SteelPad QcK+

Introduction

SteelSeries offer a number of solutions to your mouse pad needs, including several cloth and hard topped mats. The QcK range goes from mini to the QcK+ which, according to the SteelSeries website, is the ‘The limousine of cloth mouse pads’. Let’s see if it lives up to this accolade.

About SteelPad

SteelSeries is all about gaming. Our mission is to create performance enhancing gaming gear, created for and by leading professional gamers. We continuously strive to better ourselves, and work with leading professional gamers from 3 different continents to create our products.

Our staff is distributed throughout the world, working from offices in Europe, North America and Asia.

The SteelSeries headquarters are located in Europe (Copenhagen, Denmark), and host the primary office facilities for the company. The headquarters handle all planning, production and partner coordination.

For logistical reasons we also have sales offices in Asia (Taipei, Taiwan) and USA (Los Angeles, California). From Taipei we can each the entire Asian market, as well as New Zealand and Australia. From Los Angeles we can reach North America, Canada and South America.

All manufacturing is done by sub-suppliers from Europe and Asia, and then delivered to one of our warehouses for final processing.

The QcK+

SteelPad QcK+

When the box arrived I was surprised at the size of the box, it must be a pretty impressive pad inside…

SteelPad QcK+

After I ripped off the parcel paper, I found that the box had minor damage, but I knew that the pad would be fine inside as it is made of cloth.

On one side of the box, there is a run down of the specs that the pad has.

SteelPad QcK+

I opened the retail box of the product, and inside was a tightly coiled SteelPad QcK+. The pad is big, but obviously not as big as the excessively sized CorePad DeskPad. It is slightly thinner than the XTracPads RipperXL but taller. I personally find that width is better when dealing with a mouse pad, as there is more horizontal movement during PC usage (e.g. in a first person shooter).

SteelPad QcK+

The QcK+ has nicely rounded corners that prevent fraying, in the bottom left corner there is the SteelPad QcK+ logo. I think that this really sets off the whole mouse pad, and the pad would look bare without it. It’s also nice to see that the branding is quite subtle and doesn’t fill the whole pad. It makes the whole mat seem more professional.

Testing

To test the mouse pad, I will be using a generic optical mouse, a Razer Copperhead and a cheap roller ball model. These are to test the environments that this pad could possibly be used in. The Copperhead signifies the top end of the mouse industry.

SteelPad QcK+

I played Unreal 2004 for a few hours, did some website design which included fairly intensive sessions on Photoshop, and then played a little bit of World of Warcraft. Throughout this time I was using the Copperhead as this is my standard mouse. I played Unreal and WoW with all three mice.

The first thing that I noticed was how smooth the pad was to use. The mouse seems to float across the surface, and considering as one of the feet for my Copperhead has gone missing, this is a very good.

The surface of the mouse pad is smoother than the DeskPad and about on par with the RipperXL. This is quite hard to explain, but the way that the SteelPad QcK+ has been stitched together allows for several planes of motion, whereas (the DeskPad especially) seems to slightly resist vertical movement. The RipperXL doesn’t share this problem.

SteelPad QcK+

A major plus of this pad is the fact that it is made of cloth, this means that it will fit into anywhere where it is needed and can also be transported easily. This is especially important to people who visit LAN parties as they see portability as an important factor when purchasing a product.

Another point, the edges of the pad are finished very well and there is little fraying which you would normally expect from cloth pads. It’s nice to see that this is the case and that manufactures are finally considering the looks, design, and final product quality.

Results

The pad performed amazingly, and every motion of the mouse was picked up with perfect precision. The Copperhead seemed to be partnered perfectly with the QcK+ and this combo produced the best results so far out of all of the mouse pads that I have reviewed.

When using the pad and the Copperhead in Photoshop, I was rewarded with well-nigh perfect accuracy throughout the entire session. No more was I forced to make fine adjustments with the arrow keys, but I could simply move the object with the mouse without the frustrating jumping that is normally associated with mouse movement.

As you can expect, the generic optical mouse and roller ball yielded much less impressive results. However, the movement on the pad was nothing but a joy. The difference between the accuracy of these mice and the Copperhead was huge, but the pad wasn’t to blame for this. The roller ball gripped well to the surface of the QcK+ which goes to show the consideration that SteelPad put into the pad; not excluding the roller ball market.

As I usually manage to do, I spilled my favourite caffeine beverage all over the pad. This pad is made of something that doesn’t like to absorb liquids which can only be a good thing. It took about 30 seconds for my ‘controlled spill’ experiment to get to this point. It gives you plenty of time to run and grab a cloth to clear up the accident.

SteelPad QcK+

The pad also grips my desk perfectly and there is no movement as I would expect from a pad in this price range.

Conclusion

For a pad that just pushes the £10 boundary, I can’t see any problems with this pad. It is one of, if not, the finest surface that my mouse has had the pleasure of gliding over.

For the size, quality, and price this pad makes for a very sound investment for your PC.

ProsCons
Large gaming areaNot machine washable
Excellent surface
Looks professional
Easy to transport

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