FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to computer accessories. More particularly, the invention relates to a portable table attachment for laptop computers capable of holding beverage cups and other gadgets while using a laptop computer.
Portable computers variously known as laptops and notebooks have revolutionized the use of computers in that they can be transported from place to place unlike a desktop computer with unwieldy, heavy, disparate parts.
The portability and ease of use of laptop computers have made them an indispensable accoutrement of most business travelers as well as others of the public who frequently use the airlines, subways, buses, and other modes of transportation and consider the laptop a time saving device to conduct business, check emails, catch up with writing etc., during the sometimes long stretches of their journeys. The spread of wireless internet services in public places is also an added bonus for laptop users in that it eliminates the need to carry cables and wires along with the laptop especially when travelling.
The popularity and use of the laptop computer has also spawned an industry catering to accessories for the laptop computer. Popular among the laptop computer accessories is the device variously known as the notebook holder, notebook stand, notebook riser, laptop desk, table, etc. Intl. Appl. No. PCT/CN2007/003208 describes a notebook computer table with an attached mouse pad section. Intl. Appl. No. PCT/JUS 1999/022998 relates to a notebook computer with an integrated wrist support device. Intl. Appl. No. PCT/US2000/001310 contemplates a device for supporting a laptop computer on the lap of the user. The other more popular laptop accessories known in the art are devices that can hold paper to the side or top of the laptop as described in U.S. Pat. Appl. No. 20030623923, U.S. Pat. No. 5,725,191, U.S. Pat. No. 5,786,861, U.S. Pat. No. 5,697,594, U.S. Pat. No. 5,533,702 and Intl. Applications, PCT/CR2004/000006 and PCT/KR1998/000101. U.S. Pat. No. 5,812,369 describes a sound accessory for laptops.
The prior art in the field of laptop/notebook accessories thus far have been limited to the mentioned laptop desks, stands, notebook holders, paper holders, sound accessories etc. Laptop users especially those who travel or frequently use laptop computers at home (while sitting in a chair, sofa, on the bed etc.) find that they invariably use their laps as tables to support the laptop. It is common practice to use one's lap as a support for the laptop when sitting at the airport, train, subway, bus, and other terminals, or when travelling by airplane, train, subway, bus or in other situations as for instance while waiting in a doctor's office, or for another appointment, or in the outdoors, on the patio, or a park bench etc. On these occasions, it is popular to get a drink, either hot or cold and the laptop user is invariably faced with the dilemma of finding a table or other furniture to place the drink while resting the laptop computer on his/her lap and in cases where the table or furniture is not close by, the laptop user is compelled to get up now and again to get a drink, having to suspend work on the laptop while doing so. Some laptop users may also appreciate a table or other platform close enough to the laptop to be able to use a regular wired or wireless mouse instead of the standard laptop mouse pad. To resolve these issues faced by the laptop user and to make laptop computer use a more comfortable and enjoyable experience especially when sitting at airports or other travel terminals, waiting at offices, at home, park benches, and even during the actual travel for instance in an airplane, train, subway, bus etc., there is a need in the art for a laptop accessory that can function as a side table to hold drinking cups or a mouse pad when using a wired or wireless mouse as well as parking other items such as an ashtray, calculators, etc., while the laptop user has the lap top computer on his lap.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention fulfills the deficiencies in the prior art accessories related to laptop computers by providing a lightweight portable table attachment for the laptop user for placing objects such as drinks, gadgets and other computer accessories while the laptop is supported on the lap of the user.
The present invention relates to a multifunction portable table attachment to be used with a laptop computer and/or notebook. The portable table is capable of attachment and detachment from the side of the laptop through a customized joint assembly.
In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the unique symmetric design of the laptop table attachment and its side gats allow it to be used on either side of a laptop of any thickness or length and keeps the table body above the laptop surface level so that it does not block access to the various connectors, switches, button or other outlets on either side of the laptop.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the attachable laptop table platform may optionally have either one or two holes (orifices), and in the case of two such orifices they would be configured at equidistant from each other on the table platform. These orifices have hard rubber gats around the rim which can hold detachable collapsible cup/mug holders capable of holding beverage cups, mugs, and glasses as well as cell phones, writing instruments, gadgets, tools, other accessories and can even be used as a headphone hook or to hang other gadgets with hooks. Optionally the cup/mug holder can be replaced with a mouse pad which can be used with a wired or wireless mouse or configured for another gadget such as a calculator, flash card, reader etc.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the portable table itself provides the use of at least three or more USB connectors as an optional feature besides those available on the sides of the laptop computer.
The portable attachable laptop table is made of a lightweight hard material such as aluminum, chrome or titanium which can be painted or coated with any material to match the color of the laptop computer. The thin foldable feature and design allows it to be folded and left attached to the laptop during storage or detached during storage in a laptop bag or other luggage while traveling.
The present invention thus fulfills the much desired need for a portable table attachment that can be conveniently used with a laptop computer while travelling or in other circumstances as mentioned previously by providing a detachable light weight portable table configured to hold drinks and other items such as computer accessories in the form of gadgets or tools conveniently on either side of a laptop which rests on a users lap while the user of the laptop is seated in an airport, train, bus, or subway terminal, or inside the airplane, train, bus, or subway train, or at home, or office while seated on a chair, sofa, bed, outdoor furniture etc.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become obvious to one skilled in the art through the description of the drawings, detailed description of the invention and the claims that follow.
FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the portable table affixed on the left hand side of the keyboard and mouse pad section of the laptop computer body.
FIG. 2 shows another perspective view of the portable table attached to the right hand side of the key board and mouse pad section of the laptop computer body with a view of a mouse pad inserted into one of the table orifices.
FIG. 3 shows a detailed fragmented sectional view of the portable table with the gripping means comprised of the upper and lower lips and the manner in which they are assembled for sliding into the side of the keyboard and mouse pad section of a laptop computer. This figure also shows an assembled portable table.
FIG. 4 shows a top view of the portable table with the symmetrically placed orifices that accommodate the illustrated collapsible cup holder and showing a side view of the table section when the collapsible cup holder is replaced by a mouse pad.
FIG. 5 shows a side view of the portable table with the USB ports and a detailed illustration of the mode of assembly of the upper and lower lips.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 6 shows the top, front and side views of the upper and lower lips.
The present invention relates to a lightweight portable table that can be attached and detached from either side of the keyboard and mouse pad section of a laptop computer that rests on the lap of a user and conveniently stored away after use while still attached to the laptop computer or detached from it.
Referring now to the drawings, more particularly to FIG. 1 which illustrates one perspective view of a laptop computer in open face with the portable table 1 attached to the left hand side of the computer keyboard and mouse pad section. This view illustrates the elevation of the portable table in relation to the keyboard and mouse pad. The upper lip 2 can be seen flushed with the top surface of the keyboard and mouse pad. This allows for the unobstructed use of all side ports of the laptop computer keyboard and mouse pad. The rubber lining 8 at the bottom of the upper lip 2 and the top of the lower lip (not seen in this view) increases the stickiness of the table on the body of the laptop and protects the keyboard and mouse pad surfaces of the laptop computer from scratches if left by the upper and lower lips when attaching or detaching the portable table 1 from those surfaces. The flexible rotating joints 5 of the upper lip allows for the folding of the table 1 up at a 180 degrees angle when not in use and while still attached to the side of the keyboard and mouse pad of the laptop computer. The portable table is capable of being released from the surface of the keyboard/mouse pad through a release button 6 on the side of the upper lip(s) 2. The male-female joints 9 shown in this figure and illustrated more clearly in FIG. 3 facilitate the attachment and removal of the upper and lower lips from the base unit of the portable table 1. FIG. 1 further shows the planar platform top of portable table 1 with the two symmetrically devised and constructed orifices 4 with hard rubber gat lining 10 capable of removably holding a collapsible cup holder made of plastic or other suitable material to hold beverage cups, mugs, glasses etc. The cup/mug holder can also be used to store gadgets such as cell phones, writing instruments, or function as a holder for gadgets with hooks as for instance a headphone. Optionally one of the orifices on the table platform can be used to insert a mouse pad for use with a wired or wireless mouse which some may find more convenient than using the mouse pad attached to the keyboard on a laptop computer. One of the orifices may also be configured to hold other specialized gadgets such as a calculator, flash card, reader etc. The perspective view of FIG. 1 also shows the USB hub 13 with the USB connectors on the front edge of the portable table 1.
FIG. 2 shows another perspective view of the portable table attached to the right hand side of the keyboard and mouse pad section of the laptop computer. This view illustrates the use of a mouse pad 15 inserted into one of the orifices for use with a wired or wireless mouse which is an advantageous feature for those who prefer the use of a stand-alone mouse as compared to the mouse attached to the mouse pad section in front of the keyboard on a standard laptop computer.
FIG. 3 shows a fragmented view of the detached portable laptop computer table 1 base assembly with the staggered attachment of the upper lip 2 and lower lip 3 devices to the portable table base. The male joint of upper lip 2 engages and slides into the corresponding female joint of the table 1 base unit followed by the lower lip which engages with the upper lip through its vertical serrated tooth end 7. Screw 14 inserted through the upper lip 2 and the joints 5 functions to fix them together and acts as an axis for the joints to freely rotate. The lower surface of upper lip 2 and the upper surface of lower lip 3 are fabricated of rubber 8 or other suitable cushioning material to prevent sliding and scratching on the upper and lower surfaces of the laptop computer during the attachment and detachment of the portable table 1 from the laptop computer. The tooth 7 and release button 6 provide the means to attach and detach the portable table 1 from the side of the laptop and stored while not in use.
FIG. 4 shows a top planar view of the portable table 1 assembly and a vertical view of the preferred collapsible cup holder 11 showing by way of illustration the rubber gat 10 of the orifices at the top corners of the cup holder 11. In this embodiment, the rubber gat 10 circling the orifices provides a means to anchor the cup holder or any other custom made gadgets when inserted into the customized orifices. In another embodiment of the invention, the center descendent gat of the orifices symmetrically configured on the portable table 1 base platform may alternately be used for parking gadgets with a hook. The top planar view of the portable table 1 in this figure shows the upper lips 2 and lower lips 3 arranged in tandem. FIG. 4 also shows a sectional side view of a mouse pad 15 inserted into a customized orifice created to accommodate a mouse pad for use with a wired or wireless mouse. This sectional view also shows sections of the rubber gat 10 surrounding the customized mouse pad orifice.
Referring now to FIG. 5 and in particular to the side view of the portable table 1, by way of illustration is shown the USB hub with the USB connectors and side views of the upper lip 2 and lower lip 3 and the manner in which they interlock with each other. The figure further shows the pivoting joint feature 12.
FIG. 6 shows the front 16, top 17 and side 18 views of the upper lip 2 and the front 19, top 20, and side 21 of the lower lip 3.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the portable table 1 base along with the gripping and attaching means of the upper lip 2 and lower lip 3 are fabricated from a hard light weight material such as aluminum, chrome, titanium or the like and painted or coated with other material with colors that match with the laptop computer. The gats on the orifices and the cushions provided at the lower surface of the upper lip 2 and the upper extending surface of the lower lip 3 are made of rubber or other suitable material.
The foregoing description of the invention through the figures and drawings along with the preferred embodiments should not be construed to limit the scope of the invention. It should be understood and obvious to one skilled in the art that the embodiments of the invention thus described may be further modified without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the claims that follow.