By February 24, 2011

Steelseries QcK StarCraft 2 Mouse Pad Review

I love StarCraft 2. A lot of my free time — and certainly my gaming time — has gone to SC2 since I got into the open beta last year.

I’ve gotten “serious” enough to the point where I stopped using a wireless mouse for the first time in seven years and bought a nice wired mouse for gaming. I also started paying attention to my mousing surfaces. The fake wood laminate on my computer table was okay for stuff like World of Warcraft and EVE, but I needed more precision from both my mouse and the pad underneath it.

SteelSeries makes some good gaming equipment, and their mousepads have a very strong reputation.

My friends back home were kind enough to give me a QcK StarCraft 2-themed mouse pad made by SteelSeries as a going away gift, and I’ve been using it ever since.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/10131-2/IMG_1412.JPG

I play Protoss, so the most fitting pad offered by SteelSeries is this one with the Zerg queen Kerrigan fighting against Zeratul from the Protoss. The art is finely detailed, and I was surprised at how good the transfer was onto the mouse pad. The colors are vibrant.

The SteelSeries mouse pad has a cloth surface, and it is smooth and slick to the touch. I could definitely tell a difference in using it. I found that my mouse was “skipping” under rapid movements. The pointer would jitter around the screen, or move randomly if I had to pick the mouse up and set it back down again. I am not so good that I could recover from a bad mis-click or a busted “magic box” in the heat of a battle. The SteelSeries pad gave me a consistent mousing surface, and I had to look for other things to blame my losses on. 😉

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/10136-2/IMG_1420.JPG
The underside of the mouse pad is made of a rubberized, grippy material. The mouse pad still moves a fair amount under use, and I find myself resetting the position of the pad after every 10 – 20 minutes. I wish it was a little bit more tacky, but it isn’t a huge deal. It is certainly better than the Rocketfish mouse pad I managed to acquire.

I use the Qck mouse pad a lot. Unfortunately, maybe I use it too much. I’ve only owned the pad for two and a half months, and the bottom edge of the pad is starting to wear. I use a “claw” grip on my mouse, and my wrist constantly rubs on the edge of the pad.

The top cloth layer is starting to separate from the rubberized bottom.
http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/10134-2/IMG_1414.JPG

I try not to futz with it, and attempt to minimize contact with the area by scooting the mouse pad to the edge of my desk after every match. However, the not-as-grippy-as-it-should-be bottom eventually pushes the SteelSeries directly underneath my wrist at some point almost every game.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/10140-2/IMG_1419.JPG

While I really like the look of the SteelSeries QcK StarCraft 2 mouse pad and appreciate the smooth, consistent mousing surface, I have doubts about this pad’s long-term durability. I can’t imagine how I would fix the mouse pad should the top layer continue to separate.

I’m going to contact their customer support, and we’ll see what they have to say.

For now, I’d say the SteelSeries QcK mouse pad is a good buy if you really like the StarCraft 2 graphics or if you want to experiment with a dedicated “performance” mousing surface. At around $15 or less, you could pitch it in the bin should yours fray like mine, and then decide if you want to buy a replacement or upgrade to something else.

If you’re looking for a highly durable mouse pad, I’d look elsewhere.

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