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Steelpad 4D Mousing Surface

Product :

  Steelpad 4D

Manufacturer :

  Soft Trading

Reviewed by :

  Shawn Sparks

Price :

  $20.00

Date :

  December 20, 2003

 

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Introduction:::...

A while back we had the opportunity to review a mighty fine mousing surface from the folks at Soft trading. Their 4S Steelpad was, and still is, a thing of beauty as it is high quality aircraft aluminum that has been treated. The only downside to it was the price, $50 for a mousing surface (you cannot comfortably spend that kind of coin on a "mouse pad") Well, to answer the demands of those who desire all of the benefits of a quality mousing surface, but cannot justify shelling out fifty bucks Soft trading balanced the scales with the launch of their new 4D Steelpad.

Priced at a much more reasonable $20 USD, the Steelpad 4D offers serious mousers a chance to experience the difference between a mouse pad and a quality mousing surface. The 4D has been getting quite a bit of exposure in the review circles and has been churning up some good reviews, let's see if it can live up to 3D Velocity standards.

 

The package is a modest cardboard number that arrived wrapped in brown paper. On the front is a shot of the pad and the Steelpad logo. Short, sweet and simple. Of course there isn't really that long of a list of features that can accompany a mousing surface.

Speaking of a list of features, here is what it says on the box:

· 2 Sided surface - all in one
· Super non-slip base
· Provides perfection in accuracy and precision
· Compatible with all mice
· Dimensions: 290 x 267 x 2,5 mm - 11" x 10" x 1/10"

And here is what you get when you tear into the box (of course we here at 3DV have to refrain from tearing as we might need the packaging to reshoot photos, or return products after testing, but for the rest of you… go nuts) Inside you find the 4D itself, and the "Super non-slip base".


Rough Side


Smooth Side


Non Slip Pad

It is really hard to get a sense of the different textures in these photos, but you can tell that one side is smooth and shiny and the other side is rough and dull. Now one would think that the smooth, shiny side was designed for optical mice and the rough side was designed for ball mice. However, I too made that assumption and was sadly mistaken. After fiddling with the 4D with the shiny side up for quite some time my basic Logitech iFeel mouse was acting very erratic. The rough side is fairly rough and I was also concerned with wear on the feet of my mouse after months of gaming. So I did what any good reviewer does and contacted the company. Danny had this to say:

Hi Shawn,

I am glad that you highlighted the problems with use of Optical Mice on the smooth side. The smooth side is made for ballmice only, and vice versa with the rough side. It's for optical mice. Though I have heard, that the Microsoft IntelliEye 3.0 works with the smooth side of the 4D, I do not officially recommend this.

So, it is normal for optical mice to have discomfort on the smooth side. The rough side is rough, though I have used it for quite a while, and I have not experienced any problems with my mousefeet being worn out. The plastic the mousefeet is made of, should be a little bit harder than the material of the mat, which means it will not wear out the mousefeet. Though, if you experience this, you should try putting Teflon on your micefeet. Though it is not needed on the roughside of the 4D, but you could do it to add some "extra protection.

Okay, so the rough side is for optical mice… let's do some official testing….

     

 


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