Steelseries SP Mouse Pad Review
Total Rating: (4.0 / 5.0)
Recommendation: If you want top-notch performance for your optical mouse, the Steelseries SP is hard to beat – but it is on the pricy side.
Standard retail: $39.99
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- Material: Hard plastic
- Size: 12.6 x 10.6 x .1 in. (320 x 270 x 3 mm)
- Works with: Optical and ball mice only
- Glide: Smooth
What we liked:
- Excellent durability
- Large enough for most users
- Easy to clean, rarely gets dirty
- Very comfortable
- Balances speed and control
What we disliked:
- Somewhat expensive
- Not designed for laser mice
The Steelseries SP is “designed for competitive gamers demanding precision, accuracy and stability from their mousing surface.” With this statement, we completely agree. We reviewed a Steelseries WoW mouse not long ago, and were thoroughly disappointed in the company. When we looked at their mouse pads and mousing surfaces, though, the company redeemed itself in our eyes.
The Steelseries SP has a hard plastic top that looks and feels a little bit like a new Teflon pan. There is more texture than a simple pan, but even with the texture your mouse will glide across the top of it. We can tell from the texture that this wasn’t designed to be the fastest mouse pad in the world (that’s the Steelseries SX), but the material is smooth enough to offer no resistance. Hard pads and thinner soft pads are nice in that the resistance doesn’t change if you apply more pressure. If you play games, you probably tense when an enemy jumps out, which pushes the mouse down. With desks and regular cloth pads, you would feel a “kick,” or a change in surface friction when you pushed down. With a pad like the Steelseries SP, there is just one smooth motion. On the spectrum of very fast to very controlled mouse pads, we would rank the Steelseries somewhere in the middle, but leaning more towards speed than control.
If you rwant the benefits of a hard surface, but don’t want something with zero give, this might be the one for you. Because the bottom is rubber, the SP doesn’t feel as hard. It feels softer and has a little give to it, but it isn’t the actual surface that’s giving. Those of us who were used to hard mouse pads didn’t find it mushy at all, so it’s a good balance.
Our optical mice performed very well on the surface. We used a Logitech MX518, and we were very pleased with the motion, responsiveness, and overall feel of the pad. Keep in mind that while some people use laser mice with this mouse pad, it’s not designed for them. We used a high-quality laser mouse on the pad, and it jumped around like a candle (turn off the lights, and the LED glows).
Durability on the SP is excellent. You would really have to try to wear the surface down. The pad appears to be made of the material rather than just being coated in it. We couldn’t even scratch the pad with our fingernails, so we kept trying. Why? I’m not even sure. In the end, we put some long scratches down the middle with a tool that resembles a giant needle. OK, it was a sharp knife. Even then, a couple hairline scratches are impossible to notice thanks to the textured surface. If the pad gets dirty, you just have to wash it in the sink, or with some alcohol. This cleaning and wear advantage is common to most hard-surface pads. What is unique to this mouse pad is the unexpected comfort.
Aside from the pad itself, the SP ships with a soft container to carry it in (to LAN parties I guess) and a couple of after-market mouse feet. If your mouse has lost its glide, you just put them on the bottom and it slides much better.
So, if you want a balance of control and speed, and are willing to pay for a high-quality optical-only pad, I can think of no better choice. Click here to get the Steelseries SP or check the price. If you don’t think the SP is for you, head back to the mouse pad review summary.