X-raypad set out to make a super smooth and soft pad with the Minerva and they’ve definetly achieved that, delivering one of the smoothest feeling surfaces I’ve tried to date. Thanks to Lethal Gaming Gear for sending this out to me for review but of course it won’t impact my feelings on the product.
480mm x 400mm x 3mm
Presentation and Build Quality
I got the blue version of the Minerva and it came with a matching vertical box. The pad itself was packaged inside a velvet-feeling carry bag. Unboxing the pad the first thing I noticed was that the pad has a very similar blue colorway to the Zowie Devina line. I’m not a huge fan of the design printed onto the mouse but I was mainly interested in this pad for the performance and not the looks.
There was a distinct rubbery smell when I unboxed this mousepad and it definitely lingered for a few days. Happy to mention that after 72 hours or so the smell is mainly gone. The rubber base has a thread texture to it that somewhat works to keep the pad in place.
The stitched edges are clean and won’t really bother you while using it and fortunately they are not too thick or high. At 3mm high the mousepad feels pretty flat and there isn’t much of a spongy feeling while using it. It did take a while for the pad to unfurl I’d recommend using something heavy to weigh down the edges a bit if this is a concern for you when the pad is new. It has since settled down on my desk and it lays completely flat.
Surface and Performance
X-raypad describes the mousepad as a “super smooth surface, speed mouse pad with micro-control” and I think that does do a good job of capturing the essence of the pad. I was actually kind of shocked just how smooth and soft the surface felt, there is almost no texture to the surface at all when you run your fingers across it. It’s almost like using a mouse on a super smooth microfiber towel. The speed of the pad feels pretty quick out of the box. There isn’t a lot of static friction when initially moving the mouse, although I’ve heard that this pad slows down a lot in humid conditions. Where I live isn’t humid at all especially in the winter so this wasn’t a concern for me at all. It’s definetly faster than a Zowie GSR-SE but a bit slower than the Hien. There’s not a ton of stopping power but you can definetly slow down the glide by pressing down into the pad. I’d say this mousepad does draw some inspiration from the Steelseries QCK heavy with the super smooth surface combined with enough control that your mouse won’t be sliding around on it. That being said I’m not sure I’ve ever felt a smoother and softer surface than this, it’s one of the few mousepads that I barely felt it rubbing against my wrist or arm as I played.
I tried a few mice on the surface and it definetly will be impacted by what feet you have on your mouse. It was slowest with the stock feet on the Hati-S or the Cooler Master MM720 but I noticed a speed boost with mice I’ve put aftermarket feet on (Tiger Arcs in my case). I found the mousepad really comfortable for tracking aim and close flicks, but on longer flicks I struggled a bit as it was hard to get a consistent stopping power on this mousepad. The lack of any surface texture means you’ll have to put in quite a bit of time with the pad to get develop muscle memory with it. Personally I prefer faster cloth pads that are more textured so I can feel my mouse moving along with the visual response on screen. One advantage of the Minerva is that it doesn’t have any real scratchiness to the feel and that means its extremely quiet. If you wear headphones you’d be hard pressed to hear your mousefeet gliding on the pad.
The XL size felt adequate 90% of the time but there were a few occasions where I wish the pad was slightly bigger. That being said unless you are a really low sens player, you’ll be able to use this pad comfortably without taking up a ton of desk space. I can’t speak to the durability of the surface but it seemed to hold up over the course of a week of use it still looks new although I think the speed on the mousepad has already gotten slower. I have a feeling the surface picks and holds dust easily so it can definetly benefit from frequent cleaning. On the topic of value, I think the retail price of $29.99 (less on sale) is fair for the size and quality you get.
So I have mixed feelings about this mousepad. My personal bias is towards faster, more textured pads and this pad didn’t really deliver in that category. That being said it is super comfortable to use and I just cannot stress just how smooth and soft this pad is. It’s a unique experience playing with the Minerva and I think I adjusted to it very quickly. I performed adequately in-game with this pad but I can’t say I played my best by any means. I think there’s better mousepads on the market but there’s a very specific gamer that will love this pad.
If you like cloth pads with some speed to them and find other pads irritating on your skin while playing, the Minerva may be for you.
Very soft, smooth and quiet pad
Stitched edges feel good and don’t get in the way of use
Decent speed with enough control that you won’t overshoot targets
The rubber base is prone to slippage
Not a fan of the printed design on this pad
Where to Buy