Workspace Security

Novelty vs. Functionality

Intuitive Engineering
Just because it looks good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you!

Better than 20 years ago, I invented the flip panel when flat panel monitors replaced CRTs. We used it as a major feature in creating our “Communicator Series” line of furniture for emergency operations centers where line of sight communication was a necessity, not a convenience. Since that time, a number of companies have copied it in principle and have created products of their own. One such company is SMARTdesks who offers an inexpensive flip table for laptops.

Smartdesks Furniture

If you look closer, you will realize that their laptop flip has to be located at the front edge of the table in order to give an ergonomic typing area. The flip mechanism permanently mounts the laptop directly in a well that gets in the way of the user’s knees when in the closed position. Wire management of power and data also becomes an almost insurmountable cable management issue during rotation. You may also notice that the desk top is extremely shallow which creates other obstructions and the product has no way of hiding power and data cabling from the floor. The SMARTdesks gimmick is in a different market and should be viewed as such rather than a comparison for the sake of commerciality.
Smartdesks Furniture
Our flip solution for laptops, on the other hand, stores the laptops and/or keyboards far enough back from the front of the work surface to eliminate the obvious knee-knocking engineering flaws of the SMARTdesks product. An added benefit of our product is that the laptop is not permanently affixed and can be conveniently relocated anywhere on the work surface. The notched lid when closed accommodates power and data cables connected to the laptop. This is very important in environments where WIFI is not allowed. The moral of the story is to do your research and don't buy on impulse. Products that look good are not always what they seem.
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americon 2017