Manufacturer: Icemat
Genre: Hardware
Homepage: Icemat
Review Date: 16 March, 2006
I’ve reviewed many things over the years, but today we have a first – a review of a mouse pad! No, this isn’t an instalment of my in frequent “WTF?” column, I’m actually reviewing a mouse pad. The one and only Icemat 2nd.Edition (Black), the pad aimed at squarely at us, the gaming community.

The Icemat comes in a large, sturdy box which opens up to reveal the pad sandwiched between thick Styrofoam slabs. That’s important, as the Icemat isn’t your typical mouse pad – it’s made of glass. It’s certainly not a conventional material to use, that’s true.

The mat is quite large compared to others I’ve used in the past – a good ten by twelve inches, according to the specs. The slab of frosted glass looks to be about 5/32 of an inch thick of translucent glass. The top is smooth throughout and resists marks, scratches and everyday wear-and-tear. The bottom of the Icemat is covered with a layer of black paint – OK, it’s probably not ordinary paint, but something was definitely applied to the bottom of the glass to give it the opaque black background when viewed from the top. This black ‘something’ is also resistant to scratches and marks. If you’re looking for a custom look to your desktop, the Icemat is available in seven other colours as well. Spaced uniformly around the outside bottom edges (four corners and mid-pad along the length) are six rubber feet for the Icemat, affixed securely. They absolutely keep the pad from moving around on your desktop while mousing.

Along with the mat itself, you get a bag containing “padsurfers ”. Each mat comes with five of them, which you peel off a strip and apply to the bottom of your mouse, covering the built-in glide pads. The documentation indicates that the padsurfers are designed to optimize your IceMat experience, so who am I to argue? A quick check on the Icemat webpage shows that there are other padsurfer options available as well. In addition to the type that comes with the mat (those are the ‘Icemat Padsurfers v2 All-Round), you can order strips that you can cut to custom-fit your mouse, or get the ‘IceMat Padsurfers v2 Logitech MX Series’, a six-piece set designed to fit the MX 300/500/700/900 mice (Mice? Mouses? Meese? Bah).

As of the time of this review, I’ve been using the Icemat for about two months. It has been in use at work and at home, for general computer duties and gaming. I’ve also been able to test it with a Logitech Optical Mouse, a Microsoft Optical Mouse (USB), and a Logitech MX 1000 Cordless Laser Mouse. I tried to find my old Logitech or Microsoft mouse to be able to report on how an older ball mouse works with the pad, but I think I’ve thrown it out. Who doesn’t use optical these days, anyways?

I can report that the use of the Padsurfer feet *does* make a difference. The mouse glides differently on the glass using the original mouse gliders versus the Padsurfers, so you’ll definitely want to add those to your mouse; whether you spring for the strips you can custom cut or the MX series as applicable, it’s worth the trouble.

My initial impression of the Icemat was that it was the NOISIEST mouse pad I’ve ever used. Wow, I never thought I’d ever write a sentence like that – “This mouse pad is noisy!” But it’s true, and it’s just the nature of the materials in use. Sliding the mouse across the glass surface of the Icemat makes a bit of a scraping, scratching sound. It’s not horribly loud, just immediately obvious due to the ‘un-naturalness’ of it. You just don’t expect that sort of sound to come from your mouse, now do you? After about a week and a half, however, you push it into the background and it’s no longer bothersome. Remember those first few weeks using an ergonomic keyboard? It was weird, you hated it, and now you can’t remember why it was ever an issue. The noise here falls into the same category – you’ll get over it.

The large size of the Icemat is both good and bad It’s good for me at work, where I have lots of empty desk space (gotta love government jobs, eh?). Bad for me at home, where I have a keyboard tray that slides out from under my desktop – it makes for a *really* cramped experience there. On the other hand, if you have your mouse set to a low-sensitivity setting, you’re not likely to run out of Icemat when mousing across your desktop. In a gaming context, there’s nothing worse than running out of mousepad at a crucial time, so bigger is definitely better.

The mat works well with my Microsoft Optical and Logitech MX Laser, but the plain vanilla Logitech Optical was crap. Then again, that particular mouse is a $20 POS, so take it with a grain of salt. The original Icemat from 2000 was not optical-friendly from what I’ve been told, but that has been addressed with the 2nd.Edition product by all indications. I can’t vouch for ‘improved’ accuracy when using the Icemat, but I can say that I did not experience any skipping, lagging, stuttering or any other anomalous mouse movements – a definite must for a mousepad!

The Icemat has definite novelty value and performs as expected of a quality mousepad. The sturdy glass construction ensures that it’ll be around on my desk for a long time, unlike my other cloth/foam/plastic pads that seem to last only a few months at a time. For the discerning gamer that has to have the best, you should be all over the Icemat like a fat guy on a sammich.

-- Phil "Ralphedelominius" Comeau

- Sturdy construction
- Larger than standard
- Great looks!

- 'Scratchy' sound!

Ten Ton Recommendation:
Try It!
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.