Try a Hard Mouse Mat
June 2023 — Tip of the Month
Mouse pads have been around as long as mice. And like the input devices, mousing surfaces have evolved over time. While the grey foam rectangle from Office Depot still works, better options are available.
Early mice used a rollerball, which required a certain amount of friction to roll properly. But several decades ago, the rollerballs were replaced with light beams, removing the need for a high-friction surface. You can now use a hard surface, which allows you to move your mouse more quickly and accurately.
Most gamers prefer hard mouse pads (or "mouse mats" as they are often called now) because they improve the speed and precision of each movement. But they aren't reserved for gamers. Basic hard mouse mats sell for around $10. If you want a high-end gaming version with RGB lighting (like the Razer Atlas shown below), it might run you closer to $100.
Hard mouse mats aren't for everyone, and some people prefer the soft feel of a traditional mouse pad. But if you've always used a squishy cloth mouse pad, it's worth trying one with a hard surface. No matter which mouse pad you like best, make sure to use a mouse wrist rest too.