Use Your Laptop Lying Down: Super Gorone Desk Review and Competition
Desks. We love them at MakeUseOf. Whether of the sitting or standing variety , you can guarantee that we each have pretty strong opinions on them. Which is why I was so excited to try the Super Gorone Desk.
The Super Gorone Desk is an adjustable desk you can fold up. It has two legs that can be contorted and moved, allowing you to be productive even when in bed, or sat cross legged on the floor, and a flat surface that can hold even the biggest, heaviest laptops.
At $120 from the Japan Trend Shop (or just under $200 when postage and packaging is factored in), the Super Gorone Desk is extravagant, especially when compared to other similar products. Amazon has no shortage of bed desks, some of which cost much less than the Super Gorone Desk, and look remarkably similar.
Is it worth splashing out the cash for this? There’s only one way to find out. Read on to find out my verdict, and to learn how you can win your own.
Inside The Box
The Super Gorone Desk is a long, rectangular slab of obsidian-colored steel, and came shipped to my home straight from Japan.
One of the things you’ll probably notice about the packaging is that the box doesn’t actually have a single word of English on it, besides the obligatory ‘Made In China’. This proved to be a serious issue for me, especially when it came to working out what the item being reviewed was actually called, and what assembly I had to do.
The included documentation wasn’t very helpful, either, since it came written exclusively in Japanese.
Fortunately, it wasn’t too difficult to work out what had to be done, and it turned out there was virtually no assembly required. It should work out of the box for most people who just want a flat surface to rest their laptop on.
In addition to the desk itself, there’s also a few other goodies included.
There’s a strap, which allows you to securely fasten your laptop to the desk; handy for preventing your laptop cascading down to the floor. There’s also a USB powered fan which attaches to the underside of the desk, and prevents your laptop from overheating.
The table itself isn’t that sophisticated.
There’s a single sheet of thick metal, with holes punched through to allow for ventilation. I found this was perfectly sufficient to prevent my Macbook Pro from turning into a viscous puddle of molten aluminum, and didn’t once have to use the included USB fan.
I imagine this will also be the case for an overwhelming majority of modern laptops. The trend for thinner, lighter computers has resulted in energy-sipping SSD drives and CPUs, which consequently means they don’t generate that much heat.
This is especially true when it comes to newer Apple laptops, and the latest low-power Chromebooks which continue to displace more resource-hungry Windows laptops.
I was initially worried about the Super Gorone Desk being uncomfortable to use, given that it’s constructed out of metal, and metal is a conductor of heat. But it’s really not that bad. I’ve used it for marathon coding sessions, as well as a bit of casual gaming, and it’s been fine.
One slight bugbear I’ve got about it is that for it to work, both legs have to be perfectly symmetrical. If they’re not, the table will be at an angle, and your laptop could slide off. Since they’re independently adjusted, you need to care to place them at the same angle.
Getting both legs perfectly aligned isn’t easy, and can take a few tries get it right. When it does, however, you’ve got a perfectly functional desk which can be used in bed, or sat cross-legged on the floor.
Both legs have a ‘joint’ in the middle, allowing you to change the height and angle of the desk. These are kept in place with a metal locking mechanism, which does the task rather well. I’ve not had a single case of the table collapsing. Which is good, since you’re going to put thousands of dollars of computer equipment on it.
However, the locking mechanisms are annoyingly stiff. Quite often, two hands are required to lock and unlock the joint.
Living With The Super Gorone Desk
I’ve spent the past month with this unusual little table, and I’ve used it for both work and play.
In many respects, it’s incredibly liberating, and allows you to be productive from places where you traditionally aren’t all that productive. Places like your bed.
One of the advantages of the Super Gorone is that it can be angled to any position the user wants. With the strap and secure clips in place, it even became possible to work whilst lying totally flat, with my laptop positioned vertically.
Although, your mileage may vary depending on how stiff the joints to your laptop screen are. The screen on my Macbook Pro didn’t move, but my Acer C720 ChromeBook kept closing.
The desk certainly does have its limitations though. There’s enough room for a laptop and a mouse, but that’s about it. Forget hooking up all your peripherals to it. Forget about using an external keyboard.
I imagine there are no shortage of people who suffer from acute health problems which mean they’re confined to their bed, who would certainly benefit from this.
But that said, I don’t think it’s a good idea to routinely use a laptop in bed. Every now and again is fine, but if you do it too often, you’ll end up with disrupted sleep patterns, and the consequential stress and fatigue that comes with it.
Should You Buy It?
It’s an expensive piece of kit, for sure. There are alternatives on Amazon that may be just as capable, and a fraction of the price. But despite that, I’ve kinda fallen in love with this.
It’s just too well built and sturdy for me not to love it. It’s just so convenient.
Buy. It’s expensive, but worth every penny.
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