SteelPad 4D

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
October 26, 2003
Views
17840
The new version of the SteelPad is plastic, and that is a welcome change to me. Let's find out how the new and cheaper pad handles itself.

Page 1: SteelPad 4D

<B>Intro</B>:

I'm not really one to pay attention to the surface of my mouse (I use any mouse pad really). I'm sure I'm like most of you that can't see the value in a good mouse pad... that is, until you use a good one. I can't stress enough how a better and thinner pad is on ease of use. The tracking is excellent as well. Let's check out the <a href="http://www.steelpad.com/products.asp">SteelPad 4D</a>.

<B>Packing</B>:

<center>Packing</center>

The package came very quickly, I really just throw this section in as filler. How many of you will actually read this section?

<B>The Box</B>:

<center>Box</center>

The box stands out well for retail packaging. I haven't seen it in stores yet, though.

<B>The Pad</B>:

<center>Parts</center>

You actually get a piece of teflon tape (padsurfer) along with the purchase of the SteelPad. This is a nice addition, but really isn't needed with this mouse pad. When you first take it out of the box, you'll notice that the pad is HUGE. This is the type of pad that you need a big space for. Regardless, the material that is used to make the pad is of quality, the plastic/rubber doesn't bend really and stays flat very well.

<center>Surface</center>

As you can see, the pad dwarfs even the MX 700. This is one large mouse pad. I for one welcome a large mouse pad, some people might prefer a smaller one if they have limited desk space. I can't use this pad at school due to the size and the limited space I have. For a workplace, this may also be a problem. I hope that Softtrading makes a SteelPad 3D as well.

<center>Logo</center>

The Logo is in the material, so there won't be any part of the pad that you can't use. The logo gives the pad a nice contrast and makes it look very stylish (but it is still a mouse pad).

<center>Bottom</center>

Upon further investigation, I found that the rubberized bottom is removable only to show another mouse pad under it! The SteelPad 4D is actually two mouse pads in one, and each side is usable. There is a rough side for optical mice, and a really smooth (and shiny) side for ball mice. I tried using my MX 700 on the 4D's shiny smooth side and it didn't work. The rough side was fine though.

<B>Testing</B>:

I've been using this pad ever since I received it. The first thing that I noticed besides it being so big was the thickness of it. It is very thin. This is a huge plus for me, I didn't feel my hand straining as much to rise above the table rest. Like I said before, the pad is huge, and you may consider that a minus if you have very little desk space.

Even though the pad comes with some teflon tape, you won't need it. I found that tracking with this mouse pad was excellent, even better than the Icemat. What I really like is that it is plastic. I don't know why, but I like polymer based mouse pads rather than metallic or ceramic based ones.

As I stated earlier, the mouse pad has two sides. If you're using an optical mouse, use the rough side. If you have a ball mouse, use the shiny side. The MX 700 wouldn't respond correctly to the shiny side, most likely because the camera had a tough time discerning movement because the surface was being washed out due to the shin. Regardless, I like the rough side better. Did I mention tracking was excellent?

<B>Conclusion</B>:

For around <a href="http://www.steelpad.com/products.asp">$24</a>, you can have this great mouse pad. While this is a high price, too me, I would buy it if I saw it on a shelf in a store. This would be a type of impulse buy. This also makes a great gift. If you need a thin mouse pad, this is the one to buy. Great tracking coupled with the large surface area make this mouse pad a buy. I wonder if a 3D is in the works?

I'd like to thank Danny from <a href="http://www.softtrading.info">Softtrading</a> for sending this product for review.

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