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As Seen On TV: The Port-a-Book

When you hear the name "Port-a-Book," what do you think of?  I imagined some sort of water tight container for a paperback novel.  With a handle.  And maybe a little light that pops up so you can read at night.

In fact the Port-a-Book is this thing:

Wow.  Amazing performances, eh?

I gotta admit.  The Port-a-Book looks quite intriguing.  Essentially all we have here is a document stand that has been augmented by plastic bands for use with laptops and paper-based books.  Not a bad idea at all.  In fact, a pretty darn good one in my opinion.  I always have trouble reading my books while eating breakfast; can't seem to keep them open.  The Port-a-Book would do that for me.

While I'm not sure how good this would be for posture (all of the users in the ad look pretty uncomfortable), I do like the fact that it has 5 adjustable positions, is light weight, and provides a storage/carrying system for a laptop.  It also reduces laptop heat - and helps users avoid "sweaty thigh syndrome" caused by this heat.  I don't like my thighs getting all wet when I'm writing.  It's distracting.

Wow!!!!Wow!!!!

Plus, according to the ads, if you buy one now you get another for free!  And you get a Wi-Fi hot-spot locator, a USB powered fan, and a USB light!

Sounds good to me!  But...

Sometimes good ideas don't always pan out in execution.

The reviews of this poor thing are brutal, with two factors repeatedly scrutinized.  The first of these is the Port-a-Book's seeming inability to actually fit a regular sized laptop.  Given that this is the primary function of this device, you'd think that fitting the intended machine would be... I dunno... important, maybe?  Apparently laptops continually slide around on the stand because the edges are not big enough to contain them.

Then we come to one of those horrible Catch-22 scenarios: light-weight versus strength.  Many users complained that the Port-a-Book could not support the weight of their laptops.  One even described it as being "not much stronger than Styrofoam."  In some cases the stand just plain broke with the laptop on-board.  Yikes.

Another complaint - more of an observation, in my opinion - is that the Port-a-Book has no ventilation holes.  So how does this help keep the laptop cool?  I understand how it would keep thighs cool... but not the computer itself.

So... I have to give kudos to the idea.  I need one of these things.  But until they make a Port-a-Book that can hold what it purports to be designed for, I'm gonna wait.

If you want to give the Port-a-Book a shot, head on over to The Official Site For Port-a-Book or to Amazon.

SOURCES: Amazon, As Seen On TV Reviews