X-raypad Aqua Control Plus Review
X-raypad is a brand that has been making mousepads for a while now, and their Aqua Control line of pads has seen some use in the professional scene. With more and more attention going to high quality mousepads in recent times (we're seeing a growing number of pro players gravitate towards 'niche' mousepad brands) we thought it was high time to review this line of pads that promises a nice blend of speed and micro control. Complete with stitched edges and available in a wide variety of sizes and designs (at very friendly prices to boot) there should be a little something for everyone, but of course it's important to know whether or not the pad is actually good enough to use for competitive gaming. Read our full X-raypad Aqua Control Plus review to find whether or not it is!
"Aqua Control Plus is speed and control mousepad. It can provide stable guns in CSGO and Valorant. It can also provide smooth follow-up in APEX and PUBG, which is very suitable for multi-type FPS omnivorous players."X-raypad
X-raypad Aqua Control Plus First Impressions
The Aqua Control Plus that I'm reviewing today is part of the Wave Series, and you can get these in pretty much any color that you like. I went with the Night version.
What I love about this pad is that you can get the Aqua Control Plus in a desk-sized version, as you don't often see these more specialized types of pads being available in this size. Of course the fact that they're available in a deskmat size has no impact on the performance of the product, but it's nice to see that the option is there should you prefer desk-sized pads. I know I do.
As far as the design goes: I am not a huge fan, but it doesn't bother me. I love the subtle grey wave pattern on the right side of the mousepad, but the whole 'riff on the Great Wave off Kanagawa' design is kind of getting old if you ask me. So many brands (not just mousepad brands) have been doing it, and despite the fact that I love the original artwork I'm kind of over it.
Moving on to less subjective aspects: I have to say that I was impressed with the overall quality of the mousepad. As you may or may not know, X-raypads sell their mousepads at very friendly prices (at least when comparing them to other higher end mousepads on the market) but you wouldn't be able to figure that out by just looking at the mousepad. I will go into more detail on the overall finishing in the next section, but I was very impressed when I first unrolled this mousepad.
Glide characteristics (beta)Learn more about these tests
X-raypad has a number of Aqua Control lines, and this Aqua Control Plus line is aimed towards the control end of the spectrum while being not quite as controlling as dedicated control pads. From our testing, that claim rings true. The slightly grainy surface has an average static friction, meaning that it doesn't require a whole lot of force to get the mouse moving, but it's not as slippery as a hybrid pad or a dedicated speed pad. I know it sounds a bit nondescript, but from my experience mousepads, this pad lands almost exactly in the center when it comes to the initial glide resistance, meaning that it (theoretically; your preferences may be different) offers plenty of leeway for micro adjustments while also not being so slippery that you feel as if you're on ice when aiming at pixel-sized objects in the game world.
What I noticed during testing is that there's relatively little stopping power, though, and that was confirmed in testing. The dynamic friction is on the lower end (definitely for a pad that's marketed as being somewhat control-oriented) which resulted in quite a few moments where I overshot my target because there isn't a whole lot of dynamic friction. That combined with the fact that the foam is on the denser side (meaning that it's a bit more difficult to put pressure on the mouse to let the mouse 'sink in' and help slow it down) and the static friction is on the lower end means that I would classify this as a medium speed mousepad.
In a nutshell: once the mouse gets going (flicking, doing big swipes) it feels very slick, and while there is some resistance when doing micro movements, it's not nearly in the realm of dedicated control pads. Keeping these characteristics in mind, I would say that this pad is ideal for medium-high sensitivity gamers who rely on their wrist to aim rather than their arm and desire some resistance when making small movements. This is just a general guideline, though. These things are highly subjective.
What's also very noticeable is the fact that the X/Y glide is nearly the same. On most cloth pads, there's a (sometimes rather large) difference between the two, but that's not the case here. With a difference of just 1.6% (41.35 g vs 42 g) this is one of the more consistent pads I've tried out so far, and perhaps that's also part of what makes it feel a touch slippery sometimes. If you're used to a larger X/Y difference you might feel a bit slippery on up/down flicks or large horizontal swipes due to the fact that there's no difference between the two, whereas on most cloth pads the higher Y axis friction can help with 'keeping your mouse in check' so to say. Whether you like that or not comes down to personal preferences, but it is something important to note.
As mentioned before, the pad itself feels great. Its surface handles moisture pretty nicely and feels very consistent across longer gaming sessions, which is always a plus. I've used this during some intense summer gaming sessions and as someone who tends to get sweaty hands I can't say that I've noticed any issues with certain spots becoming muddier after some time. The stitching is nearly flawless and almost level with the surface itself, so unless you're extremely sensitive to these kinds of things you won't be bothered by the stitching. The Aqua Control Plus lays completely flat straight out of the box (though this is of course influenced by the fact that it's an extended pad; these nearly always lay flat easily) and its texturized rubber base keeps the product in place at all times. This definitely looks and feels like a pad that belongs in a higher price tier.
Conclusion & Recommendation
The X-raypad Aqua Control Plus is a rather unique mousepad. Its static friction is rather 'middle of the road', and while the dynamic friction isn't exactly speed-pad low, it is on the lower side for a control-oriented mousepad. Combine that with an X/Y glide that's almost the exact same and you've got a pad that feels quite slick overall, with the only real resistance coming from the static friction. These aspects make for a pretty unique glide feeling, and I see this being an absolute win for people with a higher sensitivity who don't want to experience the low static friction that's traditionally associated with speed pads.
For arm aimers or people who exclusively play tac shooters (where most of your aiming is done on the X axis) I wouldn't necessarily recommend this pad, but if you play games where your aim is 'all over the place' (Overwatch, Fortnite, ...) this might be worth looking at due to the consistency across both axes.
If you like the glide characteristics you should definitely try this pad out. It's a very high quality pad with no objective downsides that comes in at an extremely friendly price point.