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SteelSeries 5L Review: It Will Cost You in Gold
gone gold
game: SteelPad 5L
three star
posted by: Tristan Mayshark
publisher: SteelSeries
view related website
date posted: 11:21 AM Sun Jul 16th, 2006
last revision: 12:48 PM Sun Jul 16th, 2006

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Click to read.The best thing about the SteelSeries 5L SteelPad Mousepad is its size. At just under 15-by-11 inches, it provides three times the surface area of the largest standard mouse pad I could find in the house. This can be a real benefit to players who prefer to crank the sensitivity down in games to gain better precision, a technique familiar to many a professional FPS player.

The SteelPad\'s size is what makes it useful to me. My gaming PC is currently set up in the living room, and I play games from the couch using a wireless setup. The smaller mousepads I\'d been using before all required a large book or other flat surface as a base. With the SteelPad, I just set it next to me, or on the lap of whoever happens to be sitting next to me, and I\'m all set.

The SteelPad 5L is stamped with a rather intricate pattern, a sort of rambling fluid construct that brings to mind synapses firing, or molten metal. It\'s clearly been designed to look hip. While I don\'t object to this, per se (it would be a little silly to worry about whether the mouse pad matches the drapes, eh?) I would have been fine with a basic black, as well. If you\'re serious enough about your gaming to want to buy a specialized mousepad, you\'re probably willing to accept form over function. It\'s easy to make something too flashy so you can target the hip crowd. However, that\'s also entirely a matter of opinion, and hardly a comment on the quality. I know a few marketing people that would certainly disagree with me.

The only problem I see with the SteelPad is that with an MSRP of $39.99, it comes in on the \"very pricey\" side of the line for me. For a quarter that price, I could buy a 15x11 sheet of Plexiglas at Home Depot, and then spray it with something to give it a grip. I\'m sure the end result would be less impressive than the SteelPad, but it might be nearly as functional. My point is that since they\'re stamping these things out in quantity, and probably not paying very much to do so, they could market them for 19.99 and almost certainly still make a profit. The website explains that the mousepad has 5 different layers, but it boils down to plastic on top of cloth on top of more plastic on top of rubber.

The SteelPad is, in all fairness, quite durable. I spilled a beer on it - which was how I ended the life of the last \"high performance\" mousepad I owned - and was able to wipe it off easily without any apparent damage to the pad. If you\'re prone to spilling fluids, I can\'t really advise that you continue to operate computers, but since accidents do happen it was nice to see that an expensive mousepad held up better than some of its cheaper brethren.

If you have a need of a nice, large mousepad and money is no object, the SteelPad will not disappoint. It\'s both durable and large enough to fit your gaming needs. Other gamers, though, are encouraged to convince their rich friends that they should pick one up so that they can try it out and decide if it\'s worth it. Specialized gaming gear has always been the domain of the hardcore gamer, and the SteelPad is no different. If you\'re into it and can afford it, the SteelPad 5L does everything you\'d expect, but for the casual gamer it\'s a bit hard to justify the price.

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