After years of using a rolling laptop cart, I managed to break it about a year ago and ended up shopping for a new one. Unfortunately, Office Depot had stopped carrying this type of product. Their only desks for laptops were ugly, bulky things.
First, I ordered a similar item via a merchant on the Internet. Let’s just say that someone had seen a real laptop cart and designed one from memory. The most important flaw was that, despite having independent table surfaces to the right- and left-hand sides of the support, they were welded into a constant height between the two, even though they tilted independently.
A properly designed laptop cart has the two table shelves working independently — independently adjustable height and tilt. This enables the user to raise the main (laptop) working surface and the side shelf. Then, the user can adjust the side shelf to the desired height. Whether you want the side shelf for storage (I usually keep a magazine or two on it) or to hold papers that you’re typing into a word processor or spreadsheet, the ability to adjust the side shelf is necessary.
After fighting the fixed height side shelf for a few months, I started shopping again. Fortunately, I was able to find almost exactly what I was looking for at Amazon. This cart image looks very similar to the bad one I purchased, although that one was dark in color and manufactured by another company.
The basic idea is that the base is a T-shape, the upper section consists of a support that slides up and down the center support pole (notice the knob on the right side to tighten the vertical setting). The small side shelf on the left is supported by a vertical shaft that slides within the vertical bracket for the right side.
The knob on the left side tightens its vertical shaft, so that it can be independent of the right shelf height. The two knobs on the underside of the two shelves are used to control the tilt of their respective shelves.
How about the assembly? This Ameriwood laptop cart was extremely easy to put together. When it arrived in a small box, I groaned at the thought of putting it together. The task took about five minutes! It was well-designed for easy assembly.
So, why do I use a laptop cart instead of a desk. It’s very simple. If I used my laptop on a desk, I’d spend my evenings in another room away from the family. By using the laptop on a laptop cart, I can use it in the den, with my family, and watch television while I surf the net, write emails or write my blog and newsletter articles.