When I asked to do hardware reviews for Respawn.Ninja, I was fully expecting to review mouse pads at some point. They’re often the most neglected part of a gamer’s peripheral setup. There’s so much emphasis on keyboards, headsets and mice that the humble mousing surface had become an afterthought. So I was happy to finally be able to push my 2c on why a good mouse pad is a worthwhile investment. Then I was told that this particular mouse pad would take up a USB slot….
That’s fine I guess, since the Corsair M800 Polaris also has a USB pass-through to make sure you don’t lose that slot. I plugged it in and it immediately shot rainbow colours vibrantly in a circle dash all around my desk. The girlfriend walked in and asked why I was having a disco to which I replied, “I didn’t ask for this, but it’s happening”. Appropriately, Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up was playing at the time. I quickly installed the Corsair software to sedate the lighting effects a little bit. The software was fine to navigate but I only intended to have it installed for as long as it took to change the lighting colours to something I’d like. I’m a big believer in having as little bloatware on my gaming PC as possible (unnecessary services sneaking around eating processor cycles is bad). So I changed it to a sleek teal that pulsated slowly.
My eyes were no longer assaulted and the slow yet bright aura of that teal was now soothing. I was sure this was going to help me stay calm during those salty, late night Overwatch matches. So I uninstalled the software making sure I wouldn’t be bugged at startup for updates to my mouse pad of all things. Once uninstalled, DISCO mode relaunched… The software is required to keep your lighting settings! So unless you have a whole set of Corsair peripherals, you’ll need to keep their software suite installed for this mouse pad which makes no sense.
Onto the important bit. The mousing surface was great! It’s been awhile since I had used a hard pad. I prefer cloth since you can control cursor stops a little better with its friction than hard surfaces that encourage glide. But having said that, the Polaris’ surface was textured enough that I could aim equally well without a transitioning period. Hard pads do eventually wear down, and mouse feet are chewed through a lot quicker as well. My G900 has quite sharp edges on its side feet which works fine on cloth but hitched a few times on this. Make sure to grab a nice set of Hyper Glides or one of their Chinese clones as replacement for your poor mouse feet when using any hard pad.
The reverse side has the BEST non slip base I’ve seen. I game on an Ikea wood finished tabletop and it’s notorious for mouse pad slippage. I had no issue with keeping the Polaris in place. It’s huge size and weight probably helped. Yes it’s a heavy mouse pad. You could probably kneecap someone with it. It’s extremely well build down to its braided USB cable. Can’t fault it for sturdiness or build quality at all.
In the end, I won’t be keeping it as my main mouse pad. I’m not a big fan of the RGB movement and using extra software is not my thing. Leaving it unplugged is another option but in that case it’d be better to go with a cheaper non RGB hard pad. The Razer Firefly RGB mouse pad is it’s main competition and that saves the last lighting setting onboard. You can set it in software, uninstall software and still have lighting the way you want. But as far as build quality is concerned, Corsair has them beat hands down. The Polaris is beefier, has more surface area, and a USB passthrough. Between the two I’d recommend the Polaris if you have a Corsair keyboard, and the Firefly if you need RGB but don’t want to keep software installed. For the budding pro gamer though buy a good black cloth pad for less than half the price of either.
Me? I’ll stick to my collection of yoga mat sized cloth pads.
Price: $99AUD RRP
Where to buy: MWAVE
Disclaimer: A review sample was provided by Corsair | Respawn Ninja is owned by Mwave Australia, however we retain editorial control over reviews.