I love how my standing desk at the Tom's Guide office allows me to work without sitting down, because my doctor told me that working in a seated position exacerbated my back problems. What I don't like is that my standing desk is a big hulking contraption that I can't take anywhere.
So I'm intrigued by the YoUP, a portable and air-inflatable platform for notebooks that I could bring wherever I go.
The YoUP is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, where it's still in the early stages, with $808 out of $21,730 pledged. A contribution of 40 Euros (currently $43.57) gets you a YoUP in the color and size of your choice, and you can choose between blue, green, grey, red and green.
This portable work platform is the product of the similarly named YoUP Design+Technologies team, which has a headquarters in Milan, Italy. A schedule on the Kickstarter page points to the project shipping sometime between mid-March and late April 2017.
The YoUP measures 10 inches wide by 14 inches long, which means it should support laptops with displays as large as 15 inches. The YoUP Small expands to 10 inches in height, while the YoUP Regular inflates to a height of 13.8 inches.
The YoUP automatically inflates to 90 percent of its full size when you unzip its top and bottom halves and pull them apart, and you either use a supplied air pump or puff into it yourself to get it all the way there. When The YoUP isn't inflated to raise your notebook closer to your eye-level, it's a 2-inch thick rectangle that looks like a thick laptop sleeve and could fit in a backpack.
You can also track your usage of the YoUP, as it connects with a smartphone app (available on Android and iOS) that measures how long you're using it, and can suggest adjustments depending on your usage and user profile.
While I'd love to work comfortably in areas beyond my own office, I'm not sure the YoUP on its own supplies everything I need for a great workspace. In the photos on its Kickstarter page, the YoUP is shown supporting a laptop while someone is typing on that notebook's keyboard. Unfortunately, this doesn't bring the laptop screen to eye-level and keep the keyboard at waist-level, as you're supposed to when using a standing desk.
In theory, if you're working at a co-working space and can bring your own Bluetooth keyboard and use a high-enough desk, you could make the YoUP work well. On its own, though, it feels incomplete.