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Corsair Lapdog Gaming Control Center Review - Game Comfortably From Your Couch!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Unboxing

A few years ago, Ryan reviewed the Couchmaster. It was a simple keyboard and mouse holder that suspended those parts above your lap, much like a computer chair, but at your couch. It was a cool concept, but at the time, living room PC gaming hadn't gained much popularity. While we don't all suddenly have living room PCs, the concept has gained some steam. We've seen recent launches of devices like the Corsair Bulldog - a rather beefy DIY living room PC meant to handle enough hardware to support living room gaming at up to 4K resolutions. This left a bit of a gap in Corsair's lineup. They make keyboards, mice, and now a living room PC, but where do you put those peripherals while sitting on your couch? Enter the Corsair Lapdog:

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Along with the Lapdog, Corsair passed along a Vengeance K70 (single LED color, but with key-by-key adjustability) keyboard and an M65 Pro RGB mouse

Setup

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Above is the setup process staged with the keyboard and mouse plugged into the integrated 4-port USB 3.0 hub. Note that we did not need to plug in both keyboard connectors as there is no need to use the USB pass-through feature of these keyboards as the mouse gets its own dedicated port. Owners of the older K70 RGBs might note that even though the early models did not come with a pass-through port, they still had an additional connector for additional USB current. Fear not, as the second plug of those keyboards is also not needed here since the Lapdog uses a powered USB 3.0 hub that can provide sufficient current to light up those models over that single connector.

The cable that combines both power and USB connection from the Lapdog to the wall/PC is 16 feet long, which should provide plenty of space to stretch between just about any TV + couch combination. It was a great idea by Corsair to combine the USB cable and power cable in this way, minimizing the mess and cable clutter that reaches across the floor. You get another 5 feet or so of length for the 12V power adapater as well, so install should be a breeze for users.

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Here we see the removable block-off plate. This comes pre-installed in case the user intends to use a K65 (short-body) keyboard. For those cases, the plate keeps the surface flush while covering the area normally used by the number pad. We are installing a K70 model and will be removing the plate for our configuration.

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In case you're wondering how to remove the various cover plates and mouse pad in order to complete the installation, there is a mini hex driver built-in to the back of the foam lap pad.

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Looking at the bottom of the Lapdog keyboard/mouse housing, we see six magnets that mate with the appropriate places on the bottom of the foam lap pad. The pad is made of cloth covered polyurethane foam. It does not appear to be memory foam and is fairly rigid, which is desirable as we need to keep the keyboard and mouse on a reasonably firm surface when using it on a lap.

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On the right edge of the Lapdog we have rear ports for power and USB 3.0 back to the PC, and on the side, we have another pair of USB 3.0 ports off of the internal powered hub. This lets you do other cool stuff like plugging in portable USB storage or even connecting and charging your phone.

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With the build complete, I'd just like to comment on how seamlessly the corsair keyboards blend with the rest of the Lapdog. The anodized brushed aluminum is a perfect match, though it does add some weight to the completed product. There is a slight lip at the bottom and right edges of the mouse pad which keep it from sliding off when not in use.

Impressions

After setup, I spent some quality time with the Lapdog. In gaming, it definitely works as advertised. With the device on your lap, WASD + mouse gaming is essentially where your hands naturally rest with the default positioning, making gaming just about the same as doing so on a desktop. The lap pad design helps to keep it from sliding around on your lap while in use, and the overall bulk and heft of the unit keep it firmly planted on your lap. It is not overly heavy, and I feel that going any lighter would negatively impact stability.

I also tried some actual writing on the Lapdog (I used it to write this article). While the typical gaming position is natural when centered, the left offset of the keyboard means that any serious typing requires you to scoot everything over to the right. The keyboard side is heavier than the mousing side, so there are no tipping issues when doing so. Even if you were to place the center of the Lapdog over your right leg, centering the keyboard on your lap, its weight will still keep the Lapdog planted on your left, so no issues there. Long periods of typing may put a strain on your back if you tend to lean forward off of the front edge of your couch, but the Lapdog is really meant to be a 'lay back' experience, and extended typing is certainly doable in that position with a bit of practice.

The Corsair Lapdog is available for $119.99, which I feel is a fair price given the high-grade components and solid build quality. If you're into PC gaming from the comfort of your couch, the Corsair Lapdog looks to be the best solution your you!

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June 6, 2016 | 07:31 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Allyn, any chance you have pics of it in action that you might be able to add to the review?

June 6, 2016 | 10:36 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

We're gonna try to do a video tomorrow, so more to follow!

June 6, 2016 | 10:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's wired? So you pay $120 and then you've got this clunky USB cable running across the floor. Sounds like "state of the art" circa 2002 or so.

Why not just get a good Bluetooth KB and mouse, then put them on an inexpensive laptop board thing?

June 6, 2016 | 11:03 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

1. Latency

2. No power for backlight on keyboard or mouse

3. This thing feels like a real table on your lap. It doesn't slide all over like a simple 'board thing' would.

June 7, 2016 | 01:15 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Latency? Have you used a modern BT peripheral? I'll happily take whatever small amount of latency is involved vs having a big USB cable running for across my floor. And you can get a really nice laptop board for about $20 that's quite solid indeed (I'm using one right now).

June 7, 2016 | 01:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Here's a nice selection of perfectly good laptop desks that, when combined with a modern, good quality BT mouse/KB, give you a vastly more spouse-friendly setup without an archaic USB cable tethering your setup. Unless you're a college kid in a dorm, this would be a lot more clean.

As far as latency goes, you do realize the PS4 uses BT, right?

https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=490924011

June 7, 2016 | 05:27 AM - Posted by SetiroN

Then by all means go ahead and use a fucking ps4 or whatever Bluetooth thingy you want to use to play the sims.

This product isn't meant for the likes of you.

June 7, 2016 | 02:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Let's see how many they sell. Nothing like a 16 foot USB and power cable running across your floor to say to people "I have Asperger's".

;)

June 7, 2016 | 10:36 AM - Posted by Donny Stanley (not verified)

Those are all fair points. However, I'm just not sure that anyone who is very concerned with input latency would even be gaming from their couch via a TV. This is just not the optimal scenario for competitive, twitch shooters, where latency would be such a factor.

That said, while I do see the market for this, I can also see how a simple lap desk and a wireless keyboard/mouse combo could also serve many who want to game from their couch, but not give up the precision of the mouse/keyboard.

It's a good thing we have options to suit our needs.

June 7, 2016 | 06:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"clunky USB cable running across the floor"

LOL oh the horror!

June 7, 2016 | 08:05 AM - Posted by CasualCat (not verified)

How long is the USB cable please? Also it appears it uses an AC adapter too. How long is that cable? Thanks.

June 7, 2016 | 11:18 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

The USB/power cable is 16 feet long. I added that to the story above.

June 10, 2016 | 08:40 AM - Posted by CasualCat (not verified)

Thank you!

June 7, 2016 | 10:49 AM - Posted by Coupe

Is the Mouse surface capable of switching to the left side for lefties?

June 7, 2016 | 11:19 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

No, the Lapdog doesn't appear to be able to switch positions.

June 8, 2016 | 01:16 PM - Posted by remc86007

I assume this is mostly aimed at FPS, but I wouldn't want to play a FPS like that because the FOV has to be limited like a console game to make it look right, which makes the mouse movement not match the movement of a computer screen as I've been used to at my desk for over a decade.

June 11, 2016 | 12:24 AM - Posted by Positron (not verified)

I use a $20 wooden lap desk and a $15 USB hub that I got a Target to do the same thing. The hub cable + keyboard/mouse cable is long enough and I can use the hub for my controller, phone, or flash drive. I bundled the 2 cables with twist ties. The only difference is my USB hub is on the floor at my feet.

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