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Back in March I stumbled across something weird. I wasn’t really sure how to describe it and two months later I’m not doing much better. It’s a kind of laptop rest/mobile table/hospital food tray with pizzazz.
It is at times like these (when a trained journalist struggles for a grasp of basic English) that a picture is worth a thousand words, so hopefully casting your gaze up and down is giving you some idea of what I’m prattling on about? Besides which, the idea is really very simple: the surfACE (witty capitalisation) is designed to keep your scolding hot laptop off your delicate pink thighs, create a better viewing angle and provide space for a mouse and even a drink.
Now I haven’t tried the drink (mainly because I don’t trust myself not to forget it and leap up for some random reason), but the surfACE performs the other facets remarkably well. I say “remarkably” because this is such a simple idea it’s easy to mess up.
For a start the construction material has to be incredibly strong, yet also light. It needs to be scratch and heat resistant and cradle your laptop like a precious newborn. edgeBLUR achieves this by using acrylic (we have clear but it also comes in white) which is a high class, if expensive, way of getting round these challenges.
The same can be said of the machine drilled aluminium cylinders which provide the surfACE with its adjustable height and shape and how they work is so clever I can’t believe it’s not more common.
If you look closely you can see the legs and two laptop support columns are split into segments. These segments come in four variants. The standard cylinders (of which there are 30) that screw into one another to add length, two rubber topped cylinders (that come into direct contact with the laptop), six smooth bottoms and four flat stylised tops (they look like they would fit a giant flat screwdriver).
This approach works very well. The deep threads inside the cylinders produce a satisfying grind as they tighten and a “chumph” as they lock (think of the noise a luxury car door makes when it closes). No tools are required for construction and adjustments can be made in seconds.
This last piece of information is particularly important, because like those cheesy jumpers from the 80s the surfACE is reversible.
Unlike cheesy jumpers from the 80s (whose sole purpose seemed to be to transfer body sweat from the inside to the outside of your clothes) this is a good idea. The basic premise is that when sitting on a couch or bed you want that hospital tray-style arrangement, but in a chair with arms this is useless so the surfACE flips over to hang its weight from the side rests and hovers over your legs (see the example above, complete with nice reversible jumper). Making this adjustment is simple: just unscrew the two rubber topped, laptop supporting columns, turn the surfACE over and screw them back in.