With many offices getting rid of cubicles in favor of open layouts, many folks find themselves missing the little bit of privacy the humble cubicle wall provides. Since you can’t realistically bring your own cubicle to the office, the Alcove offers a more feasible solution.
Billed as a “mobile workstation,” the contraption is, basically, a mini-cubicle for your laptop. No, you still won’t have any walls separating you from everyone else, but you can, at least, give your portable computer its own walled fort to shield it from the rest of the world.
When set up, the Alcove creates pop-up walls on the back and sides of your laptop, so neither your screen nor keyboard are completely exposed to everyone around. Sure, people behind can still see your screen and keyboard perfectly, but they’re going to have to be creepy and look over your shoulder, rather than just casually glancing your way if you didn’t have the walls in place. If you don’t really enjoy having people gawk at whatever you’re working on, but are relegated to working in open layout offices, coffee shops, and other public spaces, this sounds like the perfect accessory to add some much-needed privacy.
With walls on the sides and a high wall in the back, the mini-cubicle should help reduce glare on your screen, all while cutting out some of the ambient noise when you’re in heavily-populated spaces. A clip at the top of the rear wall allows you to mount either a light bar or a visor, with the former giving additional illumination for your keyboard and the latter adding extra cover for your screen. Both those accessories, by the way, aren’t included with the case, so you’ll have to purchase them separately. Oh yeah, having the light in there means you can use this as a workstation not just for computing, since you can totally build your LEGO projects, draw illustrations on your sketchpad, or even scribble entries in your journal inside the mini-enclosure.
The Alcove comes with port holes on the left and right panels for passing through charging cables, as well as rotational hinges that allows you to adjust the position of the side panels. Construction is faux leather for the rear wall, with the side panels cut in soft felt for better acoustic performance. According to the outfit, the mini-cubicle can accommodate laptops up to 15 inches in size, which should cover most notebooks, save for the occasional oversized unit.
When collapsed, it folds into a functional laptop case, so you can use it to carry your laptop in hand or slip it inside the backpack. A detachable shoulder strap allows you to carry it like a messenger bag, while an elastic webbing in the lets you strap it down to other bags, in case you’re traveling with a lot of gear in tow. It comes in two colors: charcoal black and heather gray.
Now available for preorder, the Alcove is priced at $79.