Apparently, Mouse Pads are Soo 2004

While checking out at the Apple store recently, I had an interesting conversation:

Me
Do you have any mouse pads?
Apple Guy
Uh, what?
Me
Mouse pads. Do you carry them?
Apple Guy
Mouse pads? *chuckles arrogantly* No, we’ve never carried anything like that.

Oh. But I’m from the camp that thinks they’re a necessity — even when using an optical mouse. Having it slide across the desk without any sort of traction just doesn’t cut it. Not to mention the woodgrain on the desk occassionally throws off the tracking.

So I head over to Office Depot — an office supply superstore. They have mouse pads. But all of them have patterns and designs on them. American flags, Grand Canyon panoramas, Faux water droplets, etc. I can forsee these patterns being a problem for optical tracking. So I leave the store empty handed.

I realize I could order a zillion of them online somewhere with no patterns, perfect for optical mice. But I’m merely documenting an observation, that the value of the mouse pad is just overlooked by so many. And I’m shocked that Apple doesn’t try to capitalize on selling the coolest mouse pad ever created. Someone needs to tap this untapped market that’s been poorly tapped thus far.

I remember buying my first Mac (a Classic II) and it came with a free Apple mouse pad. It was a great one, with a slipperly plastic surface. I wish I still had it, but it’s gone. Where to, I can’t say. perhaps it’s now part of something larger.

133 Comments

  1. Grant says:

    Some of the best mouse pads can be found over in the gaming space. I use pads from Func and love them. The 3M precise mousing surfaces and steelpads are also favorites.
    http://www.func.net — my only gripe was I wish they made a pad about 25-50% bigger. Surface is great, long lasting, A+, on my third one in six years.

  2. To be honest, I’m a big fan of the minimalist mouse on the wooden desk approach. A bit like this:
    http://images.apple.com/macmini/images/designtop20050111.jpg
    :)

  3. Mats says:

    I do so totally agree with you.
    Hate when the hand and mouse get “stuck” on the wood.
    Doesn´t matter if optical mouse or whatever.
    The feeling…

  4. Luke Redpath says:

    Dan, if you are willing to spend a bit of cash for a decent quality mat, take a look at Icemats. I don’t know of a supplier on your side of the world but here in the UK, you can get them from a company called Overclockers UK who only sell quality gear (and they may ship internationally too).
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/mousemats.html
    There is quite a range of decent mats there.
    I couldn’t really justify £20 (just under $40 USD by todays rate) so I got a cheap Lian Li alumnium matt which isn’t too bad. Could be better though (www.lian-li.com).
    I agree though, mats are needed – I’ve found that using a mouse directly on the desk wears away the wood over time.

  5. Simon Jessey says:

    Dude! I’m surprised you don’t sell your own line of mousepads, given the success of your t-shirt.

  6. Luke Redpath says:

    Further to my last comment, a quick google turned up:
    http://www.icemat.com/

  7. amorson says:

    The minute I could get rid of the mouse pad (after getting my first optical mouse) it was gone. I simply never liked it. For some reason mouse pads have the tendency of catching every little grain of dust and dirt around. I try to keep my desk and keyboard clean but the mouse pad was always a magnet for filth.
    BTW, I don’t think mouse pads are so profitable. How much would you pay for a “cool” mouse pad?

  8. Steve Smith says:

    Perhaps you could just use a Mac Mini as a mousepad?

  9. André says:

    Maybe you should create your own SimplePads, Dan! I’d order one…
    Oh, and do you think patterns are really affecting the optical mouse?? I have mine working on a cardboard of tiny recycled snippets of paper in all kinds of colors, with a shiny surface (glue, I guess). And that works fine.

  10. Ben Vaughan says:

    I’ve been using a WowPad for about 6 months now. I think it’s great. It’s very thin, so your wrist isn’t going to kinked out of shape, but it does give you a reliable surface for your mouse. Found it at OfficeDepot. They also have oversized versions if that’s more appropriate.

  11. Dave S. says:

    I’ve been pad-less for years, but I’m starting to consider picking up the habit again. My current desk has a habit of picking up any bit of grime that it can. I have a growing layer of gunk under my mouse at the moment, which just can’t be good for the finish…
    Incidentally, I recently stayed in a hotel with a nice workstation in the room. The desk had a 1/4″ thick glass sheet which sat on top of the woodgrain surface. 1/4″ was all that was necessary to render my optical mouse useless; I had to rip a page out of a magazine and use that as an impromptu mouse pad.

  12. As an RIT alum, I have witnessed a mousepad couch (though actually not the same one in the photos above). Also mousepad chair, doormat, the list goes on… Those things grow on trees around that part of the world.

  13. David says:

    Like Ben Vaughan, I was looking for a pad at Office Depot and wound up with a WowPad. The circle fit well onto my desk, and it’s really all I wanted – a smooth, clear surface. I was actually wearing down my desk a bit, and suffered the same random clunky effect others have gotten just using their desk.

  14. Tore Lynggaard Mogensen says:

    You should also check out Steelpad. They make some great mouse pads in aluminum, platic and traditional cloth. I use one of the plastic ones and they’re great for optical mice.

  15. Jeremy Boles says:

    Rain Design has a mouse pad that is dubbed a “precision mouse pad.” Besides, it’s very simple and it compliments the Mac look.

  16. Ryan says:

    Mousepads, you say? I’ve got a Cafe Press shop with thousands of mouse pads – all with photos of my cat and pictures of me holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Come get a bunch, they only cost $39.99 each.
    What a bargain!!!

  17. Mark says:

    When I was in high school, I bought a copy of Max Payne (PC game) that came with a mouse pad.
    Never had a problem in regards to tracking or friction. Still looks good too, even after almost 6 years of constant abuse.

  18. kenrick says:

    Func pad. I have three, and have yet to find one that matches it. Ive tried the icemats, jumbo mats, steelpads (aluminum pieces of crap btw), the plastic steelpad (bigger piece of crap) and some other ones, but always come back to the func. You can buy an alienware branded func for around $12 which is a total steal.

  19. Jon Hicks says:

    I had the same problem last year. Trying to find a decent mouse pad (not one of the cloth/foam ones, or one that comes with a calculator) was really hard, but eventually I found a slim plastic 3M one that was perfect. I can’t understand how people can use mice without one, but they obviously do!

  20. Michael Pedersen says:

    I have to second the steelpad comment.
    Got myself a QcK cloth pad a little over 6 months ago, and it’s holding up great. It is slightly bigger than traditional cloth pads, but rather thin. And i like the fact that it is just in plain black. No fancy patterns or colors.
    And I haven’t found that it collects dirt. I had to wipe off my old icemat almost every day, but this one just stays clean.
    They also have a QcK+, which in my opinion is HUGE.

  21. kingbenny says:

    I might not be the smartest egg in the carton, but isn’t a completely patternless mousepad kinda a problem for optical mice? I had an all-black pad once and had continuous problems with a logitech optical on it. Anyways, to me the biggest advantage of the mousepad now is the reduction of friction the surface can provide.

  22. Richard says:

    I have a load of extras. You want one or even two, I’m happy to share:
    2 round Apple jaguar pads from release “event” at store (fur)
    1 Guggenheim Museum pad (plastic like old Apple)
    1 old Apple plastic pad (it’s yours if you want it)
    1 round WIRED psychedelic pad
    2 squarish Amazon wetsuit pads with Groucho quote
    Keepers I rotate and use:
    1 mouserug pad
    1 Apple HyperCard user Group plastic pad (sentiment for HyperCard)
    1 Japanese wrapping paper pad I picked up in Japan (all time fav)
    Send the word (and a mailing address) and a few are yours.

  23. Ben Darlow says:

    Mouse Pads are 2004? I’ve not used one since about 2002. Optical mice do sometimes pick up the woodgrain of desks (if your desk has one) but that really depends on the quality of your mouse. If you have something like the Logitech MX700 mouse, the woodgrain never really causes any problems, and the pads on the underside of the mouse are sufficiently slippery that they operate fine on pretty much any wooden surface. Their latest top of the line mouse, the MX1000 is even better, and uses a non-visible spectrum laser rather than an LED, giving even greater accuracy. Both the MX700 and MX1000 are Mac OS compatible, so well worth a look.
    I have a friend who swears by his Ice Mat by the way, so if you’re set on getting a decent mousepad, that may well be the choice for you (he uses his with a Logitech MX700).

  24. Bruno Figueiredo says:

    For designers, these are the most useful and beautiful mouse pads.
    http://www.visibone.com/color/hexagon.html
    And optical mice just don’t work on reflective surfaces or surfaces with deep gaps (as some woods). Optical mice rely on a tiny B/W Digicam that samples the surface several times a minute. They can’t see patterns.

  25. Craig C. says:

    I like a pad not only for comfort, but for sound dampening – I don’t like my mouse clacking around on a hard surface. So I try to get the really thin cloth-covered foam pads when I can find em, just enough for a good soundproofing effect without the ledge cutting into my wrist. Sure it’ll pick up lots of skin flakes and wrist grease over time, but that just adds character. Wicked worn is still in, isn’t it?

  26. Paulo says:

    I use a very nice rubber-soled mat that some Delta Airlines promo rep was handing out free on the street, but if I were to spend any money on a mousing surface, I’d get a mouse rug.

  27. Jannis says:

    I recently got me one of those transparent and totally flat plastic thingies and I have the impression it makes my bluetooth mouse empty the batteries twice as fast. But I don’t know if it’s true. Ya…

  28. Andy says:

    CompUSA carries a huge mousepad that I like, it comes in a different solid colors with no logo or pattern. And they’re huge which I really like for drawing and stuff (more than twice the size of a normal pad).

  29. Michael Pedersen says:

    kingbenny….
    Actually there is no problem at all. I use a standard two-button logitech optical wired mouse and I have never had problems with the mouse skipping, not even in games with very rapid mouse movements. As soon as i put my mouse out on the desk it skips a lot. I think it has something to do with how reflective the surface is?

  30. John says:

    I’m still using the mousepad Amazon sent me for being a customer in their first year. Even though it’s patterned and colorful, I’ve been using an optical mouse (Microsoft) on it for about a year without problems.
    At work I’m forced to use a trackball for ergonomic reasons and I have to admit, after a few weeks I’ve grown used to it, and it takes up a lot less desk space.

  31. Ryan Brill says:

    Heck, when I leave for the weekend I have to take my mouse pad with me. Can’t live without one.

  32. Sharif says:

    I picked on up at Ikea just last week. It’s a simple circle of colored neoprene (or something very similar) for a whopping $0.49!

  33. Dan .
    I totally agree. In my experience, the best mouse pad for looks and functionality is the iCEMAT. They’re imported from the UK, so they’re rather spendy. Definitely the best though.
    I did some research on the iCEMAT recently. The cheapest price for the 2nd edition here in the states is from the wonderful Newegg.com; however, if you’re like me, you probably don’t want the black version :) In that case, the next best price I found was at Xoxide.com.
    Good luck!
    Black 2nd Edition
    Silver 2nd Edition
    | matthew anderson |

  34. Anonymous says:

    I don’t use a mouse pad, but I’ve heard the “MaxiPad” has problems with tracking, but it does wonders if you happen to spill a drink on your desk.

  35. Aaron Egaas says:

    You also might want to check out Ratpadz. I had one back in highschool for PC first person shooters and it was great. Not a whole lot of choice in color or materials like other comments’ recommendations, but I liked it.
    Now that I’m more on the mac side of things, I’ve ditched the pad and go with the default light wood surface on the desk.

  36. Richard Smallbone says:

    I’ve always liked these pads. They’re really thin, they stick well and they look good with your Mac. Apple should sell these.

  37. Sean says:

    OfficeMax sells plain ol’ black cloth Fellows mouse pads. I’ve settled on these for the last couple years.

  38. Jeff Miller says:

    You may want to check out Logitech’s MX1000 Laser mouse. I’ve been using one for about a week now and am really impressed with it. It’s supposed to be 20x more precise than optical and it says it works on polished or wood-grained surfaces so you should be able to use it without a mousepad on your desk.
    Another option would be to use the WowPad (someone else above had already mentioned this as well). I bought one at Office Depot a few months back because I needed to use a mouse on a glass surface for a while. I hate mousepads but if I absolutely have to use one I only want to use a really thin one. The WowPad is a little thicker than a piece of paper.

  39. monkeyinabox says:

    Oh the irony. I’ve got a nice plastic laminate desk surface and I still use a cloth mouse pad surface for my optical mouse. Maybe it’s because I love the Guiness Extra Stout logo on it. :)

  40. Hans says:

    Mice and mouse pads go together like XHTML and CSS (or bread and butter for you non-techies). I use an MX1000 and can see no reason why I’d use it without my huge Alienware (mfg. by Func Industries) mousepad. Just a second ago I tried, for the first time, to use the mouse without the pad. Every time I move it, I hear a scratching sound. Not nice.
    Mouse pads forever!

  41. Kory says:

    Well, Apple isn’t totally against mousepads. I am using a nice little Panther promo mousepad (black with a big brushed stainless steel X) that I got formt he Apple Rep when I worked at CompUSA during the Panther release.

  42. Tomas Jogin says:

    I’d recommend the Lian Li aluminium mousepad. It’s big enough, but not any bigger. Also, the fact that it’s made out of aluminium means that you always have a hard solid surface, regardless of how soft or flexible the underlying material is. Perfect for laptops, works just as well with desktops.

  43. jharr says:

    Anyone know where you can by mouse pad material in bulk? I’ve looked forever and never found anyone taht would sell it in bulk, uncut.

  44. Matt says:

    I have an X-Files mouse pad that I have been using for close to a decade. Mousepads unite!

  45. All kinds of gunk and dust gets stuck in the feet on my mouse if I don’t have a mousepad. So that Apple guy should quit his chuckling.

  46. Eric Irvine says:

    I use the mousepad that came with my dell, it’s thin and works well :)

  47. Andres says:

    Cafepress, hands down. I started my shop just so I could design my own mouse pad. I’m a big fan of the cloth/ruber pads, as opposed to the plastic surfaces, they always seemed to make my mice stick to the pad surface. Besides, having designed my own pad has been a great conversation starter at my various jobs over time!

  48. michael h says:

    I use the cheap black ones (made by Belkin) with wrist rest from Office Depot.

  49. Jonathan says:

    When you have a glass computer desk like me, a mouse pad is a *MUST HAVE*! Sometimes I wonder of the style of a glass computer desk is worth the hassles of having to use a mouse pad.
    Tucano has some very cool looking mouse pads. Beware, their site doesn’t seem to be working very well in Firefox. http://www.tucano.com

  50. ulises says:

    oooooooor, you can go to fry´s ande get one of those 5 dollar gigantic mouse pads…
    no patterns, they come in blue or black..

  51. Kent says:

    Not only can I not do without a mousepad, I can’t handle not having a wrist-rest for it too. Just bought a plain black one from Kensington – good hard textured surface, nice gel pad for my wrist.

  52. Scott says:

    How do trendy mac heads use their one button optical mice on their designer glass desks without a mousepad? :)

  53. Daniel Roberts says:

    I don’t need it for my optical mouse but I have to pimp my UFC Octagon mousepad :)
    http://ufcstore.shopthescene.com/img/product/catl/00001937-014891.jpg

  54. dave says:

    I’m with Eric, the post above who uses his dell mousepad. I just bought a new Dell with an optical mouse and the pad they give is just right. Thin and sturdy. No problems.

  55. Chet says:

    My favorite Mouse Pads are from Macromedia. If you order a book or class material from Macromedia – you get their latest “Slick” mouse pad for free bundled with it – it was almost worth it just for the pad (which i’m still using 3 years later hehe).

  56. I’d put in another vote for a func 1030sUrface pad. I’ve had one for a few years and couldn’t do without it. A couple of friends recommended one to me and I was like, “what? Pay all that money for a mouse mat!? You must be mad!”, but they insisted it made all the difference. My better half ended up getting one for my birthday and I was instantly converted. Best description I can give is it makes your mouse feel like a hockey puck over ice. Stick some “Mouseskatez” (www.mouseskatez.com) on your mouse too and you’re in heaven. I’ve got a whole roll of the skatez material (Teflon tape, or something like that) from a friend who works in the mfgs trade – beautiful stuff.

  57. Basil Crow says:

    The IceMat is the best, no questions asked. Get one immediately.

  58. Luke says:

    This discussion couldn’t have come at a better time. Am I the only one who has a desk that isn’t optical-mouse friendly? It’s just a cheapie Ikea desk, but the paint on it, which is green and slightly reflective, makes my Apple mouse stutter worse than an eighth grader asking a girl out for a first date.
    I’ve been using a piece of corrugated cardboard which is really dog ugly, but it works, and I haven’t found a mouse in any of the stores around here (Nottingham, England) that sell a decent pad.

  59. Dustin says:

    I’m sorry, but did I just see Mr. Jogin’s name appear? You truly are Mr. October.
    …Anyway, I’d say go for steve’s idea and put your mouse on top of a Mac Mini.
    Personally I’ve never needed a mouse pad. Never had any scratches and never had a problem with my mice.

  60. Anonymous says:

    These I found at the local Office Depot..
    Fellowes Gel Wrist Rest/Mouse Pad, Graphite
    195872 $15.99
    Belkin® WaveRest™ Gel Mouse Pad/Wrist Rest
    108971 $9.97
    The Fellowes one I keep in my iBook bag and use it with a wireless mouse…

  61. AdamR says:

    I’m just like you. I’m suprised to hear this. I thought mouse pads were just as important as any other part of the system and that the entire function of using the computer could not be performed without them. I guess it’ll spawn a new genoration who don’t use mouse pads and optical mice. I’ll disown my kid if he does it, though (when I have a kid)… it’s just not right. :P

  62. Nick Finck says:

    I have a keyboard shelf attached to my desk that comes with its own mousepad extention. But if I didn’t have a trackball or the keyboard shelf, I’d probably use the color pad from VisiBone.

  63. CraigB says:

    Another vote for Ratpadz GS here.

  64. BG McCollum says:

    Target: Grey, Cloth, $2.99

  65. Chezbasson says:

    As mentioned above, the rug pad. I received one as a gift years ago and it works great. I now use an optical mouse with it and couldn’t be happier!

  66. about 7 years ago, when i was still an active drummer, i combined my musical hobby with my computing and bought a simple, sturdy, solid rubber practice pad. about 30cm diameter, 1cm thick, excellent friction, and the round shape just makes it fit a lot nicer on the desk (and yes, occasionally i still break out the drumsticks and get some paradiddles going)

  67. Kanidre says:

    That is so stupid. Apple of all companies not selling mouse pads? Its a problem when your mouse can’t see what it is gliding on, however its a lot worse when it does – and its not a mouse pad. You can permantently scratch wooden surfaces, and ruin furnature that way.
    I am pro-pads.

  68. caseyg says:

    I use a 3M Precise Mousing Surface with Gel Pad and an optical mouse. Works fine :)

  69. Tim Buchheim says:

    I have to have a mouse pad .. optical mice (I’ve used both Apple and Microsoft mice) occasionally jump to random places on the screen when used without a pad on my desk. (typical wood grain pattern)
    Also, I can’t stand the lack of friction when I don’t have a mouse pad.

  70. Rob Weychert says:

    That’s really strange that the Apple Store doesn’t do mousepads. I actually have a Mac OS X Panther mousepad, which was likely manufactured as a promo tchotchke, but it’s actually a really great mousepad. As I recall, it inexplicably came with a shipment of VHS stock I had ordered from a non-Apple company.

  71. Fallout75 says:

    Like others have said before, Cafepress allows the custom mousepad designs.
    Could just upload a jpg with a certain color if you just want it to be a solid color, I hate the colors at stores, Black, dark blue, etc. Yuck.
    Radioactive Boy Mousepad

  72. Anonymous says:

    HMM Dan maybe you should design a Simplebits mouse pad with your logo.
    Dude i would totally buy it.
    First I must say: DEATH TO THE GEL MOUSEPAD. THOSE ARE HORRIBLE. SHEESH!
    Well I dont know if these stores are back east, but CompUSA has a basic square mouse pad in various colors. Staples or Office Max the same story. Ya I have to use one with my optical mouse, i like the feel, plus only recently has the sliding surface gotten really good on the latest mice.

  73. Raul Osorio says:

    Yeah, I wonder why the whole mousepad thing is overlooked. I rarely see them nowadays.
    Heck, even my wacom rests on top of one.

  74. Second the Dell mousepads. I don’t know if they still make ‘em the same, but my pad from 3 years ago is a perfect blend between the plastic-coated and full rubber pads.
    It’s got this awesome texturing over the whole pad, so it cleans easily and even the solid black areas respond perfectly with an optical mouse. And it’s in awesome condition after three years in the possession of a constantly-moving college student. :)
    It may be identical to one of the retail mousepads out there, but I hope I don’t have to find out for a long while. XD

  75. Nick Findley says:

    I’ve been using the back of a notebook for a little over two years with few if any problems. Plus you can write on it, and when it’s full you just start using a different one. It’s not really the most aesthetically pleasing route, but at the same time it just looks like a notebook on your desk. Not that out of place.

  76. Liz says:

    Best mouse pad ever? My Rolling Stones “Some Girls” mousepad. I’ll never get sick of it. :D

  77. Gerrit says:

    I have been using a piece of linoleum with both mechanical and optical mice for years and haven’t used anything better yet. Linoloeum is available in a wide range of colors, has very nice haptical qualities and is a natural product. As an architect it has been always easy for me to get free samples (which happen to have the optimal size of 12×12 inches). Best places to ask for samples would be Forbo or Armstrong .

  78. Kyle Haskins says:

    Forget those small foam pads that they sell at electronic stores.
    I prefer a thick rubber pad with a fabric surface. I once ordered every black mouse pad that I could find (about 8 of them) and found the best to be the Kensington Standard Mouse Pad. Call it a mouse pad science experiement.
    The fabric surface makes for nice smooth movement, keeps your mouse clean, and the thick rubber bottom insures that it won’t move around on you.

  79. Rob Waring says:

    Currently using a Gateway computers one in work thats placcy and foamwith a slightly textureed top on it and it works fine, bit small tho. Also got a freebie pad that came with a game at home, same sorta thing adn thats cool too.
    Rock the freebies :)

  80. Alexander Rødseth says:

    I use a cordless trackball from Logitech, and is as happy with it as I have ever been with any mouse. It looks good, and removes the need of mousepads.

  81. ionfish says:

    Definately have to echo Aaron and Craig in recommending the RatPad; I’ve had mine for several years now, and the thing’s incredibly resilient. Some slight warping, the logo rubbing off, and a couple of lost rubber feet is all there is to show that I didn’t buy it yesterday.

  82. junap says:

    I can’t live without em.
    Here’s mine 1 2.
    I go for the cheapo fabric-on-foam variety, at £1.50 from my local Maplin I find they give nice grip and I don’t have to worry about looking after them, if I get a few months out of one, it’s a good deal.

  83. Roger says:

    I have the Logitech X700 (I think) and have never had a problem at home or work without a mouse pad.
    Personally I hate mouse pads…though the Web Designer Color Reference Pad might just make it to my office.

  84. Oliver says:

    Yeah the value of the mouse pad isn’t just a pad for the mouse anymore. It’s more the feeling of something soft and protective under your valuable pointer.

  85. Stuart says:

    This could well have been added already, but just incase, heres a source of apple design style mousemats should you so desire:
    Missing bite mousemats
    -Stuart.

  86. aw you’ve gotta have a mouse mat. moving a mouse around on the desk makes an awful noise besides anything else.
    but i’ve never been keen on many that i’ve seen. go for the cheapskate option: an A4 paper/cardboard file/folder. good size, enough grip/padding for the mouse to run over and no noise.
    easy.

  87. Dan Martin says:

    Personally I am with you Dan. I can’t stand having my mouse on just the desk…optical, or not.
    I got the last plain mouse pad at Staples just the other day. The only other option was the BestBuy mouse pad with their logo on it.

  88. Erin says:

    My optical mouse hates my glasstop desk, so I use a single sheet of copy paper as my mouse pad. The only time I have any difficulty with it is when the paper or the optical lens/sensor gets dirty.
    And as a side note, I’m with the people who say Dan should make SimpleBits mouse pads. :)

  89. Aaron says:

    I was in the same situation and decided to go for one made by 3M that’s just called “Precise Mousing Surface”. It DOES have a pattern, but from my experience that only makes optical mice work better. It also has a texture to it that 3M claims helps optical tracking. While I still wish I could get a plain black or something, I wouldn’t work without this thing now. They were on sale at Microcenter for $2.99 (from $9.99) a few months ago and I bought a half-dozen.

  90. Jimmy Cerra says:

    Why not tape a piece of graph paper to your desk? Problem solved. :-)

  91. mike wood says:

    i have a snowboard for a mouse pad.
    or rather, a snowboard topsheet cut to the size of a mouse pad. you see, i work for burton snowboards, and there are always samples of the thin vinal sheets the graphics are printed on before they get sandwhiched onto the board and laquered. i can switch it up, graphics-wise, for free every so often, it relates to my job, and my optical mouse tracks great on the matte material.
    maybe you’ve got something cool in your surroundings?

  92. Phil says:

    Hey, I went to RIT, home of the mouse pad couch. And I’ve had the same problem. I just wanted to find a simple mousepad that didn’t mess up my optical mouse. By the way, I returned my mouse twice before I realized the reason it wasn’t working properly was because of the wood grain on my desk. Doh! Hence the need for a mouse pad! Good luck.

  93. William Hamby says:

    My desk is a steel frame and smoked glass top. Therefore, my optical mouse needs a mousepad. I found titanium gray 1 x 3 foot mousepad at CompUSA for about five bucks. Hearing of Apple’s condescending attitude of such office items makes me feel very old, but it looks great sitting beside other Apple products.

  94. Darren says:

    Mouse pads always seem to slippy to me. I turn them over on use the rubber side, at least I would If I had one.

  95. Jastrow says:

    You should try Muji. I found there a circular translucent silicon mousepad, quite thin, nice-looking and obnoxious. You can put a hot mug on it. It’s washable. In Europe they’re sold at 5EUR.

  96. Bruno says:

    In the office, I have a Gel Mousepad (without the logo) and it is great: simple, even surface that is optical mouse friendly and a wrist rest.

  97. Creford says:

    The optical mouse needs the mouse pads that enable it to work. It’s very necessary.

  98. Ben says:

    I find that with the optical mice at my school, they need some kind of pattern underneath or they have no idea whether they have moved due to the smooth, featurless and shiny table surfaces.
    Many a random scrap of paper has been pressed into surface for just this purpose.

  99. Christian says:

    I got mine with Unreal Tournament 2004. It’s the best one I’ve used so far. It’s slippery, I like that.

  100. Greg See says:

    When we are all old and grey the kids will aks us old folks about the old times when there were mouse pads and the mouse we used had a ball in them…
    “You’ve used a mouse that’s not optical?!?!” they will say, “Wow you are old!”

  101. eddmun says:

    I’d buy a SimpleBits mouse mat…
    lol @ #102

  102. Neill Harmer says:

    Now that optical mice are the way to go, I prefer no mouse pad. I move positions so much at my desk that I hated moving the mousepad along with me. Lazy, I know.

  103. B-Boy says:

    Hey Greg, what makes you think the we will be using mice when we are old & grey? Kids will probably be saying something more like
    “You used a mouse? Why the heck would you you use a rodent with your computer?!?”

  104. Jynx says:

    I use a paper pad, it works really well. and cleaning it is really easy. Rip. And I can write notes on it.

  105. When I’m playing games and need a mouse I use a self-healing board (forgot the proper name for the material) for cutting paper which doubles nicely as a mouse pad. The rest of the time I use a wacom digital tablet.

  106. Craig says:

    Why would patterns be bad for optical mice? If anything I’d expect them to be better.
    Anyway definately check out some of the gaming pads people have mentioned if you’re willing to spend a bit more for a good pad. Steelpad, Everglide & func makes some good stuff.

  107. S Hayter says:

    I play an insane ammount of online games, and my perfered mousemat, god knows what it is, 11 years old :)
    Sometimes I think I should get a new one, but I just can’t stand plastic topped mousemats, and all the fabric coated ones seem to be… nasty, oneday in the future I might move to a ‘gaming surface’ type, but it’s probably not much diferent to this :)

  108. Lance says:

    I didn’t know what an icemat was before seeing this story, so I decided to see what they are about. Talk about bad website design…I had to dig so deep into their site to even know what the hell an icemat was I almost left in disgust.

  109. Jason Beaird says:

    My current work mousepad is a round, basketball textured, Alltel branded, Gators logo one I picked up for free after a UF game this season. Tacky? Yes. But it’s comfy, works great with my optical mouse, and doesn’t inhibit my design abilities. So get a grip people, we’re talking about MOUSEPADS! Please don’t go pay $15+ for anything with a description like “Precise Mousing Surface”.

  110. Nik says:

    I have a leather mousepad from Greenpeace years ago.. it’s still the best.. it looks like a well travelled journal now!

  111. Lachlan Hunt says:

    That’s a shame, mouse pads are necessary in some situations, even with an optical mouse. My desk that I’m using at the moment doesn’t work with my optical mouse, so I need a mouse pad. It’s too smooth and reflective with no texture, so there’s nothing for the mouse to successfully track.

  112. I had to go buy a mousepad for my iMac G5′s mouse on Friday, and I figured I’d go to Radio Shack, they had a plain blue nice sized mousepad for $5.99 so I picked it up, but of course the package it was in was cheap and Radio Shack branded, but who cares it’s a good enough for me. My desk would have worked with my optical mouse but sometimes the dirt gets in there and you have to blow it out, etc and that is really annoying so I needed a mouse pad finally.

  113. Michael Tighe says:

    The best mousing surface on earth is a perforated cutting mat, found at craft stores (usually green in color). I have been using one for about a year now.
    The mat has a tiny checkerboard pattern in it, which allows the mouse to be crazy percise.
    Trust me on this one – totally worth it!

  114. Martin S. says:

    Well, I have a very usual mouse pad and a Logitech MX 510 optical (not wireless) mouse. It works perfect in both gaming, office working and programming.
    I think the mouse pad increases the comfort and no one should underestimate the power of mouse pads. ;-)

  115. Miyuki F. says:

    My first mousepad was from IKEA. It was a light grey circle with concentric circles on it in a darker grey. Matched my Quicksilver G4 very well.
    My current one is this one:
    http://www.rakuten.co.jp/htdd/541957/541968/542130/
    but they’re difficult to get if you don’t live in Japan. (I only got mine via relatives.)

  116. Michael G. says:

    I’ve been using a rigid plastic kitchen table place mat from Ikea for about 4 years. It’s oblong and dark blue with white and black circles inside, like an anime eye. In fact, I got a designer plastic place mat for my office, that’s acid green with an orange gemoteric shape, and I’ve recommended them to everyone once I realized that you can find them in terrific designs and optical mice rarely skip on them. On line it’s not easy to find them, but designer kitchen shopes and places like Kate’s Paperie tend to carry interesting stuff.

  117. Paul says:

    Apparently the “Minimalist” optical mouse is soo 2004 too.
    Its all about the Laser Mouse All we need is the frekin’ sharks now Dr Evil. Look for M$ to follow suit just like usual im sure.

  118. Robert says:

    Cutting boards (mats) or the fUnc are the way to go.
    Personally, since I have a wood desk now, I go sans mousepad and use teflon tape for feet on my mouse. Works well enough, I clean the desk surface every few weeks. I can’t stand cloth pads.

  119. kenzie says:

    I just found this apple-shaped mouse pad by accident. $9.99

  120. Luke says:

    At comment #60, a week ago, I was using a piece of cardboard with my mouse. Well today I finally buckled and splurged on an Elecom “High Definition Mouse Pad” which claims to be silicon and claims to be from Japan.
    It’s tiny, but oddly, it works so well that the size doesn’t matter. My mouse is one happy and smooth roller now, and I’m actually noticing a big difference in accuracy compared to the cardboard. Sure, it cost way too much (£13) but what are you going to do…

  121. Oriana says:

    I’ve had no complaints from optical mousers on my designer mouse pads. Consult Eek the Mousepad Psychic while you visit.

  122. Bruce says:

    I use a trackball, so I have no need for a mouse pad.

  123. Anonymous says:

    Jeezus, 125 comments about mousepads? You guys have way too much free time.

  124. Einkoro says:

    Another recommendation for the fUnc sUrface 1030. I bought my first one about two years ago for my MX500 and I can’t imagine ever going back to any of the other gaming/cad mousepads I’ve tried before. The smooth side is great for optical mice and it has a side for trackballs as well. It is plenty big, I never find myself using much more than about half of the surface area it provides. The mousecord clip is great, I used to get my cords stuck on the back of the desk but I don’t have to worry about that anymore thanks to it.

  125. Rick Yribe says:

    I can’t work without my mouse pad. I found a really cool, grey circular one wtih darker grey circles on it at Ikea (of all places). It’s served me well.
    The main reason that I can’t do without a mouse pad is simple because about 3 years ago, I looked at the mice my school had. Well, we had all optical mice and, of course, no mouse pads. So, I turn it upside down, and the little “pads” that the mice have was all torn up and dirty.
    I honestly just don’t want that to happen to my mouse, so I just use a mouse pad to keep it from getting messed up.

  126. Ben O'Neill says:

    I like the sUrface1030 from fUnc Industries. If you can get over the name of the mousemat (and the price), it’s a large mat that allows your mouse to glide.

  127. I came across a comment by jharr (#44 dated March 2005) seeking uncut mouse pad material in bulk rolls & sheets Go to our website and view your options.

  128. Jamie Bresner says:

    I use a 30″x20″ piece of chip board for my mouse pad. It doubles as a giant memo pad. When it gets filled with notes, I replace it.

  129. Brandon says:

    I have a Ratpadz GS. It is 9×11 if I remember correctly, hard plastic, and cost me about 8 bucks. I love it. It is a “gamer surface” from a few years back that I bought earlier this year, and I like it except for the thickness is annoying for some people. If you get a gel wrist wrest to put with it, I can’t see any problems with it for anyone.

  130. Albert Tan says:

    You can grab vintage and modern Apple mousepads at http://www.missingbite.com. The only other place you can get them is the company store at Infinite Loop. :)

  131. Travis says:

    I bought a huge gaming mouse pad and it rocks.
    http://www.techtastic.ca/reviews3/ripper-xl.html
    the xtrac ripper XL
    my keyboard and printer are half on it too and there is still plenty of surface for my optical mouse which works perfectly on it. I’ll never slip off the edge of the pad and it will never migrate on my desktop. I’ll never go back to a dinky little mouse pad again.
    Its easy to clean too