SteelSeries (non)SteelPad QcK

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Product: SteelSeries SteelPad QcK Mousepad
Provided By: SteelSeries
Price: $15.95CDN - MemoryExpress

Introduction:

In this day and age, many people spend over eight hours a day at a computer.  Much of this time is spent gripping a mouse and moving it around a desk.  Although some people prefer to grind off their mouse feet and ruin the finish of their desk, most people use a mousepad of some sort.  A trip to your local electronics or specialty computer store reveals dozens of mousepad choices and if you look online, you'll find hundreds - if not thousands of different pads for sale.  SteelSeries has been in the game for a few years and became famous with an actual steel mousepad.  Not everyone wants to have a big chunk of iron on their desk however so they came up with other designs to appeal to a wider audience.

About SteelSeries:

SteelSeries is all about gaming. Our mission is to create performance enhancing gaming gear, created for and by leading professional gamers. We continuously strive to better ourselves, and work with leading professional gamers from 3 different continents to create our products.

Our staff is distributed throughout the world, working from offices in Europe, North America and Asia.

The SteelSeries headquarters are located in Europe (Copenhagen, Denmark), and host the primary office facilities for the company. The headquarters handle all planning, production and partner coordination.

For logistical reasons we also have sales offices in Asia (Taipei, Taiwan) and USA (Los Angeles, California). From Taipei we can reach the entire Asian market, as well as New Zealand and Australia. From Los Angeles we can reach North America, Canada and South America. All manufacturing is done by sub-suppliers from Europe and Asia, and then delivered to one of our warehouses for final processing.

 

First Impressions:

The SteelPad QcK came in a large box that was packed with air-packs to protect it from the UPS man.  The box arrived relatively undamaged and the pad inside was in perfect working order.  In all honesty, if a cloth mousepad was damaged during shipping - someone would need to be fired at the shipping agency.  The pad comes rolled up in a nice box which makes it stack on store shelves nicely, but is larger to ship than if it were flat and shipped out in a big envelope.

Rolled Up
Rolled Up

While this pad isn't as large as some pads on the market, it has a very respectable size and comes in at 320mm x 285mm.  It has more area than an Everglide Giganta, fUnc Archetype 1030, or Ratpadz.  While it is smaller than the NOIDpad, the bonus is that you don't need as much desk area available to place the pad.  Some gamers and graphic designers prefer larger pads but I believe that this pad is about the right size for many desks.

As I mentioned above, the SteelPad QcK comes in a cardboard box that also contains a little brochure about other SteelSeries products.  There is no anti-friction tape or mouse-wax in the box.  SteelSeries believes this pad is good enough on its own.

In The Box
In The Box

The mousepad is jet black and has a screen printed logo on the bottom left of the surface.  I would image that the logo will wear off with extended use but the bottom left corner probably gets the least use on my pad so it will likely last a long time.


Specs & Features:

It seems kind of odd that you have to list product specifications and features for a mousepad but there is a lot of science, trial and error and design that goes into a mousepad these days.  Take a look below at all of the features.

  • Super durable cloth mousepad
  • Ideal for low sensitivity mouse settings
  • Compatible with all mice
  • Specially designed non-slip rubber base
  • Dimensions: 12,6in x 11,2 in (320mm x 285mm)
  • Thickness 2mm

SteelPad QcK is soft and comfortable to the touch while the smooth cloth surface offers maximum precision. The mouse pad is made of a high quality cloth material with a specially designed non slippery rubber base which prevents the pad from sliding; no matter what surface the mouse pad is placed on.

The smooth cloth surface is also very easy on the users' wrists, even for hardcore gamers, graphic designers and others who use their mouse for extended periods of time. The mouse pad is compatible with all mice.

 

Testing Info:

When it came to testing out the QcK I used every mouse I had on the farm to see if one worked better (or worse) than another.  In the end all of the following mice worked very well with no issues whatsoever.  That is one advantage cloth pads have over a molded plastic or composite pad.  Due to the natural texture and weave of the cloth, mice tend to track evenly without skipping.

 

 QcK Logo & Top Texture
QcK Logo & Top Texture
 Rubber Bottom Texture
Rubber Bottom Texture

 

  • Logitech MX1000 Cordless Laser Mouse
  • Logitech G5 Laser Mouse
  • Saitek GM3200 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech V200 Cordless Notebook Mouse (Invisible Optical)
  • Logitech MX610 Cordless Laser Mouse
  • Generic Ball Mouse

All of these mice appeared to work well and although I didn't test each one extensively, every mouse seemed responsible as I fired up UT, BF2142 and did a little photo editing in PhotoShop.  The only mouse that sucked was the Generic Ball Mouse but I can't fault the pad.  That mouse is a piece of crap, but is the only PS2 mouse I have and sometimes it comes in handy when troubleshooting hardware.

Testing:

For my main system I use the Everglide Giganta Optical pad that I've had for years.  On my test rig, I used the fUnc Archetype 1030 and both pads have good points and bad points.  As far as tracking precision, I can't honestly tell the difference between any of these three pads using any of the laser mice or the notebook optical mouse listed above.  All of these mice track very well and all three pads offer great compatibility with popular mice.  What I really enjoyed about the SteelPad QcK is the soft, slick cloth surface.  Out of the box, it glides very well and is super gentle on mouse feet and your wrist.  After extended use the Everglide wears on your arm as it is quite a thick pad like the Ratpadz (original).  Both the fUnc pad and the QcK are very thin, but the fUnc doesn't glide like the cloth QcK.  The action of the pad is very smooth and in order to get such smooth movement on the other pads, you would have to use furniture polish on them which wears off after a day or so.

I'm not sure how the cloth will stand up to extended use, but it is very smooth and helps the mouse glide very nicely.  I've polished up the Ratpadz in the past and applied Teflon tape to the bottom of a mouse and the mouse would shoot clear across the pad and onto the floor.  While this was always had a cool factor that impressed people, the reality was that it was too slick as there was hardly any friction from the mouse.  The QcK offers enough friction to let you feel the mouse movement but doesn't drag like a hard plastic pad once the mouse feet or pad begins to wear.


Conclusion:

The SteelPad QcK from SteelSeries is a serious contender for one of the most comfortable mousepads I've used.  I never realized that a mousepad could be comfortable vs. uncomfortable.  The SteelPad QcK is easy on the arm, the hand and the mouse as it glides very smoothly and isn't abrasive.  This will save your mouse feet, and your wrist as you invariably drag it across the bottom edge of your pad.  At this point the QcK has found a permanent home on my main desk and now my Everglide gets demoted to standby status.  In a world of many mousepads, the QcK is among the best I've ever used.

QcK In Use
QcK In Use

Pros:

  • Very comfortable pad.
  • Slick Surface, but not slippery.
  • Nice size - Slightly larger than Ratpadz, Everglide Giganta & fUnc Archetype 1030.
  • Full rubber backing doesn't slide on your desk.

Cons:

  • Cloth pad may break down in time.
  • Black surface shows dirt and is harder to clean than plastic pads.


BCCHardware.com Rating
Quality:
10/10
Performance:
10/10
Software Pack:
n/a
Stability:
10/10
Features:
9/10
Value:
9/10
Total Score 9.6
 
 Top Pick
 
 
I'd like to thank the guys over at SteelSeries for sending down this pad for us to review.  It is a nice pad that offers a lot of promise, comfort and precision.  We'll have to see how it holds up.
 
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