Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Couchmaster CYCON² Provides Accessibility in Gaming

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Everyone’s heard of a gamer chair or gamer headphones or a gamer mouse. Have you heard of a gamer lab board? I hadn’t and was really curious to try out the Couchmaster CYCON² from NerdyTec which promises accessibility and comfort for reduced mobility gamers! I don’t have reduced mobility but I do want to game more from my couch and was pleased to say that the Couchmaster is pretty cool!

I was sent the regular black edition which retails for about $184 on the US site and is available for $175 Euros on the European site. You can also add a tablet holder, phone holder, Nerdytray (for snacks), and an XXL mousepad.

The base Couchmaster comes with a lapboard (made out of recycled material), two cushions made out of memoryfoam with a suede look and feel, six USB interfaces, power adapter, and a regular mousepad. I have a wireless mouse and keyboard so I didn’t need to use any of the cords, but for those who need them, they can be locked into place on the back of the lapboard.

One of the cushions also has side pockets for remotes, drinks, or other items, and the mousebag can be hooked up on the front so it’s out of the way.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I got the box, because I thought the cushions might come connected, but I was happy to see that I was mistaken! As long as you can balance the lapboard on the cushions, you can have them as far apart as possible for folks who need more space. I think the lapboard could also be used by itself on a wheelchair if a wheelchair user wanted, instead of having to transfer into a couch for example.

The cushions don’t weigh very much at all, but the lapboard does have some heft to it, so some users might need help getting it set up. I thought it was pretty comfortable to sit on my couch and play on my PC.

the couchmaster set up on my couch
Set up on my couch.
Is the Couchmaster Cycon² worth the price tag though?

I say yes, but with some caveats.

First the pros. In terms of true accessibility I do think the fact that it’s three separate pieces makes it much easier to use. Storing it is also easy because you can stick the cushions in a closet and the lapboard back in the box under your couch or against the wall since the board itself isn’t super thick.

It is super nice to not be hunched over my keyboard and mouse at my desk and when I’m using my controller, I have somewhere to place it that isn’t my couch cushion. For folks with different consoles and items that need to be plugged in, the number of USB ports is great, and the cords that came with the Couchmaster are heavy duty.

On the flip-side, I think the cushions are honestly too thick. For bigger gamers, or folks with other accessibility needs, making the cushions just wide enough for the board to balance on would probably be much better since it would give more space for comfort. The thinner size would have also allowed me to sit criss-crossed, which I find myself doing all the time at my desk anyways.

And for disabled folks who live at home, moving the lapboard around might require more work than is truly accessible.

Still, it’s great to see a company actually care about accessibility, and NerdyTec has been working on improving the Couchmaster since the founders conceived of the idea in 2011.

The lapboard alone is also going to be available soon for $135 which is pretty cool and if you have a single sofa with arms or other support methods, you could only get the lapboard and it would work just fine. I’m probably only going to use the lapboard myself and one cushion so I can get maximum leg space!

Images and review copy courtesy of NerdyTec

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