Welcome to a very special holiday edition of Nerdy or Novice?, our brand new technology column! Here, you will not only read about the hot tech toys for Christmas ’09, you’ll also get a well-rounded perspective thanks to my co-columnist (and fiancé!), Jai! A seriously tech-savvy guy, Jai owns a computer repair business, and will dissect the technical prowess of these gadgets and games. Meanwhile, I will be providing the layman’s perspective on the user-friendly qualities of this geek gear.
“I’ve been using the Futura Laptop Desk regularly with two very different laptops for about two months now. The first thing I noticed out of the box is that the unit looks nice and feels very durable. So far, that’s proven to be true as it’s held up to my daily abuse without a scratch. Other notable features are that it has lots of open spaces for air to circulate and a generous number of rubber grip pads, 14 on the top and 10 on the bottom, to help prevent slip disasters. The size of the platform and the distribution of vents and rubber grips make the laptop desk a very effective one-size-fits-all solution. Even a 20.5″ Vaio AW series sits comfortably on the unit. In addition, it can be folded in half for portability.
The Laptop Desk can be used in two different ways: It can be folded in half like a clamshell, or be opened completely to better fit on your lap or support a larger laptop. If you’re one of those people that prefers the laptop keyboard tilted towards you, there is a little plastic prop that will allow you to do this while the Laptop Desk is in its folded configuration. I personally didn’t use it in this way. For one, I don’t mind my keyboards lying flat, and two, there was some wobbliness that didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel as if it were going to tip over, but the laptop was free to shake side to side slightly.
I preferred the open and flat configuration. In this way not only can you use any table, carpet, couch, or lap as a desk, but you’re able to use the mouse pad extensions. I tried both the ‘MouzPad’ and the ‘Max MouzPad.’ I found the MouzPad to be a bit small to work with a standard-sized mouse. It only extends the edge of the Laptop Desk by 3 inches and there just isn’t much room to maneuver. It did work well, however, with my portable mini-mouse that I use when traveling. It was also great with a trackball. The larger option, the ‘Max Mouzpad’ gives you plenty of room with a 9 x 11 inch pad to work with. This setup really worked well for me on any flat surface. When on your lap, the ‘Max MouzPad’ extends far out enough that there is some flex that has to be compensated for by shifting your legs a bit, but this is minor. I am very impressed with the durability, flexibility, and portability of the Futura Laptop Desk and its extensions.”
When I saw the laptop desks that LapWorks offer, I knew immediately that it was something Jai would like – but what I didn’t anticipate is how useful I would find it. I thought the “MouzPads” were a neat idea for gamers or those times when you need to use a mouse with your laptop, but I couldn’t really picture myself using a laptop desk. But when I tried the Futura Gamer’s Desk with my netbook, I was immediately impressed by its ergonomic benefits. Unlike Jai, I actually preferred the half-fold clamshell style configuration, because it worked with the small size of my laptop much better. Here is a photo of Jai’s laptop side-by-side with mine, which illustrates the size difference:
My tiny netbook is only 10.5″ long, and I find myself sometimes straining to read text on the screen. This propped the screen right up to a comfortable eye level, and also made it more comfortable to type. I noticed no shifting or instability and was surprised by how well it gripped on the pads.
I think this would be a great gift for any gearhead or tech enthusiast on your list this year. And after trying the Futura Gamer’s Desk for myself, I might just end up stealing it from Jai when he’s not looking!
The Futura Gamer’s Desk with Regular MouzPad and Max MouzPad is available from Lapworks for $44.95.