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Old December 12, 2010, 08:24 AM
David Milch's Avatar
David Milch David Milch is offline
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Default Artisan Gaming Mouse Pads

Expensive mouse pads are really only for very picky people. Using the desk itself or a cheap pad is really all most people will ever need. But if you are like me, and do not feel comfortable unless everything is just right, you need a good mouse pad. Until now I have not found a pad I could live with. I've had the razer exact, razer Goliathus, razer destructor, steelseries 9hd, steelseries qck heavy & qck+, icemat (glass), and others I can't remember. But I really did not like any of them, so I've been using my bare desktop.

I knew nothing about the company who makes the pads (Growup Japan), or the pads themselves. The English part of their website (ARTISAN Online shop | KAI.g2/KAI.g3 is gaming mouse pad from Japan has obviously been created using an online translation tool and isn't particularly compelling. However, I have always had great experiences with anything made in Japan, and when possible I will buy Japanese products over anything made in any other country, except possibly Germany. So I bought a couple of their mats based on the made in Japan factor alone.

Both mats I recieved have very high quality closed cell backing backing which you never see on mouse pads.
  • Uniform hardness
  • Uniform repulsion elasticity
  • High vibration absorbency
  • Uniform surface
And since the top layer is bonded to the backing, those characteristics help create a quality top surface.

Currently, they only have 2 surfaces available: ARTISAN KAI.g2 & ARTISAN KAI.g3 HIEN. Unfortunately they didnt have the ARTISAN KAI.g2 UT when I ordered; that one apparantly is "Suitable for almighty play styles. IE 3.0 is NOT compatible" Not being compatible with Internet Explorer 3 is a bummer though. The kai.g2 u is avaialbe in one stiffness (soft), two sizes, but only one color (charcoal). The kai.g2 hien is also available in two stiffnesses (soft/hard), two sizes, and two colors (red and black).

1) ARTISAN KAI.g2 U













2)ARTISAN KAI.g3 HIEN








My faith in Japanese products continues to be justified as these are the two best mouse pads I've bought. Each surface is completely defect free, and the high quality backing is fantastic.

The g2 is very slick, and the g3 gives you a bit better control because of the increased friction. Neither surface transfers any vibrations to the mouse, so when I say friction it is not anything you can feel except that it takes a bit more effort to start moving the mouse with the g3, and it stops quicker. I personally prefer the g3, as I have a tenancy with the g2 to overshoot things and the g3 is therefore more precise. But if you want a fast mat, the g2 is great.

I love the g3 and so my search for a mouse ends here. If you have yet to find a mat you can live with, you really should give an Artisan mat a go.

Post Script:
The g2 is $23 for the small, and $28 for the medium.

There is a promotional sale on the g3 right now. I paid $28 for the large, and but they've dropped the price to about $10. The sale is nice, but imo if they really want to attract international customers they really need to work on the English part of the site.

EMS shipping for two mats from Tokyo to Calgary was $23, and it took 7 days. The mats cannot be rolled or severely bent, so the packing had to be really good and it was. Neither mat was damaged in transit.
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