👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅15-12-16
Performance Testing

Setup, Design & Observations
Though cumbersome, The setup is fairly straightforward and will require a standard cross-head screwdriver to unscrew the panels and maybe some scissors if you wish to cut the velcro tape.

Arranging the cables can be a little awkward due to the orientation of the board, meaning, the support board will be flipped facedown for you to unscrew the back panels> feed the cables through the holes> tidy>screw panels back on> flip back over. So at some point you need to manage a keyboard and mouse flapping around. You could secure the keyboard with velcro tape prior to cabling them, but you will also need to ensure that you have positioned them in the right place for your setup/preference/use. This method of stowing cables is neat and secure, however I believe that a top opening plate would be more efficient, which would mean you can lift up the panel/s from the top and access the internal wiring in a much more convenient manner.

Once you have wired your peripherals to the support board, all you then need to to is connect the 5m extension to a free USB 3.0 port on your system, and the connector end to the shorter cable routed from the side of the support board. Disconnecting and reconnecting is fairly simple thanks to the supplied cables. Assembly is fairly straight forward, arrange cushions, pull board over and across the cushions, then play.

You may want to take note of the position of the side pouch, not that it matters if you aren't using it. The storage pouch is a rather tight elasticated pocket that isn't easy to work with using one hand and if like me, you often have a drink around, despite its suggested use I wouldn't recommend it as a drink holder. In fact the whole subject of drinks becomes rather strange with the COUCHMASTER. You could place a cup of tea on it while in use, but that would invite disaster due to the nature of the board. After thinking about the 'drink' conundrum for a while I realised that any open vessel of fluid on either the cushions or the board itself is a fairly risky business and will be something best worked around either by drinking from a sealable container (bottle/sports cap etc) or by positioning yourself within arms reach of a safer surface. Regardless the storage pouch is a nice addition.

You can arrange the cushions in any way that is comfortable for you and the maximum recommended distance apart is 750mm giving 45mm of support for the board. In my usage, I found that I required around 550-600mm width for a reasonable leg spread comfort (I am fairly large). The cushions give nice support for your arms in a seated or semi-laid back position and are very comfortable, this continues on with the small wrist supports on the board itself.

It isn't essential, but it is recommended for ease of moving around to use the provided velcro tape to secure your keyboard in place, it is worth finding the ideal position of the keyboard by spending a little time using it first, before settling the exact location you will place the velcro tape on, 1m is enough to play around with, but not enough to fix any mistakes or readjust later as I used two strips, front and rear side of the keyboard to fasten.

The mouse pouch comes with vecro tape pre-applied and is recommended to be positioned anywhere near where you would be using your mouse, this would mean you can store your mouse in the pouch when it comes to moving the board around at various angles. The mouse pouch will fit the majority of mid-sized mice, but may struggle with large mice as the GIGABYTE XM300 (around the same dimensions as the Razer Deathadder) had to fit in at a corner-corner angle for it to be able to close. With the mouse safely stored and the keyboard secured with velcro, I found that the board is relatively safe to be maneuvered at any angle. The velcro held the keyboard in place even when completely flipped and given a little encouragement, however, I wouldn't spend too long shaking, regardless how strong the velcro is, that seems to be inviting trouble.

The board is fairly lightweight, though will be heavier depending on size/type of keyboard you have. There is no problem with getting up to move by moving the board to one side, assuming your sofa is stable, the cushions are large enough to support the board individually also.

After spending a fair while using the COUCHMASTER Cycon in the livingroom, I decided that it is actually a great way to play, work and more. Connect your headphones to when you don't want to make noise. Connect your game pad (maybe even steering wheel) to it when you want to game (assuming you are wired and not wireless, then you don't need to). The comfort of using the COUCHMASTER is certainly the strong point, unlike the Corsair LAPDOG or the ROCCAT SOVA, or many other solutions of this calibre, it doesn't rely on resting on your legs. Thus stability and comfort are guaranteed, assuming your sofa isn't made of water.

There are some complications worth mentioning, while getting up and moving around and disconnecting the board is fairly simple, you may find that you need a dedicated storage area for the support board. Storing the cushions isn't really that much of an problem, even the support board itself is fine standing upright somewhere against the wall, but if you are short on space, or even worse, have little-fingers around regularly (by that I mean children), the temptation to fiddle with a velcro strapped keyboard will be very real, and if you are short on space, you will quickly be reminded how cumbersome the COUCHMASTER Cycon is.

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