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Mouse Mat Woes

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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July 16, 2011 11:57:20 AM

Hello,

I'm buying a Razer Naga Elite for my MMOs and RPGs, and also for a few FPS games. I desperately need a new mouse mat, as my current mouse mat is not only cheap quality, but is also ripped and unusable.

I like average cursor speed. Nothing too quick and jumpy, but not so slow that it takes multiple attempts to move my cursor across the screen.

Razer Naga Elite is 5600Dpi, so quite sensitive.

Personal info:

  • Quality>Comfort (no gel hand rests or soft mat borders please, as they get in the way.)
  • Speed and control are both important to me, but I don't want control to impact on my speed.
  • I would prefer a harder mouse mat, as it's what I'm used to. If soft is much better for me, then I'll happily consider it.
  • Price isn't an object, so long as it's not above £75.
  • I don't care too much about how it looks, so long as it's not ridiculous. White would go with my PC case, and show up my mouse better in darkness, but then again would also show up dirt/marks.
  • I don't mind too much how large it is. However I don't need one of those massive ones that you put your keyboard on as well.

    I've been considering:

  • Razer Goliathus - though I'm not sure which version to buy (speed/control.) I thought Razer mats would probably work best with a Razer mouse, though I'm open to other suggestions. However the whole speed/control choice with this is really confusing me, especially as I've seen both get trash reviews as well as a few great reviews.
  • Razer Ironclad - I like the way it's hard, and it's supposedly their top range of mouse mats.
  • QcK Heavy was recommended to me. http://www.amazon.co.uk/SteelSeries-Surface-QcK-Heavy-P... . I know literally nothing about it other than it's supposedly "god-like".

    Any other suggestions would be more than welcome.

    Please help,

    Thanks,

    -Nih
  • More about : mouse mat woes

    July 16, 2011 12:49:49 PM

    to be perfectly honest with you, buying a mousepad worth more than $5 is a waste of money. all of products out there (and especially all the "super special" gaming editions) fulfill the same function as a regular cloth mousepad. yeah, i'm talking about the ones that you can get for free.

    the main main functions of a mousepad are fourfold:
    -provide a suitable surface for the optical sensor to track
    -prevent dirt from entering the mouse or building up on the bottom of the mouse
    -prevent abnormal wear and tear on the teflon pads
    -provide a surface which the mouse can easily glide across without sticking

    current optical and laser mice can track well on most surfaces besides glass and very highly reflective (glossy) surfaces. matte surfaces work best (and all mousepads reflect this). most desks can fulfill the same function though.

    on optical/laser mice you really don't have to worry about anything entering the mouse unless you have alot of crud on your desk. this is mostly for the older ball-type of mouse. however, dust and particles do normally build up on a surface and will get stuck to the teflon pads, this can cause the mouse to hang up on some surfaces. cleaning the gunk off of the bottom eliminates this. it seems that with any type of pad the accumulation rate is much less.

    mousepads typically aren't very abrasive (at least i know the cloth ones are not) so don't wear the teflon feet out prematurely. using a surface like a wood desk, formica top, or other such surface can wear the pads out much quicker (though it will still take over a year normally). this is a problem because some mice have projections which stick out the bottom and start to hang up the mouse when they rub.

    this next point is a continuation.. having a mouse on a mousepad typically is very noticible in terms of how easily the mouse glides across the surface. while it is very possible to do just fine without a pad (at work we have no pads) the friction between the two surfaces slows the mouse up considerably. also because of the friction sometimes when moving very slowly or purposefully (to be accurate in doing something) you will notice the mouse jitterbugs (stops and starts instead of remaining a constant speed) because of said drag. typically you only notice when moving it at slow speeds.

    -----

    to clear up a few misconceptions:

    mousepad brand means nothing. a razer mousepad will not necessarily work better with a razer mouse than generic brand xyz.

    you can adjust the speed of your mouse via windows control panel mouse properties and via the razer properties window. typically running at maximum dpi will speed your mouse up alot (less mouse movement, alot of cursor movement) even on such a high dpi mouse i dont suggest going outside the range of 900-2000dpi

    sensitivity is similar. a higher dpi setting will register more but might also introduce a jitterbug effect on the cursor due to the natural twitching of a persons hands. this is the main reason my mouse never goes above 1600-ish dpi. relating to this, the type of background on a pad does matter. some patterns can confuse the sensor and cause the mouse to skip around awkwardly (but its rare enough that i've only seen it a few times).

    BP$75 is a whole lot of money for a mousepad. i can tell you that while some mousepads are better than others, godlike is not a word i'd use to describe any of them. some people might swear by them but in the end they all do the same thing. its like buying a $250 pair of ripped up jeans when a pair of $15 does the same thing.

    as for a discussion about hard mats vs soft ones, personally i think the soft ones are nicer. i like the fact that they are silent and provide a softer surface for your hand to rest on (and if anything sticks out the bottom of your mouse, you wont hear it drag). the only downside is that to clean them you sometimes have to beat them against a surface to get out some dust but thats about it. plastic mats are easier to clean but other than that they have nothing i want.

    ----

    my recommendation?

    there is absolutely nothing wrong with cheaper cloth mats. you will gain nothing from going with a very expensive product besides being able to brag that you have extra money to burn. if you really do prefer plastic ones then i'd suggest one of the cheaper models with a nice matte/opaque finish. though my first choice is always a rubber-backed standard sized black cloth mousepad.

    i hope this was helpful and gives you a different viewpoint than the reviews you were looking at.
    July 16, 2011 1:15:49 PM

    Wow. Thank you so much for the help.

    I would have continued using my old (free) Santander mouse mat, but it got irreperably damaged, so I'm afraid I do need to get at least something :) 

    Reading your points, a smile came to my face as you listed what was best and worst for mouse mats.

    I have a glass desk, so I can't really go without a surface for my mouse.

    I'm in a bedroom (+dust) in an old cob and thatch house (+++++dust) on the top floor so dust and debris really is an issue for me compared to your average gamer :p  Aside from the usual salsa that collects on the bottom of a mouse/on the mat, anything that's fabric will become noticeably dusty after 2-3 weeks, and it can be difficult to extracate the dust (I have to stockpile compressed air bottles in my room for near bi-monthly cleaning of the PC itself :p  )

    ------------------------------------------------------

    As for money, I'll pay for what I get, get what I pay for. It's not about the money at all, as this leaves me free to focus on the quality :)  What I didn't realise is how little difference a "higher quality" mouse mat purportedly makes. As for bragging - there's no one who's interested in PCs at all who I know, so bragging isn't really a factor for me :) 

    That said, I would like something that at least looks ok, compared to the red Santander monstrosity I used to own, which really didn't 'go' with the aesthetic in that room, not to mention clashing horribly with the PC itself and the slick black keyboard.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    If I may be so bold, what do you use yourself, and specifically what do you rate? :) 

    Thanks for all the help - much appreciated :) 

    -Nih
    Related resources
    July 16, 2011 2:50:31 PM

    i use a generic black foam/rubber black cloth mousepad i bought from staples (office supply store) for USD$5. for a mouse i'm running a razer deathadder.

    After a few weeks as you said, it does get a little dusty but all you have to do is beat it against something (like you would a rug) and its good to go. for any stubborn stains or dust marks you could take a wet cloth and go over it a few times. keep in mind that with a plastic mousepad you will still get the dust but will have to clean it much more often because the dust rests on top of the pad (where the mouse glides) instead of under the fabric surface like a cloth mat.

    --

    a few other suggestions,

    don't clean the mousepad with compressed air, do like i mentioned it is more effective.

    if you want to clean your pc less then use filters on your fan intakes. you might have to clean the filters often but its easier to do that then get into all the nooks and crannies of a case (and you never get every little bit).

    the only difference in quality in plastic mousepads is the surface texture. some say they "track better" but thats 99.9% marketing hype. as far as cloth pads, they are pretty much all the same minus any handrests/etc.

    ----

    this is off topic but you mentioned about a mousepad not clashing with your aesthetics..

    i have a green marble textured desk (formica veneer) with a black tower, black tv, black 5.1 speaker set, black receiver, black ps3, black mouse & mat, - beige keyboard.

    the keyboard is a pre 1990 (my other one was 1985) ibm model m mechanical "clicky" keyboard. i wouldnt trade that in for any of the crap "gaming keyboards" they release nowdays. the only thing i'd consider are a DAS or perhaps a new Unicomp (which uses the original ibm-m design but modernized a bit). i love that thing despite it being unmatching!
    July 16, 2011 3:30:20 PM

    ssddx said:
    i use a generic black foam/rubber black cloth mousepad i bought from staples (office supply store) for USD$5. for a mouse i'm running a razer deathadder.

    Interesting :)  Thanks for the info.

    ssddx said:
    keep in mind that with a plastic mousepad you will still get the dust but will have to clean it much more often because the dust rests on top of the pad (where the mouse glides) instead of under the fabric surface like a cloth mat.

    Ahh, I didn't think about that, and assumed the opposite was true. Thanks again.

    ssddx said:
    don't clean the mousepad with compressed air, do like i mentioned it is more effective.

    I don't, I only use it for the internal parts of my PC :) 

    ssddx said:
    if you want to clean your pc less then use filters on your fan intakes. you might have to clean the filters often but its easier to do that then get into all the nooks and crannies of a case (and you never get every little bit).

    I have filters on the front and top, but I've added additional fans to the back (which doesn't have a filter.) My case is also windowed, and has a fan on the side as well, which doesn't have a filter. I use those that I have, otherwise I just make do as best I can with push/pull, keeping it under the desk (dust falls from ceiling), etc. Thanks for the tip though :) 

    ssddx said:
    this is off topic but you mentioned about a mousepad not clashing with your aesthetics..

    i have a green marble textured desk (formica veneer) with a black tower, black tv, black 5.1 speaker set, black receiver, black ps3, black mouse & mat, - beige keyboard.

    the keyboard is a pre 1990 (my other one was 1985) ibm model m mechanical "clicky" keyboard. i wouldnt trade that in for any of the crap "gaming keyboards" they release nowdays. the only thing i'd consider are a DAS or perhaps a new Unicomp (which uses the original ibm-m design but modernized a bit). i love that thing despite it being unmatching!

    Nice setup :)  As for me, I just like things to be matched if at all possible - just one of those personal preferances people have :) 

    Thanks for all your help!

    -Nih
    July 16, 2011 4:50:33 PM

    you can add a filter to any fan easily enough. they attatch with the fan screws to one side of the fan. said filters arent easily removeable but you can wipe them clean.

    i know i've seen them over at xoxide.com , frozencpu.com (and i'm sure many many other places)
    !