The TV is a hub of entertainment in anyone’s home—there’s no denying that. It’s our source of movies, shows, and more. But perhaps one of the most underutilized aspects of this massive screen is its ability to serve as the ultimate big-screen computer monitor.
For the most part, our computer experience is tied to a desk chair and office setup that’s in some remote corner of the house. Fancy desk chairs are all good and fine, but what about when you want to just kick your feet up and hammer away at some document or play Fortnite from the couch?
Perhaps the biggest drawback of gaming (or browsing) from the couch is that there really isn’t a comfortable way to set yourself up for an actual computing experience. Bluetooth peripherals have made this a little more achievable, but there are still issues around how to get comfortable with those products, and delayed input response times—something that could make or break the gaming experience. Those are the exact types of problems ROCCAT looked to solve with its ROCCAT Sova gaming lapboard.
First and foremost, the oversized keyboard is designed to provide a very comfortable couch-based computing experience. The underside of the keyboard has four different cushioned pads that rest easy on top of the user’s thighs—much nicer than having the hard plastic of a traditional keyboard digging into you. The pads are large enough to provide plenty of comfort, but also not so big that they cut off airflow, which means you won’t get overheated while using the product. And the 4 meter (13+ foot) cable provides plenty of distance to get from the couch to wherever it needs to plug in by your TV. The breakaway design also means you won’t have to worry about tripping any housemates or having that cause any damage to the keyboard or whatever the Sova is plugged into.
On the top side, the lapboard is split in half with the left side having a full 84-key keyboard and wrist rest area, while the right side gives you a nice 11-inch-by-9-inch area that operates as a mouse pad. On the bottom, ROCCAT supplies two USB slots that come in hand if you’ve got only a wired mouse option and, say, a thumb drive that you need to have plugged in at the same time.
It’s clear that the Sova was designed with gaming in mind. With the keyboard itself tucked to one side of the board, it’s meant to give the user a comfortable gaming experience with one hand on the AWSD directional keys and the other controlling a mouse. The Sova has a nice center of balance with that type of setup. If you try to use the lapboard to type (or write an article like this one) you might find yourself shifting your legs a little differently and operating on a slant in order to balance the lapboard while also reaching across your body with your right arm to get at the full keyboard. It’s not unbearable or uncomfortable, but it’s certainly a little awkward.
Other possible drawbacks include the inability to make this a left-handed product out of the box, and the breakaway cable can be a little sensitive at times, doing its job a little too easily when you’re just shifting your position.
That said, ROCCAT does provide some nice customization options, offering both mechanical and membrane key switches (go for the mechanical), some 3D printing options, a mouse cable channel attachment that keeps the mouse cord out of the way, and the ability to link the Sova into ROCCAT’s Swarm system for additional customization and control tools.
At $149.99, the ROCCAT Sova is a sleek, crafty piece of hardware that takes couch gaming to a completely different level.