I clearly remember getting my first computer with a mouse - the computer in question was an Atari ST, and I was thirteen years old. The computer came with a blue Fellowes mouse pad, which I used for around six years before it gave up the ghost. Described simply as the 'Fellowes Solid Colour', the mouse pad can nowadays be bought online for £2.99 - a price which I generally feel offers good value for money considering the pad's longevity.
Available in red, blue, grey, and black, the mouse pad is very basic in terms of its design - quite different from the highly decorative 'MouseRug' that I recently reviewed. The corners of the mat are rounded rather than square, which, in combination with the thickness of the foam base, means that it's fairly comfortable to rest the wrist on.
Measuring 28 x 24 cms, the mouse pad is large enough for general use, and is actually a little bigger than the pads that I have bought recently. Like many mouse pads, the Fellowes is constructed from a spongey rubber, with a polyester covering on top. The rubber underside means that the pad won't slip around on the desk when you're using it - something which is especially important. In terms of its performance, the pad is very good at what it is designed to do - infa-red mice in particular work especially well, sliding effortlessly across its surface with minimal fuss.
In terms of its longevity, the pad is generally hardwearing - although after a year of so of use, the fabric surface can sometimes start to peel away from the rubber - I suppose it depends on how much you use your computer. Cleaning the pad is easy - I just use a sponge with some washing up liquid on it, and that's always worked well in the past. So what are the alternatives? Well, the 'Belkin Standard Mousepad' is a very similar product, which costs the same amount - to be honest there's little to choose between the two. Overall then, I would have no hesitation in recommending this no fuss mouse pad - yes, it's a little bland, but it's similarly perfect for the office environment.