Let’s get the obvious question out of the way: why the heck would you want a backlit RGB mouse pad? For years, we’ve been buying mats to give our mice a more comfortable and accurate ride. Historically, our pads of choice have also been decorated with favourite videogame characters or hardware suppliers, but there’s now another option. After all, if your rig looks like a TRON-inspired 70s disco, why not go all-in?
The Enhance LED Gaming Mouse Pad is a firm, plastic gaming surface designed for laser and optical mice. At roughly 14 x 10 inches, it’s also a typical XL-sized surface, providing ample space for most gaming needs. But how would it stack up against cheaper cloth or plastic equivalents, and is the RGB lighting worth the extra?
- MSRP: $29.99
- Selectable colour modes with 7 static colours and cycling RGB
- 3 brightness levels
- ABS hard surface
- Non-slip rubber base
- Size: 13.75” x 9.9” x 0.25” / 34.9 x 25.1 x 0.63cm
- Weight: 17oz / 472g
- Cable: 78” / 2m braided, USB to micro USB
- 3 Year Warranty
Light It Up
Enhance Gaming is a smaller gaming accessories brand, focusing on value over complex features. But, even though it’s a fairly new name, owner Accessory Power has been involved with consumer electronics for over 30 years. The firm has also moved into eSports sponsorship, supporting a number of University-affiliated teams worldwide.
Out of the box, the Enhance LED Gaming Mouse Pad is very simple to set up. Simply hook up one end of the braided USB cable to a spare USB slot on your PC, and the other to the micro USB slot on the pad. There are no drivers to install or software to download, and the only controls are built into the slab itself. Choosing a colour setup is just a case of cycling through the available colour settings with one button, and adjusting the brightness levels with the other. And yes, it remembers your choice while the power is off.
Seven different solid color settings are available: Red, Blue, Purple, Green, Teal, Yellow and White. Two cycling options can also be accessed: Fade (which gently pulses each color in sequence) and Rainbow (which randomly colors different segments different colors, cycling every few seconds. The purple and teal can look almost white in daylight, and ideally need a darkened gaming lair in order to be prominent.
The mat itself is constructed from a slab of translucent ABS plastic, with a textured rubber mat glued to the underside and a mousing surface glued to the top. Two buttons are sunk into the surface near the micro USB port on the top edge to provide colour and brightness controls, but don’t protrude. Likewise, there’s no bulge around the USB socket for mouse cables to get snagged on, unlike others we’ve seen.
In another unusual twist, the mousing surface also has transparent decals to bleed light through, rather than just providing edge illumination. Some might find the effect a little gaudy, but I found the circuit board-inspired side strips to be a tasteful addition. At least, relatively speaking.
I tested the Enhance LED Gaming Mouse Pad with a Corsair Scimitar RGB MMO Mouse in a number of games including Destiny 2, World of Warcraft and WildStar. I also used it at a number of sensitivity settings, from 800 DPI at one extreme to 9000 DPI at the other, in order to verify that the surface provided consistent tracking. Reassuringly, I didn’t find any issues from several hours of extended play.
Compared to a traditional cloth mouse mat, there are two things that immediately struck me about the Enhance LED Pad. Firstly, this thing is thick - about twice the thickness of a typical rubber and fabric pad - and has no give for comfort. Secondly (and more importantly) the surface provided much less friction, allowing the mouse to glide quickly but also throwing off my accuracy. It’s a change that takes a while to get used to, but quickly has advantages in more versatile aiming.
I also checked to see if there’d be any telltale bumps or lumps under the surface, or any creaks due to the hidden components in that plastic sandwich. Surprisingly, the pad is sturdily built, although I’d be nervous about dropping that ABS slab onto concrete, or placing anything heavy on top of it.
Overall, my gripes with the Enhance LED Gaming Mouse Pad are fairly rudimentary ones. I’d have preferred a more translucent edge to the pad so that light was diffused better, and brighter LEDs for more intense color . I’d also have liked software based RGB control, so that I could pick the perfect tone or effect to go with my current jam. Having a smooth scrolling rainbow effect would also have been nice, compared with the static changes that happen every few seconds.
Then again, there’s the price. Weighing in at $29.99, the pad is only marginally more expensive than similar fabric or hard gaming surfaces. It’s also half the price of other similar RGB mouse mats, such as the Corsair Polaris or Razer Firefly. As an affordable bit of frivolous gaming fun, the Enhance LED Gaming Mouse Pad is amazing value.
- Incredible value
- High-precision surface
- Bump and obstruction-free mousing surface
- RGB cycling is not a smooth wave
- No software control
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for purposes of review.
Following our review, the folks at Enhance / Accessory Power wanted to share a special offer with our readers. Simply order it from Amazon using this link, and enter the coupon code MMORPG35 at the checkout to save 35% on the price of the pad. This will drop the price down to $19.49, making the LED Gaming Mouse Pad even better value!