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
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
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
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
Mainstream User ~
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'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
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!