SkyPAD 3.0 Review
The world of gaming mousepads has been going through somewhat of a renaissance in recent years. Our own usage numbers indicate that there's a growing interest in the competitive scene for more premium mouse surfaces, and if we're going by what we're seeing on social media and in the gear enthusiast scene, this is a trend that's here to stay.
SkyPAD is one of those companies offering a premium mousepad, and the SkyPAD 3.0 is aimed at those who desire speed above all else. This mousepad is already somewhat of an outlier due to the fact that it's a hard pad in a world of cloth, but the fact that it's made out of glass makes it even more unique. SkyPAD is offering an infinitely durable pad that gives you virtually no resistance when gliding, and we've sent one over to our reviewer to see if that holds true.
Read our full SkyPAD 3.0 review to find out everything you need to know!
"This product achieves what it sets out to do, and it does so in style, but I would only recommend this to people who know for a fact that they want the fastest glide out there and find cloth speed pads to be too limiting."Our mousepad reviewer
SkyPAD 3.0 First Impressions
First, I want to say that I have no experience with any previous SkyPAD mousepads. I will comment on some of the differences (thickness, size, ...) between earlier versions and this one, but that will be based on information that I can read on their website, not personal experience. With that said, let's get on to the actual review!
When I first got the SkyPAD I was impressed with the way they packaged the whole thing. The mousepad comes in a nicely padded box made out of a thick, textured cardboard. I realize that this is necessary in order to ship a glass mousepad, but it's still nice to see that they put some effort into their packaging rather than just putting the pad into a bland brown box. You can always get unlucky with delivery services, but it does seem like SkyPAD has gone through some trouble in order to secure the pad while it's in transit.
Of course one might say that a product at this price has to come in a nice box, and I would agree. The SkyPAD is the most expensive mousepad I've ever tested, and with an MSRP of a whopping 120 dollars there's not a lot of room for error with this product.
The pad itself is nicely finished. The edges are rounded and don't feel sharp anywhere, the surface itself feels extremely smooth and natural to the touch, and the whole surface is perfectly level. Obviously this isn't a very portable mousepad, so if you're someone who is always gaming in different locations you should really consider if it's worth the hassle to transport it all the time, but if you decide that it is you can rest assured that it's decently sturdy. I didn't throw it to the floor or anything, but I treated it like I would any regular (hard) mousepad and it stood up to that just fine.
This new 3.0 version is 50% thinner, 50% smoother, and 50% quieter than its predecessor according to SkyPAD. That's a whole lot of improvements, but as I said I can't comment on how this translates to the real world as I have never used the 2.0. I'm just including this information to be complete.
Glide characteristics (beta)Learn more about these tests
The SkyPAD 3.0 is built for speed, and our testing and my personal experiences can attest to the fact that the brand has succeeded on this front. This is without a doubt the fastest pad I've ever laid my hands on. If you keep your fingers off of the surface itself, it almost feels as if your mouse is gliding in thin air. There's really nothing stopping your mouse except for your own hands, and that's a feeling that takes some getting used to.
After a couple of hours of struggling, which reminded me of Bambi trying to walk on that frozen lake in the Disney movie, I managed to somewhat tame the glide that the SkyPAD 3.0 offers and come to some conclusions. The first conclusion I made is that this isn't a pad that I would generally (I say 'generally' because there are always exceptions and everyone has different preferences) recommend for precision-based shooters such as CS:GO and VALORANT, where crosshair placement and holding steady angles is of much more importance than flicks and tracking. There simply isn't enough friction to 'lock in' your aim, and that can and will lead to missed shots. Combine that with the fact that even a slight tremor in your hand will cause the mouse (and thus your cursor) to move quite a bit due to the almost complete lack of friction and you can see why this wouldn't be my top choice for tactical shooters.
Tracking-based games, on the other hand, can feel like a joy with a mousepad like this. I broke multiple tracking scenario records in aim training programs while using this mousepad, and the friction-free glide, once you get used to it, can feel extremely natural to track players with. This pad really does go to warp drive though, and it's quite a bit faster and smoother than even dedicated speed cloth pads, so bear that in mind if you're considering this pad. It feels icy, and if that's what you're after you're good to go, but if you desire even a touch of resistance or control you should skip this.
On the bottom of the SkyPAD you'll find four very thin sticky pads (these are reusable; they don't leave any residue or anything) that do a great job at keeping the pad exactly where you put it.
Being a glass mousepad, the SkyPAD does come with some drawbacks, though. There's the unavoidable fact that glass will wear down mouse feet quicker, for example. Speaking of mouse feet: the SkyPAD's hard and even surface will offer no mercy to subpar skates. You can feel every inconsistency with this pad, and this goes for hairs and dust as well as mouse skates. It will probably depend on your personal tolerances, but I can't stand it when I feel like something is 'in the way' on my mousepad, and the fact that the SkyPAD so mercilessly lets you feel even the tiniest speck of dirt can get annoying if you're someone who is sensitive to that kind of stuff.
Something else that can get annoying is the sound. When you swipe and put down your mouse on a cloth pad you might hear a muted thud that doesn't really bother anyone, but the SkyPAD is definitely a loud one. It's not as loud as someone who's going to town on a glass cutting board or anything like that, but if someone was using this near me while I was trying to work or relax it would definitely bother me. That's doesn't necessarily have something to do with the performance of the product, but it's something to keep in mind if you've got housemates to consider.
Last, but not least, is the fact that it picks up sweat pretty easily. If you're a sweaty gamer and you've got a lot of palm contact when playing you will get wet spots on the pad, and that impacts the performance and glide quite a bit. This is a hard surface, so there's nowhere for the skin oils and sweat to go once they're on the pad. As such, I would strongly advise keeping a cloth handy when using this pad for serious competitive gaming. Not only to keep the sweat away, but also to keep the pad clean of inconsistencies.
If you are the sweatier type and an arm aimer I would also strongly recommend a gaming sleeve. That's because of the fact that, once your forearm gets a little sweaty, it will drastically change your experience when swiping. Think of running your body/hand over a glass pane when it's completely dry versus when it's still a bit wet from showering or swimming. It feels different, and it might impact your consistency.
Lots of stuff to consider, in other words, but that's just how it is with glass pads. It comes with advantages (such as the fact that it will never wear down; something that isn't true for cloth pads) but also disadvantages, and there's no way around that.
Conclusion & Recommendation
The SkyPAD 3.0 is the fastest pad I've ever tested, and if you are looking for a frictionless gliding experience this could really be it. It does come with a number of caveats, however. The pad's hard and extremely smooth surface is completely unforgiving towards inconsistencies, be it with your mouse skates or your surface (think hairs, dander, ...) so you will want to keep a cloth handy. Make sure it's not a wet cloth, though, since the surface obviously won't handle humidity very well due to the fact that it can't absorb any of it. And last, but not least, it's also a very loud mousepad. It's not that bad when just gliding around with your mouse, but if you're often resetting your mouse after swiping there's definitely a lot of noise going on.
All of the above might not apply to you personally, and if it doesn't it might even sound a little nitpicky, but since we're dealing with a pad that costs the same as what you would pay for multiple premium cloth pads I feel like it's important to mention every little aspect in great detail.
In short: if you're looking for ultimate speed and a frictionless glide then look no further. The SkyPAD 3.0 is the fastest, smoothest mousepad I've ever used or tested, but do be aware of the fact that there are compromises to be made if you want to experience this type of glide. It's a highly specialized product, and certainly not for everyone, but not every product needs to be. This product achieves what it sets out to do, and it does so in style, but I would only recommend this to people who know for a fact that they want the fastest glide out there and find cloth speed pads to be too limiting. Impressive, but niche.