Bamboo AirDesk Turns Your Couch Into A Super-Comfy Office [Review]

slate

Mobile AirDesk by Slate
Category: Portable laptop desk
Works With: MacBook, iPad mini, iPhone
Price: $129.99

Bamboo AirDesk Turns Your Couch Into A Super-Comfy Office [Review]Back when the Mobile AirDesk was just a Kickstarter gleam in the eye of design entrepreneur Nathan Mummert, Cult of Mac featured this project as one we were keeping our eyes on.

Since then, the concept has been funded 5x over by eager future-owners — raising $110,000 in just 15 days — and gone into full scale production.

Having had the holiday season to test the finished product out as we moved around the homes of various friends and family members, we’ve now enjoyed the best part of a week putting this portable laptop desk through its paces.

So what did we make of it?

What It Is

A laptop tray/portable laptop desk cut from a block of bamboo, featuring a heavy duty mouse pad, and slot for your iPhone or iPad mini.

The Good

If you’re the kind of person who uses a laptop a fair amount — but who feels that sitting at a desk to do so is either impractical or just plain missing the point of a laptop — the Mobile AirDesk is a godsend. It’s luxuriously sized, feels solid without being heavy, and the smooth high-quality finish won’t stick out like a sore thumb among your beautifully designed Apple products.

The air holes aid with ventilation, and actually help keep your laptop cool — while absorbing the heat that is thrown off. The slot for an iPhone or iPad mini is also very useful. All in all, a beautifully designed piece of craftsmanship.

Oh, and it promotes good posture too.

The ventilation holes help keep your laptop cool.

The ventilation holes help keep your laptop cool.

The Bad

If you’re using your MacBook in cafes, on the train, or in some other “on the move” capacity, the idea of carrying around an 11.5’ x 22.5’ plank of wood alongside it is going to be pretty impractical. It’s difficult to criticize the size of the Mobile AirDesk too much, since its luxurious desk-like layout is also one of the main selling points, but it’s worth pointing out that you should be aware of the size when you buy it. There are smaller alternatives available.

At $129.99, it’s also not cheap.

The Verdict

I took the Mobile AirDesk away with me over Christmas, thinking that I could get a bit of work down while chowing down on mince pies and Christmas beverages with family friends. (This also explains why the above picture shows my diminutive 11’ MacBook Air — used for traveling — rather than my larger MacBook Pro.)

After fending off a few misguided family members who thought that I had brought a game of Connect Four with me, I was able to sit down and get some graphics editing work done (a task that I’ve never been any good at using the trackpad for) — all the while keeping my iPad mini within easy striking distance. It was just like taking my desk on the road with me.

Considering that at first glance the Mobile AirDesk looks like nothing more than a well-designed chopping board with holes in it, this proved to be a revelation.

Kind of looks like a bamboo game of Connect Four

Kind of looks like a bamboo game of Connect Four

Product Name: Slate – Mobile AirDesk

The Good: High quality and durable; when people talk about real “portable computing” this is the piece that was missing.

The Bad: Prepare to make enemies with your neighbor on the train if you whip this out. It’s pricy too.

The Verdict: Quite simply, if you read the words “portable MacBook desk” and think “that sounds a neat idea” then you should buy one. Buy two even — just to be on the safe side.

Buy from: iSkelter

Cult of Mac rating: Excellent

Related
  • Howie Isaacks

    Meh. Totally pointless and unnecessary.

  • acecommander

    Meh. Totally pointless and unnecessary.

    A little vague…are you referring to the article, the bamboo Airdesk, or your comment?

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Apple Revolution, published by Random House, and is currently writing a book about algorithms for Random House/Penguin to be published in 2014. He also covers the digital humanities for Fast Company. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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