The Futura provides a simple solution to the problems of using a notebook in your lap. No power necessary, no moving parts and it fits in your notebook carrying case or backpack. It weighs just a hair over one pound.
At 21”, it is plenty wide enough for you to sit with your legs apart. Definitely much more comfortable than having to keep them together to keep from dropping your notebook.
The desk isn't designed for use with a mouse. It really isn't wide enough and the air channels would prevent use of a mouse without a mousepad. If one needs that capability, LapWorks suggests instead using their Laptop Desk 2.0, or the Laptop Desk UltraLite. Though, later this year, LapWorks expects to offer a snap-on mouse pad, the MouzPad, to expand the Futura's mousing area.
The desk is a nice darker gray color. It is actually the color of the plastic - it isn't painted. Though, for someone that wants something different, LapWorks plans to offer customized Futura paint jobs in the next few months, both hand-painted and customized - similar to customized iPod skins.
The rubber grips are made of fairly soft rubber. It is pretty hard to slide the notebook across them, making it difficult for your notebook to slide around on your lap. The grips on the bottom of the Futura do a good job of keeping the desk from sliding around on your lap. Together they make a stable platform for your notebook. The included instructions note that notebooks that have a bottom that is not flat, such as one with a protruding fan vent, and very large notebooks, may not get the stability that standard notebooks will.
The air channels allow air to pass through the Futura to cool those hot notebook components and also allow air to move between your lap and the notebook. This keeps the Futura from getting warmed by the computer and prevents sweating, etc.
The Futura folds into a small package that will fit neatly beside your notebook in your carrying case or backpack. It will also help absorb bumps and shocks that inevitably will happen. The Futura also doubles as an ergonomic desktop stand, bringing the notebook over three inches closer to eye level. It holds the notebook at an angle, which helps strain on shoulders, arms and hands. The stand holds pretty well - I did exert a little pressure to see if it would easily fall, which it didn't.