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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary (also found in English - English (Wordnet), )
mouse mat
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hardware (U.S.: "mouse pad") A small sheet with a special
surface for a rolling ball mouse to move on. Most mouse
mats are sheets of rubber or foam about 20cm by 25cm and about
5mm thick with one side covered with cloth or sometimes hard
plastic. Deluxe versions come combined with a wrist rest.
It is rare to find a mouse mat which does not carry some form
of advertisement for some company or other. They are such a
common free gift that few people actually have to buy one.
Mats are supposed to provide better traction and a clean,
lint-free surface over which to move but it debatable whether
they are useful at all, or whether any appropriate surface
(preferably hard, even, flat, and clean) is as good.
Howevever, some mice which use optical (e.g. Sun) or
radio-frequency sensors (e.g. ?) to detect motion (instead of
using a rolling ball) will only work on specially designed
mouse mats. Critics may consider this to be part of the
connector conspiracy, though the designers would claim
greater reliability due to the absence of moving parts.