Rodent Boulevard – An Introduction to Mouse Pads

Greetings everyone. Since I’m a cat, I have a tendency to chase mice down. And since computer mice like mouse pads, I figure I should make an introduction for them.

…Ok, enough of lame introductions. Anyway, a mouse pad is like an “enhancer” for your mouse, much like how a graphics card is an enhancer for your monitors and how a sound card is an enhancer for your headphones/speakers. Even though mice can now work on pretty much any surface, whether it’s wood, rock, soil, paper, grass, your friend’s head, or glass, mouse pads are still a good thing to consider getting, because what matters is not whether the mouse works, it’s how smoothly the mouse works.

Speed or Control


As you should’ve known, optical mice and laser mice (seriously though, who still uses trackball mice (not the mice with a supplementary trackball on the side, but the kind with a trackball at the bottom and no sensors) these days?) work by tracking the surface beneath them, scanning the differences in the surface to detect movement. Thus, the mission of the mouse pad is to provide a perfect surface with the right kind of “differences” (known as microtextures) for the mouse to scan. They also give the right amount of slipperiness so that the mouse can glide naturally.

However, the different levels of slipperiness also divided the mouse pads into two large categories:

  • Speed mouse pads, which is very slippery, and
The Corsair MM400, a reputable Speed mouse pad.
The Corsair MM400, a reputable Speed mouse pad.
  • Control mouse pads, which has a higher grip that should give you more control over the mouse.
The SteelSeries QcK, a legendary Control mouse pad.
The SteelSeries QcK, a legendary Control mouse pad.
  • However, for many mouse pads (EVEN proper gaming mouse pads), it’s not very clear whether the pad is the Speed kind or the Control kind, so you might have to ask around or experiment quite a bit…
  • Also, some companies now also offer dual-sided hard mouse pads (I’ll get into what’s a “hard” mouse pad later), with a Speed side and a Control side, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much if you decide to buy those. They are by no means cheap, though.
The Corsair MM600, my favorite mouse pad. This is the control side of the pad, whereas the featured pic is the speed side of... a slightly different version of this, sold under the
The Corsair MM600, my favorite mouse pad. This is the speed side of the pad, whereas the featured pic is the speed side of… a slightly different version of this, sold under the “Corsair Gaming” brand.

Other Things to Consider in a Mouse Pad


  • Size: This is pretty self-explanatory…
  • Soft or Hard:
    • Soft mouse pads are usually made of cloth and rubber. As such, they are… well, soft, and flexible. Thus, they can be transported anywhere and has a more natural feel. However, they can’t be dual-sided, since they need a rubber base to keep them in place on your table, and said rubber base can’t be used as a tracking sur… ok, well, TECHNICALLY you can, but you wouldn’t like to do it…
    • Hard mouse pads are often made of metal (usually aluminium). They are said to be more precise than soft mouse pads, but I have never actually used a hard mouse pad, so I can’t say much on this. What I do know though, is that they will stay in place better than soft pads, since they are hard and have strong rubber corners. They also can be dual-sided since they don’t need a rubber base, but instead just need some rubber at the corners. They can’t be folded though, and thus are not portable.
  • Wrist Rest: Some mouse pads offer wrist rests, especially office “ergonomic” mouse pads. However, most of them are cheap and really bad, so if you really want a mouse pad with a wrist rest, you should go for something like a Razer Vespula. And even THAT isn’t that good.
Seriously, just... don't even look at it. Else you're not my friend anymore.
Seriously, just… don’t even look at it. Else you’re not my friend anymore.
Well... is there anything I'm supposed to say.
Well, just… is there anything I’m supposed to say?
  • LEDs: Behold, the first, last, best, worst, and only mouse pad that has a cable!
Argh! And here I thought I could finally find something that doesn't have LEDs for once!
Argh! And here I thought I could finally find something that doesn’t have LEDs for once!

Some Mouse Pad Brands Worth Considering


  • The first name that comes to mind is SteelSeries. Although, to be honest, I think most SteelSeries stuff are overpriced, their mouse pads are actually very good (it’s the first thing they made, after all). They have both the best-rated “value” mouse pad, the QcK, and the best “overall” mouse pad, the 9HD and the new DeX.
The DeX, SteelSeries' new flagship mouse pad.
The DeX, SteelSeries’ new flagship mouse pad.
  • The second name I’d like to recommend is Corsair. While not as glamorous as SteelSeries, they have my personal favorite mouse pads, like the aforementioned MM400 and MM600.
The Corsair MM200 (XL size), the sole Corsair model that doesn’t have a pic here yet. I know, these pics are pretty boring… *sigh*

And that’s the end of my… shortest blog post so far! Well, that was just a blog post to pass the time while I try to chase down some rodents on that boulevard and analyze them…! A…anyway, enough of lame conclusions. Happy building, everyone, and thank you for your support! ^^

Advertisements

One thought on “Rodent Boulevard – An Introduction to Mouse Pads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s