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           SteelPad.com Steel Gaming Glove

Product :

  Gaming Glove

Manufacturer :

  SteelPad.com

Reviewed by :

  Wayne Brooker

Price :

  EUR 13.32/ USD 16.64

Date :

  13th January, 2004.

 

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Introduction:::...

When my cohort Shawn contacted me saying he'd been offered a gaming glove for review and would I like to take it on, I have to admit my first reaction was to smirk and suggest he increase his levels of medication. Unfortunately it was at this point that I remembered the pledge I made when I set out on this thankless gig we laughingly call "running a review site" which was that I'd never prejudge or dismiss a product until I'd given a chance to prove itself. In the end I said yes, and this review is my pennance!

Before we get too involved in what this glove is all about. let's first examine the price tag. $16.64USD is €13.32 or £9.28GBP. As a comparison, my real leather thermal fleece lined driving gloves cost me only £2.00 more, while my bike gloves which I got HERE, actually cost me less despite being leather and having a gel insert, and that's for a pair of them remember!

Speaking of Gel inserts, that's one thing that really could have swung the balance in favour of Steel Glove but more on that in a moment.

A Closer Look:::...

You're paying top dollar for a high-tech, cutting edge marvel of modern gaming technology-ware.......errrm.....I mean technology-wear, yet the packaging screams "I was left over at the end of season sale and have sat on a shelf for a few years with my label slowly fading". Or is it just me? Maybe I've got some strange aversion to turquoise and black, but either way it hardly smacks you in the face and sets you off dreaming about crowds of adoring fans cheering as you enter the local LAN with the theme tune from Rocky playing in the background.

From what we've seen from their mouse pad range, SteelPad need little or no help when it comes to hyping the style of a product, so how they missed by such a wide margin this time is a mystery. Give the marketing guys a kick, looks like they've nodded off again!

Oh, the logo isn't embroidered on by the way, it's one of those transfer jobs.

 

Packaging open and it's time to try on the glove. The cuff is alasticated and fastens using a very wide and very secure Velcro fastener. There are finger holes for the thumb and pinky while the other three fingers protrude through a hole between these two.

 

The palm material isn't specified anywhere that I can find but it feels like some kind of stretchy Lycra and Cotton type mix at a guess. It could also be Bat fur and Beaver pelts for all I know, I'm really not very good with my fibres.

The palm material is stretchy enough for StealPad to offer the glove as a "One-Size_Fits-All", yet it's not really firm enough to offer any real support to any part of the hand above the wrist.

There again hand support isn't the feature it's being sold by. The idea is that it helps reduce friction between your hand and your mousing surface so increasing your performance, and on that score it sometimes helps and sometimes hinders. On hard, smooth surfaces like a genuine SteelPad it actually does reduce friction slightly. The problem from my point of view is that I have my mouse set in such a way that my hand doesn't really do a whole lot of skidding around the pad, as is the case with a lot of the gamers I know. On cloth surfaces the Steel Glove has the opposite effect and actually increases friction.

So if it doesn't quite live up to its star buy feature what are its other benefits? Well, having asked a few experts at the local hospital it seem the Steel Glove could actually help ease and prevent the effects of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the painful affliction caused when the muscles in the wrist swell and pinch the median nerve which runs from the forearm to the hand (More on this condition HERE). The bad news for SteelPad is that the exact same benefits could be achieved using a cheap elasticated bandage, a trendy sports wristband or even an old sock cut down.

Where SteelPad could have scored big was in the use of Gel inserts. Not only would these cushion the wrist against your desk or the edge of your mouse pad, they could also be slipped in the fridge and cooled to further ease the discomfort of Carpal Tunnel or even just plain old wrist strain. With the right gel it could also be heated in a microwave to serve a similar function, Carpal Tunnel reacts well to both cold and heat.

Heat is also an important factor in preventing the actual onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Cold hands performing repetative tasks are at much greater risk than hands where the internal muscles are warm and loose so even without the Gel idea a little thermal lining in the cuff and a touch of padding might have made for product that's easier to like and to justify spending good money on. Particulary when you're in the middle of a heavy gaming session it's important your mitts stay at least reasonably warm and while the SteelGlove would no doubt benefit from that thermal lining it does still help to keep your hand warm which is a definite benefit. It also soaks up a little of the sweat that can make your mouse a little slick in a warm room.

 

Conclusion

The 3DVelocity 'Dual Conclusions Concept' Explained: After discussing this concept with users as well as companies and vendors we work with, 3DVelocity have decided that where necessary we shall aim to introduce our 'Dual Conclusions Concept' to sum up our thoughts and impressions on the hardware we review. As the needs of the more experienced users and enthusiasts have increased, it has become more difficult to factor in all the aspects that such a user would find important, while also being fair to products that may lack these high end "bonus" capabilities but which still represent a very good buy for the more traditional and more prevalent mainstream user. The two catergories we've used are:

The Mainstream User ~ The mainstream user is likely to put price, stock performance, value for money, reliability and/or warranty terms ahead of the need for hardware that operates beyond its design specifications. The mainstream user may be a PC novice or may be an experienced user, however their needs are clearly very different to those of the enthusiast, in that they want to buy products that operate efficiently and reliably within their advertised parameters.

The Enthusiast ~ The enthusiast cares about all the things that the mainstream user cares about but is more likely to accept a weakness in one or more of these things in exchange for some measure of performance or functionality beyond its design brief. For example, a high priced motherboard may be tolerated in exchange for unusually high levels of overclocking ability or alternatively an unusually large heat sink with a very poor fixing mechanism may be considered acceptable if it offers significantly superior cooling in return.

 

The Mainstream User ~

I really can't think of any way to justify buying a Steel Glove without it keeping me awake at night with twinges of regret. Yes, there are some benefits but they're not really the ones it's sold for and they're not benefits you couldn't replicate for yourself at a fraction of the price. Alas this product scores as one of those luxury products that's more about psychology than physiology. In other words, you may think you need one but you'd never convince me why you do!

 

The Enthusiast ~

If you're genuinely a hardcore gamer then you stand to benefit most from this product, I just really don't think you benefit enough to run out and buy one. Even the cool factor could be a bit hit and miss here with some people thinking you look l33t and others thinking you look like a complete and utter twa idiot!

I think the idea of a gaming glove is quite a good one. Maybe to mop up sweat or alternatively to keep the hand warm, to offer wrist and perhaps finger support, and maybe even with a few strategically placed grippy rubberized pads. This though is a rather overpriced product that misses the mark by a country mile. For a few quid I'd say buy one, for over £9 however it's just not in the running!

 

 


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