Purchased in August 2014, I have recently these pads at the time of writing this opinion. Nevertheless, the SamplePad is very easy to use. I did not test other pads before so I can not really make a comparison. I made the choice of Alesis SamplePad because this is the bike that stuck most in my ambitions, while having a very attractive price.
The Alesis SamplePad consists of 4 pads (plus the possibility of a fifth sample pedal), a
I chose to replace inexpensively my roland spd-s recently blown. the Alesis under pads, thomann and forfeit certain functions (playback, reverse, effects setting, no recording functions etc ...). Also, the storage capacity of drum kit is a bit disappointing compared to roland (only 8 kits?) But good overall, the unit is still 4-5 times cheaper than thomann new spd-x. with no further info, I was afraid it is not polyphonic, but fortunately it is ... weird for the rest to have a stereo when he acccepte as mono files ... In conclusion, for 125 euros, you know what to expect, and you do not have to Thomann. we will see the use for strength ... (That said my roland that seemed so solid qd flinch ... "damaged memory ...)
I have therefore this sample pad for a month now, and for now I am quite pleased. Certes this is not a Octopad of Roland, but for the price ..
the 4 pads are dynamic and responsive level has multiple layers, most of the sensitivity of each pad is adjustable.
internal sounds are a little cheap, and 20 samples is a little short to find happiness, but it is also where the sample pad becomes interresting: the possibility of other sample with the SD card (which could be provided, it is not expensive today an SD card ... in short).
only concern, the samples must be mono 16 bit 44mghertz. This is not the most common when you download loops or écahntillons elements. the sudden it takes a little work on PC to edit the samples and put them to good size. (Mod a = 1 minute for example audacity: So fast enough ..)
the overall quality is satisfactory, the hardware seems solid, although plastic.
I think for the price and other materials existing in this price range, they are a good choice that I recommend. The real advantage is the SD card, the disadvantage being that there are only 4 pad, no metronome, and 20 internal sounds a little cheap
I have not tested or MIDI connection, or the TRIGGER input or bass drum .....