Review: SteelSeries Qck Mass
July 30, 2011 at 20:14

A few days ago I posted a review on the Razer Deathadder, the mouse I’ve been using for the past two months. Now it’s time for the review on the mouse pad I’m using with it, the SteelSeries Qck Mass. It has been through the same usage conditions – I’ve used it on my main system for the past couple of months, around 6 to 12 hours every day.

The Qck Mass comes rolled up inside a tube-like box, with a cardboard back and a transparent plastic cover around it. You’ll have to tear the cardboard to take it out, so the box will be pretty much destroyed once you open it. On the bright side, at least it’s quite easy to open, so you won’t need any scissors, like usually happens in similar blister-style packages.

Since it came rolled up, I was afraid that there’d be marks or creases once I laid it on the desk. However, this didn’t happen, it was perfectly flat – no “place a heavy book on it all night” tricks were required. This may be related to its size and thickness. With a 32cm width and 28 cm height, the Mass is within the regular size for a gaming mat, but it’ll look gigantic if you’re moving from a standard mouse pad – it has about three times the area of my previous pad. At 6mm, it’s also a lot thicker and heavier than most pads.

The pad itself is quite plain. The top is black cloth, with a discrete white SteelSeries logo on the bottom left. This provides a good surface for your mouse to glide, working perfectly with my Deathadder. It’s quite soft on the mouse skates, which is a plus compared to harder pads. On the down side, it’s a dust magnet, so it gets dirty amazingly fast. Flying hair also seems to love landing on it, be prepared to clean it every now and then if you have a dog or a cat. The top surface is quite vulnerable as well, after a couple of months the area where I place my wrist is already slightly worn off. This may be a concern later on.

The bottom is made from a rubbery material, which will ensure it grips to your desk. You can still push it if you want to, but it certainly won’t budge during normal use conditions – the rubbery bottom and its weight will prevent it. Between these two sides is a thick sponge-like base, which makes for most of its 6 mm thickness. SteelSeries mentions this absorbs irregularities on the desk. Since my desk doesn’t have irregularities, I tested this feature by placing a thin plastic card underneath it. It helped mitigate the difference, but I was still able to tell exactly where the card was whenever I moved the mouse over it. However, since this probably isn’t exactly what SteelSeries had in mind when they mentioned irregularities, I’ll give’em the benefit of the doubt.

The pad is quite comfortable to use. The soft cloth cover is nice to the touch and it doesn’t get warm, making it a suitable resting spot for your wrist. The thick sponge base also plays a role in this, creating a nice cushion feeling. The size, which seemed way too large at first, starts looking like a really good fit once you adjust to it – you’ll end up asking how you managed to use smaller pads before. It’s really good for low-sensitivity gamers, since there’s plenty of space to move the mouse on. However, if you feel this isn’t enough (and if you have room on your desk for it), there’s also a bigger version, called the Qck Heavy.

The Qck Mass is reasonably cheap for a gaming surface, usually costing between €10 and €15. It’s quite comfortable and has a good size for most people, unless you’re an extremely low sensitivity gamer – in that case, you probably should look for the Qck Heavy, which is pretty much a larger Qck Mass. I didn’t find any problems using it, it provided a good surface for my mouse to glide on. It does offer a slight friction, but that’s typical in cloth pads. The only concern I have with it is the worrying worn seen on the wrist-rest area, after just two months (although, as I mentioned in the beginning, these were two months of intensive use). It also does get dirty easily, so be prepared to clean it occasionally. Either way, it’s a good choice, especially given its low price.