New Laptop Table

I ordered a laptop table the other day and it arrived today. This is a table designed to extend over a chair (or bed) with a laptop. It can also tilt to improve the angle of the laptop.

Prior to this, I was using a combination of a lapdesk and a TV tray (floor-standing). The laptop was always on the lapdesk and the lapdesk was usually on the TV tray and then sometimes on my lap. When I was only casually using the laptop (reading a new email, perhaps), I would not bother putting it in my lap. However, I would often find myself leaving it on the TV tray even when I was typing or browsing for longer periods of time. This was not the least bit comfortable. On the other hand, even with the lapdesk between my lap and the laptop, my legs still got quite warm.

With the new laptop table, the situation is very much improved, though it is far from perfect. Keeping everything off of my lap is great, and the tilt provides a much better combination of typing and viewing angles. The problems are several. The arm is not long enough for my chair, so I cannot actually have the laptop directly in front of me. If I’m watching TV, this isn’t an issue as it would probably block my view of the television anyway. Of course, that is at least partly due to another problem — the table is height-adjustable, but the lowest selection is still too high. I guess the higher selections are for using a laptop while standing. I can get it lower than the lowest selection, but then the table rotates freely (which is actually how I’m using it now). When using one of the notched heights, the notch prevents the table from rotating. When using without a notch, and therefore “all the way down”, it doesn’t take much pressure on the tilted surface to cause it to rotate away from me. So far, it seems manageable though, and better than having the laptop too high.

Another issue is really the fault of my MacBook Pro. The screen simply doesn’t tilt back as far as I would like, which limits how far forward I can have the table tilted and still have a good angle for the screen. Moreover, if I decide to live with the screen tilted slightly toward me, the resistance of the laptop hinge is not quite strong enough and the force of gravity slowly (at first) causes the laptop lid to close. Oh, and it’s a good think I don’t use an external mouse as there’s simply no room for one with my 17″ laptop — I doubt there’s really room for one with a 15″ laptop either. If I placed the table on the other side of my chair (not at all feasible here) then I could use the secondary surface for the mouse, but I’m not sure how realistic that is. Without tilting the secondary surface (which does tilt), the mouse would be too high, and if it is tilted then the mouse would not stay in place.

For $73.44 (including shipping), I think it’s a pretty good table. Assembly was quite straight-forward. Amazon link: Mobile Laptop Desk (Mahogany/Silver) (30″ to 47″H x 32″W x 17″D)

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  1. #1 by whall on September 21, 2008 - 1:28 am

    Does it come with a mac?

    whalls last blog post..VLOG Episode #10: Wayne’s 3-minute DITL

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  2. #2 by Ren on September 21, 2008 - 7:14 am

    No, but it goes with a Mac.

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  3. #3 by Ben on September 21, 2008 - 10:01 am

    Dude,

    That’s exactly the kind of table I was trying to argue for when we discussed this. I’ve got one a lot like this. Unfortunately, mine broke. Good to see you’ve got good taste, though.

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  4. #4 by Ren on September 22, 2008 - 8:57 am

    Another problem I have with the table is with the wheels. If I leave them unlocked, then the table rolls too easily, but if I lock them, then it is too difficult to move the table when I want to get out of the chair. Currently, I have two of the four wheels locked and that seems like a pretty good compromise, though I usually have to grab the main support to keep the table from unbalancing while pushing it. Also, since I have it lower than the lowest latch I can rotate it partially out of the way, which helps.

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  5. #5 by Evil Genius on October 23, 2008 - 5:46 pm

    Ren, I came over here from Whall’s place, and I’m catching up on your old posts. Guess what? I’m giggling like mad ’cause I have this exact same laptop table!

    I also have a little problem with the wheels, but it works better if I put it in front of me instead of as a side extension, and then I can put my feet on top of or around the wheels to kind of stabilize it.

    Evil Geniuss last blog post..A Little Mouse Humor

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  6. #6 by Ren on October 23, 2008 - 6:24 pm

    Evil Genius, Welcome! I am liking the table, though I’m still afraid I’m going to knock it over one of these days. It doesn’t help that I’ve started keeping my drink on the small portion of the table…

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  7. #7 by sid on February 28, 2009 - 11:18 pm

    Thanks for the review – I was concerned that it would be too tall for my low couch and wouldn’t be wide enough to reach over it’s wide arms and you addressed both of those issues.

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  8. #8 by maxine on July 28, 2009 - 11:56 pm

    thanks for this post. i am looking for a table like this…still not sure i’m going to buy this one but your info really helped.

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    • #9 by Ren on July 29, 2009 - 9:32 am

      maxine – I’ve been very happy with the table, though I haven’t tried any other tables, so that isn’t a comparison.

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