RGB LEDs are quite the trend at the moment, appearing on everything from headphones to CPU coolers to fans and mice. They’re everywhere and companies seem determined to find more ways to slap them onto their products. Hence we’ve not gotten a wave of RGB mouse mats ranging from cheap and cheerful to more expensive, and today I’ve got one from SteelSeries in for review. In fact, I’ve got three things from SteelSeries but we’ll start with this.
Here are the basics; you’ve got a rigid plastic body measuring 35.6cm x 29.2cm into which you can slot your chosen mouse pad, and some lights. That’s it. By default SteelSeries ships the Prism with a double sided mat that offers a hard plastic “speed” side and a fabric “control” side so that you can choose whatever feeling you want. The plastic outer body of the QCK sports a rubber underside so that it can grip the table or whatever surface you place it on, and all in all the entire thing feels like a quality product. You can pick it up and bend it slightly, but the plastic feels solid. I also appreciate the lengthy 1.8m USB cable that powers the lights since my computer actually sits a good few foot away from me.
The default mouse pad feels great, with the control side being my preferred option paired with the SteelSeries’ Rival 700 mouse that’s also currently also in for review. Keep an eye out for that. It feels smooth yet has enough friction to ensure the mouse doesn’t feel like it’s just slipping around. The speed side feels too plastic for my tastes. Plus, provided you can find another mat that’s the right size or even cut one down you could always replace what the standard SteelSeries offering with something that suits your personal preferences.
Running along the outer edge of the Prism is soft, grippy rubber. On the one hand it’s reasonably comfy on your wrist or arm even if the rubber can heat up a fair bit when contacting skin, but on the other hand, if you slide your wrist or arm without first lifting it the rubber can chafe a fair bit.
Between the mouse mat itself and the rubber rim sits the RGB LED’s themselves which are split into twelve different quadrants that an all be individually programmed with their own colours and effects using SteelSeries’ custom software Engine. If you one want section using the breathing effect and another solid and yet another without color at all you can do that. The software is a doddle to use, and of course you can save custom settings if you like. It’s even possible to tie different segments into button presses to create a cooldown timer in you fancy an extra reminder.
There are also inbuilt apps for CS:GO, Minecraft and DOTA 2 that display information using the lighting. In DOTA 2, for example, the LEDs can display your health and mana, as well as kills and a respawn timer. This is still an experimental idea, though, so as of right now those are the only three apps available. If you fancy having a go at doing something similiar SteelSeries have a guide.
The lengthy USB cable that powers the RGB LEDs sits on the the of the mat which ensures it doesn’t get tangled up with any mouse wire you have, something that other RGB mousemats tend to do as they position their connection points along the top.
I’m going to be honest: while many people find the RGB trend gaudy, tacky and incredibly gimmicky I have something of a soft spot for glowing lights, especially ones that I can modify to match the colour theme of my PC. The QCK Prism, unsurprisingly, offers no tangible performance benefits over purchasing a standard mouse mat and has a hefty price tag for something that is essentially plastic and an RGB kit. And yet, I can’t help but kind of love it. There’s something stupidly fun about a glowing mouse mat, and whenever I entered my darkened room I couldn’t help but have a childlike reaction to seeing it lit up like something out of Tron. With that said, I can’t put a recommendation sticker on the end of this review, simply because it’s not something I could ever recommend to the average gamer. For most people I’d simply tell them to take the money and buy a good quality, regular mouse mat, or probably actually an extended one as I’m quite a fan of those, then stick the change in their bank account. This is a product purely for those that have the extra cash to splash and who want to put the finishing touches to a setup that they’ve devoted considerable time and money to completing. It’s showy and pointless and awesome.
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