Review: Work from Anywhere with a Memory Foam Lap Desk and Floor Chair

I am always on the lookout for innovative solutions to digital lifestyle situations. With the advent of information and entertainment consumption from iPhones and iPads comes the need to orient comfortable living spaces around that focused activity. Birdrock Home is just such a company that has designed a portable solution to address this new work and play space. Let's look at what they have to offer.

Related: The Complete Guide to iPad Multitasking: Split Screen, Slide Over & Picture-in-Picture

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Sofia + Sam Multi Tasking Memory Foam Lap Desk with USB Light ($49.99)

While we have seen portable laptop desks in the past, none has captured the comfort, portability, and flexibility that Sofia + Sam's Memory Foam Lap Desk have. Besides offering a broad, stable platform to place a full-sized keyboard or laptop upon, what makes this lap desk especially interesting to iOS device owners is its accommodation for both iPads and iPhones in two separate dedicated slots. This leaves plenty of room for a Bluetooth keyboard, a paper notepad, and a stylus or an Apple Pencil. Unfortunately, no digital inkwell exists yet on the desk that keeps the pencil from rolling away, but you can sandwich the pencil between a keyboard and the lap desk's built in wrist rest to keep it locked down when not in use.

I also really like the way the mouse tray slides out on either the left or right side to accommodate your dominant hand, along with the USB connected, battery-powered LED lamp to help illuminate this portable workspace day or night. Moreover, the lap desk is truly portable in that everything folds and tucks away neatly, allowing it to slide between seats, under a bed, or even into an overhead compartment while traveling. The cushion is thick, firm, and comfortable enough to leave on your lap for hours without fatigue or heat buildup, and the solid surface on top helps evenly distribute the weight to prevent the lap desk from leaning to one side or another. Of all the portable lap desks and trays that I have tested over the years, the Sofia + Sam Multi Tasking Memory Foam Lap Desk with USB Light is the best so far.

Adjustable 14-Position Memory Foam Floor Chair ($79.99)

In order to complete the furniture portability set, Birdrock Home have designed an adjustable floor chair cushioned with thick memory foam that angles up like an outdoor lounge chair. The total length of the chair is just over 41 inches by just over 21 inches wide (essentially two 20-inch squares hinged in the middle). When angled, the chair back height matches the chair seat distance. This makes the chair better suited for shorter individuals. My son and I are nearly six feet tall and we found that while the chair offered good back support, we missed having a headrest. My wife is just over five feet and the chair dimensions fit her perfectly. Regardless of height, the chair balanced nicely with our legs providing the necessary counterweight to prevent the chair from falling over when leaning back on it. Due to my height, I preferred the chair angled nearly 90 degrees but my wife could enjoy the full variety of angled positions since she was able to rest her head on the chair back.

The memory foam is nice and firm with just enough cushion to provide adequate comfort. It is much better than many memory foam cushions I have used that have a tendency of being squished so much that they provide practically no cushion whatsoever. This is certainly not the case with Birdrock's floor chair, as I was able to sit in it for hours without fatigue.  The plush fabric (the chair is available in eight different colors ranging from blue and brown to the more striking orange and pink options) covering the entire chair is nice and soft, negating the need for any additional blanket or chair cover to further soften the seat.

When combined with the Sofia + Sam lap desk, the chair completes a fully portable mini office space. This is a great combination solution for small apartments or dorm rooms where available space is a premium. It is also ideal if you need to bring your office along on a camping trip or are simply looking to reduce your digital workspace footprint while still having the luxuries of a desk and chair. However, taller people will find that they can only use 10 of the possible 14 chair back angles. Perhaps in a future design iteration, a headrest or high-back option can be incorporated similar to the way the Sofia + Sam lap desk has a slide-out mouse tray. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a comfortable, portable chair to use a lap desk with, this Birdrock Home Memory Foam floor chair may be just what you are looking for.

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Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.