Razer Acari Mousepad Initial Impressions

ordered it yesterday morning with same day delivery from Amazon and went to sleep … by the time i woke up around midnight or so it has been delivered, so impressive shipping speed from Amazon Prime there.

upon waking up i just had a hot drink with some chocolate and immediately fired up Fortnite to test the mousepad.

for reference the mousepad it replaced was Logitech G440 in Medium Size

so i was going from one slick textured plastic hard pad to another slick textured plastic hard pad …

on the other hand i was going from an old design medium size $15 logitech pad to a new design large size $45 razer pad - so was it a worthy upgrade ?

based on initial impressions - absolutely.

however the problem with Acari is that people say it eventually slows down in an uneven fashion ( gets slower in the center ) plus it also apparently chews up mouse feet …

but i can’t comment on that yet as i literally just got it a few hours ago …

what i can say, however, is it feels like a mousepad from the future. it costs 3 times as much as the Logitech G440 Medium and it also feels like 3 times the mousepad. and it games as 3 times the mousepad as well.

now i’m not going to lie - for gameplay 90% of the difference comes from just the sheer size. pretty much any other mousepad of this size would give me the same competitive advantage. what going from M to L size mousepad allowed me to do is reduce my mouse sensitivity by about a third ( actually all the way down to just 1,000 DPI on Razer Basilisk V3 Pro that has a native 30,000 DPI resolution ) and this in turn made my aim a lot less jittery / far more solid, yet due to larger pad size i still don’t run out of room on the pad when i have to turn around 180 degrees for example.

so if your question is do you need a size L pad for gaming ? absolutely. size M is frankly too small even for regular PC use when you’re on a 8K screen. the bigger and higher resolution your screen is the larger your mousepad needs to be.

of course there are many size L gaming pads, in fact pretty much all real gaming pads are size L so what makes Acari special ?

well i won’t go into cloth vs hard pad thing - it’s a matter of preference. i have always used hard pads so i won’t compare Acari to a cloth pad but to my hard Logitech G440.

the G440 hard pad isn’t available in Large size ( the Large on Amazon is actually the cloth version ). in fact Logitech doesn’t offer any large hard pads and frankly at this point i’m done with Logitech. i feel like Logitech is for boomers at this point. Razer is the new king.

anyway so if we compare just the construction ( ignoring size ) of Razer Acari vs Logitech G440 there are a few differences:

1 - logitech is very stiff and warps overtime raising up from the desk in the center. by comparison Acari is much thinner and the material feels more like rubber than plastic in that it is about 3 times more flexible than logitech. this should prevent it from warping and lifting off the table.

2 - the surface when hit by the light shimmers like metallic paint - but instead of metallic specs it has microspheres that serve to both prevent adhesion between mouse feet and pad and also to give optical sensor something to work with. by comparison Logitech G440 is just simple textured plastic.

3 - the Acari being thinner means the edge is less aggravating. it does slide around the table a bit more IMO than G440, which is a small downside ( both have rubber backing but either G440 is stickier or just heavier )

3 - in terms of feel the Acari is a bit smoother and slicker than G440 but honestly the glide on G440 was perfectly fine. but visually the Acari surface is just amazing while Logitech looks plain. both use the same principle though - micro-tectured plastic surface. it’s just that Logitech surface is matte black while Acari is like i said kind of like black metallic paint.

the texture is extremely important in a mousepad. a perfectly flat surface could have a problem with sticking / micro-welding to the mouse feet. the texture is what prevents that ensuring a smooth and even glide.

it is true what Boardzy has said - if a hair is trapped between your mouse and Acari it will feel like the tires came off your wheels and there will be this disturbing grinding. it seems more pronounced than with G440 probably because the surface is finer, harder and slicker ( basically more high-end ).

again, i can’t know how it will hold up but in initial condition the Acari is not just the best mousepad i ever tried but probably the biggest upgrade to my computer i have ever made in terms of the difference it makes in actual gameplay.

yes $50 seems like a lot for a few ounces of plastic but it makes a bigger difference when playing a game like Fortnite than dumping $5,000 on a new PC would.

of course you don’t buy a new PC to get better in games … on other hand i got this mousepad specifically to stop running out of mousepad space while playing Fortnite and it ( so far ) works precisely has i had hoped.

i had always tried to use the best mousepads available - for example i have some in the basement that are made out of steel with teflon surface and rubber backing … but the Acari makes every mousepad i have ever tried look like a sad joke by comparison. it’s so big, thin, beautiful ( shimmer ) and slick ( smooth even glide ) that nothing else compares.

unfortunately i can’t recommend it for two reasons:

1 - i haven’t had it long enough to test whether durability issues are real or imaginary

2 - most people think the glide on Acari is TOO smooth ( too fast ). this is because they are used to cloth pads and the “ice skating rink for your mouse” Acari freaks them out.

but as i always used the slickest pads i could get for me it’s only slightly slicker than my last mousepad for example and i felt at home right away. i did need to adjust to larger size ( and lower mouse sensitivity setting needed to make use of it ) but that adjustment was also very quick ( about an hour ) and then i was in mousing heaven.

the consensus on the internet is that the best mousepads are made by “Artisan” of Japan. all Artisan pads are cloth pads but they are high end pads that run about $60 or more, so actually more than Acari.

personally i don’t understand how anybody could choose a cloth pad over a proper pad like Acari but most people who tried both prefer the cloth Artisan, so that’s something you should be aware of.

you should also be aware that Artisan pads come in many different feels - different fabric weaves, different rubber backings and so on.

on other hand there is only one version of Acari and only one size.

that means if you get Acari you will love it or hate it but if you get Artisan you will be trying different flavors for the rest of your life chasing that perfect one LOL.

and of course the way any mousepad feels will depend on your mouse, specifically the feet of your mouse. softer pads like Artisan will need a mouse with feet that have well rounded edges or the edges will bite into the pad. my Razer Basilisk V3 Pro feet aren’t what i would call properly rounded ( compared to my Logitech mice for example ) so i feel like that mouse needs a hard pad.

but a mouse with exceptionally rounded / smooth feet edges might feel great on a cloth pad like Artisan. it also depends on whether you’re using teflon or glass feet on your mouse as well … and of course your style of play and what you’re used to / expect as well.

but aside from that my initial impressions with Acari is that it’s a state of the art pad and i’m very impressed with Razer for creating it. between the very impressive Basilisk V3 Pro mouse and the equally impressive Acari pad it seems to me Razer is the new king in town.

i still need to pick a gaming keyboard ( i already have a good keyboard for typing, but it’s on the other PC ) and my recent positive experiences with Razer would push me towards a Razer keyboard, though i’m still also considering ASUS as well as my ASUS experience was also great, but i just don’t see ASUS as a peripherals company - i see them more a motherboard company - maybe i am wrong.

technically Razer makes whole computers just like Asus and also Asus makes peripherals like Razer … but i still Razer as more of a go to choice for peripherals than Asus …

Asus has been on a tear in Keyboard space lately though so i still have to consider it …

ok the rubber bottom of the pad is nowhere near as sticky as on logitech and moves around quite a bit in game play

surprising considering the logitech has pretty much he same backing as any cheap mousepad and they all grip the desk well

but Acari has a different type rubber, more like solid than foamed rubber and that for some reason makes it less grippy

this is an L for Razer - they need to do better next time

there is no excuse for this

they do offer adhesive base mousepads … in retrospect perhaps those are the ones i should have gone with …

Logitech G440 feels scratchy and not smooth after using the Razer Acari

i never noticed this until trying the Acari

it’s sort of how if you always drive used American cars you never realize how bad the steering is until you drive a new German car for a year or more and then you hop back into like a used Chrysler and be like - WTF is this ? why doesn’t the car turn when i turn the steering wheel ?

yet somehow you never noticed it when it was your only car for years.

but again, this is highly dependent on your mouse feet.

i think your brain will ultimately adjust to the feel of the mouse surface regardless of what that surface is. however the brain can’t overcome size limitations of small mouse pads in a game like Fortnite that has a wide variety of movements where one second you need to do a 180 degree turn ( sliding the mouse by half a foot ) then the next second you need to do a sniper shot ( micro-adjusting the mouse by fractions of a millimeter )

it’s the same as how your brain can mostly adjust to handling and steering peculiarities of your car but an overall lack of power is more or less a hard wall that can’t be overcome with practice or skill.

so yeah my takeaway still the same as yesterday - make sure your mousepad is large. after that it gets complicated but i like the Acari.

almost forgot - the Acari looks really good with Basilisk V3 Pro mouse.

the mouse has RGB strip around the perimeter on the bottom and the metallic sheen of the mousepad picks it up and creates a sort of an Aura glow under the mouse.

of course you can only see it when you’re not using the mouse and when you’re not using the mouse the RGB turns off after a preset time like 5 minutes.

still i never had this with other mice so thought i would mention it.

overall the combo of Acari and Basilisk V3 Pro is a good one ( i am also using Samsung Duo charger to wirelessly charge this mouse using Qi standard ) but there are two things that i wish were better:

1 - the mouse is heavier than i would like. during fast swipes ( like to turn around ) you feel that weight. ( the excess weight is mostly due to the RGB )

2 - the mousepad backing isn’t grippy enough. it does move around occasionally while playing. i guess Razer wanted a thinner profile so instead of using the usual neoprene foam they used a thinner non-foam rubber material and it just doesn’t grip my plastic desk i’m using.

of course my plastic desk is slippery enough to work as a pretty good mousepad by itself so this will depend on your actual desk surface.

i use a folding plastic desk because i only have mouse and keyboard on it. my PC is on the floor and my TV screen sits on top of the 18" subwoofer next to the wall. i like having a light desk i can move out of the way when i’m not playing. it’s only a 24" X 48" size as well. having such a small and light table allows me to switch from playing games to watching movies from the couch by simply pushing the table to the side, which is awesome - but the downside is the mousepad can’t really grip it.

My mousepad is still the one I pulled out of a dumpster 15 years ago. It looks beat but it still works like a charm.

the quest for perfection doesn’t stop with audio systems i am afraid.

if the budget allows there is no reason to use anything but the best.

of course i can’t afford the best house or even the best car.

but i can afford the best mousepad - so why not ?

well actually the most expensive mousepads are glass ( they run about $100 ) but they are completely inflexible so you need a perfectly flat table for them. as i said my table is a folding plastic table that isn’t perfectly flat and a glass mousepad would probably be wobbly on it.

if my desk had a solid flat surface i would give a glass mousepad a shot if only just to find out for myself what it’s like.

the upside to a glass mousepad would be longevity and thus consistency across the surface.

the downside is they feel cold and are probably louder than a plastic pad that has at least a very small amount of cushioning to it.

i don’t like permanent solutions and getting a new table would be a permanent solution. i often switch tables as i move the computer, couch, TV, subwoofer and so on … i like having different size folding plastic tables i can whip out anytime i need them. a big, heavy, solid desk would be essentially a trap - forcing me to design my setup around it.

i much prefer designing my setup around the best technology available and then using whatever table will fit the space. i don’t need a strong table as i said as the only thing on it is keyboard and mouse and my phone.

plus as i said before i actually push it out of the way when watching movies and move it front to back by maybe about a foot to adjust for the distance to the screen i prefer depending on whether i’m reading text vs playing video games and so on.

the bottom line being i didn’t want to get a proper solid desk which would be a must IMO for a glass pad so i went with this plastic pad.

the downside to this plastic pad will probably be longevity so if i have to constantly replace it in the long term it will cost more than a glass pad but i like the flexibility it affords me as far as being able to use it on any desk surface which in turn allows me the flexibility of moving my desk around, switching desks and so on.

so the Acari isn’t necessarily “the best” mousepad - it is just the best for me.

other people should also consider “Artisan” brand pads ( which seem to be the go to choice for high-end conventional type mouse pads ) and glass pads which are the high end option for those who want a fast, unique and durable pad.

but for me it’s the Acari …

admittedly i never tried a glass pad so i can’t really know what it’s like.

even though one of my desks is glass and i can try my mouse on it real glass pads aren’t like that.

glass pads are textured while my desk is completely smooth.

this should make for a fairly significant difference but what that difference would be exactly i don’t know.

Razer makes a glass pad too but it isn’t one i would consider as it seems to have some kind of a coating on it, that would probably wear overtime. to me the whole point of glass is that it doesn’t wear at least if your mouse has teflon feet ( as opposed to glass feet ).

here is the review of a $150 Pulsar Superglide XXL glass mousepad:

and here is a review of a more normal size Superglide pad from somebody who committed to using one for a month:

Pulsar Superglide isn’t the only glass pad but seems to be the best. also offered in three sizes ( L, XL and XXL ) and three colors ( black, white and red ) which is awesome! as i said Acari only comes in size L and color black.

IMO $150 is an absolutely fair price for that XXL glass pad - i just don’t have the desk for it and you may or may not like the feel of it.

still i would ABSOLUTELY give it a shot if my desk had a nice, solid flat surface.

the next time i move i may consider using a proper desk for once so that i can test the Superglide pad. but i wasn’t about to go remodeling an existing setup that works perfectly when i didn’t need to do so to get the performance i was after.

oh yeah the other tradeoff is your arm may stick a bit to the glass pad apparently so most glass pad users wear a sleeve.

and of course the downside to a thin plastic pad is that it may move around.

unless it is adhesive based.

either way most people seeking “the ultimate” mousepad will either get the Artisan ( cloth ) or the Superglide ( glass )

the Acari isn’t a very popular option at all but it is rather just what i personally was leaning towards based on my prior positive experience with plastic Logitech pad and me being a Razer fanboy …