As I have grown up around my mother always doing puzzles some of this has obviously rubbed off on myself. For as long as I know my mother has owned a deluxe Portapuzzle so when I moved away from home I found myself needing to invest in one rather than simply just borrow hers. After much deliberation I settled on this Jumbo Portapuzzle to fit 1000 pieces (also available in other sizes) as it was what I could afford on a student's budget.
So how does this Portapuzzle work? Unlike some other designs this jumbo version has a centre area which you can assemble the puzzle on. There are two fold out panels on the sides to house pieces upon and a separate detachable panel that is the same size roughly as the main puzzle building area. For transport you just simply put the detachable panel over your puzzle, fold in the two side panels and then the top and bottom fold down and Velcro in place to stop the whole thing from falling everywhere. There is also a Velcro strap to further hold the puzzle in place securely. (Better pictures of this are available online).
If I am honest in my opinion of this method of holding the puzzle in place I would say that the Velcro straps are a bit too extensive, and while opening the board up the puzzle sometimes becomes muddled - extremely frustrating at times, believe me. What would be preferred is the method of a zip around the edge of the board like the deluxe Portapuzzle has.
With regards to the surface upon which the puzzle is completed on the texture is much the same as most Portapuzzles. The surface is very gripping due to its almost fluffy nature which is very good for keeping puzzles in place. One downside to the design however is that the surface on which you lay the pieces is actually quite thin and easily detached from the hard surface under it. This allows for the playing area to become creased sometimes which is frustrating when trying to lay puzzle pieces in their exact locations and keep them there when working elsewhere on the surface.
Overall it does do its job but due to the fact that the Velcro straps leave much to be desired and that the side panels are not detachable I would have to recommend the deluxe portapuzzle or a Jigsort if you are looking for somewhere to build or store your puzzles.