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Steelseries 9HD

Hard Gaming Mousepad for the PRO's
 
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Author: Toni 'HaoKi' Siik
Published: 13.12.2009
Manufacturer: Steelseries
Product Group: Mousepads
In English In English
Suomeksi Suomeksi
 

Use

The 9HD was tested daily for some time, just get the proper feel for the product. The mousepad in question replaced my SX and S&S mousepads, both of which I've used for the last few years, depending on the mouse that I've used.

The first major difference in the use if the fact that the 9HD feels a lot smoother than the S&S. This really is not that big of a surprise as, that's pretty much what'd you'd expect from a finer textured surface. Being a fan of moderately fast gliding mousepads, the 9HD seemed to be a perfect match.

The 9HD really is not one of the biggest mousepads on the market, but it seems to be big enough for most users. Eventhough I play games at some ridiculously low sensitivities (0.8 ingame in CS:S), I never ran out of space. Granted I lift the mouse quite a lot, but that's due to the fact that I like keeping the mouse centered on the pad in just about every situation. I've used some larger mousepads earlier, but I've always found myself using only a fraction of the space available.

 

Gaming

While gaming I use large movements frequently due to the low sens settings I used, so the tracking properties of the mousepad and mice play a critical role for me. I'm glad to report that with the combination of mice, which I've used on this mousepad, it worked fine with all of them. The mousepad was tested for example with, Logitechs G9, the Steelseries Ikari mice, and the Roccat Kone. All of the mice worked well, with the consideration that the Ikari Optical seemed less prone to false tracking. Unfortunately I didn't have any nice ball-mice to test the mousepad with, so we'll have to take Steelseries word on their compatibilty .

 

Desktop

For desktop use the mousepad continues its good performance. It's nice and fast with good accuracy. The low profile of the mousepad also improves its comfort as there's really no sharp edge that'll grind your wrist while working.

 

Durability

The durability of the mousepad was tested by dragging it along to a couple of LAN-events with me, and sure enough I got some battle scars on it. The surface seems a bit more prone to scratching that the harder S&S, but luckily the scratches where more of a cosmetic-problem than an actual one. Due to the hard plastic core, the mousepad is fairly easy to transport from one place to another as it's not that easy to bend and kink as some of the other mousepads which I've used in the past. Sure, if you manage to bend the 9HD, it probably won't survive like some of the fabric pads, but it's one of the trade-offs which you'll have to make with choosing a hard mousepad.

Conclusion


PROS 
  • Smooth and fast surface
  • Good rubber surface on bottom
  • Good tracking properties
  • Low profile
  • Reasonable price


  • CONS 
  • Scratchs fairly easily
  • Could be even bigger
  • Award
    Gold Award!


    Sure enough Steelseries has made a nice successor to the S&S, one of my favourite mousepads of all time. The tweaks which have been done on the mousepad have been in the right direction, and it's nice to see that atleast sometimes, companies manage to improve on old favorites. If your in the market for a new hard plastic mousepad, I recommend you give the 9HD a try.

    Like always when talking about products, where user preference has a major influence, it'll never hurt if you can try a couple products out before making the choice. That way you'll know what your getting. Nevertheless, if you've been long time fan of hard and fact mousepads, the 9HD shouldn't disappoint.


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    Steelseries

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    Questions, Comments?. Visit the topic about this article on our forum.
    • 15.12.2009 20:12 krestic

    • I didn't realize that you can testdive a mousepad. What you can compare it to? Only to no-mousepad. I mean there are no resolurtion or anything that can make one mousepad better than another. Any matt surface will behave the same under the same mouse. So the only criteria that you can choose it for- is how good/cool it looks. As I see it.
    • 15.12.2009 21:07 HaoKi

    • Like I wrote in the review, choosing a mousepad involves a great deal of personal preference. Some like them soft and "slow" (meaning more drag), some prefer their mousepad a bit faster. There really are big differences on how the pads feel and behave. I would never trade my newer mousepads to the old and thick "raindrop"-textured ones as they really don't slide as well, they don't track as well, and they are by no means big enough.

      I myself have used around around 7 different gaming mousepads within a year, and I've found a couple that I've used for a longer period. I personally prefer a hard mousepad, as they've proven to be durable and they more often provide the mouse with a better glide. Those are some facts which I base my decisions on when choosing a new mousepad.

      In addition to the tracking and glide properties of mousepads (I know... they are features which really cannot be given a definite value :) ) you can look at the mousepads in terms of quality and durability. For example I've come across a couple mousepads in the past, which wore out within a couple of weeks (in normal use...) or some which just were too sensitive to transport. For many people those are important facts to know before buying a product, so they know they'll get their moneys worth.

      All in all, I can see your point. Reviewing a mousepad is in many ways hard as it involves such great amounts of personal preference. :) For some basic-users any mousepad will do, but for power-users and especially gamers the mousepad actually can make or break the user experience... The mousepad can have more of an effect on comfort and "performance" than a keyboard or mouse in some cases. :)

      PS. Looks do have some impact on choosing a mousepad, but atleast for me, they come after the more important features ;)
    • 17.12.2009 14:54 krestic

    • Thanks for the explanation. I admit, I was a bit wrong. That is because I don't have a mousepad- I use my mouse on a maximum sensitivity putting it on my leg. Since there is never enough space on my table. Anyway, I wanted to by a gaming mouse pad for quite q while now, but since it is not my first priority- I keep forgeting about it.
      Nice review, anyway. Now I know that they are different and peple still use them:)
      Thanks
    Questions, Comments?. Visit the topic about this article on our forum.


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