Ikea Dave Laptop Table & alternatives

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InklingBooks
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Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:21 am Post

I've been researching a laptop table I could use while sitting on the couch or out on the patio under the assumption that it would be better than my current bean bag with a board on top, particularly when using a mouse. Most seem quite pricey, meaning $150 and up, but Ikea's got one for $17.99 U.S. that gets good reviews.

(The key to such a device are legs low enough down that it can slip under a couch or chair, putting the table close enough to you to be useful, and with the legs yet spread out enough to be stable.)

The Dave is lightweight and the height is adjustable. The size is right for all but the largest laptop plus mouse and there's a carrying handle/hole in the back to run cables through. It comes in three colors: red, black and white. Here's one of the more detailed reviews:

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/004620.php

The worse criticisms are that:
1. It wobbles a bit, although not enough to make typing difficult.
2. The one tilt angle is a bit much, causing some laptops to slowly slide down. That could probably be worked around by using it flat with a separate laptop platform that tilts less.

Ikea US has information about it here:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20078234

And if you're one of those with back conditions that make it easier to write standing up, it has a maximum height of almost 32 inches. That might work if you're short and, if not, you could add a platform (or phone book) to raise it another 4-6 inches. And if you like Japanese-style seating, the lowest height, 20.5" doesn't look like it would work sitting on the floor, but with a thick cushion, it should work fine.

There's also a pricer ($69.95) and much prettier Alve laptop table with a shelf here.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30159767

If the closest Ikea store wasn't on the distant side of Seattle, I'd have probably already gotten the Dave.

If you've got a Dave, you might tell us how useful it is. And if you know an alternative, let us know. A comfortable position should make long spells of writing much easier.

--Michael W. Perry, Untangling Tolkien

dr
druid
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Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:59 am Post

The Scooter has flat legs that slip under any chair and its top tilts from flat to angled for typing or reading. Far more pricey, but well-designed and solidly built. (Personally, I favor lapboards.)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WU ... NKEXX7XBJK

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Jaysen
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Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:37 pm Post

I use a board and pillow. Two boards if the end table is not big enough. Generally if I need two boards I really need to be at my desk. If I need to adjust the height or tilt I adjust the pillow. Since my boards are 3/4" thick they are pretty easy to store.

Cost, $4 from Lowes, $5 from Walmart (assuming I actually paid for them instead of walking downstairs and getting some scrap from the shop!).

I may be a bit more redneck than you guys though.
Jaysen

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ptram
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Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:45 pm Post

I sometimes use the Bräda from Ikea:

http://www.ikea.com/it/it/catalog/products/10086654

I like it, since it is comfortable and adapts easily to your laps, but is firm enough for the MacBook Pro sitting on top.

I used a pillow in the past, but it didn't allow enough airflow under the Mac, so I don't think it was the best solution.

Paolo

Ap
Apollo16
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Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:10 pm Post

I got this for a gift about four years ago. It has been one of my favorite gifts of all time. I use it to journal almost every evening.

http://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/P ... ageid=1096

Apollo16

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druid
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Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:23 am Post

I did a Google Product search on "laptop desk" and found many choices, starting at $10 US.

http://www.google.com/search?q=scooter+ ... 43878cf5a6

I also agree with Apollo 16 that the Levenger item is excellent; good buy at $49.

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Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:33 am Post

Levener Laplander is quite beautiful and the 'free' Laplighter included makes it a better deal. But I'm trying to get away from cushion versions. When I move to keep up the circulation in my legs, my mouse skids around. Lap desks also wobble, especially if they're bigger than your lap. I use one, but I've never been a fan. I like my writing platform to be stable, which means not fixed to me. I move around a lot.

I've been hoping Ikea would fix the 'tilt-too-much' problem with a Dave II, but that may not happen. I'll just have to find some excuse to drive down there and pick one up.

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Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:05 am Post

Dealmac just reported that Staples is selling their normally $39.99 Altra laptop cart for $19.99. Those who can pick it up from a store don't have to pay shipping. That's half-price and only slightly more than the Ikea.

http://dealmac.com/Altra-Adjustable-Lap ... 21922.html

http://www.staples.com/Altra-Adjustable ... -nr_729375

It has a factory-floor look that I don't care for and has wheels, which means it won't fit under some couches. But it does have more angle adjustments and a separate level platform for the mouse. (Shown for left-handed people. I assume it can be assembled for either side.) The platform is also a bit larger than the Ikea. Read the customer reviews for more details. This one is quite helpful:

Good value for the price. Excellent step by step instructions, even down to the right screws to use, when. Suggestion to stabilize and allow it to fit under couch: Purchase "SlideGlide" 1-1/2", 33mm 4pc furniture sliders ([...]). They screw in directly to place where wheels go. Hand tighten only. Place on flat surface and turn until table stops wobbling. Will glide on non-carpet surfaces easily and fit under the couch! Very stable.


From the picture, it seems intended to be slipped in from the side in most cases, which might make it better than the Ikea for those who like to work in bed. The three-foot max height means most people could use it to write standing up. It might also work with some exercise machines. Run, step, row and write at the same time!

I didn't seen anything to indicate how long the sale price will last. "Special Buy" usually means an item sells at the discounted price until the stock runs low.

--Michael W. Perry, editor of Chesterton on War and Peace

Ap
Apollo16
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Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:30 am Post

Dealmac just reported that Staples is selling their normally $39.99 Altra laptop cart for $19.99. Those who can pick it up from a store don't have to pay shipping. That's half-price and only slightly more than the Ikea.

http://dealmac.com/Altra-Adjustable-Lap ... 21922.html


WARNING WILL ROBINSON! WARNING!

This thing is AWFUL! The adjustments don't work properly and the wheels catch on everything. They are also very high and as InklingBooks warns, it will not fit under a couch or a chair. We have one at work and we can't even GIVE it away.

Apollo16

ap
aproudlove
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Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:26 pm Post

I know it's not a table but when I'm working away from my desk I tend to use this http://www.raindesigninc.com/ilap.html
I have a MS Bluetrack mouse that I bought that tends to work on most surfaces, so that get's me by but unless I'm doing any kind of graphic editing, then the trackpad us usually enough, so the iLap is pretty much all I need.

Kinky name though, iLap 8)

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igregor
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Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:27 pm Post

aproudlove wrote:I know it's not a table but when I'm working away from my desk I tend to use this http://www.raindesigninc.com/ilap.html


Nice. Save $5-10 (depending on size) at amazon.com.

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aproudlove
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Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:42 pm Post

Came across this while browsing, perhaps its more what you had in mind?

http://en.lounge-tek.com/?gclid=CJqYz_D ... zAodNnbKYw

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cr
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Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:32 pm Post

I've been reading this thread with interest as I've been looking for a solution to Hot Knees. The Lounge-Tek looks surprisingly good on YouTube, but then I realised I had something just like it at home: my Wenger fully-adjustable music stand, which cost about one-third of the price of the Lounge-Book table. Admittedly, not as cheap as the IKEA Dave I ordered a couple of days ago after clicking on the link in an earlier post. Still, I suppose I can use my music stand, reduced to knee-height, until Dave turns up next week, then I can return to practising Fauré, Gluck and Weill between chapters.

cw (soprano)
Some quiet night when you've shirked your work because of fatigue or distraction, open a window of your house and listen. Do you hear that distant clicking sound? That's one of your competitors, pecking away at his keyboard in Paris or London or Erie, PA

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Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:23 pm Post

...but then I realised I had something just like it at home: my Wenger fully-adjustable music stand, which cost about one-third of the price of the Lounge-Book table.


A music stand... now I'd never thought of that. It fits with my love of adapting products in a field where they're common and cheap to a field like computers, where things tend to be pricey.

Google turned up numerous links to Wenger stands, including the maker here:

http://www.wengercorp.com/Stands/Stands.html

But I couldn't figure out which one you meant. I didn't see anything that extended in from the side like the lovely wooden Lounge-Tek (and its even lovelier models). Would you be able to link us to details about your specific music stand?

Also, looking at what is available, I was torn between the welded, rugged as heck, Roughneck music stand:

http://www.wengercorp.com/Stands/Roughneck.html

To the easy to store or take about Portastand:

http://www.wengercorp.com/Stands/Portastand.html#

Another question. People grumble about the computer stands not being steady enough. How stable is your music stand when used for typing on a laptop?

Since a music stand is only intended to hold sheets of music, my hunch is that a rugged model would make more sense.

--Michael W. Perry, editor of More to William Morris: Two Books that Influenced J. R. R. Tolkien

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kewms
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Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:53 am Post

I don't have a photo handy, but a woman I know uses a stand originally designed for slide/overhead projectors. It looks very similar to a light photographer's tripod, with a flat square surface where the camera mount would normally be. Like a tripod, it's steady as a rock, with adjustable height, rotation, etc. It's also as portable as a tripod: she uses it while she waits for her daughter at various activities.

Among music stands, the ones designed for conductors/directors would probably be quite a bit sturdier, since they have to support a full score rather than a few sheets.

Katherine
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