The G.L.I.D.E. 7 arrives in some high quality packaging with a sleeve giving us plenty of product information and a thick black cardboard box protecting the pad (rolled up) inside. This box can of course be used to transport the pad to LAN events, or anywhere really.
The Mad Catz branding is very prominent on this surface with a white version of it set diagonally across the pad. Then there is the more traditional red logo in the corner. In terms of materials used, as we have come to expect from Mad Catz they have gone for a different approach to the norm (hard/cloth) and this is a silicone gaming surface.
They note that it is optimised for laser sensors but also suitable for optical and that it increases tracking performance by up to 1000% over some alternatives. This is the case because the pad colours and materials are designed to maximise diffuse reflection and therefore "signal" strength back to the mouse sensor.
While the top of the G.L.I.D.E 7 features a slightly textured surface the base is completely smooth and due to being silicone also offers an almost sticky feel which holds it on our desk. The measurements of this surface are 15.74x11.81x0.03 inches which is 400x300x1mm.
It is always nice when a product arrives packaged well and that was certainly the case with the G.L.I.D.E. 7 and its travel box. Inside we then found a surface which has a completely different feel to the cloth and hard pads which are usually associated with gaming.
Overall the silicone approach taken by Mad Catz is one which we like. The pad doesn't quite give the same padded comfort as a cloth/foam based model but it does offer slightly more give than hard surfaces while still being rather rigid on the desk thanks to the ultra-tacky silicone base.
In terms of performance we found our mice to track very well at a wide range of DPI settings. There were no issues with optical sensors and the larger surface is always appreciated. So that brings us to value where a RRP of £35/$40/€40 puts this pad right in with some of the high end gaming surfaces which given the good level of quality seems appropriate.