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Laptop desks for cars, trucks
gunnermac
I am considering buying a laptop desk for my car and pickup truck.

I was wondering what experiences and recommendations people might have who have used the various choices that are on the market.

I am most interested in stability, vibration -- especially of the LCD -- and overall useability.

Thanks
kcflyer
I have a RAM Mount in my car. I just received a new company car, and had to buy a different bracket to attach to the seat, but all of the rest just moved over. I have about 50,000 miles on the two cars and one laptop. The lid of the laptop is a bit loose from the bouncing around, but it still stays where I put it so it's not a problem. RAM does sell a little brace to hold the LCD in place if that is a concern for you.

Plan on spending $200 or a bit more, depending on the car. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Here's a link to my setup: http://www.ram-mount.com/laptop_mount/ramvb120sw1_laptop_desk.htm
Marvin Hlavac
RAM mounts seem to have the best reputation. There are a few other brands available - just Google for "laptop vehicle mounts" - but I think if you don't mind paying the price, you will have a solid product if you buy a RAM laptop mount.

It consists of:

* the base, which is designed for the year/make/model of you car or truck
* adjustable post
* universal laptop desk

If you get a new car or truck a few years down the road, you then just order a new base, just like kcflyer did now.
gunnermac
Thanks for the replies. I was leaning toward the ram vice the jotto. The one thing that really worries me though is the amount of vibration that is induced into the lid/screen of the laptop.

I am presently using a home made desk that sits on my front passenger seat. I have installed a brace that just uses a spring clamp to keep the lid stable and from excessive bouncing around.

I'd like to install a commercial desk so that I can have a front seat passenger and not have them forced to sit in the rear seat.

Thanks for the inputs.
kcflyer
The RAM mount has a hard rubber ball on the bottom of the desk, and it goes into a socket on the mounting arm. The rubber ball seems to absorb some of the small road shocks and vibrations. It won't help the curbs and potholes you fall into, of course . The long horizontal mounting arm absorbs the bigger bumps, but the laptop still flops around a bit. I believe RAM's biggest market is to commercial and law enforcement types. Our local police use RAM for their in-car computers, and they don't have the LCD braces. I suspect they heap more abuse on their computers in a week than we would in a year.
Ken in Regina
My brother has the RAM floor mount in his 3/4 ton Dodge. He has an arm on the back of it that holds the laptop's lid in the open position. It's adjustable and the part that grabs the lid is lined with a sturdy rubber so it won't mark the lid. I rode with him from Calgary to Las Vegas winter before last and the lid didn't bounce around at all, even over some rough patches. I don't know if it's standard on the model he has or if it's an option. I think it's something worth considering.

...ken...
Marvin Hlavac
The screen support is an optional accessory. It costs (going by memory) about $15, and there are at least two different types available.
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