SteelSeries SteelPad 5L Mouse Pad Reviewhardnrg - July 6, 2006
After a week of rigorous testing in games, Photoshop®, video-editing, and perusing the Internet, it became quickly clear that the SteelPad 5L was best suited for games. In particular, I found it useful in fast-paced first-person shooters when playing multiplayer matches online. The extra size of the SteelPad 5L versus my current Thunder8 meant that I could circle-strafe about 50% more than usual! It was a lot of fun to be able to circle-strafe around opponents that much further.
I tried the MX518 at 800 and 1600 dpi, and both resolution settings tracked very accurately over the mousepad. Then I switched to 400 dpi and left the games' mouse sensitivity settings the same, which meant that I had to move the mouse a lot further than I'm used to. While this certainly worked and I didn't run out of room, I couldn't play for very long moving my mouse around this much myself, but can certainly see how this would suit gamers that prefer the higher precision of using your mouse in this way, albeit with more effort required to move the mouse.
Throughout the testing, the SteelPad 5L provided a flawlessly smooth and even surface, and barely made any noise while moving the mouse. The non-slip layer on the bottom of the mousepad really gripped to the desk. When I tried to move it laterally across the desk, it felt like I was trying to push a full box of printer-paper, that's how well it works!
I am not entirely convinced about how well the layers will stay together over time. The corners seem especially susceptible to peeling apart after repeatedly reaching for the mouse and dragging my wrist over the corner. Also, being essentially a cloth pad, I wonder about how well it would hold up to abuse from food and drink spilled on it as it doesn't look that easy to clean compared to a plastic, metal or glass surface. The thing that turned me off about this mousepad was the simple fact that it has more friction than my current Thunder8 pad. The difference is a lot smaller than I would have guessed, the SteelPad 5L certainly is a smooth and low-friction surface with the plastic layer over the cloth, but the friction is noticably higher than my current pad and I prefer low-friction and high mouse sensitivity when gaming.
- Smooth, even mousing surface
- Large dimensions give a wider range of movement in games
- Virtually no surface noise when moving the mouse
- The non-slip material grips very well
- It's a work of art in its own right
- Slightly higher friction than many alternative plastic/metal/glass surfaces
- Cloth mousepads are susceptible to stains and damage from spillage of food/drink
- The sandwiched layers seem as though they may peel apart over time