When the time comes to build a gaming computer, the most overlooked component -in this case, peripheral- is usually the mouse pad. More than a decade ago, when trackball mice were still popular, the mousepads were as important as the very mice that slid on them. This is because the mice needed a very specific surface in order to slide properly, and constant exposure to the desks would not only affect the input, but it would also accumulate grime and dirt inside the mechanism, possibly damaging the mouse.
As time passed and technology advanced, so did the models of mice available on the market. Mice from previous generations were succeeded by their modern optical and laser counterparts, which offered increased tracking capabilities on a wide variety of surfaces. Using their top-of-the-line optical and laser sensors, these new and improved tracking devices allowed its users to effectively control the computer without needing to rely on a mousepad. And yet, mousepads are still as strong as ever in the current market.
The reality of the matter is; despite all the innovations with the new mouse sensors, and the possibility of tracking on any type of surface, regardless of condition, doesn’t actually mean that these surfaces provide optimal performance. Consequently, the mousepad market is still as strong as ever, constantly developing new products, with different materials, in order to provide the very best tracking surfaces, for both gamers and regular users alike.
Granted, the new mice have actually rendered mouse pads “non-essential”. Nevertheless, despite optical and laser mice being the new standard, many still prefer to stick with their old mouse pads, whether for nostalgia, out of habit, or on those times where it is necessary to have the best tracking experience possible, such as during arduous gaming sessions. Which brings us to our next point:
12 x 10
11.4 x 12.8
31.5 x 11.8
11.8 x 14.1
10 x 13.99
When it comes to computer peripherals and gear, SteelSeries is widely regarded as one of the highest authorities in the field. The QcK is one of the best pads you will find in the market, with a very affordable price tag to boot. This mouse pad is topped with a special fabric which provides near-frictionless glide in each of the user’s movements. The bottom is made out of rubber for extra stability. SteelSeries kept the design of this pad simple yet effective, with its full-black presentation, and the company’s logo tucked into a corner. The comfort of this pad, coupled with the very conservative design makes it a great choice for those who want to use it in a professional setting, such as the office, without drawing too much attention from onlookers.
Don’t let the seemingly generic name fool you; this mouse pad manufactured by Jelly Comb is built to be one of the best complements in the market. This cloth mouse pad is made with a special smooth fabric to provide a great tracking surface for your mouse. Said fabric is also waterproof to protect from spills. The bottom is made out of non-slip rubber for maximum stability even through the roughest movements. Its modest dimensions of 11.4” x 12.8” provides enough space for general-purpose use. This pad is also equipped with a wrist rest that keeps your wrist in a neutral state to prevent wear, strains, and the onset of conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Perfect to pair with an ergonomic mouse. Similar to our previous entry, this mouse pad also has several measures in place to prevent fraying and peeling, in the form of leather lining on the edges, which gives a long lifetime before having to be replaced.
iZeeker is a company that manufactures products for everyday use aimed at easing the hardships that many daily tasks may entail. This mousepad is one of such products. It is made of a lycra cloth fabric which provides a super smooth surface for all-purpose tracking. The 3mm thickness ensures great precision with any type of gaming mice. This particular model is 31.5 inches wide, which makes it great for gamers who need lots of spaces to outmaneuver the competition, or for those who like to game at very low CPI settings. The top fabric is coated with a spill-proof agent, in case of spilled drinks. Despite being a cloth mousepad, this product has stitched edges for anti-fraying purposes, which gives it a long life. The pad is even machine washable, so you know you won’t be replacing it anytime soon.
Corsair, along with SteelSeries is one of the big fish of the gaming industry, developing a manufacturing a wide range of products specifically to enhance the experience of avid gamers. The MM200 is made exactly for this purpose and is equipped with a textile-weave surface to provide all the users with unparalleled smoothness and control in each move. The low-friction surface ensures that that your mouse moves unimpeded even in the roughest situations. That, coupled with the rubber anti-skid base makes this product of the best mouse pads in this list, as is expected from a company like Corsair. This product comes in various sizes, this one, in particular, is 11.8” x 14.1”, while the extended edition stretches to a whopping 11.8” x 36.6”.
Razer is widely regarded by e-athletes worldwide as the be-all-end-all company when it comes to gaming peripherals. This organization has gained considerable fame through their line of high-quality gaming mice. The Goliathus is Razer’s proposal to the gaming mouse pad market. This pad is equipped with a textured weave for improved control in each move. This product can also be ordered with a slick weave that focuses on speed instead. The rubber base of this product provides maximum stability in every situation, and the stitched edges ensure the pad’s longevity through the years. This product comes in four different sizes, to appeal to all tastes and preferences.
For more info, see our full review of the Goliathus here.
Chances are that if you were born in the late 90’s, you might not even know what a mouse pad is used for. After all, optical mice have been around since the early 90’s, effectively rendering moot the existence of mouse pads. However, unbeknownst to all this, using a good mousepad definitely has its benefits. In the age of trackball mice, a good mousepad would add speed, precision, and comfort to each one of the user’s moves. They would also reduce the accumulation of debris within the mouse’s mechanism, which reduced inaccuracies and jitters during use.
Nowadays, most mousepads are made out of mouse-friendly materials, that can improve the hardware’s efficiency by about 5% when used properly. I know what you might be thinking right now; yes, 5% doesn’t sound like much but consider this: If you’re anything like us, it’s very probable that you have spent thousands of hours on the computer. During that time, your mouse is likely your most-used piece of hardware during all those hours of work, browsing, and gaming, and it will remain that way till the day where mice are rendered obsolete by new technology. Now imagine, how much wrist strain you could’ve saved yourself from if you use a good mousepad. That 5% doesn’t sound like much, but it can really add up.
Furthermore, some mousepads have a built-in wrist rest made out of a gel-like substance. The idea of this implement is to avoid excessive wrist strain that could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome in users that operate computers on a daily basis.
In short, most modern mousepads can certainly mark the difference in terms of precision and smoothness. These benefits can be perceived by both cheaper models and their more expensive counterparts alike. And while there are certainly cheap and effective models on the market, we’d suggest leaving the high-end mousepads for those who will actually appreciate the benefits that they will receive with their purchase.
That being said, we’re left with a very important question: what exactly makes a mousepad stand out among the competition?
If you’re in the market for a mousepad, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make the best possible choice. Sure, you could just throw caution to the wind and buy the biggest, most expensive pad on the market. However, the idea of this article is to help you buy an appropriate mousepad, without breaking the bank in the process. The three important elements you need consider when buying your mousepad are:
Now that we know everything about how to pick the best mouse pads, let’s dive into our list of top picks:
While gaming mouse pads may seem like a superfluous addition to your gaming setup, they can definitely mark the difference between a smooth and precise tracking, and a bumpy and jittery one. Our thoughts on this matter are that if you’re looking to spend a few bucks on a good gaming mouse, you might as well go all the way and provide a good surface for it to track. Besides, despite some of us not even suffering from wrist issues, we simply cannot get rid of our wrist rests; the amount of relief provided by them is simply too much to let go. For this reason alone, we would recommend getting a mousepad with wrist rest.
Nevertheless, with the information in this article, you are now adequately prepared to pick for yourself the best mouse pads that will satisfy all your requirements.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com
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