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This review is part of the 1 Pound Challenge – can you find a decent gadget in a pound shop?

PoundWorld are selling something that’s named (deep breath) “2 in 1 Laptop Screen Protector & Mouse Mat”. Basically, it’s a thin, black mouse mat with a rubberised back that measures 12 x 8 inches (approx.). It’s sold flat in a cardboard sleeve.

It’s “2 in 1” because it can be stores on the top of a laptop keyboard when the lid is closed. This protects the keyboard from damaging the screen (yes, this does happen – the TrackPoint on my ThinkPad Edge, for instance, leaves a mark on the screen). However, I’d only recommend doing this if you feel the hinge is strong enough and the lid doesn’t “latch” into place (i.e. if you simply fold it down then this should be fine as the mat won’t cause an undue pressure). At 12 x 8 inches it’s unlikely to be big enough to cover the keyboard, but meerly keep it seperate from the screen. Well, unless you have a Netbook or small laptop – it’s far too big for my Edge 11.

Although it’s sold primarily as a screen protector it’s greatest strength is as a mouse mat. And it works really well – as good as the gaming mouse mat I bought some time ago for a lot, lot more than £10 (and that came rolled up and took an age to get to go straight!).

[review]As a mouse mat this is brilliant – well worth the money. It’s use as a screen protector, although this works, is suspect as jamming something between a closed laptop lid is only likely to cause problems in the long run. Ignore the latter, concentrate on the former and it’s great![/review]

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