Review: Lapvantage Ergo

The Lapvantage Ergo demonstrates the laptop's widening appeal (March 27th, 2002)

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Product Manufacturer: The Plasticsmith, Inc.

Price: $30.00

The Good

  • Durable, reduces eye-strain and improves posture, raises laptops 0.4\".

The Bad

  • Doesn\'t work well with some keyboards.

With new, versatile laptops like the Titanium PowerBook G4 and iBook 14", more and more users are using their portable computers as desktop replacements. Unfortunately, Apple's portables weren't designed for use on a desk like those of old -- they're simply too low, forcing the operator to hunch over. The Lapvantage ergo aims to improve posture and make the desktop a suitable place for any laptop when not on the road.

Raise the roof

One of the key, yet ironically simple, features of the Lapvantage is the rubber feet for raising your laptop. These can be crucial for PowerBook G4 users as the machine suffers from over-heating, which inevitably leads to a shorter life span. The Lapvantage also sports ample space between levels for peripherals, including full-height FireWire drives. By raising your laptop 5.5" it greatly improves the ergonomics of your setup, including wrist position and eye level. This makes it ideal for those with mild wrist, neck and back problems.

See easy

One thing to note is the size of your external keyboard. To use the Lapvantage, you must have an external keyboard, but some keyboards are quite awkward to use with the device. If you place your keyboard under the top level of the Lapvantage, the sides of your keyboard will probably end up just over the side (even with the original iMac keyboard) as the Lapvantage is only 13.4 inches wide -- this is fine with keyboards that are raised and thereby lifted above the Lapvantage. If your keyboard has rubber feet at each end, you may find them hanging over one side -- making it difficult to keep the keyboard level while typing. If you place your keyboard in front of the Lapvantage, you'll end up at least 17 inches away from the screen and could risk eyestrain depending on screen size and resolution

Final word

At $30 the Lapvantage would be something that I would recommend to any laptop owner. One should be sure that your keyboard will work well with the Lapvantage, it shouldn't be hard to find one that works well with it. Even with its short-comings this is one add-on that no laptop owner should be without. It is also worth mentioning that the Lapvantage works well with all Apple laptops and not just the new iBook and Titanium Powerbook. So all can take advantage of the Lapvantage ergo.

by Matt Stoton


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