I don't want to come off as degrading, but I'll be frank: looking at this picture
, that JD900 surface looks painfully
low end, so as that stitching
. You simply can't get a good
brand new pad for like ~7 bucks, not even an S sized (something like 25 x 20 cm or so)
The SteelSeries QcK is really the lower end of usable pads. It's a slow mud pad, which is fine, if you want that, but durability-wise it's not the same as it was 10-15 years ago, especially when it had the old Steel logo
. I would call it the bare minimum, nothing special or exquisitely lovely, but I guarantee you that it's not the same as that Donkey stuff
. Anyways, you can only go up from here.
Try a PureTrak Talent (this is dirt cheap for what it is, go for a 6 mm thick one, without stitched edges)
, an X-raypad (Aqua Control+ maybe)
or an Artisan (doesn't matter which)
for example, but with proper virgin grade PTFE feet
like Corepad/Hyperglide/Tiger ICE stuff, or even ceramic/glass skates (I guess synthetic sapphire crystal would be really an overreach in this case)
If you won't feel a difference, it really isn't beneficial for you to spend money on these things, even though they actually matter, quite a lot, since the glide, the initial friction, the stopping power (or the lack of that in case of speed pads like the Artisan Raiden or the glass-cloth hybrid Artisan Shidenkai)
, the rubberized base (well, nothing beats Artisan's Poron foam though)
, the comfort, the stitching (if it has)
and even the durability is in a completely different realm than these 3 dollar flea market tablecloths. Humidity also matter in terms of pad feel, but not in case of every pad; Artisans for example are known to resist it spectacularly, it doesn't affect them.
Mind you, these are cloth pads (well, we touched hybrids briefly with the Shidenkai)
, but there are other materials out there, like Cordura, plastic, aluminium or glass, with completely different characteristics and pros/cons. Basically you can write a small book about the topic, but Iain M Banks
already gave you a compact tl;dr on the previous page.
On a sidenote: coated pads CAN BE an option if you're looking specifically for them for certain characteristics, but keep in mind, that they tend to be not really too durable, since the coating will wear off with use, but that also depends on many factors (what skates you use, how hard you push the mouse into the surface, how light/heavy your mouse is)