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Aagghh the dreaded Belkin mouse pad!! No cheap computer desk is complete without one.
I probably have owned, been given or thrown away about 20 of these. At one stage they seemed to be everywhere - every office I went to had them as did every home and every building housing a computer. Nowadays you can pick them up for £2 or so online, but seriously don't bother. Just look down the back of any drawer where you keep your old computer kit and you are bound to find one.
This was 'the' bog standard mouse pad. Measuring around 25cm by 20cm by 0.5cm it was average sized and had no special features of any note. The back was made from foam which I suppose was meant to stop the pad from slipping around too much on the desk but it was not very effective as I would often move the mouse and take the pad with it. The 0.5cm thickness meant that you were offered limited cushioning - in fact in the end I just gave up with them and put the mouse direct onto the desk instead.
The main benefit of the mouse pad was that it was covered in a plain coloured fabric which had been glued onto the foam base. This made it ideal to use with optical mice. When using an optical mouse on more colourful mouse pad the mouse could interpret the change in colour as a movement which meant that your pointer was sent flying off to all corners of the screen. Other plus points?.....hmmm not a lot. The main problem for me was that the mat just didn't last very long. After a few months of use the fabric in the bottom corners would start to come away from the base. You turn the pad around and a few weeks later the other corners would start to go as well. Also it was not very easy to clean. The plasticy mouse pads just need a quick wipe but these ones were rubbish. The fabric soaked up any spilt drinks, took ages to dry out and after a few months of use would look tired and dusty and you could never clean it well enough to get it looking like new.
All in all, I'm not convinced this product offered any value whatsoever.
For years I thought that I was being stalked by these mouse pads because every time I moved office, there was one of these either on the desk or buried in some drawer somewhere, and every time I went to a business meeting, someone would have one of these on their desk around the office - such is the popularity of Belkin products and in particular this mouse pad.
When I moved into my new job a few years ago, I inherited a brand new red version of this pad (apparently the Admin staff had run out of the blue version). I thought that the company was being very generous with new presents for me, until I noticed that these were being sold on Amazon for 1p (plus p&p).
But for that 1p, Belkin have made a nice little mouse pad. Dimension wise it is 31.8 cm long by 21 cm wide and 3 mm thick where the corners have been rounded off slightly. The top bit is like a woven fabric (in either red or blue) which appears to be quite durable. This is then glued down to a neoprene non-slip backing (a little like a thick black foam rubber backing) to create the pad. In general, a very plain standard mouse pad.
The backing is very good at gripping the surface of your desk, and hence will not allow the pad to move around. The top provides a smooth movement surface to an optical mouse moving across it, providing accuracy and freedom of movement, and for those luddites out there who still have a mouse with a ball underneath, the fabric also provides enough friction to turn the ball within the mouse. Of note, even though an optical mouse will work on your desktop, very often this will be a shiny surface which can cause tracking problems on the mouse's optical feedback, and hence inaccuracies of movement on the screen. Hence it is always better (and more accurate) to use a mouse on a mouse pad. (Note that I don't work for Belkin, so that is not a sales pitch!!)
Durability? Well, it does last through the onslaughts of an office environment, but there are a few problems to note and hence it is always fair to balance a review with the negative points. Firstly, the fabric top will obviously not be very easily wiped clean, and hence, over time and through use, it will start to stain, normally with a bit of spilt coffee or the odd pen mark across it. The other issue I found that eventually happens is that the edges may start to fray where the fabric starts to pull away from the backing. The mat is still fully usable, but it just starts looking a little scruffy over time. OK, at 1p a throw (or maybe a couple of pounds from your local stationary store) you could just throw it away and get a new one, but eventually you'll end up with the same problems again.
In summary, this is a cheap and cheerful mouse pad that seems to be trying to take over the world because you will find them somewhere in just about every office space. It is functional and does everything it needs to do and that you would expect from a mouse pad. But the eventual scruffiness of it always was a minor bug bear to me (my personal preference). In the end, I went out, spent a bit more and bought a mouse pad with a gel wrist support which looked a lot neater and was very comfortable to use, and then buried this Belkin variety in my desk draw ready for my successor to inherit.
All that said though, I would still give this a 4 star recommendation.
A mouse mat review isn't ever going to be an especially scintillating read - but these much neglected items deserve their time in the spotlight as much as the latest celebrity fragrance or the new Justin Bieber CD. Today i'm looking at Belkin's 'Standard Mouse Pad' which happens to be a no-frills accessory which delivers a solid performance. This particular pad has a particular nostalgic appeal to me (that's if you'll allow yourself to become dewy-eyed over an inanimate object), as it was the one I used throughout university.
Design & Appearance
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Measuring 25.4 x 20.3 cms, the mouse mat is a comfortable size to work with, allowing a decent range of movement before your beloved mouse falls on to the desk - that said, even if it does "fall", it won't be a great drop as the mat is only half a centimetre thick! Feeling nice and spongey to the touch, the article in question is constructed from neoprene (a rubbery material), with a fabric surface layered on top. In practical terms, the mat won't slide around on your desk whilst you use it, and your mouse will (hopefully) glide effortless across it - I find the surface is good for both infa-red and traditional ball mice. Although dooyoo's picture shows the blue variety, I have seen this particular mouse mat in both red and black - it seems however that the blue one is the one which is most frequently sold in shops for some reason. Like many other mouse mats available on the market, the corners are rounded rather than hard-edged, and this makes it more appealing from a design perspective.
Price & Availability + the final analysis
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Cost-wise, the mouse pad can be picked up for around £3 online, which I feel is a reasonable price to pay - especially when you consider the fact that it (should) last for a fair amount of time before it gives up the ghost. In terms of the general wear and tear, the first thing you'll notice is the surface fabric beginning to peel away from the neoprene, probably at the point where your wrist makes the most contact with the pad - this happened with my one after around two years. At the end of the day, the Belkin Standard Mouse Pad isn't a glamourous product by any means - but it does the job that it's designed to do, and I personally can't ask for much more.
I had a plain red belkin mouse mat for ages before I had problems with it and I would say it was a great little mat compared to some other ones I have used. The mat had a lot going for it and I would buy one again in future if I needed to get one.
Its a bog standard mat but it worked great. My mouse didn't get stuck until it peeled and I had no problems scrolling down and moving my mouse to click about on the mat. The top of it was easy to clean and I could shake it if it got a bit dusty. It was an easy care mouse mat and that was good.
I think the top part was jersey and it had a softer feel about it that worked with the mouse. It didn't catch the mouse or my hand when I used it. I don't think the mouse mat looked very stylish, but hey it worked and it was cheap to buy for £1 when I got it.
The under side was a good thickness, not too thin and I have learnt that the thinner mats don't work well for me, I must be heavy handed. The back of the mat is neoprene and that is a good steady durable material to have.
I think the mat worked fine, it didn't move about too much because of the non slip neoprene under it and was not too thick or thin for me to get along with. The size of the mat was good, compact and small enough to go on a desk with no worries the rounded corners were a good feature.
When I got my belkin mat I could have had red or blue and these were the colours they had. I didn't see any others, so no black. I wasn't fussed at the price I paid because they all do the same thing regardless of what colour you get.
I think the mat was good until the point when the top jersey bit came away at one corner from the neoprene. I didn't try to stick it back. I did get a lot of use from the mat before that happened and at the cheap £1 price I got it for I think I had my money from it.
I have had similar mats with the same problem where the top comes away from the under side and I don't think its just a problem with this mat over others I have used. I would still recommend the belkin standard mat.
Its a thing that happens over time with a lot of use thats all, nothing you can do about it. Its not worth trying to stick it back as the mouse will get stuck, better to go get a new one instead.
As I only have a laptop I never had any need for a mouse mat at home. When my fiancé and I bought our house we started to share my laptop and I realised we would need one along with a mouse as Mark finds the touch pad a pain and prefers a mouse! . We didn't want to spend a fortune so he got a cheap mouse and a Belkin Standard Mouse Mat.
I cant remember the exact price we paid but it was well under £5.00 and came from Amazon.
The Mouse Mat is basic and plain. We had two colour choices, blue or red, I'm not sure if anymore colours are available now, but we chose the red. it's a lovely bright red too. The mat is a nice size, approximately 8 x 10 inches. It is the usual rectangle shape with rounded corners.
The Belkin Mat is made of a rubbery, spongy type material and the mouse glides smoothly over the surface making it easy to be accurate with whatever you are doing on the laptop.
The underneath of the mat is made from Neoprene. This is a synthetic rubbery type material that stops the mat from slipping around. Neoprene was first invented in the 1930's and may cause irritation to some people with sensitive skin. Personally I have sensitive skin and have never had problems with my mouse mat at work or touching the Belkin one at home.
Over all the Belkin Standard Mouse Mat has been ideal. Its size means you don't run out of mat and the non slip neoprene underneath means you never end up pushing the mat round the table.
The mouse always glides nicely over the mat, there's nothing worse than the mouse not going where you want it to.
Our Belkin mat has been used pretty much daily for over a year and is still in good condition. I have given it a light rub over with a damp cloth after a "coffee incident" and it cleaned up nicely. I'm not sure it would take too much wetting though.
For a cheap basic mouse mat its been well worth the small amount we paid for it. If you are looking for a mouse mat and don't want anything fancy I would recommend giving the Belkin Standard a go.
Mouse mats are an essential accessory when it comes to surfing the web or browsing your computer documents. a mouse will work without a mouse mat, but the humble mat gives a consistant, stable surface for your mouse to glide across and can be the difference between poor mouse control and accurate execution. Likewise to the one pictured, my Belkin mouse mat is blue and looks extremely 'standard' in appearance.
The travel mouse mat I currently use is far superior to the basic Belkin model, but there are some handy things to know when looking at the Belkin mat. As with all mouse mats, it goes without saying that they are designed with accurate control and response in mind, and this mat is no different. Also, the Belkin mouse mat has a non slip rubber backing to it, allowing it to sit securely on almost any surface without slipping. The cloth top gives the user endless possibilities of personalisation, be it through a company logo or a photograph.
My overall view on this mouse mat is that it is obviously very basic - but it does the job very well. Belkin sell them in a whole host of colours so there is something for everybody. They can be picked up for around £5 which is a positive, and are ideal for office use as logos can be applied and they are cheap enough to thrown away once they become dirty. A cheap and cheerful mat with a rubber underside which adds a quality touch.
Belkin Standard Mouse Pad
I was recently clearing out some of the left over boxes that had been sitting in my office since we moved house earlier this year. I was a bit surprised at how many mouse mats and other office bits that I have accumulated throughout the years. Mouse mats are something that I still use on my desk but I prefer the newer gel wrist support style versions over the rather older fashioned flat squares.
I found not one but two Belkin Mouse Mat's in my then unpacked box, one black and one blue, exactly the same apart from the colour. Personally, I think that these look smart but not very interesting, with the range of much more decorative or funky mouse mats available these just don't stand out. They are nice but just very plain.
These mats are nothing special, they are a square shaped mat with slightly rounded ages. The back of the mat is made of a non slip neoprene type material, which comes in handy when in use. When you place this down somewhere as long as you aren't been too rough with it then it shouldn't move around while you are using it.
The material for the top of the mouse mat feels like a quality jersey type material that isn't too easily marked. It makes for a good surface for most types of mouse. Personally, I own an optical mouse and it works far more accurately and easily using this mat than using it directly on top of my desk.
Due to the fact that this mouse mat had been sitting in a box for quite a while it was a tad dusty. I gave it a quick wipe down with a dry cloth, then a quick wash with a damp cloth and a squirt of Dettol. It cleaned up very nicely and it looks pretty much back to how it was when it was initially purchased.
If I remember I believe I bought the black one of these from Staples quite a few years ago and I am sure it was less than £5. I am positive that you can find these and pick them up for an even cheaper price now.
This mouse mat gets three out of five stars from me. If you are looking for a plain mouse mat, something simple with no frills then this is a pretty good choice. Being a Belkin product usually means that this will last for quite a while and be a pretty good quality product, personally I would say that apart from being a bit boring looking this mouse mat delivers on everything else that you would need a mouse mat to do.