Gaming in the living room isn’t just for console gamers anymore. A new generation of products has emerged to enable PC gamers to get comfortable on the couch with their weapons of choice.
So is Corsair’s Lapdog a good dog?
Generally speaking, yes.
But Corsair’s Lapdog does need a leash, and it isn’t your ‘Pomeranian’ sized lapdog (which, if we continue the metaphor, belongs more to Razer’s solution, the Razer Turret.) The Corsair Lapdog is more like the Rottweiler that thinks it’s a lapdog, but takes up half the couch. But that’s not a bad thing. Corsair’s Lapdog is a good dog.
What is the Lapdog?
The Corsair Lapdog isn’t just a big tray table to throw your PC gear onto, but it’s hardly a complicated device.
It’s basically just a sealed keyboard tray with an attached (and generously sized) 10” x 11” mouse pad and an internal, powered, 4-port USB 3.0 hub that connects everything.
The Lapdog (i.e. the USB 3.0 hub) in turn connects to your PC via the included 16-foot USB 3.0 cable—i.e. the “leash”. The 16-foot USB cable also connects to a small AC adapter, so you’ll need an AC outlet near your PC to power the Lapdog’s USB 3.0 Hub.
So the ‘bad’ news is that the Lapdog isn’t wireless, which may limit your freedom slightly and requires you to string a long connecting cable from your throne of games to your gaming PC.
The good news is that the Lapdog probably doesn’t need to be wireless anyway, and being wired solves more problems than it creates. A wired solution is generally less expensive, you don’t need worry about charging any batteries, and you don’t need to worry about potential wireless latency affecting your gaming.
How the Corsair Lapdog works
The Lapdog contains your keyboard securely and enables you to route all the cables neatly away within its black, shiny aluminum confines, where the keyboard and a gaming mouse connect to 2 internal USB 3.0 ports.
Using an included hex wrench, you simply remove a few small hex screws, insert your keyboard and a USB mouse cable into the internal connectors, and then re-attach the cover plates, sealing away all the ugly cables inside.
For purposes of this review, Corsair supplied a K70 RGB ‘Rapidfire RGB’ and a Corsair Sabre RGB mouse. I installed the K70 Rapidfire (because: pretty). The Lapdog is physically designed to accommodate Corsair’s own K65/K70 series keyboards, and an extra spacing plate is included to cover the ‘gap’ if you’re using the shorter K65 keyboard, which lacks a 10-key pad.
For reference, the Corsair K70 Rapidfire dimensions are 436mm x 165mm x 38mm, and the Corsair K65 dimensions are 355mm x 165mm x 38mm. As long as your keyboard of choice matches those dimensions (or falls within them reasonably), it should work fine with the Corsair Lapdog.
Your choices for a mouse for the Lapdog are virtually unlimited (i.e. any USB mouse will work with it), but your keyboard choices will be restricted to those that fit within the Lapdog’s confines, which were designed for the Corsair K70/K65 line. (You could of course also use a Wireless mouse in lieu of using one connected to the Lapdog depending on your PC configuration.)
Once the keyboard and mouse are connected and the covering plates re-installed, the Lapdog becomes a dedicated gaming keyboard/mouse controller. And you still have 2 externally accessible USB 3.0 connectors available to you—perfect for a thumb drive or a USB headset for example.
The hex wrench stores neatly in a small compartment inside the ergonomic memory foam cushion, which then attaches securely to the underside of the Lapdog via strong magnets. The magnets hold the cushion in place quite firmly, but it’s still easy to disconnect the two.
But once everything is put together, it’s an attractive and uncluttered package, and one you’re unlikely to ever have to open again save for the occasional cleaning or perhaps mouse or keyboard upgrade. The total package is just shy of 29” wide, 10” deep, and about 3-3.5” tall (with the attached cushion). It’s pretty large, so you’ll definitely want a dedicated shelf or other method of storing it out of the way by your PC.
The Lapdog is big and beautiful, and the closest thing to bringing your PC desktop to your living room with nearly zero compromise. Heck, even at a desk the Lapdog is pretty nice (if a bit overkill), because you can kick back from your desk, prop your feet up, and type a Lapdog review pretty comfortably.
I say ‘nearly zero compromise’ because if there’s anything the Lapdog lacks, it is dedicated wrist support. There is no built-in wrist rest, nor much space for one.
If you really want a wrist rest—or at least a little padding—you could probably attach a thin (about 1” wide/deep by 16 ¼” wide) wrist wrest/cushion via double-sided tape or other adhesive to the Lapdog without affecting anything negatively. Or you could opt for a small pillow, maybe an actual dog, or something in your lap between you and the Lapdog.
Another consideration: The keyboard can’t be removed from the Lapdog without removing hex screws and the cover plates. It’s not difficult nor something you’re likely to need to do often, but you might want to consider a cover for when the Lapdog isn’t in use, and/or keep some compressed air handy for occasionally blowing out dust, food particles, etc. (I’m just speculating here that a couch-based gaming environment is likely to invite more dirt/food/dust/pet hair/etc. into your gaming gear.)
At around $120 by itself, the Lapdog isn’t inexpensive, but it’s well worth the investment if you truly want a ‘desktop’ type PC gaming experience on your couch. It’s even more cost-effective if you can use your existing keyboard. If you don’t mind the lack of a solid wrist rest, the Lapdog is a solid desktop-to-couch solution.
That said, I will confess that I like the Roccat SOVA design I saw at E3 2014 a little better, which placed the keyboard far forward on the lap desk to give you plenty of wrist/forearm support. However, that was an early prototype, and I don’t know if that’s the design that will be used when the SOVA comes to retail (soon). Word on the street is that I may be seeing the soon-to-be-released (i.e. final/retail) Roccat SOVA at E3 2016. But that’s just something I may have heard…
If you love PC gaming on the couch (or in a beanbag, or whatever), the Lapdog is definitely a gamer’s best friend. Granted it may hog the couch a bit, it requires a hefty ‘leash’, and it doesn’t come cheaply—but it delivers a solid PC gaming ‘desktop experience’ to your living room and will probably outlast most of the tech in your gaming PC (i.e. you won’t likely need to upgrade it anytime soon).