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SteelSeries 4HD Gaming Surface Mouse Pad E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices
Written by Joey Peng   
Friday, 30 April 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
SteelSeries 4HD Gaming Surface Mouse Pad
SteelSeries 4HD Features and Specifications
SteelSeries 4HD Details and Features
SteelSeries 4HD Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Gaming Surface Final Thoughts

A mouse pad is like clothes, different people prefer different materials and textures. Many debate whether hard or soft, smooth or rough gaming surfaces are better, in the end its all about comfort and personal preference.

In general, rough surfaces allow for finer and smaller bumps that have very little friction, this leads to the feeling of higher sensitivity since it puts the control of the mouse completely in the hands of the user. This usually suits people with steady hands more. Working with image or video editing may prove difficult on a hard surface unless the sensitivity of the mouse is turned very low.

Soft (cloth-based) surfaces have a lot more friction and it will feel much easier to "stop" the mouse. As a result, rapid short distance movement at high sensitivity becomes a lot easie to control.

There are numerous materials for both hard and soft gaming surfaces, each type can have a different texture and feel. Attempting to find the "perfect" mouse pad may prove very difficult. Short of purchasing a bunch of mouse pads, the best way to determine your preferences is by testing on a fine wooden surface and a piece of paper. If you prefer the wooden surface, you should probably take your chances with a smoothe surface mouse pad, and if paper go for rough surfaces.

The SteelSeries 4HD is a hard, rough surface mouse pad. This results in fine tracking with limited friction, suitable for those that enjoy high-sensitivity tracking and speed.


SteelSeries 4HD Conclusion

The SteelSeries 4HD performs very well and tracking seems accurate and stable. The anti-slide bottom offers excellent gripping. This mousepad is capable of being used for hardcore competitive gameplay.

The appearance of the of 4HD is quite decent. The background makes it stand out a little as opposed to the more common one-color plain design. It isn't as flashy and eye-catching as some other ones on the market, but then again SteelSeries is known for their minimalistic black designs.

Construction was the only thing the 4HD had fault in as it was a little rough around the edges, and the curvature cut at the bottom didn't seem to line up perfectly. But this wasn't that noticeable and did not affect its performance.

Being a mouse pad the 4HD only did so much in terms of functionality. Frequent travellers will be happy as the 4HD is the perfect size for carrying together with a laptop. Not much else can be done with mousepads, but may I suggest here for manufactures that bonuses like lighting or customizable backgrounds may prove to be a big winner, as it is important to realize that the population these products are built for love this kind of visual effects. A little bit of creativity may be able to start a whole new fashion for mousepads. Razer is, in this sense, already ahead with their new mousepad featuring ambient glow.

The SteelSeries 4HD currently retails at NewEgg for $20.99. That's a reasonable price considering most low-end gaming surfaces start at $10 and high end ones reaching $50. From daily use I can tell that the 4HD is close to being flawless and a good gaming surface. However I feel that being a plastic-based mouse pad, it's still not that exceptional, and the 4HD could be slightly cheaper.

For some people $20 for a mousepad may not make much sense. As a serious gamer, a high quality gaming surface matters a lot, but only when the mouse is good enough to demand such a surface. I would say that if you own a gaming mice at least $40 then the hop on board. There are quite a few $15-$30 mats from several manufacturers that I would suggest checking out before making a commitment to buy the SteelSeries 4HD. For over $20 I would be looking for something just a little more special about the 4HD.


Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award for Quality Recognition

+ Very good tracking surface
+ Bottom grip is strong
+ Easy to clean


- A tiny bit rough around the edges
- Slightly expensive


  • Performance: 9.00
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.75
  • Functionality: 8.75
  • Value: 8.50

Final Score: 8.80 out of 10.

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# RE: SteelSeries 4HD Gaming Surface Mouse Padfi3ndi5h 2010-04-30 04:03
While I don't see replacement of my Func 1030 Archetype any time in the foreseeable future, this does look to be a less expensive alternative. I absolutely agree with the importance of a good mouse surface and would encourage anyone still using their 8x8 compusa pad to look at this. It's a small investment with big results. cheers.
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