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Steelpad S&S Mousepad

Damn, they sent me the wrong mousepad, I thought to myself, but it turns out they hadn't. It was merely the fact that at first glance the new Steelpad S&S looks almost identical to--although somewhat smaller--than the older Steelpad 4D, at least until you turn it over, that is. But I am getting ahead of myself there.

S&S Box

The S&S arrived at my front door via DHL in a unmarked plain brown wrapper. Judging by the size of the package I imagine my neighbors would be surprised to find a mousepad, and not some questionable magazines that are the same size and use nearly the same packaging.

Separated at birth?

S&S Compares To

Removing the wrapper and opening the box itself you find that the S&S mousepad is encased in a black nylon dual zippered sleeve, with a logo on the bottom left corner. Since the S&S is advertised as a gaming mousepad and will probably see a fair amount of LAN gaming travel this makes sense, since a single deep large scratch could well make the pad unusable for that purpose.

S&S Sleeve

Inside the sleeve you find the mousepad itself as well as the S&S padsurfers. The padsurfers seem to replace the teflon mouse tape that shipped with earlier models. The purpose of including these items is probably because some earlier Steelpad designs were sometimes noisy when used with certain mice. It will be interesting to see if that problem still exists.

Padsurfers

At 12 2/3” X 10 2/3” X 1/12” the S&S is the largest mousepad I have ever used, it is so large, in fact, that you probably ought to measure your work area before you buy one to see if it will fit. Unlike the Steelpad 4D the S&S is a single sided mousepad. While you lose a little diversity because of this fact, you also don't need a separate piece of cheesecloth as a base to hold the mousepad in place. IMO this is a fair compromise given this mousepad's intended purpose.

Speaking of which, the S&S backing appears to be either some sort of sprayable silicon or possibly a type of 3M spray adhesive. Whatever it is, though, it works well; while in use the S&S felt almost glued to my desk. The one caveat is the backing initially smells quite unpleasant, so much so that my wife who was sitting across the room even commented on it when I removed the mousepad from the box. Naturally, she thought the smell was me, but this particular time at least I was innocent and wasted no time pointing this out. Fortunately, though, after a few days the smell starts to subside.

S&S Backside

Hands on:

To test the S&S in its intended environment I chose the fast-paced FPS Pain Killer. Since I am playing it for an upcoming site review, I got to spend lots of time gaming with the S&S. As previously noted, the pad stays right where you place it, no matter what type of animated mousing you are doing. Mouse tracking itself is fast but not uncontrollably so. With the pad's very large surface area rarely did I hit the edge of the pad even with my habit of mousing the left bottom third of any pad I use. I was also pleased to notice that mouse movement with my Logitech MX 700 was smooth and quiet, even without the use of the padsurfers. So for now the the padsurfers remain unused, awaiting the time when I inevitably wear off the original mouse feet on my MX 700.

I also did some mousing using my wife's corded Microsoft Home optical mouse and a few card games and it performed equally as well and silently with it; although, it seems I had forgotten how much I truly hated corded mice. I also used the S&S in other general use situations: surfing the internet, updating the site, I even threw in a few dreaded business applications. Despite being a gaming pad the S&S handled these added duties quite well. I also had occasion to spray it off with some glass cleaner and wipe it down with a rag after the cat decided he needed to leave footprints all over it. Afterwards it still worked fine. In all fairness, though, I should mention that many of the newer mousepads are cleanable in the same manner.

Conclusion:

As a frequent gamer the highest praise I can give the Steelpad S&S is that after this review is posted the S&S will still be staying on my desktop. If, however, you are either a more casual gamer or not a gamer at all, 40 usd may be a little steep for a mousepad, especially when there are better general use pads available for a lot less money. Steelpad's own very good 4D mousepad, for example, comes to mind.

I would like to thank Danny at Soft Trading for providing us this Steelpad S&S mousepad for site review. This product is available from their site.

Pros:

  • Large Surface
  • Washable
  • Quiet
  • Extras (sleeve, & padsurfers)

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Pad backing smells bad

Added: November 20th 2004
Reviewer: JimAdkins
Score: 8  
Related Link: Steelseries
Hits: 10879
Language: english

  

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