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Laptop Desk Ensemble V2
game: Laptop Desk Ensemble V2
three star
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
publisher: LapWorks Inc.
date posted: 12:00 AM Sun Jul 20th, 2003
last revision: 12:00 AM Sun Jul 20th, 2003

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By Chris Borkowski

I've been a PowerBook user since the PowerBook 100, and, like most other laptop users, I admire simple, elegant, sexy, smart, and powerful gear. Purchasing gear for my PowerBook that adds weight, bulk, and clutter is never an easy decision. In the end, most of my PowerBook gizmos end up staying at home,less weight, less to pack and fewer articles to leave behind when I'm on the road.

The Laptop Desk V 2.0 by Lap Works is a portable laptop surface designed to provide a mouse surface when laptop users need more that just their lap. When not being used as an extended mouse surface the Laptop Desk folds up to double as a swivel desktop base allowing the user to park their laptop at a slight incline on any level surface.

Aiding the Laptop Desk in its desktop parking chores is the unit's Swivlpad, a two piece circular pad made of no-slip rubber and high impact polystyrene. This component functions as it should and is the one saving grace of the whole Laptop Desk package. Keeping with the multi-function theme the Swivlpad can also be uses as a base for any number of things one would wish to place on their desk and have the ability to rotate around.

Perhaps most disappointing about the Laptop Desk is its material and construction. There is nothing elegant about its chunky molded black plastic construction and rather course finish. At first look I couldn't help but think that pairing the Laptop Desk with my 1Gz PowerBook G-4 is like adding a roof rack to a Ferrari. To make matters worse the unit is flexible to the point of feeling flimsy and shabby. A little flexibility is welcomed when working with this unit for extended periods of time, but in the long run it feels as if its about to fall apart at any moment.

Lastly, the actual mouse surface, or rather the MouzPad, is a tray-like appendage that snaps off as easily as it snaps on leaving the user (or at least myself) with a severe lack of confidence. It should also be noted that there is an actual warning label that is shipped with the unit that explains that the user should never pick the unit up by the MouzPad and that doing so can result in a situation where damage to the user's laptop is highly likely. Again, no points in the confidence category there.

Having said all that, the Laptop Desk does function the way it is supposed to. One could easily find it to be an indispensable piece of gear. But I can't help thinking, "what if." What if it was made out of clear Plexiglas and/or aluminum and the mouse surface was permanently attached and folded up nicely for storage and travel? What if there were a drink tray attachment? Just kidding. More often than not, the multi-functionality cuts corners in one area or another at the expense of quality, functionality, and ultimately the buyer's pocket book. Sometimes you just have to wonder why.

Such is the case of the Laptop Desk. Granted, I think it's clever idea and almost indispensable,kind of like corn-on-the-cob holders. Because of the poor construction and flimsy yet chunky feel I would have to recommend that perhaps the suggested retail price of $49.95 is better spent on a nice large hardcover coffee table book which will function just about the same and would serve much more elegantly in so many other respects as well.