The Hard ALternative
Thresh's comments in BLACK
Kenn's comments in BLUE
The Everglide Mousing Surface
is made of a high-density polyethylene surface (commonly referred to as plastic) that will supposedly never wear out. Its stone-textured surface is similar, though not quite as consistent, to the 3M Precise Mousing Surface, which consists of "microstructured peaks and valleys". On such surfaces, the mouse ball rides along the peaks, while the dust, dirt, and oil collect in the valleys. This kind of design keeps your mouse much cleaner for a longer period of time than when using conventional mouse pads. On top of all that jazz, the EMS is also washable - It may just be the only mouse pad on this planet that is dishwasher-safe.
Since we both consider "mousing precision" and low maintenance important issues, we were quite interested in what the EMS had to offer. We've both been using 3M pads for about two years now, and while we found the precision surface excellent, they had a few problems we hoped the Everglide could address. For one, my 3M pad tends to wear out easily, forcing me to buy new ones every couple of months or so. (Any hardcore gamer can attest to this) Also since I have to bring my equipment around when I travel, I've accidentally creased (and by doing so destroyed) quite a few. A lot of my friends think I'm wacky when I take several minutes packing my mouse pad, meticulously placing it between my shirts in the suitcase, but the fact is that they're incredibly fragile, and one mistake means I'm down another ten bucks.
If I could have $10 for guessing what your first impression of the Everglide mousing surface was, I'd have enough to pay for another year of insurance on my car. (yeah right :P) Anyone who's seen one will tell you the same thing - it looks like a miniature cutting board. It has the same dimensions, is made of the same material, and is the same color of just about anything you've used to cut meat on. Honestly, no review would be complete without mentioning it.