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Nerdytec CouchMaster Cycon Review

Are you looking for ultimate gaming comfort on the couch? Look no further than Nerdytec's CouchMaster Cycon.

Manufacturer: Nerdytec
12 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 99%
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The Bottom Line

A special thanks to Steiger Dynamics for showing us the light! The Nerdytec CouchMaster Cycon is the best of the best when it comes to gaming from the couch! No other includes as many features, nor do they not offer add-on bits to raise the bar even further.

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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Since the days of being forced to sit at a desk to enjoy your favorite PC games, technology has evolved, and as you get older, you tend to have more disposable income to remedy this situation. These factors have taken what used to be a gamer stuck to a desk, and has sent it to the living room, much like console gamers have been doing for years. While it is not hard to find a chassis to blend in with the aesthetics of the rest of your media center, balancing a keyboard and mouse on your lap is something no gamer should have to deal with. To combat the ghetto mods users may have to come up with, or having to hunch over a coffee table, many manufacturers have brought forth what they think is the best solution, which is some form of a lap desk.

We have seen a few of these designs in the past, but not until we looked at our latest submission did we see a major issue with those. While products such as the LAPDOG and the SOVA MK Lapboard are all well and good for combatting the balancing act, they are exceptionally low and may cause users discomfort with prolonged usage. While we tended not to game with our samples for hours on end, and typically type with a keyboard in our lap, we did not experience this as much. However, once we got to using this new submission, it was instantly apparent that adding height to the product makes for a more relaxed and much more enjoyable usage of such a product.

Steiger Dynamics, one of the only retailers of this product in the US was kind enough to send us a CouchMaster Cycon Lap Desk to spend some time with. The idea here is to make gaming on the couch as pleasurable as possible, and with what you are about to see, it is easy to tell that Nerdytec addresses things that the other solutions never thought of, and had they, the products have no way of offering many of them with current designs. For those of you looking to make a move from the desk to the living room, but are uncertain of which avenue to take in purchasing a lap desk, we wholeheartedly urge you to have a look at what Nerdytec is up to, and enjoy couch gaming with ergonomics and customization in mind.

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In the charts we borrowed from Steiger Dynamics, we are shown all of the bells and whistles of what the CouchMaster Cycon is all about. In the package contents list, we find that this product is designed with a 4-port USB 3.0 hub, and is designed without the need for external power. Connecting the hub to whatever PC you are gaming on, Nerdytec provides a five-meter, or sixteen-foot cable, which is an active extension cable to boot. Built in Germany, the lap desk offers an ergonomic design and outstanding build quality, which can be used universally with any peripherals on the market. The Cycon offers internal cable management within accessible compartments, and to support your arms and wrists, there are large foam cushions covered in real leather. The Cycon is plug-and-play ready for the most part, and can not only be used on the couch but is also a perfect solution to use while in bed as well.

There is no doubt that this is the largest lap desk of any we have seen so far. Making up the Cycon are three components, there is a pair of padded sides, and the desk area which is supported by them. Each "arm" of the lap desk is 190mm tall, they are 600mm long, and are 230mm wide. The desk surface is 840mm from side to side, and it is 350mm from front to back, but it does not have to rest on the outside edge of the "arms." The reason this is so, is that the user can define how the components are arranged, as they are held together with Velcro that you need to install yourself. We can also see there is a pouch on the left side of the Cycon for storing whatever you see fit, and another smaller pouch on the front, which is intended to contain the mouse when the desk is not in use.

If you were to look to purchase the CouchMaster Cycon, Nerdytec will sell them, but not on this side of the pond. Although, while there, we did see the MSRP of €159.99, but currently they have it on sale for €149.99. For our needs, as well as anyone else on this side of the big blue ball, when it comes to grabbing one, this is where Steiger Dynamic steps in. It is there where we would be buying the Cycon at $159.99. Amazon does show a listing, but is currently unavailable, and has no price listed. Comparing the cost to others we have seen, this falls in the middle, where the LAPDOG is $79.99 now, and the SOVA MK is near $180. Of course, ROCCAT includes the keyboard, where neither of the others includes any form of peripherals. Also, keep in mind, there is a slew of add-on products for the CouchMaster Cycon, which can be attached to this product to fully include mobile devices, as well as offering a mountable ashtray.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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The outer packaging is relatively dull to look at. On this side, we see the Nerdytec name on the left, and the large CouchMaster name in the middle, showing it is made for comfortable PC gaming. The top and bottom are blank, aside from the pair of shipping stickers.

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The back of the box is nearly identical. What is offered is the same, but this time the company name is moved to the right, while the indicators of how to handle the package are transferred to the left. Aside from what we have seen, the only additional information found on the box is that one end is marked not to open from, as a knife could damage the armrests packed on that end of it.

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Inside of the box, we find first, a smaller cardboard insert with all of the accessories, which rests on top of the pair of armrests that are covered in plastic. Slid down the side of the box is the shiny black box which houses the desk section of this lap desk.

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Found in the accessories compartment, originally inside of plastic bags, are this pair of cables. On the left is an active five-meter long cable, which connects the CouchMaster Cycon to the PC via a male and female USB 3.0 connection. The sorter cable on the right connects the USB 3.0 hub of the Cycon to the cable on the left and acts as a break-away spot in the cable for easy disconnection if needed.

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That same area inside of the box is where we found the two-meter-long pair of hook and loop tape. Both are rolled up to save room, but one roll is the hook side, while the other roll is the loops. Not only for placement of the name of the product, but also for storing the mouse when not in use, we are sent this snap closed leather pouch to mount on the right armrest, at the front of it.

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Nerdytec also includes a branded mouse pad in the mix. This is found in with the desk portion of the packaging and is a simple cloth on foam mouse pad, which covers the area offered for mouse usage quite well.

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Also included with the desk portion of the Cycon are the instructions. Oddly, they show how to open the box, but you have to open it to find this. They also cover the list of parts you should have before stepping off into how you go about mounting the arms and how to access the interior.

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On the back of that same sheet, we are shown to send the cables through the holes in the top of the desk and to wrap the cord around the posts to help contain the extra wires. The last bit of instructional help shows to connect the extension cable to the Cycon and plug it into the PC you wish to use this with.

Nerdytec CouchMaster Cycon

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The main component of the lap desk is the desk itself. Along the front edge, we see a hole for the keyboard cable, the Nerdytec name, a USB port, and the second hole for a mouse, if you are a right-handed gamer. The holes can be used for whatever you desire, and can even be used for headphones or mobile device charging cables. The name of the product is covering most of the desk area, and at the front edge, the desktop is angled to add comfort in the transition from pads to the desk.

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Flipping the desk onto its face, we see that there is a product sticker near the center, and this does offer a serial number should you have any issues. We can also see that there are two removable panels which will gain access to the other three ports of the hub and is where the excess wires are stored.

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To remove the access panels, you can use the provided Phillips screwdriver to remove five screws on each panel, and they lift off the desk. The screws which hold the desk together are Allen screws, and Nerdytec does not supply a driver to remove them, and the desk is not intended to be entirely dismantled.

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In this image, we have the right-side armrest. Initial impressions are high as we look at tight stitching around the edges of the genuine leather covers. We also see that there is a tag at the front with the Nerdytec name on it, and under the armrest is a zipper that runs front to back.

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After flipping the armrest over and opening the zipper, we find that the core of them is made from a high-density pink foam. There is enough strength to give the rests their shape, but enough give to make resting your arms on the top of it comfortable.

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The left side armrest is similar in its construction, shape, and the zipper at the bottom, but what separates the two is this elastic topped pocket. The pocket can be used for anything from holding a beverage, holding snacks, or even holding on to key pullers and extra mouse bits, should your devices come with them. Or you can use this to store product manuals or the remote for the TV.

Access, Assembly & Finished Product

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As we start to install the keyboard and mouse, we opened up the left side panel under the desk, and find that we have a pair of tubes to wrap the cables around after it comes through the octagonal hole. On the right side of the opening, we find a Type-A USB 3.0 port to plug in a device, and also the Type-B USB 3.0 port. We also see that there is a power jack for 12V input, but it is not required for full functionality.

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Leaving enough cable on the top of the desk to allow the mouse to move freely, we then wrapped the remainder of it around the tubes and cross-support. We also made sure to plug the mouse into the USB 3.0 port, and at this time, we also plugged in the shorted power cable and ran it through the groove on the left side of the opening. Once done, place the cover back on and screw it in place.

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The right side of the desk is very similar. There are two tubes to wrap the cables around, and there is a notch on the outside edge. However, this time, we find two USB 3.0 ports near the center, one of which the keyboard will use, but the other can be used for anything you see fit to plug in there.

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Leaving the coiled section of the keyboard cable outside f the desk, we are left to tend with a bit of extra cable before plugging it into the hub. We can also see a tunnel offered in this design, which allows cables to be passed from one side to the other, in case your desired setup has another cable on the left, with no port to plug it into.

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After adding Velcro to the right and left arm rests and affixing the desk to the top of them, we now see the CouchMaster Cycon as it would be used. Of course, some users are wider than others, and the width can be adjusted to fit each user individually. You do also have the option to use the desk portion on its own, but that does negate the ergonomics and point of buying one with armrests in the first place.

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If someone else was using the Cycon and you happened to walk up on them, this is the view you would see. The pouch for the mouse can be added anywhere you want to add it, and it does not have to be used for the mouse at all. Although adding it to the front does bring the name of the product right out in the open for others to see, if you game with friends at home, that is.

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The last thing you will need to do is to connect the short cable coming from the inside of the Cycon to the much longer cable. In our living room setup, our favorite spot on the couch is twelve feet away. This does not leave a huge amount of cable to rest on the floor, but we did have a coffee table to rest it on. For most users, you will want to be no more than maybe eight feet from the PC, as this allows room for the cable to run freely across the floor.

Final Thoughts

At every turn, and from every angle, Nerdytec has thought this product through to the fullest extent. There are various models of this desk you can buy, some with less than what is offered here, and a premium line of limited supply with zero through five hundred individual serial numbers and the inclusion of bits made of titanium. Whichever your choice, we can soundly say that the CouchMaster in any form is well worth the investment. It raises the play area to levels which are more ergonomic, and won't cause unwanted pain to the wrists after many hours of use, and more importantly, it does not depend on leg positioning to support the desktop. The desk portion is rigid and strong, the pads are covered in genuine leather, and no part of this product gives you a feeling of cheapness or inadequacy. Everything you need comes in the box, and who cannot take advantage of the four-port USB 3.0 hub once you add in headsets and mobile devices.

We also like that the design is adjustable and customizable. Not only does using Velcro allows the arm pads to be moved outward for various sizes of users, but it also makes it easier to store when not in use. One issue does come up with using leather on the armrests though, and that is after many hours of use, you do tend to sweat on them, which does make it slippery at times. Keep in mind; you can also buy mounts for mobile devices which clamp onto the desk, and for those who cannot game without smoking, there is also an ashtray which can be clamped onto it as well. The CouchMaster Cycon may be bulky, but compared to others we have used in the past, Nerdytec hit the nail on the head and delivered the most comfortable lap desk we have used to date.

The CouchMaster Cycon is a product you are going to want to make sure you will frequently use before stepping up to purchase it. Due to the cost of such items, we do feel that if you are going to opt for this range of products, Nerdytec has the best idea going right now though. Using high-grade materials, including more USB 3.0 ports than any other we have seen, no need for additional power, and pockets to store extra goodies are always welcomed.

So, even though you are going to have to shell out $159.99 through Steiger Dynamics, we feel the price is justified. Even if you are not a gamer, and all you want to do is work comfortable from the bed or the couch, this is still something you want to consider. Yes, there are other products which will assume the primary function of this product, but none of them are as inclusive with options. Nerdytec and the CouchMaster Cycon should be what you strive to own if gaming or working away from the desk is something you can see yourself doing.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

TweakTown award

The Bottom Line: A special thanks to Steiger Dynamics for showing us the light! The Nerdytec CouchMaster Cycon is the best of the best when it comes to gaming from the couch! No other includes as many features, nor do they not offer add-on bits to raise the bar even further.

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Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM and coolers.

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