LapDome, Improve Screen Visibility in the Great Outdoors (But With Some Shortcomings)

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Lapdome – I like to work outside when I can, even though I have a home office. Once you have the ability to work outside, exotic work locales become a real possibility. I consider the ability to work outside another perk of remote work.

As anyone who has tried to do work outdoors knows, glare is your enemy. The best equipment I had found to counter the glare was the Moshi anti-glare screen protector, which admittedly does a very good job. But it’s not perfect, as I often end up moving around a bit to find the best spot to sit with the least amount of glare.

During July’s Amazon Prime Day, one of the items on special was the Lapdome. It looked like the perfect solution to the problem of glare. I’ve used it on a couple of different occasions now, and I have mixed feelings about this product.

First and foremost, it does do the job that it sets out to do. It really reduces the glare and the screen is incredibly readable when using the Lapdome. The Lapdome really goes out of its way to reduce any stray light. The material is fairly thick, colored black on the inside, and includes a black keyboard cover that helps reduce any reflected light from the keyboard that might hit your laptop screen.

During my testing, I didn’t remove the Moshi anti-glare protector, but it was obvious that there was even less glare when using the Lapdome. So in combination, my glare issues aren’t really much of an issue anymore. I won’t say the glare is completely gone, because if the sun is directly behind you, then you’ll still get some glare on the screen. I don’t think there is anything you can do about that, except have a large structure behind you to block off the sun.

Sadly, I encountered a few problems while using the Lapdome, but I was able to overcome all of them. However, they are something you should be aware of:

  1. My laptop (a Macbook Air) gets really hot. In fact, it got so hot that I was having real problems using it, as it started behaving weirdly. Ultimately, I helped reduce the heat issue by not using the black fabric keyboard cover that comes with the Lapdome. I also started using an external cooling pad that keeps air moving under the computer. The computer fan still runs, but it doesn’t appear to be overheating with the cooling pad running too. The cooling pad can be powered by a USB charger.
  2. Typing in the Lapdome was uncomfortable for me. It just felt as if my arms were being pushed in by the opening, and the my hands were being pushed down by the keyboard cover. So I switched to using an external USB keyboard and mouse. Which now means that when using the Lapdome, I need quite of bit of tabletop space for all my gear.
  3. I am unable to connect to my 5GHz Wi-Fi while my laptop is in the Lapdome. I was able to connect to the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi just fine though. So this really isn’t an issue for me, but might be for you if you only have access to 5GHz. I bet an external USB Wi-Fi adapter would solve the problem though, but that’s one more piece of gear you will need.

I haven’t tested how long the laptop would work in the Lapdome, mainly because I don’t have a power outlet on my deck. But I am able to work for a couple hours, though, using the Lapdome with a cooling pad, external keyboard and mouse. After that, my laptop runs out of juice and I’m back indoors searching for a power outlet.

Even with the shortcomings and issues mentioned above, I plan on continuing to use the Lapdome as it cuts the glare better than any other product I have used. For me, the ability to work outside outweighs the issues with this device. Given the cost of the product, I do hope that future versions include better ventilation to reduce the heat issues. But until then, I’ll use this product until I discover something better.

 

Image Credit: Dereck Curry

2017-01-07T21:56:55+00:00 By |0 Comments

About the Author:

Dereck has worked remotely for five years in Software and Product Development and Team Management. He has had a long career in Information Technology, and occasionally does freelance software development work. He believes that work and travel do not have to be mutually exclusive.

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