Even though most mice nowadays work fine on a typical desk, a good mouse pad provides more precision and comfort. A good mouse pad is therefore not only a requirement for gaming; the productive user also certainly benefits from it. We tested no less than 33 samples.
Our previous test of mouse pads dates back to 2012, so it was high time for a new one. After all, almost every demanding computer user uses a mouse pad. The changes don't happen very quickly, but hardly any of the models from our previous test are still available. Of course, there are a lot of new mouse pads, also from new players.
New test method
For this test we used a new test method, based on two mice with the most popular optical and laser sensors of the moment: the Pixart PMW3366 and the ADNS-9800. On each mat we measure how well movements are recorded, paying attention to speed and possible acceleration. We also measure the minimum lift-off distance and test the smoothness of the surface, by looking at the angle at which the mouse starts to slide.
Something like the smoothness of the surface is less of a thing of personal preference, but many other properties are fully that. Do you prefer fabrics or a hard, plastic mouse mat, for example? Moreover, there are mouse pads in many different formats. If you use a low dpi (mouse sensitivity) setting, you probably want a larger mat, while so-called high-sense mouse users have enough with a small mat. Ultra-wide mats are also available, on which you can also place your keyboard.
However, there are a number of things you need to pay attention to. Cheaper fabric mats, for example, have a tendency to fray at the edges: a stitched seam on the more expensive models solves this.
Mouse pads with wireless charging
A few mouse pads with wireless mouse charging feature have recently become available. The Logitech PowerPlay and Corsair MM1000 are examples of this. These options are astronomically expensive compared to the other mouse pads and really worth a separate look. In this round-up we stick to the regular mats though.