Jun 17, 2012
Pantheon recently reviewed a few of Razer’s revamped Goliathus cloth pads, so we thought we should probably make a start on hard pad alternatives for fans of stiffer surfaces. I’m still a huge fan of the now half-decade old fUnc Surface 1030 Archetype, so I went asking for opinions on modern day altneratives. The answer from community members was the SteelSeries 9HD, so thanks to SteelSeries and Mwave.com.au, that’s what I’ve had sitting on my desk underneath a Logitech G400 and Razer DeathAdder for the past fortnight.
First impressions last, and while mouse pads are a far more subjectively reviewed test subject than PC hardware, I believe the recommendations were warranted. Over the past two weeks I’ve been able to identify no tracking issues with my DeathAdder 3.5G nor Logitech G400, furthermore the balance of glide versus friction using both types of feet seem virtually ideal for a shooter the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
In a game where one moment you need to be turning 180 and a moment later be tracking a distant head pixel by pixel, I immediately felt some improvement in both that long range accuracy wrist-shot freedom, over the cloth pads I was reviewing previously.
The size of the 9HD also leans heavily toward my liking, which I suppose would be considered a medium size pad. Even with my low sensitivity usage I never felt myself running out of space. Beneath the extremely thin surface is an extremely thin rubber base which stuck impressively well to my desk – quite simply rock solid.
Despite the confidence in stability and appreciation of friction levels, there are two nearly unquantifiable factors that play a large part in the “feel” of a hard mouse pad for me. These factors are combination of the pitch of audible noise during glide as well as the feedback felt from the texture of the surface. These above all else are what a mouse pad “feels” like, and despite being hard to measure, the importance of these elements mean more than the perceived performance delivered.
I found that the 9HD felt very “sharp” due to the plastic being so very, very stiff, creating a scratchy sound and scratchy feel during glide when compared to my fUnc Archetype 1030. My preference seems to be found in thicker plastic pads which typically produce damper feedback and damper audio during glide, which heavily influence my comfortability.
A benefit of the very stiff plastic and accompanying sharp feel is durability. It doesn’t have the “damp” glide that I like, but it undoubtedly means this is going to last a lot longer than the fUnc which wears quite fast.
It’s worth noting that the edges of this mouse pad have a steep drop off, without any rounding at all. Thankfully due to the very thin height of this pad most people won’t have to worry about that, but if you’re someone who places your wrist half way off the pad rather than entirely on it, there could be some irritation there.
All-in-all, the SteelSeries 9HD is a stellar surface. For fans of hard plastic feels, this must be a consideration on your next purchase. It isn’t flawless however, with minor oversights such as the cliff-edges and the AUD $40 price tag, but the foreseen lastingness of the durable surface may make it worth the money.
Supplied by: Mwave.com.au