The mouse pad is something most of us take for granted. I mean, it is simply just that, isn’t it? However, there are a handful of jobs and hobbies that make the mouse pad more important than it really is. At the top of my head: graphic designers and gamers.
For graphic designers, the mouse becomes a drawing tool. Because of this, precision is key. A good and responsive mouse is key, but the pad can also add to the precision, and more importantly to the comfort of the designer. Obviously, when a designer is comfortable with his tools, his mood is affected, and so are his designs.
Gamers, on the other hand, comprise a very important niche in the computer market. There are a handful of made-for-gaming mice available out there, which give more options and control, not to mention a tad bit more expensive. Along with the gaming mouse, companies also offer made-for-gaming mouse pads. These pads are normally over-sized, have unique surfaces, and are colorful and attractive—attracts the would-be gamer.
If you happen to be any of these, then you need to look at a number of qualities that make a mouse pad better than their run-of-the-mill counterparts. If you plan to spend on one, make sure you get one made by a reputable brand. There are a handful of niche pad makers including Razer and SteelSeries for gaming, and Fellowes and Belkin for graphic designers and everyone else.
One can also consider the use of a gel wrist rest. The rest can play an essential role when it comes to compiling the long hours required for one’s work. Another quality to look at is the size of the pad itself. This may be more important for gamers since they are the ones who do unpredictable movements that can go from one corner of the screen to the other in a split second. Pads come in many, many different sizes so this boils down to preference. Aside from size (and shape), the surface of the pad is also important, but again depends on preference. Choose one that is responsive to optical mice, because the surface plays an important role to the red light that tracks movements.
Getting the right mouse pad is just a matter of knowing what you need and want, combined with some research. After going through the shortlist of qualities mentioned above, then you can move on to aesthetic qualities like color and design, then finally, decide on your budget—serious pads can go up to $50.