Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
Has Corsair fixed the main problem of PC gaming in the living room? Corsair Lapdog review
Better than a plank of wood and some cushions?
- Unique solution
- Better than a plank and cushions... mostly
- Not always better than a plank and cushions
- Lots of screwing and unscrewing
- Only works with Corsair K70 and K65 keyboards
Having to construct and dismantle the Lapdog will get old quickly, but it's the best solution for living room PC gaming on the market.
Price$ 159.00 (AUD)
So you’ve got a nice big, HD (or even 4K Ultra HD) TV in your living room. You’re not a peasant so there’s no gaming console present, but now you’re faced with the age old question of how to operate a keyboard and mouse on your sofa. Normally this involves awkwardly balancing your keyboard on your knees while operating the mouse on the seat or on a tea tray. Either way, it’s not ideal. But now Corsair has formalised a solution in a manner where we can’t quite decide if it’s a case of, ‘I can’t believe they invented it,’ or, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’
We first saw the Lapdog at Computex and it's more than just a plank of wood that sits on your lap. The main frame comes in two halves with the lower half consisting of angled, contoured memory foam which lies across your knees while the upper half is a shelf which fixes on top of it using magnets. The slope of the foam means it can either incline towards your knees or your crotch – whatever makes it easier to maintain a flat surface for your keyboard and mouse.
The first issue is, however, that it’s designed to snuggly fit Corsair’s own K70 and K65 keyboards (The K65 is a short version of the K70 with no number pad). We tried using a Logitech keyboard but it wobbled around a lot. There’s a spacer for K65 users so that there’s no gap in the keyboard slot.
The top of the Lapdog consists of two main panels which are screwed on. The screws are tiny and black and will surely get lost but at least Corsair includes some spares. The small black magnetic screwdriver is also included and it fits in a special slot between the top and bottom half of the lapdog.
And here’s the potential issue: you need to unscrew the panels every time you want to add or remove the keyboard and mouse. This involves removing the top panel and neatly laying the thick cord out so that it plugs into the internal USB hub port. You also need to remove the mousepad each time too (as the USB hub is beneath it). It takes about five minutes of casual construction to put it together and about two minutes to pull it apart. It’s a bit of a hassle though. As much as we’d like to simply solve this buy buying a dedicated K65 or K70 keyboard (plus mouse) to stay inside it forever, the keyboards alone cost around $200.
Once the keyboard and mouse are secured on the board, the hefty 5m main cable needs to be connected to a PC’s USB 3 port and also mains power (the power pack is included). There are two additional USB 3 ports on the right exterior of the Lapdog – for headphones and other peripherals.
Once you’re all set up, things generally work well, so long as you’re gaming. The keyboard sits quite far to your left so any serious two-handed typing is impractical.
So long as your lounge setup suits the lapdog, you should be able to game well, but it’s still not for everyone. The magnets holding the two halves together aren’t the strongest and the whole thing came apart a little too easily for our liking. Taping it together will help but that’s an ugly fix. We also found that due to our posture things could get quite painful very quickly in certain poses and on different chairs – you need decent back support for lengthy gaming.
We’d have thought a plank of wood might suit most people but the Lapdog is a surprisingly-complex alternative solution. We suspect that installing and removing the keyboard from it and returning it to you main PC will get old fast – some quick release catches would be nice. It’s like Corsair wants users to buy additional expensive keyboards for this and leave them there (there are a couple of cable ties for cable management when installing the keyboard but these may need to be cut when extracting the keyboard and putting it back on a desk). Buying extras would certainly help but then it pushes the Lapdog ‘system’ price to around $400 just for the keyboard an mouse.
On its own the $159 Lapdog is quite expensive – especially when compared to a plank of wood and some cushions. But if this has been your dream, or if you’ve had enough of using a plank of wood and some cushions, then this will be a great buy.
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