If you are serious about Online Gaming, then some products become necessities. A good mouse, keyboard, mouse skates, video cards, and yes – even your mouse pad.
Paying more than $10 for a mouse pad sounds absolutely ridiculous to most normal people, and I admit, it took quite a bit of work to rationalize a reason to spend $20 on a new mouse pad. After buying my Razer Death Adder, I decided that such an awesome mouse deserved a good surface to be placed upon. I was pretty skeptical as to just what sort of benefits it could possibly provide, but I decided to bite the bullet and go out and buy one.
So I ran out to Micro Center to pick one up.. I get it home and open the packaging. I pulled out a super thin piece of plastic, put it to the side, and looked inside the box to find a little rubber textured sheet, and a small ziplock back including some instructions and mouse skates. I started to wonder if they forgot to add the mouse pad in the package, then I looked over at the piece of plastic I first pulled out of the package and took a look at it… WHOA.. THIS IS THE MOUSE PAD? I couldn’t help but think I was a huge sucker for paying $20 for an ultra thin piece of plastic.
After examining the mouse pad, you will see that it has 2 different sides. One side is a plastic textured surface. The other side is an ultra smooth, shiny, softer feeling surface. At first I had intended on using the smooth surface, as I figured it would offer the least friction between the mouse and the pad. So I grabbed the little rubber sheet that comes with the pad and placed it on the table, (it is placed under the pad to prevent it from sliding around your desk) placed the mouse pad on top of it smooth side up.
I place my mouse on it, excited to see how my mouse feels against it. I am stunned to find out that my infrared mouse makes absolutely NO movement against this surface.. The pointer on my screen was basically paralyzed against this surface. Now I’m feeling even more upset with myself.. What was I thinking? I start to wonder how I fell for this “professional gaming mouse” crap.
Alright… So I flipped the mouse pad over, hoping that the textured surface would work.. Luckily, it did.. I must say, it felt REALLY strange. I had been so used to the feel of a cloth mouse pad, that using the textured side of the pad almost felt like a slippery sandpaper. I was feeling a bit disappointed still, but I decided since I bought it, I might as well give it a chance.
After a good 15 minutes using the pad, it starts to become pretty apparent at just how superior this surface is.. Initially the texture feels strange, but that is simply because it isn’t what you are used to. My mouse would glide effortlessly over this surface, and I started to become pretty damn addicted to it.. I pulled out my cloth pad again just to see how it felt now, and it was HORRIBLE. The cloth pad feels smooth when it’s all you know, but when you switch to a surface like this, you start to see just how much friction there is with a cloth pad.
I loaded up counter-strike and I must say – I did see a noticeable difference at how much easier it was to precisely target someone’s head when you don’t have your pad creating drag on your mouse. When you are trying to move your mouse in very small increments on a cloth pad, that drag can be detrimental to your aim – but when you can effortlessly slide your mouse across a small section of the pad, aiming becomes noticeably easier.
I had never used mouse skates before, and I wondered if they would even make a difference on my mouse.. My Death Adder has Teflon Feet, and mouse skates are made of teflon.. But out of curiosity I stuck them on the bottom of my mouse feet anyway – deciding if anything, it would preserve the condition of my mouse’s feet.
Now I didn’t get to test this before I put the mouse skates on the mouse, because I just didn’t know.. But a few times I would bump my mouse with my hand, and it would literally slide from one side of the pad to the other with barely any force. I had to recreate this a few times, because I was just surprised that the surface, and teflon skates were so slick. It literally looks like a hockey puck sliding across ice.
Embarrassingly, I actually managed to bump my mouse with my arm a few times while typing to have my mouse slide completely off my table and fall onto my hardwood floor…
With all being said, I would definitely recommend the Steel Series 4D Professional Gaming Surface if you are looking to give yourself a bit more precision in your gaming. I’ve heard a lot of people saying good things about the Steel Series Ice Mat, and I would love to try one out some day. But in the end, I’m perfectly happy with this surface, and don’t see myself shelling out any more cash for a new pad. Give it a try
Turns out the smooth surface was created for ball mice. But lets be serious – what sort of gamer still uses ball mice? I didn’t have the chance to test it out. Just a little F.Y.I.