Razer quietly released their latest mousepad, the Strider earlier today. The pad is a low profile, textured pad that strives to offer balanced performance between speed and control. Any gamers who are familiar with the Artisan Hien should know that the Strider offers a similar surface feeling, a rougher texture that prioritizes low friction glide. The Hien has notoriously been hard to purchase and quite expensive so the Strider offers an alternative that is much cheaper and has some unique features of its own. Please note that this mousepad was sent out to me for review by Razer but it won’t impact my thoughts on the product. This will be a review of the Large size of the pad but a XXL deskmat version is also available.
450 x 400 x 3mm
Presentation and Build Quality
The Strider comes in a large stand-up thick box. The pad comes rolled up inside and a Razer sticker is included in the package. Otherwise there is not much to speak of in terms of packaging but the whole experience lives up to the usual high Razer standards. While the pad is transported rolled up, it laid flat instantly without any issues once I placed it on my desk. There were no weird folds or creasing from the pad.
My first impressions of the Strider were really positive. The stitched edges are flush with the edges of the pad and give it a premium look and feel. The pad has a clean look without any screen printing and the only branding is in the form of a branded Razer tab to the top right corner. The pad didn’t have any strange chemical smells and it the texture felt smooth right out of the box without any break-in period. For a $30USD pad, the Strider gave the impression of a much more expensive premium product.
Surface and Performance
The main consideration with any mousepad is how well it performs. Right off the bat, I felt quite familiar with the Strider as I had used the Artisan Hien for many months in the past. The large size of the Strider is just a tad smaller than the XL Hien. There’s still enough surface here for most gamers but super low sens players might be a little disappointed in the size reduction. The surface has a gritty, textured feeling that has a rough sandpaper feel against your skin. It doesn’t bother me personally but I know some people with more sensitive skin might or arm aimers might prefer a smoother softer surface. As for the thickness of the base itself, the mouse is very low profile at only 3mm. In this way the foam backing of the pad feels almost identical to Artisan mid. If you didn’t like the rough texture of the Hien, you won’t like the Strider either as it’s the fibers feel even harder and rougher than that pad.
Going more into detail on the surface itself, the rough surface is both water and warp resistant which should help with the long term durability of the pad. Certainly in my week of testing it felt like a tank that should hold up very well over time. I don’t live in a very humid climate but in the summertime months it is quite humid at the moment and I feel like this had no impact on the performance of the surface. The surface has a very low initial friction and feels FASTER to me than an Artisan Hien mid out the box. While my mid is worn in a bit, I do think that you can move any mouse very quickly and easily over this surface. I tested both stock feet and aftermarket Tiger Arcs and Corepads and all performed reliably on the Strider. You won’t feel much resistance with quick flicks and adjustments on this pad but the catch is that stopping power is not the strong suit of this pad. While you can get decent stopping power if you press down hard on your mouse, it’s easy to overshoot targets at first especially if you’re coming from a slower control style pad. It gives a bit of that hard pad, gliding on ice feeling but personally I did like how effortless that makes fingertip grip on this pad.
As for performance of this pad in-game, I would say that I performed quite well once I got used to the surface. It didn’t take long for me to adjust considering I have months with the Hien but there are some differences in the feel, namely the Strider has a much more balanced X/Y glide compared to the Hien. I really liked the Strider for quick flicks and one taps which made this pad very good for Valorant which is less reliant on set spray patterns. You may want to lower your sens if you’re coming from slower pads in order to more easily adjust to the lower stopping power and faster speed of the Strider compared to most cloth pads out there.
Features and Base
One of the selling points of the Strider is that it made from a water and warp resistant polyester. It definitely feels like that surface was made with longevity in mind and other than collecting some dust the pad feels like it will stay quick and durable over time. While you won’t be looking to spill liquids on this surface, it’s good to know that it’ll repel sweat and the rigors of day to day use.
I really liked the edge stitching on this pad and while it doesn’t look as good visually as the ones on Artisan pads, it might actually be better for gameplay as it’s so discrete and flush to the edges of the pad, this means that you can get close to edge without it impacting your mouse movements.
The rubber base on the other hand did seem sturdy at first. It won’t move easily just using your mouse on it but if you bump your arm or hand into the sides of the base from any angle it can easily shift the position of the mousepad. In this regard it’s a step back from the Artisan which also feels glued onto your desk once it’s secured. This became a pet peeve of mine using the Strider as it constantly was shifting on my desk through each gaming session. The Strider may also be a good option for gamers on the go as the surface can be safely rolled up and transported without damaging the surface.
The retail price of the Razer Strider makes it an excellent value for gamers. This pad is less than half the price of the Artisan Hien and it offers a very similar feeling and level of quality. I like that Razer went for such an understated no nonsense approach on this pad and it’s definitely targeted towards gamers who prioritize performance over hype. I don’t think this is a better pad than what Artisan makes but it’s similar enough with enough of its own quirks that it demands attention and it’s own niche in the marketplace.
Premium stitched edges and surface
Low friction glide and fast performance with all mice skates
Available in deskmat sizing
Large is smaller than Artisan XL
Rubber base isn’t as sticky as it should be and shifts around easily on desk
One of the best Artisan alternatives at half the price.
Where to buy the Razer Strider