If you are thinking of giving away an optical mouse mat that is to be used exclusively with an optical mouse as your next promotional gift, then you will need to learn about what makes certain mouse mats suitable with optical mice, vis-a-vis those conventional trackball style mice. The most notable difference between the two is of course the tracking mechanism on the mouse itself; conventional mice are fit with trackballs to facilitate the movement of the mouse and they also double-act as sensors to plot the mouse movement. In the case of an optical mouse, however, an optical sensor is used to keep track on the whole mat surface to figure out user movement.
This will work to your favour as optical mouse users pay more attention to their mouse mats and you can take this opportunity to work the entire surface of your optical mouse mats to your advantage. But this inherent benefit comes at a cost as this mat type is expected to be graphically intensive with high level resolution in order to optimize the optical mouse performance. The choice of material type to be used is not so much critical in the case of an optical mouse mat but they may play a part in how much you spend for your promotional effort.
Plastic is often the material of choice for an optical mouse mat because it makes for easy printing and also convenient lamination as that protective coat to keep promotional message protected from being rubbed off and fading. Another appealing reason for plastic is its relative low cost. If you want to make your corporate gift different from the rest, you can use glass as an alternative to plastic. A glass mat certainly looks attractive as a mouse mat but keep in mind that glass typically doesn’t handle high resolution printing well and there are additional processes required to make glass readily working with an optical mouse, for example the frosting and profiling process required to add intricate graphics into this material.
The good thing here is that the cost relating to frosting or text rising that simulate high resolution print in glass is quite reasonable, when you talk about material cost as well as production costs. But if you are serious in getting a metal type optical mouse mat, be ready with a bigger budget, because optical mice need high detail graphic to track users movement the metal surface would have to be etched or texturized, and that can cost quite a bit.
The two extremes in preparing a metal optical mouse mat are: the traditional brushed aluminum finishes that represent the easiest and least expensive option, and the heavily engraved finishing that depicts every level of details of graphics type makes up the other end. The problem with the cheap brushed metal mouse mat is that you cannot include your company logo or slogan and this adds little in advertising your business. However with a glass mouse mat, you will not have this problem as you can put company/product information on the underside of the glass. It will still be shown through as glass is transparent in nature even though it is frosted.