Glorious Helios Mousepad Review
Hard pads used to be the most commonly used type of mousepad, but over the past decade (or so) they seem to have been gradually phased out to the point where it's hard to find a decent hard pad if that's what you're after. Doubly so if you want said pad to be large.
Enter the Glorious PC Gaming Race. As a company that started off making a cloth mousepad that is loved by both professionals and amateurs it was only a matter of time before they developed a hard pad, and now here they are. The Helios Mousepad (the 'mousepad' seems to be part of the official name, so we're including it) is a razor-thin pad with an adhesive base making it, according to Glorious 'ideal for users who require a premium surface to game on, but don't want to be bothered by a traditional cloth pad.'
Let's see if it's worth it.
"The Helios seems to fill a void that's left by other manufacturers, and I can only applaud that."
Glorious Helios Mousepad - First Impressions
I'll first say this: the Helios comes in two sizes, namely large (28 x 33 cm) and XL (40 x 45 cm) and while I received both for testing I'll mainly be talking about the XL version since I'm a low sensitivity gamer. Both pads are exactly the same though, except for their size.
The Glorious Helios (I know it's called 'Helios Mousepad' officially, but I'm gonna assume you guys know what I'm talking about when I say Helios) obviously comes flat in the package, and that already gives it one huge advantage over cloth pads: it lays completely flat on your desk immediately. Once you smack it on your desk it honestly looks pretty darn appealing if you ask me. Its super thin and sleek design, coupled with the discrete Glorious logo make it look almost a bit futuristic, and if you're the kind of person who likes a minimalist and clean looking setup this won't disappoint.
Underneath the pad you'll find the anti-slip adhesive coating, but more on that later.
Obviously most people will be looking at this mousepad because they either want to experience the faster glide of a hard pad or because they've been using cloth for their entire lives and want something different so let's talk about the glide first.
If you compare this to any cloth pad out there (even the fast ones) you'll immediately notice that there's really no comparing. The Helios is much, much faster than any cloth pad out there, but that doesn't mean that you're gonna be feeling all 'Disney on ice' with this pad. The glide is fast, yes, but there still is a decent amount of stopping power to be found. So even though it is a hard pad it's still more on the control side as far as hard pads go, if that makes any sense.
If you just flick your mouse and 'let it loose' it'll definitely glide all the way across the surface, but if you keep your mouse in your hands (which I do recommend if you ever want to become a pro gamer) you'll find that it isn't impossible to stop your mouse at that pixel perfect position at all. Even though I am personally more of a cloth pad kinda guy I have to say that I'm really impressed with the way they made this pad feel. I also had no issues with tracking and I used a variety of different mice and sensors on this pad.
Glorious haven't been lying about the overall feeling of the Helios either; the pad definitely becomes a part of your desk. That's obviously down to the fact that it's paper-thin, and that can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on where you're gaming. Yes, it is a hard pad, but it's so thin that it's not going to do a great job at covering any major imperfections on your playing surface. So if you've got an uneven desk or you're the kind of person who is often gaming at tournaments or LAN events you'll definitely want to take this in consideration, but I'm not holding this fact against the pad itself. If you want a pad that's so thin that you forget it's there (which the Helios definitely is) you'll have to make some compromises.
On to the adhesive then. At first I thought it was going to be a massively annoying and sticky undertaking to even get the pad positioned properly on my desk but the adhesive actually doesn't feel 'gooey' at all and, perhaps most importantly, doesn't leave behind any residue once you take it off of whatever surface you've decided to put it on.
I've also been testing it to see how long the adhesive actually holds up. I took the large version of this pad and went on a little adventure through my house, plopping it down on a bunch of surfaces (with a varying degree of cleanliness) and I can say that, even after moving the pad for about thirty times, it's still holding on well.
Just for the hell of it I also stuck it on a closet to see if it held, and it did, though it admittedly fell off after a minute or two. Either way: due to the nature of these things the pad will probably lose the adhesive properties after a certain number of uses (which is another reason gamers who are often on the go should think this through) but it's definitely not a 'one and done' kind of deal, and I'm pretty impressed with the way the adhesive manages to stick to whatever surface you put it on without leaving any yucky residue behind.
Conclusion & Recommendation
I've been following Glorious with eager eyes, and they haven't yet disappointed me with any of their products. The Helios is another great product, which seems to fill a void that's been left by other manufacturers (that of a large hard pad) so I can only applaud that.
The Helios Mousepad offers a fantastic glide (certainly if you're looking for speed) and a unique sensation with its razor-thin design. These qualities combined make it a truly unique pad that definitely deserves its place in the world of gaming mousepads.
If you're someone who is looking for a sleek and minimally intrusive feeling and looking (hard)pad then you've got to take a look at the Glorious Helios as it's a fantastic product. People with a rocky desk, or gamers who are often on the go and thus playing on different (unpredictable) surfaces should be wary however.