Glorious Ice Review
The people over at Glorious PC Gaming Race (often just known as 'Glorious') have been releasing some interesting products, some of which shook up the market in a pretty spectacular fashion. After going for the mouse market (and prior to taking a swipe at the custom keyboard market with the GMMK Pro) they released three new mousepads in their 'Elements' line; the Fire, Air, and Ice. All three have different characteristics (we've reviewed all three of them in case you're interested in the others) but today we're taking a look at this glass-infused pad that's meant for speed; the Ice. Does it deliver, or does it slip and fall? Find out in our full Glorious Ice review!
"An Icy fast glide. This special glass infused surface is ultra smooth, durable, and cool to the touch. Provides effortless speed without sacriﬁcing precision."Glorious
Glorious Ice First Impressions
One of the cool things about the Ice (and all of the Elements pads, for that matter) is the fact that the pad comes flat packed. This means that you won't have any issues with creases or with the pad not staying flat on whatever surface you put it on, and having an esports-oriented mousepad that ships in flat packaging is something that I always appreciate.
Given the fact that it's a mousepad, there's not a whole lot to notice at first sight. I'm glad that Glorious resisted the temptation to slap a bunch of huge logos onto their pad (which is something that can't be said for some other brands) though. Yes, there is the bearded man (he'll always be a 'love it or hate it' kind of mascot I think) but he's kept rather small, and aside from that this is a regular black pad with no special designs or logos on it, making for a subtle looking product altogether.
The Ice is a pad that's very much focused on speed. Its glass-infused surface is extremely smooth to the touch with pretty much no texturing, and that results in a very, very fast glide. It's with that glide that the first problem arises, though. Glorious mentions the fact that the x/y glide (the up/down glide versus the left/right glide) is completely uniform, but that's not exactly the case on the pad that I've been testing.
I usually don't read reviews before I have completed my own (or at least have formulated the basis of my own review) but given the fact that I got these pads quite late due to some unforeseen circumstances I did see some opinions and reviews on the enthusiast forums that I frequent, and while the difference between the x/y glide isn't as pronounced on my copy as it is on some others the difference is definitely there, even though it's only slight. Whether this annoys you or not is a different story (it can be argued that, for tactical shooters with an emphasis on crosshair placement, a slower y axis can be beneficial) but it deserves to be mentioned of course.
Ignoring the x/y glide for a bit, the Ice is without a doubt an interesting pad. There's almost nothing stopping you from starting a big flick, and while there's very little stopping power when compared to control-oriented cloth pads it did surprise me how easy it was to come to a stop after a big flick. Because I main control pads in my day to day gaming life I usually find it difficult to come to a precise stop with speed pads, but that's not quite the case here. Yes, it's super speedy, and there's almost no initial friction, but you do get a surprising amount of control for a pad that's this fast. It's, perhaps ironically, not as if you're on ice with your mouse.
Sadly there are multiple things about the Ice that I don't like. My hands get sweaty whenever I'm being a tryhard in the game that I'm playing, for example, and the Ice doesn't handle sweat well at all. It not only makes the pad look grimy (which isn't an issue in and of itself) but if you sweat near your palms or forearms it'll smudge, leaving spots on the pad that affect the glide. When I say my hands get sweaty I'm not talking about hyperhidrosis situations, by the way: I wouldn't call my situation exceptional or out of the norm, so if you tend to get sweat paws this is something you will want to take note of. Glorious does know about this, and there's a little note inside the packaging telling you to clean it often to prevent this.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect about the Ice is the fact that the glide goes away extremely fast. I usually make a point of the fact that I can't really test for durability in my reviews since I only spend a limited amount of time with the products that I test and most pads take a rather long time to degrade, but with the Ice I noticed a slower spot that developed even during my testing. After about a week or two the pad felt noticeably different in 'high traffic areas' than in spots where I don't usually go with the mouse, and that's a big red flag.
I tried washing it as per their instructions but I never could quite get back to that original (very interesting) glide. It could be that I'm 'the perfect storm' for this pad: I tend to put a lot of pressure on my mouse when gaming, and that combined with my slightly sweaty palms might lead to a quicker downfall in the glide department, but it's still disappointing to see how fast the glide seems to melt away. It's a shame too, because the initial experience that the Ice offers is pretty amazing if you're a fan of speedier mousepads.
Given all that I've written above you might have already concluded that I'm not going to recommend the Ice, and you're right, but it's not all bad. The stitching is done nicely (although it's raised quite a bit which can be annoying if you don't like the feeling of stitched edges) and the pad stays where I put it on my regular wooden desk. The foam that they've used is nice and firm, leading to a consistent feeling surface for you to glide your mouse around on. All the signs of a quality pad are there. It is thus a shame that the glide deteriorates as quickly as it does.
Conclusion & Recommendation
Initially, the Glorious Ice is an extremely interesting pad. The glide that its glass-infused surface offers is extremely fast with almost no initial friction, but there is a pleasant amount of micro control making it so that you don't get that feeling as if you're gliding around on ice without any way to anchor yourself, despite what the name of the pad might suggest.
If that was it I'd heartily recommend this pad. Sure, a super speedy surface isn't for everyone, but if you're looking for that kind of thing the Ice really does deliver. Until it doesn't. The glide of the pad went away after only two weeks of moderate to heavy use, leading me to conclude that I can't recommend this pad as it stands. It's a shame, because the finish is nice, and had the glide stayed as it is on the first day I would've recommended it as a speed pad. Given the fact that it loses its speed quite quickly however, it's not something I think you should buy. For alternatives you can always look towards the Logitech G440, Zowie G-TFX (though that feels way more 'clothy'), or the Artisan Shidenkai, though I don't have any in depth experience with that last one.