Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hardware Review: Laptop Desk Futura

Laptop Desk Futura

My laptop tends to be my best friend ..tagging along with me places I wouldn't ask my worst enemy to follow. Unfortunately, using a laptop in these conditions take their toll. Balancing a latte and a $2,000 laptop is a recipe for destruction. That is, if you don't have a Futura Laptop Desk. The Futura combines elegant design and world-class ergonomics to provide a 'body-friendly" workspace at almost any location.

The Futura serves two main purposes: a laptop desk for, well, your lap, and a ergonomic desk stand. First, the Futura folds out flat to create a portable stable surface across your lap. No longer are you straining your back and folding your legs to create a faux stand. My leg always falls asleep doing that. Before I got a Futura, I would keep an old breakfast-in-bed tray in the car for when I wanted to go to a coffee house. Not only was the tray bulky, but I looked like such much of a dork that Napoleon Dynamite seemed GQ in comparison. With the Futura, my dorkiness is solely attribute to me and not my laptop accessories. The Futura folds to about one inch think and fits snugly behind my Macbook in its laptop bag. I like the fact the Futura creates extra stability in the bag and provides an extra level of protection. I worry a little less each time I put my laptop underneath the seat on an airplane. Our bodies have redundant protection for vital organs...and my laptop is a vital organ of my brain! The unit helps keep the heat of a laptop away from your body and helps with cooling, but the ol' leg across the thigh will achieve a similar goal and I wouldn't buy it solely because it keeps things cool.

When I actually find a desk somewhere to work with my laptop, the ergonomics are often the pits. Because I'm taller than average, I have to hunch over to use my laptop. Shoulders, back and neck are all in a position that would make a chiropractor weep. The Futura folds up to create a 45 degree angle stand to raise the laptop to a more "neutral" position for my body: elbows at 90 degrees, neck not pointing down, etc. In fact, their website,, has some great ergonomics tips. I may not follow them all, but my chiropractor has to feed her family, so I can't completely put her out of business.

Generally, the unit is well constructed, though the gun-metal grey won't win any fashion awards. Sources indicate more colors are "on the way". I wonder what color ribbon is for "back pain?" Might be a good tie in. The rubber feet keep the unit from slipping off the desk or the laptop base. This is a simple device that really saves your back, neck and shoulders. The only potential design flaw I see is a "mousing" surface for those people that prefer mice rather than a trackpad (though a trackpad is better for you in reducing strain).

A Futura is a must have accessory for any road warrior struggling with their laptop in awkward locations. At $30 retail, the price is right and is a no-brainer.

Pros: Makes almost any work surface ergonomically friendly.
Cons: Could come in more colors and have a mousepad, could reduce the income of your chiropractor

Five out of Five Dogcows.

Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right