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View Full Version : The LapDawg X4: A New Breed You Can Cuddle With

Eric Juillerat
05-09-2011, 05:00 PM
<p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/wpt/auto/1304538462.usr110982.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>When life's circumstances breed new technology, great things happen. The <a href="http://www.lapdawg.com" target="_blank" title="LapDawg.com">LapDawg X4</a> is a good example. If you use your laptop to get your email in bed, browse the Internet from the chaise longe, or work in non-office environments, the LapDawg X4 is for you! Or, if you are just looking for the ultimate in ergonomic adaptability, you need to read on.<MORE />Born from an accident causing temporary immobility, the LapDawg X4 is a highly unique laptop stand that can adapt to almost any setting or topography. Mostly built of extruded aluminum, the LapDawg X4 is light (at roughly 5 pounds) and feels durable. The stand adjusts from ground level to up-to 20 inches when configured like a desk. For ease of use, large pushbuttons allow you to adjust six arms individually in 360 degrees of rotation. Graduated tick marks guide you to precise and consistent angles. Once you find a comfortable angle, you will always be able to replicate that comfort. Likewise, the ability to adjust the arms individually allows you to fit the stand to settings that aren't conforming. This becomes very handy in bed, or on the couch, where cushioning prevents level surfaces.</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/wpt/auto/1304539079.usr110982.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p><em>Figure 1: The LapDawg X4 not only raises your laptop, but also raises the bar for laptop stands.</em></p><p>In practice, the LapDawg X4 performs as promised. I used it in my living room, on my couch, and found the stand quite useful. I adjusted the individual arms in different directions and angles until a stable base was created. Once there, I adjusted the angle of the shelf to accommodate a comfortable and ergonomic typing environment. Perhaps more importantly, the stand lifted both the weight and heat from my lap. I also found that I could move my legs without disturbing the laptop or changing my typing position. It made so much sense I found myself wondering why someone hadn't thought of this before?</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/wpt/auto/1304538544.usr110982.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p><em>Figure 2: A high degree of adjustability.</em></p><p>The adjustment buttons provided audible and solid, secure-feeling clicks once locked into place. But take caution when adjusting these settings with your PC on the shelf. I held the shelf and my PC while making the adjustments, and this caused my heart to pause for fractions of a second every time I made a change. When you press the buttons in to make an adjustment to the shelf, the shelf glides frictionless up and down. If you are not careful, this can send your laptop shooting toward utter doom. My advice? Do&nbsp;<strong>not</strong> adjust the shelf with your PC on it. I found it best to set the laptop to my side, make the adjustments, and then finally set it on the shelf.</p><p>Additionally, choose your angles carefully! The laws of physics inform us that weight suspended at heights quickly become top-heavy and prone to finding the quickest path possible to the hardest surface. I found my confidence in the unit's abilities tended to cloud my judgement when moving to new settings or sitting environments, and this lead to precarious situations. The moral of the story is take caution when adjusting the stand to your preferred position, as well as, when moving or relocating to a new environment. Properly done, the LapDawg X4 does its thing with trust, elegance and poise.</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/wpt/auto/1304539355.usr110982.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /><em></em></p><p><em>Figure 3: Mobile ergonomics.</em> <em>(Photo courtesy of LapDawg.com)</em></p><p><strong>Pros:</strong> It's easy to use, light and portable, stable and comfortable, and infinitely adjustable.</p><p><strong>Cons:</strong> It easily becomes top heavy, can be awkward and time consuming to adjust six arms and a shelf individually, is inconvenient to precisely adjust (as the graduated tick marks are on the outside of each arm - and out of sight), and can't be adjusted with your PC on the shelf.</p><p>Final Thoughts: The LapDawg X4 is a very useful device. I'd like to see a shelf that was adjustable front-to-rear as well as up and down. I'd also like to see a shelf that had a rubberized non-slip surface, and vents to allow for cooling. In just days of use, it is easy to see how attached one could become to this device. It allowed me to use my PC in more and different places, and in ergonomic comfort. LapDawg has a line of products, and it's worth your time to check them out online. In a world where multitasking is less an art and more a necessity, LapDawg has you covered; literally. <a href="http://astore.amazon.com/digitalhomethoughts-20/detail/B004V5650Y" target="_blank" title="Buy the LapDawg X4">The LapDawg X4 is $89. </a>[Affiliate]</p><p><em>Eric Juillerat is a technologist, geek, and all around admirer of anything with silicon, buttons, or touch screens!</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//ppct/auto/1240336793.usr1.gif" /></p><p><strong>Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the <a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/reviewteam.php" target="_blank">Thoughts Media Review Team</a>! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? <a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/reviewteam.php" target="_blank">Then click here for more information.</a></strong></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//ppct/auto/1240336793.usr1.gif" /></p>

Brad Adrian
05-09-2011, 08:45 PM
After seeing the photos of this actually being used, I can see how it could be a big help. It looks like it might be a bit of a pain to get everything adjusted just right, but once done it might be really great.

As a side note, at first I thought the name was quaint, but then when I saw words on the Web site such as "Lifetime Warrantee," I wondered if it was just an unfortunate misspelling!

Jason Dunn
05-09-2011, 09:45 PM
Looks like a clever product! :) I might have to pick one of these up...

Michael Knutson
05-10-2011, 06:21 PM
Nice review, Eric! I'm thinking that this may be just what I need to un-clutter my desk. I have a laptop sitting on an angled (cooling) metal stand, a small shelf behind it for odds and ends like external USB hard drives, eyeglasses, etc; and have been trying to use a different keyboard, so this could get things "up" and allow easier (and healthier) positioning of the extra keyboard, improve viewing ergonomics, and get some of the extra crap off my desk. Or, is this maybe overkill since I don't use my laptop much in other rooms (iPad)? Would this make sense for a stationary work space?

Jason Dunn
05-10-2011, 06:24 PM
Would this make sense for a stationary work space?

I've been thinking about a standing desk - there's a lot of reasons to go that way it seems - and this might be perfect for that sort of thing...just put it up on a table and boom, you have a standing desk for a laptop. :)

Michael Knutson
05-10-2011, 06:52 PM
I've been thinking about a standing desk - there's a lot of reasons to go that way it seems - and this might be perfect for that sort of thing...just put it up on a table and boom, you have a standing desk for a laptop. :)

This looks like an ideal solution for quite a few needs ...