You may not have heard of Nerdytec. You may not think you need a sofa-based lapdesk either.
We were of similar mindsets, at least until Nerdytec got in touch to see if we fancied spending some time with their Couchmaster CYCON². And now we’ve used it, we’re not sure how we’re going to go back.
A long-time admirer of anything that helps a) workers be more productive and b) gamers become better gamers, I’ve taken the plunge with a variety of pieces of kit over the years. From the humble gaming controller to the Razer Turret mouse and keyboard for Xbox, right up to the finest headsets in the world and the most comfy of gaming chairs, if there’s something which will make my life easier and more comfortable, I’m interested.
It’s in that in which the Nerdytec Couchmaster CYCON² comes in. And whilst you may think that this is nothing more than two cushions and a board, you’ll be missing the point entirely.
But yes, the Nerdytec Couchmaster CYCON² is – in effect – a couple of cushions which hold a board aloft your lap, allowing you to get down and comfortable with your sofa-based work or gaming sessions. It’s that simple. We’ve been using the CYCON² (Black Edition if you’re wondering) for just that over the last few weeks, moving away from our usual desk set-up and uber-expensive SecretLab Titan SoftWeave Gaming Chair to live the sofa life. It’s one that has been a delight.
Initially this is a piece of kit that may seem like a hard sell. In fact, I wasn’t sure what to make of it prior to getting hands-on, but within mere minutes, the benefits are immediately seen. Whether you’re using it as a laptop board, or for mouse and keyboard, or even kicking back with just a controller in hand, you’ll probably find yourself consistently grabbing for the Couchmaster CYCON² for all and any session. It’s probably not making us a better gamer, across console or PC, but it certainly isn’t doing any harm either.
Let’s back up. The Nerdytec Couchmaster CYCON² should be seen as the latest iteration in the series. Sitting pretty as the flagship product in a pretty all-encompassing range, the CYCON² allows you to sit on your sofa, ergonomically seated, with everything you need right in front of you.
It comes in three distinct pieces. Two memory foamed side cushions are fairly compact and extremely robust, running a removable suede-feeling cover. These come at a decent height with the idea being that you site them either side of your seating position, before placing a lapboard section over the two. In the most simple terms, you would then place your laptop, your keyboard, your mouse or whatever on that board, all perfectly situated for the gaming or work sessions ahead of you.
But there’s some magic in that there lapboard and the Couchmaster CYCON² comes with a couple of USB-A ports slap bang in the centre of it, one of which runs fast-charge. These connect to hidden compartments inside the board, which house internal cable routings and four additional USB-A ports, connecting up to the external offerings of your choice. This means you can get pretty much whatever you want integrated with the Couchmaster CYCON² without too much fuss, cables neatly packed away inside.
What’s more, Nerdytec include a proprietary cable that allows for connection between a PC and the CYCON², providing power simultaneously as it goes. Nerdytec state that even the most power-hungry of devices will be catered for with this one, and that seems to very much be the truth.
For the most part, we’ve been using the CYCON² with a laptop and phone connected, powered through the board without issue. Failing that, we’ve kicked back with it in front of us as we’ve taking in gaming on Xbox, revelling in the fact that our inbox is still within touching distance at all times and that our favourite controller is constantly on charge. Hell, we’ve even recorded an episode of TheXboxHub Official Podcast with a mic placed on the lapboard. In all, we’ve found it to be an extremely versatile piece of kit. It helps that all three component parts of the CYCON² are extremely light too. It’s easy enough to shift them out of the way when not in use, storing them for when the time calls. Just make sure you have got somewhere to store them though; they aren’t the smallest, running some 80cm in length.
For the good though, a couple of things would be preferred. Personally, I’d like to have seen the inclusion of a cutout to work as a drinks holder; that would have been considered a nice touch. Instead, we are left with some netting and pockets situated on the external sides of the cushions. We’re not really sure we’d use those as a ‘cup holder’, but as a phone or remote holder, they work fine.
And if we’re honest, the need to grab for a screwdriver every time you want to get to the internal USB ports of the CYCON² is an annoyance. Surely a clip and flip system could have been utilised to better effect? However, once you are set-up with your usuals in place, it’s not too often you’ll find the need to go messing around with those internal bits and bobs.
But other than that, the Nerdytec Couchmaster CYCON² is something that we feel is a good little addition for any gamer who finds themselves sofa-based. It’s not a patch on a full desk and gaming chair set-up, but if room doesn’t allow for that, or you want the occasional change in scenery and work placement, then we’d not hesitate for this to be on a consideration list.
You will however have to be able to look beyond the price tag. Does it feel expensive at £153 / 174 EUR? Hell yeah, but if money is no object and you’re looking to up your game, this isn’t a bad option to have.