Competitive gaming is here to stay, no matter the way you look at it, professional gamers are more and more common with each day that goes by. With that being said, high profile companies such as SteelSeries try to innovate and improve their products every so often, it's important for them that not only the aforementioned "pro gamers" use their products but also that reviews and opinions of such products turn out generally positive.
With that being said today we have for review the DeX, the latest mousepad from SteelSeries, a company that thanks to their QcK series, has a very positive reputation when it comes to this type of gaming accessory.
The SteelSeries DeX comes neatly rolled up in a rectangular cardboard box, I mentioned in a previous review my preference for mousepads that come packed in a way that doesn't involve any distortion of their shape, this basically means that I prefer a flat box. Still, and for what it's worth, SteelSeries did a fine job when it comes to the package visual design, the usual black and orange color scheme is present, accompanied by a bit of information about the product itself. What sets the DeX packaging apart from the competition though is the little square-shaped cut present in the front of the box, this allows you to touch the mousepad itself and see if you enjoy the feel of the new rubbery surface presented by SteelSeries.
Contents wise there's really not much to talk about, once you open the box you'll find the mousepad itself and a few stickers with the SteelSeries logo on them and that's about it.
The mousepad itself looks very elegant indeed, while it is a gaming mousepad first and foremost, I personally can see it working well in an office or some other professional environment because there's nothing in the DeX (no bright colors of elaborate drawings) that indicates its gaming roots. Even the SteelSeries logo is somewhat hard to spot if you're not looking for it.
The only bright color you will find is orange and that's on the base of the mousepad, meaning that it will probably remain hidden most of the time.
Functionality-wise the DeX works well most of the time, unfortunately it has a few drawbacks that I certainly wasn't expecting to encounter in a product from the folks that also designed the great QcK.
Probably the most important flaw is the silicone base, it's not as effective as it should be, meaning that after a long playing session you probably won't find your mousepad on the same spot where it originally began. This sliding movement is not very drastic since it will happen very slowly, it probably won't affect your gameplay much but it's still something that SteelSeries needs to iron out in future versions of the DeX. If you're wondering, I tested the mousepad on a regular Ikea desk.
Moving on to more positive aspects, the actual surface where your mouse will move around is great and the first of this kind I have ever found, it's made of some sort of high-tech-rubber that gives you, the player, a tremendous amount of feedback while at the same time allowing for some very fast movements and reactions. I would say that it is a mix between your typical hard-surface that allows very fast reactions and a soft-surface aimed more at precise movements.
SteelSeries has once again delivered us a very interesting product, if you look at its actual performance, I would say that the DeX is probably one of the best gaming options currently available on the market.
Unfortunately a few drawbacks like the silicone base and a high price tag (40€) prevents us from recommending it to everyone, we "prescribe" the SteelSeries DeX to those of you who take their competitive gaming very seriously.
Thanks to SteelSeries for providing the review sample