Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
While we have had our hands-on the LAPDOG from Corsair, we never got our mitts on the COUCHMASTER from Steiger Dynamics. However, they are no longer the only players in this market with widely recognized products. ROCCAT has now also taken gaming, comfortably, to the living room. In all three designs, there are distinct differences, but this latest product most closely resembles the LAPDOG, yet is still a design all its own. Where the COUCHMASTER is the only model which will support both right and left-hand gamers, ROCCAT has also chosen to build their design in support of right-hand users only, as it is the largest segment of users to cater to.
There are many differences between the ROCCAT and Corsair solutions as well, and most tend to favor this ROCCAT design. First of all, the keyboard is built in with this model, and this removes the assembly factor. ROCCAT made their couch gaming system out of plastic, and it is smaller dimensionally, meaning the unit is lighter and is much more user-friendly when it comes to actually using this product on your lap. They also did not opt to use one large pillow underneath of it, ROCCAT decided on four smaller pads which afford the same level of grip, but without the self-centering design that Corsair put out. There is also much more that ROCCAT added to their take on comfortable couch gaming, but we do need to leave something to talk about later in the review.
Today, we are covering one of two models of the ROCCAT SOVA, the SOVA MK. The vanilla SOVA is a membrane based gaming lapboard, where the SOVA MK uses mechanical switches; and not any of the typical ones either. The whole idea with designs such as these is to allow those with comfortable furniture, and PCs connected to your TV, to game without the need of a desk. Even as excited as we were when we looked at the Corsair LAPDOG and rated it highly for what they delivered, we feel we may have jumped the gun a bit there. ROCCAT and the SOVA MK Gaming Lapboard is where we would spend our money. If we only knew then what, we know now. Once you lay your eyes on the ROCCAT SOVA MK, it won't take long to sort out all of the features and see why this product is the better of the two.
Aesthetically, there is much less of the SOVA MK to see if you are not looking at the keyboard and because it uses only a TKL keyboard layout, it does not need to be as broad as what Corsair built. It may not have brushed aluminum on top, but the textured plastic that makes up the ROCCAT frame, along with the name being cut into the bottom, and a logo the size of my hand on the right, all dress up this product nicely. Cloth covered, padded feet add comfort and slide resistance, there is a groove to hide cabling, there is a mouse bungee of sorts, and on top of blue LEDs glowing from the keyboard, and you can also 3D print parts for this product as well. This means you can color coordinate the bungee to the wrist rest insert, the mouse pad, and even a mobile device holder, of which ROCCAT will sell you one separately.
On the technical side of things, the mouse pad is 275mm by 240mm of the 646mm width and 280mm from front to back. The wrist rest is the smaller of the two panels, but you can see that both of these parts are replaceable. As well as the padded feet, which have the SOVA MK standing 37mm in height. The SOVA MK, as any ROCCAT product does, still supports Easy-Shift, this time with a 28-key EazyZone. There are two additional USB 2.0 ports for a mouse, headset, or any portable media as well. It uses ROCCAT Talk which means you can use mouse functions on the keyboard, and keyboard functions on the mouse, as long as the mouse is ROCCAT produced. There are multimedia keys, there is a four-meter break-away cable, it can store 512KB of profiles and Macros, and it has a 32-bit MCU. By default, the SOVA MK also uses a 1000Hz polling rate, has anti-ghosting and NKRO support, and the switch of choice for this model is the TTC brown switch. The SOVA MK is also weighty to be able to stay in place while using it, and ROCCAT lists it at 2350 grams or just over five pounds.
One thing rings true about all of these solutions, though; they are not very friendly to your bank account. If you are looking for the SOVA with rubber dome switches, it will set you back $149.99 from the listing we found at Amazon. As we write this, we do see that Newegg and Amazon list the SOVA MK at the same price and both with free shipping. If you are prepared to shell out $199.99 for the SOVA MK, it seems you may have a wait, as both locations currently show no stock available. It is not much of a gap, but this SOVA MK is a bit cheaper than the LAPDOG, and it does not even ship with a keyboard. That is an extra cost of choosing Corsair for your solution. The COCUHMASTER is the cheapest initial solution, but there too you need to buy a keyboard before you can compare to what ROCCAT delivered right out of the box. Even before we get started, it is not hard to see the savings that the SOVA MK design has.
Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS X99-E WS - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: KLevv Cras DDR4 3000 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Matrix Platinum - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Intel 730 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: SilverStone TJ11 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
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