Wow!Pad Mouse Pad

Reviewed by: Jack Reikel, January 2006
Manufactured by:, Inc.
Requires: Any computer mouse, a flat surface on which the pad can be positioned
MSRP: US$8.00 and up, customized and promotional versions available

Wow!Pad is a mouse mat incorporating some very interesting mouse surface technology. It is supplied as a very thin, semi-rigid, low distortion disc, square or rectangle a bit less than 0.5mm thick. The pad is extremely lightweight but provides a stiff and consistent surface designed to accommodate any optical LED, optical laser or roller ball for any computer activity that requires a mouse and pad. It's available in clear, gray/grid and with various custom and promotional designs.

The back of each Wow!Pad consists of a bonded coating. We're not sure of the exact composition but it's either a highly pliable tacky polymer or some sort of reposition-able adhesive. Microthin refers to it variously as a non-slip or non-skid backing. Either way, the product maintains a tackiness sufficient to prevent it from shifting under normal use. The best way to install a Wow!Pad in fact is to clean off a location on your desk or table, position the Wow!Pad, then apply some downward pressure with your hand. After that, it's unlikely to move much at all until you peel it up to reposition it. There is no residue of any kind that we could detect and the backing is safe for all surfaces that we tested including polished wood, oil finished hardwood, urethaned and varnished wood, enameled metal, Formica, Melamine, oil or acrylic painted surfaces, epoxy powder coated finishes, annealed surfaces, Corian, granite, marble, Marbelite, glass, Bakelite, acrylic, chrome, stainless steel, aluminum and leather.


We shifted 25 Wow!Pads through 6 different locations and more than eighteen different mice. The mouse list included:

  • Evoluent Vertical Mouse
  • Logitech G5
  • Logitech MX1000
  • Logitech MX 700
  • Logitech MX518
  • Logitech MX510
  • Logitech Cordless MouseMan Wheel
  • Logitech Cordless Wheel Mouse
  • Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 2
  • Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer
  • Microsoft Optical Mouse Blue
  • Razer Copperhead
  • Wacom Wheel Mouse
  • Apple Two-Button Mouse
  • Apple Optical Mouse
  • Apple Mouse (ball)
  • MacMice The Mouse BT
  • Microsoft J-Mouse (ball)
  • Dell, IBM, Sony Vaio and Gateway OEM ball mice

We compared tracking accuracy and movement resistance between the Wow!Pad and a dozen different precision and non-precision mouse pads including:

  • 3M Precise Mousing Surface
  • Themaltake Gamma
  • Everglide Fuze
  • Everglide Titan
  • Everglide Ricochet
  • fUnc 1030
  • fUnc Skull Precision Gaming Surface
  • RatpadzGS
  • Razer eXactMat
  • Fellowes
  • Belkin
  • 11 different generic cloth & sponge back standard mouse pads from various manufacturers

Tracking accuracy in all directions on the Wow!Pad was remarkable, with no detectable directional shifting of any kind. Similarly, movement resistance was extremely low—barely detectable with the sensitive, spring-based resistance device we used. Even in the hands of office and home users with a very light touch (e.g., female, 105 pounds, skinny as a rail) there was no discernable tracking shift during any office tasks or game play.

Rubbing your fingers over the surface of a Wow!Pad feels vaguely rough or matte as opposed to the slick or slippery feeling you might expect. A careful examination of the surface under strong magnification reveals that the surface is in fact microscopically rough, providing a comparatively smaller amount of hard surface on which the mouse rides. That trick of technology is what allows most high end mouse pads to perform so well. The material used by different pad makers to achieve the trick is what distinguishes one pad from another.

What we found from all this testing and questioning of people on whom we foisted Wow!Pads was that once you give one to someone, you're going to have a hard time getting it back. The only people who gave back the Wow!Pads without a fight were a couple of the gamers using the fUnc Skull Precision Gaming Surface, the RatpadzGS and the Everglide Fuze. None of them disliked the Wow!Pad but preferred the height, texture and larger surface area of the gaming products. Two busy graphic artists who were using the fUnc Skull Precision Gaming Surface and Everglide Titan respectively expressed a clear preference for the size, texture and accuracy of their existing pads. The high end pads sell for upwards of $30 each (or more, depending on size), considerably more than any of the Wow!Pads we reviewed.

Cons: Thinness is a virtue only if the surface on which the Wow!Pad rests is smooth. Credit Wow!Pad with maintaining sufficient surface rigidity to overcome minor imperfections caused by small grit and similar detritus. However, physical desk or table surface deformities (warping, cupping, chips or deep gouges, uneven joints) will result in lack of adhesion and tracking problems with the Wow!Pad. Smooth out the desk or table surface and the Wow!Pad shines again. Microthin recommends that the non-slip back surface can be cleaned with glass cleaner (e.g., Windex or some other ammonia-based cleaner) or soap and warm water, but we found that glass cleaner tended to reduce the adhesive properties somewhat. Some mild dish soap and a thorough rinse with warm water worked well.

Pros: Very subtle on the desk and the clear versions of the Wow!Pad almost disappear completely when placed on most surfaces. Excellent adhesive friction on the back of these pads seems to completely prevent creep. If the non-slip back surface becomes grimy and starts to lose some adhesion, peel it up and wash the whole pad with mild dish soap and lots of warm water (it only takes a few moments). Wow!Pads are available in a wide range of configurations (including photo frames) and can also be custom ordered with printed advertising and promotional information. The most important properties of the Wow!Pad mousing surface support accurate optical and ball tracking with every mouse we tried. Mouse-oriented office staff, anyone with wrist, elbow and finger aches from uncooperative mice, graphics artists, draftspeople, designers, gamers and anyone who needs to use a mouse for precise movements and highly accurate positioning tasks has to consider the purchase of a precision mousing surface. The Wow!Pad is a terrific, inexpensive choice that competes head to head with precision pads costing several times as much. Highly recommended.





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