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