Pros:Nice cushion for my wrist; lasts FOREVER. No joke.
The Bottom Line: This is the best mousepad ever. If you can find one, get one. Or at the very least, get something similar.
When I was a senior in high school, I became a TA for one of my favorite teachers (the woman was a delight, I tell you). It was here I first discovered the joy that is the gel mousepad. She had this very mousepad like the one above; a regular mousepad resting on a plastic base, which also held a gel wrist rest below. So taken was I with this magical mousepad, for Christmas she gave me one. That was in 2001.
Recommend this product?
It's 2008 now and guess what? I still have the mousepad. That's right ladies and gents, I have that very same mousepad. Most of us will go out, buy a mousepad (or get one for free somewhere random), and end up with a new one for one reason or another within a couple of years. Sometimes less. Maybe people get tired of looking at tropical fish or the color red. Whatever the case, I know my family has been through several mousepads over the years. But this one, ooooh this one, I got this and I kept it and I haven't bought another mousepad since.
I love my Fellowes mousepad. I love the gel wrist rest. The mousepad itself is the gray version you can see in the picture above. While the pad doesn't have a wide surface area like a lot of mousepads, as long as you don't have a tendency to go all wild with your mouse, it really doesn't matter. I currently have a wireless mouse, but I've also had my share of wired mice with the roller ball underneath. Either way, I've never had any resistance moving my mouse over the pad or running out of room.
The wrist pad is a very comfy fit, just right for my little wrist. Not too hard, not too soft, and the perfect height for most mice so your wrist isn't angled down (that would be weird) or up as when on a flat surface. The gel is soft to the touch, and yet even after all these years, it's firm enough to bounce back even after hours upon hours of my wrist sitting on it. Likewise, there's basely any evidence that my wrist has been using it for so many years, so you have no worry that the gel will lose its springiness and end up smooshed in like a well-used couch.
The fabric covering the gel area is also nice and soft, and quite smooth. The best I can describe it is like the same stretchy material as spandex. Keep sharp objects away though, as they can catch on the little fibers and lead to little snags that stick out. But even that's not much of a worry--it's been 7 years since I got this thing and there are only three visible, yet tiny snags on it. Probably from a random broken nail tapped on it or something.
Some mousepads also tend to slide around while you use them, which (to me) is incredibly annoying. The Fellowes mousepad rests within a plastic base and under that plastic base are four no-skid feet at the corner so this thing doesn't go anywhere. You actually have to apply a bit of force to it in order to push it anywhere. Again, it's been 7 years and guess what? I still have all the feet! None of them have ever fallen out (as some rubber feet on things tend to do--like my old CD player) and while the mousepad and wrist rest are actually removable, I've been through several moves (back and forth to college at least 8 times and then from Illinois to Pennsylvania) and still have everything together and undamaged. Joy.
There are other mousepads with gel rests, like the one my dad eventually got (I kept telling him they're awesome, but we couldn't find a Fellowes one), but I have to say, the Fellowes one is best. Haha. We poked a lot of them and finally settled on his current mousepad, and it's okay, but the gel is not quite as giving as mine, which sort of defeats the purpose. It's a rest--your wrist is supposed to rest happily in it, not be on another hard surface.
I'd recommend this product to anyone, anytime, anywhere. I seldom rave about the objects I own. Sure, I might exclaim that something is awesome, but the novelty can sometimes wear off. This mousepad, with the length of time I've owned it and the condition it's in and how well it's performed, well, let's just say that if I ever needed another gel mousepad, it would be this one or nothing.