Two realizations struck me while seeking a new mouse pad recently: 1) there's a lack of small plastic pads from major gaming accessory makers, and 2) folks take there mouse surfaces very seriously. On my journey, I found debates about the ideal material, with people defending cloth, plastic, aluminum, glass, leather and carbon fiber offerings from countless companies as the "best" choice. Others were more peculiar.

A few eccentric souls swore by marble or granite tiles they acquired as free samples from Home Depot, some trimmed flexible plastic cutting boards to size, while others taped parchment paper to their desks. Of course, there were also those who scoffed at the notion of using a dedicated mouse surface, insisting that they topped score charts with a wood tabletop and a decade-old freebie mouse from their first computer.

How about you? Do you prefer any specific size, material or brand? I used the QcK Mini for a while but eventually wanted something slicker and easier to clean. Hard plastic was a given, but such pads from Razer and the like were too big (I need something about 9x8" to fit on my keyboard tray). I settled on this 3M solution, which isn't much of a looker, but it functions well and you can't argue with its price (currently $5).