July 17, 2007 The amount of time we spend on computers these days, and the damage that poor posture can cause combine to cause some big problems. Laptops, for example aren't really a lot of fun to operate on your lap top. The fiddly mouse-replacement pads and knobs are a big compromise, they don't sit very steady on your lap, and the heat buildup underneath them can really stew your plums on a long plane flight. What's more, put them on a desk and they don't offer decent ergonomics either. Which is why Lapworks have come up with a range of ergonomic laptop mini-desks to give you full and comfortable use of your computer and mouse on your lap, and neck-and wrist-saving ergonomics when it's on a desk or table.

LapWorks recently announced a fashion-conscious addition to its Laptop Desk family - the Laptop Desk Futura. Like its Laptop Desk 2.0 and UltraLite siblings, the Futura’s dual-purpose design provides an ergonomically-sound workspace across the lap, and folds into a wedge-shaped stand for desk use. The Futura is principally differentiated from the range by its "new high-tech look" and will be released in "fashion colors" in the coming months. The initial units, in gunmetal gray, retail for US$29.95 directly from LapWorks.

“In the next three months we plan to offer the Futura in bright, modern, hand-painted colors similar to iPod/MP3 player skins,” said Jose Calero, LapWorks’ president. LapWorks also plans to offer customized Futura paint jobs. All colors – hand-painted and customized – will be offered at premium prices. “Some of our customers have asked when we might have a trendy Laptop Desk, so we are dipping our toes into the fashion fountain with the Futura,” Calero explained.

The Laptop Desk Futura weighs just over a pound (16 ¼ ounces), and folds in half to 11 x 10 ¾ inches and one-half of an inch thick for easy traveling in any computer bag. It is constructed of high-impact ABS plastic, and carries a one-year warranty.

“The Futura’s design takes better advantage of the thermal dynamics of heat rising to cool notebooks,” said Calero. “The moment hot air radiates from the bottom of a notebook, it travels laterally looking for the quickest way to rise. The new open, elongated slots let cool air in from the bottom to mix with and begin cooling the hot air seeking its way out and up. Additionally, we are confident that the Futura will not absorb sufficient heat to overheat and radiate heat downward, which is good news for the lap.”

The Futura retains key design features of the award-winning, dual-purpose Laptop Desks v2.0 and UltraLite.

As a lap tray, the Futura unfolds into a wide, 21 x 11 x 3/8-inch workspace. Ergonomist Sally A Longyear, CIE, MPH, uses LapWorks’ wide-span lap desks to demonstrate correct posture. “LapWorks’ Laptop Desks span the entire lap so you can relax your knees naturally instead of squeezing them together to balance a laptop,” Longyear says. “This minimizes strain on the shoulders, neck, back and arms.” This illustration shows correct laptop-using posture on a desk and on a lap.

As a desktop stand, the Futura folds into a wedge shape that offers 5 typing angles that incline the notebook’s keyboard for more ergonomically comfortable use than when set flat on a desk. It also elevates the screen 3 ¾ inches closer to eye level at maximum incline to reduce neck strain.

Because of the limited mousing space on the Futura, customers who prefer an external mouse when using a laptop on their lap should consider the Laptop Desk 2.0 or the slightly longer, yet lighter Laptop Desk UltraLite which was designed to support notebooks weighing less than 5 pounds. Later this year, LapWorks expects to offer a snap-on MouzPad to expand the Futura’s mousing area.

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