There’s a lot that goes into choosing a good gaming mouse pad. From soft cloth to rigid plastic, surface area, and RGB lighting, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution — whether you’re focused on performance, look, or both. And when buying a mousepad on a budget, there are tons of options to choose from. Some are better for sniping in games like Call of Duty and Battlefield 1, while others are better for granular unit movements in games like Endless Space 2 and Total War, providing more or less friction based on materials and in-game need.
Accessory Power’s Enhance branded mouse pad falls strictly on the side of rigid plastic; it’s a model designed for increased speed and low resistance. Like many pads out there, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel. And while it may stumble in places, at $30, it does provide the functionality expected of a budget offering while still providing a few bells and whistles that other pads in its price range don’t necessarily afford.
Out of the box, the Enhance mouse pad measures a moderate 14×10 inches, making it a mid-range offering that eschews the typical square design of many other pads for a more rectangular one that promotes extended side-to-side movement. Its size means that it won’t take up too much room on your desktop but will provide a relatively sizeable area for sweeping mouse movements when necessary.
Sporting a futuristic design, the slab’s matte black surface is emblazoned with cyberpunk-inspired translucent decals on the right and left sides, as well as the transparent Enhance logo at the pad’s bottom center. At the top, you’ll find the USB socket for the pad’s braided power cable and cycle switches for lighting options and presets, the latter of which are neatly tucked into the pad’s ASB plastic body to avoid any bulges on the surface.
Finally, the back of the pad sports a textured, rubberized surface that does a fantastic job of keeping it in place. When compared to my other go-to gaming pad, the SteelSeries Qck Prism, the Enhance takes the (slight) nod here. Not once did I experience any slippage or base movement in my time with it, which is perfect for long gaming sessions or intense competitive bouts.
With RGB lighting all the rage these days, it’s little surprise that the Enhance LED gaming mouse pad provides backlighting functionality (it’s in the name, after all). Using the power and cycle switches at the top of the pad, you’ll be able to choose between seven different static colors (Red, Blue, Purple, Green, Yellow, Teal, and White), as well as two lighting effects, Fade and Rainbow, which cycle through all of the pad’s available color options. On top of that, you’ll be able to cycle between three brightness options to help you better tune the pad to your liking — or to match it to your other RGB peripherals.
In a dark room, the light emanating from the Enhance’s diaphanous edges and the translucent designs on its surface were vibrant, yet not too distracting even at the brightest setting. The fade and rainbow effects add a nice contrast to the pad’s static offerings but aren’t as smooth between transitions as other backlighting presets found in peripherals made by companies such as SteelSeries and Corsair (although at the price, that’s somewhat expected).
When put into a brightly lit room, the RGB lighting falters a bit more. Depending upon the angle at which you’re sitting (or have the pad situated), the lighting can appear splotchy, with some sections along the edges producing vibrant light and others emitting no perceivable light at all. On top of that, some colors appear washed out along the sides and on the top of the pad depending on the lighting of the room. For example, the purple can sometimes appear white in areas, white can occasionally appear as a washed out cyan, and yellow can periodically appear the hue of lemon-lime Gatorade.
As you’d expect, the rigid plastic surface of the Enhance lends itself to speed, agility, and low resistance. That means it’s not entirely ideal for first-person and third-person shooters like Call of Duty, Paladins, or Battlefront 2 — especially when using a gaming mouse at higher DPI settings. Instead, the Enhance is more suited to subtle mouse movements that might require rapidity to execute, such as flicking between units in StarCraft 2.
During my time with the pad, I tested it with the SteelSeries Rival 310 gaming mouse, as well as the Logitech G703. Playing BF2, Paladins, and Fallout 4, I didn’t notice any perceivable mouse float at lower DPI settings, but at higher settings, the slickness of the pad’s surface definitely impeded my accuracy, causing quite a few errant shots. In essence, I was able to move the reticule quickly toward a designated target, but it was difficult to stop the reticule precisely and deliver a killing blow.
Using AimBooster and comparing the Enhance to another rigid-top pad in the Qck Prism — which provides a bit more friction than the Enhance — I was able to confirm my observations. Through more than 80 individual tests, I found that my average accuracy with each mouse was greater with the Qck, while my speed was increased with the Enhance.
Note: In the table below, Avg. Speed denotes the average speed at which I was able to hit targets within a 60-second window using AimBooster.
|Mouse||Mouse Pad||DPI||Avg. Speed||Avg. Accuracy|
|Rival 310||Enhance LED||800||2.93s||91.70%|
|Rival 310||Enhance LED||1600||2.98s||92.71%|
|Rival 310||Qck Prism||800||2.84s||94.71%|
|Rival 310||Qck Prism||1600||2.91s||94.70%|
|Logitech G703||Enhance LED||800||2.93s||92.20%|
|Logitech G703||Enhance LED||1600||2.96s||90.01%|
|Logitech G703||Qck Prism||800||2.82s||95.12%|
|Logitech G703||Qck Prism||1600||2.86s||93.93%|
As you can see, the Enhance surface allows for higher speeds in both the Rival 310 and the G703, but sacrifices accuracy to do so. The Qck’s slightly “rougher” surface decreases average speeds but increases average accuracy across both mice.
Overall, the Enhance LED mouse pad is a decent mid-range option, even if it stumbles in the RGB spectrum, but it isn’t the most comfortable slab on the market, and it is easily dinged up.
However, if you’re on a budget and looking for a slick, hump-free surface that promotes speed, the Enhance is an option to consider. Its surface performs as you’d expect from a rigid-top pad, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters for hard-surface fans that need something better than their pockmarked desktop.
[Note: Accessory Power provided the Enhance LED mouse pad used for this review.]