“ Brand: Asda / Type: Mouse pad „
When another Dooyoo member gave me a hint of a cheaper price on Airwick's famous "Touch of Luxury Ribbons" square candles recently (thanks Thailui), I couldn't wait to shop at ASDA. Lo and behold there were the AirWick candles on sale at £4 for 2 and a few single ones at £1-96 after they had received a slight damage - but to my dismay the ones on sale were not the sandalwood & cinnamon one I had taken a fancy to. Still, it was good to see the candles were far cheaper than the ones priced at my usual supermarkets, Co Op and Morrisons and the friend I was with decided on buying 6 of the "Touch of Luxury Ribbons" candles that included a couple of the damaged ones. I'm still happy - she's giving me some of the candleholders when the candles are finished! We also found some fabulous black table place mats and then the thought struck me to find a mouse pad since my existing one was looking frayed. One accessory of a black "leather" look mouse pad at £3 looked like it was good value. Before thinking, I reached out and put one into the basket - this would look great with my Apple Magic Mouse, a contrasting black to Apple's white product - but I should have known then when the cheap polythene packaging showed a mouse mat bending out at the corners...
Back home the mouse mat measures 23cm length by breadth and width, so ASDA haven't lied here on the grounds that it is a square mouse mat. There's fake stitching as a framework perimeter, giving the dimpled shiny surface another nod towards black leatherette. From a distance it does look like leather though and even feels like leather when touched, revealing a soft yet pliable stain resistant surface that is also fairly marbled like real leather. Pity it has a faint smell of plastic - but then you can't have everything these days! On the base you'll find a strange substance that isn't rubber but of thin foam rather like the foam toy shapes you can buy to make picture patterns and not what I assumed with this type of product having a rubberised platform underneath.
Over the years family members have given me old mouse mats that have seen some use and still remain flat. I have a weirdly shaped Evesham mat that came with my old PC Desktop and a novel cow print mouse mat that came with my Dad's old Gateway 2000 computer. They all have one thing in common - PVC plastic coating on the top and the rubberised coating on the bottom. My Magic Mouse hasn't been without its problems though; dirt still collects underneath, particularly weirdly by the apple stub on top of Apple Mac's trademark sign on the back battery metal place cover and on bright mouse mats, signs of dirt are shown up by black dots and the Apple Magic's inability to move properly unless the dots are cleaned and removed is compromised. This is a regular occurrence that happens weekly and less so with a conventional mouse and its optical eye with a flatter base and no ridges. For the fact that the ASDA mat is black, I was hoping that the black dots would disappear and ease of movement would be retained given that ASDA claim the base coating is "non-slip."
Cleaning a mat is one thing though and in use this ASDA product is shockingly disappointing. The foam underside has no hope in hell in staying put, made worse by the fact that the corners of the square keep turning upwards, giving the whole product a rather compromised time of it for its actual existence. I find it equally difficult to use with a mouse in one place and when moving the mouse, the mat also moves at the same time. Even with an extra spare rubberised grip grid I bought at a pound shop many years ago - that I use to keep bathroom mats in place couldn't help the poor ASDA mat, turning up at the corners and making the mat elevated means it is difficult to keep the PC/MAC mouse on a balanced level. So I tried my old Logitech net book mouse - much smaller than the Magic Mouse, and quelle surprise, even my Logitech mouse struggled to stay on top whilst the mat moves side to side frantically as the mouse is actioned. ASDA need to look at this mat again justifying the £3 price - it certainly isn't a mat judged by price alone that I will ever make the mistake of buying again!
When my friend recently visited my home, she eyed the mouse mat which has now been used as a place setting, since it can only be used with a stationary product which won't move and if you don't put whatever you have bang in the middle, then unless it is a heavy object, a light vase of flowers could fall over. I've since put my Geranium on the leather pad which gives it centre of attention and the PVC leather at least absorbs any water or markings. That for the fact that the leatherette surface is easy to wipe clean is a good factor above all else.
There are tons of mouse mats you can buy though which are far better designed and at ASDA there's also a 43p "Smart Value" cloth mat available in limited colours. Sadly I couldn't find a black one, but lesson learnt that even a fake leather mouse mat can have its disadvantages - particularly if it hasn't been designed well from the offset despite it having a larger surface area than most. What a pity! Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2011