PC gaming in the living room can be a rather clunky experience. You're either trying to comfortably navigate several peripherals or you're slow-cooking your crotch with your molten hot laptop. Roccat's latest creation, the Sova Lapboard merges traditional PC gaming peripherals (keyboard, mouse pad and mouse) into an all-in-one wireless solution that gamers can use comfortably in their laps while enjoying their favorite couch or recliner.
After some hands-on time with the mega-peripheral, we think that Roccat could successfully bring PC gaming into the living room without a whole lot of muss or fuss.
Although it's a first production model, the Sova is a sight to behold. The base of the hybrid device is constructed of silvery brushed aluminum, the ends of the lapboard are lined in hard, black plastic. A Roccat rep quickly informed us that the hard plastic would be swapped out for rubber, allowing gamers to rest the board against a wall without damaging either surface when not in use.
Roccat has stashed a pair of USB ports and a microUSB port in a small blue-lined depression along the top left side of the peripheral. A full-size mechanical keyboard sits along the top left corner of the board. A built-in palm rest made of black rubber is below the keyboard and gave some welcome support to our left wrist.
The right side of the board is dominated by a black mouse pad made from the same materials Roccat uses on its regular pads. This pad is more than meets the eye however, a gentle push to the right slides the pad out about an inch past the board. It's perfect for gamers that need a lot of room the kick butt. A small opening sits above the lapboard, allowing gamers to secure the mouse cable.
That's not to say the board isn't already spacious enough. It easily covered the expanse of our lap. The bottom of the Sova is a solid sheet of silver brushed aluminum with a large black Roccat logo engraved in the center. The logo is surrounded by a pair of gel-filled leg rests that run the length of the board. They act as a cushy cover for your lap and enable airflow so things don't get too hot.
While we don't have exact dimensions, we can say that the board has a noticeable heft to it.
Keyboard and Mousepad
The Sova has a large, embedded mechanical keyboard. The large black keys were well-spaced with bouncy feedback and delivered satisfying clicking sounds as we typed thanks to the Cherry mX switches. Our demo version featured blue backlighting, but there's no word on whether gamers will have the ability to customize the color. We were surprised Roccat didn't include a number pad, but overall the keyboard gave us a comfortable audibly pleasing experience.
Using the attached Roccat Kone mouse on massive touchpad was a breeze. The mouse glided across black slightly, textured surface. The sliding features is just as smooth, repositioning the pad with a quick push to the right or left.
More: Best Gaming Mice 2014
Roccat claims that the wireless Sova can last up to 12 hours on a charge. However we're curious about how long it will take to charge the massive board especially if the bulk of the charging will be performed via USB. We're also curious about the range of the lapboard's Bluetooth. The typical range is approximately 33 feet, but Roccat reps declined to share spec information as the Sova is a pre-production build.
The Sova Lapboard offers a compelling new way to game, freeing PC gamers from being tethered to a desktop PC or a gaming laptop. As we used the board to join in a four-person raid in "Gauntlet," it wasn't hard to imagine using the lapboard on our couch playing on a 50-inch television. Some questions remain about battery life and range, but overall, the Sova Lapboard is a device to watch for in the coming months.