More recently, the proposal to install a driver for the mouse pad was perceived mainly as a joke. But all jokes, as you know, are based on real events. And in 2017, the first RGB-lit gaming mats began to appear, which actually required the installation of a driver to control the backlight. They caused mostly skeptical smirks on the faces of bearded true-PC enthusiasts. Accordingly, we did not really want to devote full-fledged reviews to them. Past our attention then passed, including, and Corsair MM800C RGB Polaris Cloth Edition, which today is not a novelty at all. But since our editorial staff is in no hurry to miss somewhere by chance, we dared to make a review on it just now. It’s just that today everyone is already firmly convinced that gaming means with RGB and backlighting with all the colors of the rainbow powerfully improves not only the consumer qualities of the product with which it bends better, but also the quarterly profit of the companies that produce it. And the buyer, as you know, votes with money. That’s it.
|Model||Corsair MM800C RGB Polaris Cloth Edition|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Cord length, m||1,8|
|Cable material||Nylon braid|
|Housing surface material||Plastic / Fabric|
|Backlight||+ (16.8 million colors)|
|Illumination zones||15 separate zones on the front and side faces|
|Software||+ (Corsair iCUE)|
|Overall size, (L x W x H) mm||354 x 258 x 20|
|Effective surface size, (L x W x H) mm||350 x 250 x 5|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 / 8 / 10|
|Additionally||USB 2.0 pass-through for connecting a mouse|
|Average cost, $||80|
Contents of delivery
A large and beautiful box, decorated in black and yellow colors, is able to attract a buyer from the other end of the trading floor with its appearance. All the advantages of the product and its photos are on the front and back of the package.
Internal protection against delivery services is weak. A plastic tray in which the carpet is held and a couple of polyethylene stickers can do nothing to oppose the bad mood of the loader in the warehouse.
The kit includes instructions and some other useless waste paper.
Appearance and design
The MM800C RGB Polaris is a hard plastic mat with a fabric coated surface. It weighs almost half a kilogram, so I personally would not be surprised if a metal frame is found inside in addition to plastic. However, the autopsy was not planned to be done anyway, so we will leave it only as an assumption. Please note that in addition to the Cloth Edition, there is also a regular version of this surface, and now it is completely plastic.
We must pay tribute to Corsair, they did not take up half the surface with their logo, but modestly placed it in the lower right corner.
15 separate backlight LEDs are hidden behind a translucent insert on the front and side faces.
The tape is slightly bent at the rounded corners back and ends there. Once again, we note that among the designers of Corsair there are intelligent people who know that even if the backlight were on the back, no one would see it there anyway. But laying it there is already an extra cost.
At the top of the device are two glossy plastic «shoulders», made in the form of triangles, in the center there is a 20-mm elevation, in which the backlight controller is hidden. It probably doesn’t make sense to talk about how much this protrusion interferes with the movement of the mouse cable, this is understandable.
Behind, at the point where the cord enters the case, there is a small protection against bending. And next to it is the most useful detail in this entire device, namely, a USB 2.0 pass-through port. Although there is a symbol above it, subtly hinting that a mouse can be connected here, I am sure that real non-conformists will find many other useful USB devices to stick them here.
The USB cable is thin and rigid, in a nylon sheath, without any problems maintaining a given shape. The cord has a sticker with a serial number.
In terms of thickness in profile, the mat turned out to be quite high — 5 mm against the traditional 2-3 mm. But otherwise it would not have been possible to insert LEDs into it, and this, as we have already seen, is the most important thing.
The reverse side of the carpet is made of rubber, with a relief in the form of small hexagonal pimples. It must be said that it holds deadly to the surface of the table, which is facilitated not only by the texture of the base, but also by the solid weight of the device as a whole.
The MM800C RGB Polaris lighting looks great. Yes, it’s useless, but it’s beautiful. PWM modulation of LEDs allows them to correctly transmit the desired colors, accurately adjust the brightness, and reproduce many special effects. Even the elusive white color looks like white here, not like blue. And even in complete darkness, the owner of this carpet can easily get into it with his manipulator.
The mat’s RGB lighting is controlled by Corsair’s universal software called iCUE (current version 3.14.100). You can download it from the official site. The driver requires installation and has ample customization options, including in terms of different interface language packs. And Corsair clearly counts on its products for intelligent people. Because every year it becomes more and more difficult to understand their software, even after carefully studying the video instructions. By the way, if the user has absolutely nothing to do with his free evening, he can study the materials of all licenses that are involved in this software.
In the main window of the program, you can select the required device among those detected and supported by this application. The left column will display a list of all profiles read from external or internal memory.
Profiles can not only be loaded, unloaded, imported or exported, but also created, deleted, renamed, linked to the start of certain applications, change icons and even the background of tabs (including the degree of its transparency).
Among the many options for setting backlight effects, I managed to find one really interesting and useful. This is a change in the color of the carpet depending on the current temperature of the sensors of the processor, video card or motherboard. For the rest, everything is as usual.
iCUE has advanced capabilities for monitoring system parameters, such as temperatures, fan speeds, CPU usage, or even RAM settings. And this is not surprising, because initially this program was sharpened not for peripherals, but for computer components. No wonder it is an ideological continuation of the Corsair Link. All data can be displayed in the notification area in Windows 10.
In the settings, you can manage the firmware of connected devices, in particular, force it to be updated, or create a backup copy. For example, the current firmware version of our carpet controller is 1.02.50. In addition, there are ample opportunities for customizing iCUE itself — choosing one of 10 interface languages, temperature units, program start parameters, on-screen information display settings, monitoring parameters, and even recording sensor readings.
In general, the software has a lot of features, but looks complicated to the average user.
Ergonomics and testing
To test the Corsair MM800C RGB Polaris Cloth Edition, Ikea Malm (602.141.59) 140x65x73 cm with a white glossy finish was used. The mat was connected to the computer system in the following configuration:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (firstname.lastname@example.orgGHz, 1.262V);
- cooler: Noctua NH-U12S;
- motherboard: MSI B450M Mortar (AMD B450);
- video card: HIS HD7850 IceQ X 2GB H785QN2G2M (AMD Radeon HD7850);
- memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport AT 8GB DDR4 3000MHz (BLS8G4D30CESTK) (1×8 GB, DDR4-3000, 18-19-19-38-1T, 1.376 V);
- system storage: Crucial MX200 CT250MX200SSD1 (250GB, SATA 6Gb/s);
- power supply: SeaSonic Platinum-660 (SS-660XP2 Active PFC F3; 660 W);
- operating system: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit;
- computer mouse: Corsair Ironclaw RGB.
It is possible that on modern Intel processors, the mat would show better performance results and a significant increase in fps in games, especially when using Nvidia GeForce RTX2070 or higher video cards.
Evaluating this rug in terms of stability, we note that it holds on to the surface very well, and does not move a drop even with very intensive mouse movements. Since the surface of the carpet is glued to a solid base, it does not take time to smooth and level, as it happens with soft play mats. This carpet is perfectly even. The fabric cover is made with a texture that provides a good balance between the speed of movement and the coefficient of friction. In other words, the mouse glides fairly smoothly, but doesn’t have too much momentum. Because this surface is difficult to classify as Speed or Control, it combines both of these qualities. Of the positive aspects, it is worth noting the pass-through USB port. If it were USB 3.0, not 2.0, it would be even better, but in principle it’s not bad anyway. On the other hand, the location of the controller is not chosen in the best way. This is what the surface looks like with the mouse:
As you can see, the “booth” of the controller in the center will interfere with the work with the manipulator, since it constantly touches it with a cable when crossing the central axis. Or you will have to develop the habit of not moving the mouse further than the middle, but in this case the effective surface area will be very small, because even so its dimensions are a modest 350×250 mm. It seems that for comfortable work with this carpet, you will also need to purchase a cable holder.
Unfortunately, the fabric surface of the carpet is non-replaceable and non-removable, therefore, having rubbed it into holes once, or knocked over a glass of 25-year-old Johnnie Walker whiskey on it, or, even worse, a can of light Zhiguli beer, it is simply not possible to clean or replace it. succeed. Will have to buy a new one.
Based on the results of testing the Corsair MM800C RGB Polaris Cloth Edition, we note that we liked it. By and large, everything is good in this rug, except for its cost. The surface is comfortable in gaming use, well made and looks beautiful. The only drawback is the central location of the controller, which interferes with the movement of the mouse wire. But this can be easily compensated by using a cable holder, which is usually available to all self-respecting gamers aiming for high places in eSports disciplines.
Attention! April Fool’s Giveaway!! And it’s not a joke!!!
We are raffling off Corsair MM800C RGB Polaris Cloth Edition among all readers living in Ukraine. To take part, you need to leave a comment on this review in our Conference with the hashtag #hochukover and a short joke about RGB carpets. The winner will be randomly selected from the top 10 comments, which will receive the highest rating from readers. You can rate a comment with the arrows in the upper right corner of the post. The promotion period is from April 1st to April 7th (inclusive), 2019.