Compressed Thoughts

A blog by Matthew Rease

older ball mouse on a mousepad

Why Are Mousepads Still Useful?

If you're looking at the title, and wondering if I've gone crazy, trust me I'm going somewhere with this!

In this day and age, I was surprised that they still made mousepads. Long gone are the days of ball mice, and keeping the spinning bits clean. But there is still a surprisingly good reason to use them, even today... but why?

I want to be upfront and state: I don't use a mousepad. And just so there's no confusion, I'm referring to the rectangular pads you place your mouse (wired or wireless) on, not the kind you find on laptops, which are also commonly referred to as touchpads. Now, if I had a mousepad, I'm sure I'd use it, but at present moment I don't have one... and I kind of want one.

If you're like I was, then you're probably wondering why on earth I could possibly need a mousepad in the 21st century. And while I'm no expert, and there could be a plethora of other reasons, one of the reasons I think they're still useful, is the fact that mice still suck. Laser, optical, ball, or any other kind of mouse, still have one major flaw (in my opinion): they don't work very well on many surfaces.

I can accept, that trying to use my mouse on some park picnic table probably won't go well. But tell me one good reason, why I can't easily use my mouse on a smooth leather couch? It's easier to move things across my couch than my table, yet the mouse works perfectly on the table (same applies to desk). With a mousepad however, as long as you can place the pad on the surface, then you'll have a usable space for your mouse.

Heck, I can't even play Mario Paint very well, unless I place something like a fresh sheet of paper on the table, lest the SNES Mouse get tripped up on the slightest imperfection in the table... though to be fair, I think mine needs cleaning...

This was a stupid post, not quite as unnecessary as my previous post, but still. I just really wanted to get something new on the blog, and I thought about this. Do any of you use mousepads? If so, why? Was I spot on, or do you use them for a totally different reason? Also, for those who use them, do you recommend any specific brands, or materials - what makes a good mousepad to you?