in performance and quality. Plus I really love the aluminium base of the MBA version. It makes for a very classy look and will fit in with most desk decors (especially mine because all my other computer accessories are black and silver).
This greatness comes at a price – the model reviewed here would cost $45.99 USD, $39.99 if you don’t want it customized.
This may seem a bit steep but that is with a solid aluminium base and a two-sided mouse surface. I have to say that I also really like FUNC’s customization service. For the extra $6 (less on some other FUNC mousepads), you can put whatever you want on your mousepad. Plus it isn’t a skin like some other products – it seems to be printed onto the actual surface, making the texture of a customized pad the same as a non-customized pad.
There are two negative points though:
First, I had problems with my wireless mouse on the pad. Luckily after moving the receiver closer to the mouse, this problem was alleviated (the base was about two feet away from my mouse, now it is three inches away). I would have appreciated it if FUNC had in some way indicated that there might be problems with the MBA base and wireless mice.
This problem will probably not affect you if you have one of those 2.4 GHz wireless mice, as the signal strength is much higher than mine (mines around 27 MHz I believe). Although I’m not sure if FUNC even knew this problem existed they do now.
Second, when I flip the surface over to the smooth side (the surface came mounted rough-side up) it does not sit flush with the base and would pop up slightly in the middle. Of course the weight of the mouse keeps the middle down but the edges are still not flush.
So some pros and cons of this product are:
- Solid aluminium base!
- Two-sided surface
- Non-slip feet
- Customization is very well done (and cheap too!)
- Looks very cool
- Makes you look 31337 (no seriously!)
- MBA base interferes with wireless mice (my Logitech MX700 anyway)
- Flipside doesn’t quite fit properly (this could be an isolated incident)
The Archetype is without a doubt the best mousepad I have ever laid eyes on. It is functional and elegant (and 1337). So if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to worshiping this mousepad like the god it is.
After sending FUNC the review URL they had a few clarifications for me:
#1. FUNC knows that the MBA degrades the wireless signal. If you tell them you are using a wireless mouse during the ordering process they will advise against the MBA base.
#2. This is actually how they put the image on the pad:
“We reverse print on the underside of the top transparent layer of the surface sheet before the pad is ever constructed. In this way, the image is protected and will never wear out or fade. That’s why it takes a few days to ship the product – we actually build the product for customers from scratch after they order it.”
After my last review of the Archetype 1030 MBA I found that the MBA base interrupted my wireless mouse signal. So the guys over at FUNC were more than happy to sent me their second base option, the Soft-feel plastic base.
Here it is in all its glory. While it doesn’t look as impressive as the MBA base, it still looks awesome.
The MBA and Soft Feel plastic bases together.
It looks just as good as the MBA base on my desk.
I have to say that FUNC did a great job on this base as well. I really like the feel of the plastic. FUNC says it feels like suede and I have to say they weren’t far off. I really think the choice between MBA and Soft-feel plastic is more style than quality oriented.
I would get the MBA base if you really want the pad to stand out on your desk. On the other hand if you just want the pad to blend into the desk, than get the Soft-feel base. Also those of you with wireless mice will be pleased to hear that the plastic base does not interfere with wireless signals. Other than that, the plastic base is also cheaper and I didn’t get the poor flipside pad fit that I did with the MBA base.
- High quality plastic
- Feels like suede!
- Non-slip feet
- Works with wireless mice!
- Excellent pad fit
- Cheaper than the MBA base
Congrats to FUNC for making a plastic base the right way, with high quality and style (plus it feels like suede!).