Gaming Lapboard Buyer’s Guide

Welcome to Lapboard Thunderdome.

Lapboards are for those of us who want to take our PC gaming from the desk to the couch, or maybe introduce some couch-like comfort to a more traditional desktop setup. (They make suitable companions for a good gaming chair.)

There are three main lapboard makers for PC gamers: Corsair, Razer, and Roccat. Each solution is designed very differently from its competitors. And while I have a clear favorite, there is a strong case for any one of these lapboards depending on personal preferences.

GreatDane_hero
Credit: American Kennel Club

Corsair Lapdog: The Great Dane of lapboards

The Corsair Lapdog is about as much of a lapdog as a Great Dane. The Lapdog is basically a USB 3.0 Hub, an enclosure for a full-size keyboard, and an attached, generously sized mouse surface.

Keyboard and mouse cables connect internally to keep them out of the way. The Lapdog in turn connects to your PC through a long, thick 15-foot USB cable with an attached AC adapter.

lapdog
The Lapdog equipped with a Corsair mechanical gaming keyboard and Corsair gaming mouse.  Credit: Bryan Edge-Salois

The Lapdog can accommodate standard-sized gaming keyboards, which gives it a measure of a customization the Razer Turret and Roccat Sova lack. It also provides plenty of mousing space, and 2 additional USB 3.0 connectors to which you can connect  additional devices, such as a USB headset, flash  drive, etc.

However, the Corsair Lapdog is also frickin’ huge  and the largest of the lapboards in this roundup. Storing it awayt isn’t easy, and it’s a bit of an eyesore for a living room environment (if you don’t want your living room to scream “huge nerd” anyway). The Lapdog also lacks any surface area for resting your wrists.

Razer Turret: The Real Lapdog

Chihuahua_hero
Credit: American Kennel Club

If the Corsair Lapdog is the Great Dane of lapboards, the Razer Turret is the Chihuahua.

The Razer Turret is small, wireless, and it folds up neatly so it can placed vertically in its small charging dock. It’s  a very portable solution in general; if you wanted to travel with it you could do so easily.

The Turret is an eminently sexier solution than Corsair’s and fits more elegantly into a living room type area. The mouse surface area is adequate but small. The keyboard isn’t mechanical, and uses low-profile chiclet keys, which are quiet but definitely lack the punch of good mechanical switches.

turret1
Razer Turret (Credit: Bryan Edge-Salois)

While the Turret may be the sexiest solution of the lapboards in this list, it’s (ironically) the one I would least want to use for gaming. I don’t care for its laptop-style keys, there’s no wrist rest, and small mousing surface demands using a high-DPI setting, which doesn’t bode well for action-oriented games.

The Razer Turret is a great lapboard for general PC usage and more casual gaming (or non-action gaming), and it’s great if you want to travel with it.

Roccat Sova: The middle (best) ground

blacklab
Credit: American Kennel Club

The Roccat Sova (in my opinion) hits the perfect middle ground between the Corsair Lapdog and the Razer Turret. It’s hard to assign a dog to it, but I’ll go with something in a mid-size/large-ish breed—a Black Lab. It’s comfortable, reliable, and even-tempered.

The Sova is smaller than the Corsair Lapdog and the keyboard is built-in to the board (like the Razer Turret). The keyboard  is a compact, ten-keyless and backlit keyboard. The Sova is  available in a mechanical and membrane variety.

Like the Corsair Lapdog, the Roccat Sova is a wired solution that also acts as a USB hub. It connects to your PC through a single 15 foot long (breakaway) cable with dual USB 2.0 connectors. Two additional USB connectors are available on the underside of the Sova as well.

SOVA-E3-2016
Roccat Sova (Credit: Bryan Edge-Salois)

Where the Sova is superior to the Turret and the Lapdog is that it provides a generous amount of space for your wrists and still provides plenty of mouse surface. I generally found it to be by far the most comfortable lapboard and it’s suitable for virtually any type of game.

Recommendations

  • The Roccat Sova is my hands-down favorite, at around $149 for the membrane keyboard version, and $179 for the mechanical keyboard version. I found it generally the most comfortable of the bunch. Its medium(ish) size and breakaway USB cable also make it easier to store out of the way.
  • At around $60, the Corsair Lapdog is good for a brute-force, somewhat ugly solution. It provides ample mousing surface area, and you can provide (almost) any keyboard that suits your tastes. That also means you have to spend extra for a keyboard (and not all keyboards may fit into it). Lack of a wrist rest area hurts comfort and it’s not easy to store.
  • At around $129, The Razer Turret is a very elegant solution and the only wireless one of the bunch. However, I would tend to recommend it more for general PC usage (web surfing, email, etc.), casual (non-action) gaming, and possibly as a traveling companion as opposed to a serious/hardcore gaming solution.
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