Ive 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 homeless weight, less to pack and fewer articles to leave
behind when Im 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.
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
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
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 users laptop is highly likely. Again, no points in the confidence
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 buyers 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 indispensablekind 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.