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Date: November 8th, 2004
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: STEELPAD


PRODUCT COMPOSITION & WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)



The reverse side of the pad is very shiny with a tough rubbery material which appears to be blown or sprayed on. This allows for better adhesion to the desk surface for non slip mousing.



The included carrying sleeve is made of black ballistic nylon with a smooth, satin-like nylon lining and a double-pull nylon zipper around three sides. The logo from the pad is replicated in white stitching on the lower left front.


Although thin, it should supply ample protection for your mousing surface when traveling from event to event.



The back of the sleeve has a zippered pocket measuring eight inches wide by 6-1/2 inches deep. My MX-700 mouse fit nicely into the pocket with plenty of room for a cord.

 

PRODUCT PERFORMANCE


Now, lets try this big boy on for size.


The first thing I noticed about the Steelpad was that it uses up a lot of desktop real estate. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, I needed to rearrange some of my stuff to make room for it. The next thing I noticed was that, once placed on the desktop, the Steelpad was virtually unmovable. It's thinness, rigidity and rubber backing made it an extremely stable and solid mousing surface. I think this is a much better design than having a thick pad with several "feet" on the bottom to keep it from sliding around.


Installing the padsurfers on the mouse per the instruction booklet was an easy and straightforward peel and stick operation. I would only add that it would probably be a good idea to wipe off the mouse feet with some rubbing alcohol to promote good adhesion.



With the padsurfers installed and Steelpad on the desk, it was time to get busy. Since it is advertised as a "professional gaming mouse pad", I fired up UT2003 and went to work. After a couple of hours of fraggin' and minigunnin' my opponents into submission, I sat back to catch my breath and reflect on my gaming experience. While I wouldn't consider myself a member of this product's target group, I can say that using the Steelpad was a pleasant experience. Mouse response was very smooth and precise and its large size allowed more than ample space to navigate the maps without having to lift the mouse and replace it on the pad.


Next, I launched Paint Shop Pro to see how this product worked with some delicate photo editing and image creation chores. While I can't say for sure that the Steelpad made me a better gamer, I can say that I was surprised to discover how much control I gained using it in photo editing, particularly when editing individual pixels at high magnification. The precision with which I was able to control the pointer and editing tools was noticeable. While not an issue in gaming, I also found the Steelpad and Padsurfers to be very quiet in editing and everyday computer tasks. The surface worked equally as well with the ball mouse I tried even though I had no Padsurfers left to stick on it. This may also account for the increased noise level with the ball mouse.


As to care and feeding of the product, Steelpad says, "Do not clean with anything consisting regular soap, this might leave a membrane. For optimal performance it is recommended to clean the surface of the Steelpad occasionally. We recommend products used to clean mirrors applied on a cloth." I think they meant "containing" but you get the idea.

 

 


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