To test the SteelPad QcK heavy, we used our usual array of gaming mice, which now includes the Razer Deathadder again which is back from repair. We used a MSI StarMouse (laser 1600dpi), an Ideazon Reaper (optical 1600dpi) and the Razer Deathadder (optical – infrared 1600dpi).
One of the first things that I noticed was that the extreme thickness is unbelievably comfortable on your wrists. I ended up only using the top half of the mat, and placed my arm on the bottom part. Even if you don’t game, this is a FANTASTIC pad in the ways of comfort; it’s like resting your arm on a duvet.
To begin with, you have to find a space big enough to fit the QcK heavy into. I found that I had to have the pad hanging over the edge of my desk slightly, which actually was in the perfect place to rest my wrist on.
I used the following games to test the pad: Supreme Commander, Command and Conquer: Zero Hour, Command and Conquer 3 and Battlefield 2142. I also did a brief test in Windows.
When in Windows there were no tracking issues or negative deceleration meaning that the surface of the pad is random enough for your mouse not to become confused. The pad was accurate and did its job well. The surface of the pad – as it’s untreated – wasn’t as smooth as it could be, but this is not a problem. In my mind, it’s better to have this surface as it’s much more comfortable on your wrist as a result. It was a genuine pleasure to use the pad in Windows.
In all the game tests there were no problems with speedy movements and the pad helped the mice to effectively reproduce the mouse movements on screen. The size of the pad is great, especially in Supreme Commander where low DPI settings are used and a large amount of scrolling is used.
When playing Battlefield 2142 there wasn’t the usual clammy wrists or pressure marks that the edges of desks often give you. Playing with the Deathadder and this pad was great fun.
As you can comfortably rest your whole arm on the pad which means that your hand and arm are horizontal, I’m sure that there will be some kind of health benefit with using this pad. RSI occurs when your muscles have to keep doing the same work (hence repetitive strain injury). Most of the time you have your arm at a slightly different angle to your hand and so your muscles have to keep your arm slightly higher. When using the QcK heavy however, your arm has to do no work whatsoever.
While I can’t test this theory in the long term, when I was playing for a long time on Battlefield, there wasn’t the usual stop and rotate wrists action that is usually part and part with gaming.