RGB Mousepad Showdown: Razer Firefly, Corsair Polaris, and SteelSeries Prism
Did you ever think you'd live to see the day the top gaming peripheral companies around came out with full RGB mousepads? Well whether you're ready for it or not, that glorious era has arrived.
Excessive? Sure. Awesome? Probably. Either way we were curioius to see how the new options compared against one another, so we got our hands on the Razer Firefly, the Corsair MM800 Polaris, and the SteelSeries QcK Prism. Let's take a look at the different features the various models have to offer.
Razer Firefly cloth
So what can you say about the Firefly that you can’t say about any other mousepad? Its big selling point is that you can customize the RGB lighting, which is something I never thought I’d say about a mousepad. In a neat little feature, if you have a Razer mouse, you can set the Firefly’s RGB lighting to react to mouse clicks. It might seem a little gimmicky, but when you're talking about getting your RGB mousepad to sync up with an RGB gaming mouse, you're clearly comfortable as the mayor of Gimmick Town.
The RGB lighting is featured along the left, right, and bottom edges of the Firefly, which also features a printed Razer logo in the upper right corner. The lighting is as bright and colorful as you would hope for, and Razer has a good track record with their Chroma RGB peripherals.
Performance-wise, the Firefly is quite stellar. The textured cloth weave feels smooth, mouse movement is reponsive and accurate, and the pad kept a solid grip on my desk instead of sliding around all over the place like other mousepads I’ve used. After using it for a couple hours, I definitely preferred it over gaming without the pad.
The Razer Firefly we took a look at is a cloth mousepad, but there’s a hard surface version available too.
If you’re interested, you can pick the Firefly up for $59 on Newegg.
Corsair MM800 Polaris
The Corsair MM800 Polaris we looked at has a hard surface, unlike the cloth version of the Firefly we had on hand. Hard surface pads bring increased durability, and Corsair pitches it as a "Low Friction Micro-textured Surface," which certainly sounds impressive. I’m sure some people out there like the hard surface, but it’s just not for me. The rigid pad felt a little loose and float-y to me, and I often felt a bit out of control of my mouse. Maybe it was too low-friction
The Polaris is the only mousepad here with a USB passthrough, which frees up a USB port on your computer. That's a big plus that sets this model above the others in this showdown. If you’re running out of USB ports, the Polaris is essentially a 1 port USB hub, too. How’s that for justifying your purchase?
Like Razer’s Firefly, if you own a Corsair mouse, you can sync up the RGB lighting. It has 15 distinct zones of lighting arrayed around the sides and bottom edges in the same fashion as on the Firefly.
The Corsair MM800 Polaris is available for $59 on Newegg.
SteelSeries QcK Prism
Why choose between cloth and hard surfaces? The Prism has a reversible mat, giving you the best of both worlds. If you just can’t decide between cloth or hard polymer surface, or if you prefer a cloth feel for some games and a hard surface for others, the Prism gives you that flexibility.
The Prism is the only one of the three RGB mousepads with the cord on the left-hand side of the pad, rather than coming out directly from the center, which can be a plus or a minus depending on your desk configuration. It’s also more square-shaped than the Corsair or Razer pad – slightly longer and less wide. As someone with a smaller desk, I like how compact it feels, but for those who really like to stretch out, you might want something bigger.
As with the Corsair pad, I wasn’t nuts about the hard polymer feel. But the cloth pad was fantastic for me. It offeres excellent glide and cursor accuracy, and feels nice against your hand.
Like the other pads, you can customize the lighting, which on the Prism actually goes all the way around the pad, rather than just being on three edges. I found SteelSeries app to be the most extensive and customizable, and you can set the lighting to go off on cool-down timers, essentially acting as “reminders” in game. However, it’s also the least user-friendly app of the three. Thankfully, there are some cool presets if you don’t want to spend hours tweaking.
The Steelseries QcK Prism is also $59 on Newegg.
One mousepad to rule them all?
Your choice among these three options will ultimately come down to your individual style, brand, and feature preferences, but for me the SteelSeries Qck Prism is the standout. Not only did it feel the best to use, but I loved how in-depth the RGB lighting options are. Since $59 isn't cheap for a mousepad, you want as many options as you can get for your money, and the Prism gets bonus points for offering both cloth and hard surfaces.
If you have a modern RGB Corsair or Razer mouse, though, then you should probably go with the matching mousepad. Syncing up the RGB lighting on all your peripherals can look really cool, and that's something you'll only get if all the devices are running off the same software.
Which RGB mousepad is the one for you? Let us know in the comments below.