The corepad is a glass mousemat / mousepad that are becoming more popular these days. There seems to be a move away from plastic mousemats in favor of other materials such as metal and glass. Uber 1337 gaming clans turn up to big competitions sporting fancy mousemats claiming superior performance, the clans perform well and in turn others players copy their gaming methods and their equipment. And if it works for them then why not the rest of us... one new mousemat on order!
No matter how good a player you are, if you turn up to a tournament with a piece of paper as a mousemat you will be laughed out of the building, so looking the part is half the battle. The latest breed of mousemats do have a perceived sense of "added value" which basically what the manufacturers are hoping. Let's have a look to see if there really is some added value around here.
Here is the box:
Which is nice enough, simple and to the point. The shot below shows the box, the glass mat and the foam backing to stick the mat to your desk:
I'll stick with my usual criteria for testing:
Size - bigger the better, so you can move your arm about without fear of the
mouse falling off.
Material - solid is better, will not crease or peel, leaving you with a flat even surface.
Texture - depends on the mouse you have, textured pads will grip the ball more, and a matt finish will not reflect well for optical mice.
Profile - a really deep pad will cause wrist ache, a thin pad will keep your wrist straighter.
Grip - must stick to desk.
Looks - the style aspect.
The mat is medium sized at 28 x 21 cm, it depends on your gaming style as to
whether this is a good thing or bad thing. I'm a high sensitivity gamer so I
don't have to move the mouse around a lot. There is not a great deal of variance
between mat sizes in general but as long as it is not too small for your hand
then there is no real need to complain about it.
As I said earlier, the pad is made from glass. This could put people off straight away I guess. Just to reassure you, it is safety glass, so if you did have an accident then it will shatter and break up into relatively harmless pieces. Believe me if it wasn't safe then they wouldn't be allowed to sell them!
Despite being made of glass it does feel sturdy and it is quite thick at 5mm but this enables increased safety and increases the strength of the mat. The mat is never going to bend or warp and you are guaranteed a smooth flat surface here which is critical for a optical mouse.
If you take a look at the next picture you will see the cool honeycomb-type coating on the glass:
Pretty cool huh? This is what makes it stand out from other glass mats. Apart from looking cool it is extremely grippy. If you have a ball mouse you will notice that your mouse will move and react better as the ball will roll every time rather then getting stuck and skidding. I'm not sure if the coating helps optical reading but I can say that my optical mouse does track very well and I have had no problems with 1000dpi sensitivity.
This also seems to help with a common problem of other glass mats with regards to it feeling cold. The coating provides a partial barrier between the glass and your mouse / hand which either doesn't get as cold as the glass or warms up faster and retains the heat somewhat.
Yet another benefit is that it also reduces the noise of scratching that other glass mats produce, although this is usually caused by dirty mouse feet. The enclosed Corepad skatez will totally eliminate noise if you really have a problem and are too lazy to give your mouse a quick clean every week or two.
The grippyness (probably not a real word but you know what I mean) of the mat can also work as a bad point in a weird way. You may find that your mouse doesn't slide effectively as the feet of your mouse grip to the surface. However the Corepad skatez again come to the rescue providing you with a very slippy and smooth mouse action - excellent. If anyone has a Razer Viper mouse like me then you have teflon feet on your mouse so a smooth quiet mouse is already yours and the Corepad is a perfect accompaniment.
Depending on how you have your setup you may also find that your hand sticks to the mat extremely well as well. Again this is not an issue for low sensitivity gamers but if you move your hand around a lot this can be a problem. If you use the wrist wrest that comes with the mat then you will find that your hand doesn't really touch the surface of the mat, so no problem. Personally I like to put my whole hand on the pad, so if I did move around a lot it would be difficult on this surface.
Pic with the wrist rest:
The mat is 5mm thick, mainly for safety I expect but this does add a little disadvantage to the mat as a whole. 5mm is probably higher than you think when it is a mousemat. Again Corepad seems to have address this by providing a wrist wrest for your comfort and to overcome the edge that you get with glass mats.
The wrist wrest is made from fairly dense foam and it approx 1cm thick. The height is perfect in combination with this mat and is comfortable but maybe a little too simple in design. It does move about a little bit if you move your hand away from your mouse and then back again. It does feel nice to have your hand on it rather than the hard desk.
To make the mat stable, the corepad comes with a foam backing that is the same size as the glass surface. This sits between the desk and the mat and makes the mat pretty much impossible to move. Believe me, the mat will not move ever! It is much better than other mats that have stick on feet.
The mat itself looks great in my opinion, the honeycomb effect looks cool and the flash of colour adds to the style. Even the quite large coloured 'corepad' text is in a nice font and lets everyone else know you have a quality product under your mouse.
The core pad is a great mousemat, I have tested in match situations without problems and it looks the part. It is reasonably priced (see http://www.corepad.com ) and comes with teflon tape and a wrist wrest. Defiantly worth buying.
...not to be missed