Laptop Baggage

Last year, sales of laptops in the United States surpassed those of desktop computers for the first time—a trend that is likely to accelerate as manufacturers con­tinue to pack better performance into smaller, lighter, more affordable machines. But as any laptop user knows, mobility comes at a price: an obnoxious tangle of power cords and peripheral cables that have to be dragged from desk to couch to coffeeshop.

For Dominic Symons, the founder and principal of the design studio Bluelounge, the ascension of laptop computing calls for a new type of desk, one that resolves this snake’s nest of wires. “I think I have a fascination with cable management,” Symons says. Well, yeah: the Swiss-born designer’s previous products include the Cableyoyo, a minimalist spool for electronics cords, and the Sanctuary, a tabletop docking station that conceals charging devices. The StudioDesk, which comes out this month, captures the simplicity of those solutions on a larger scale. The desk features a sliding top that hides a storage tray with ample space for a power strip and the inevitable riot of cords and charging gizmos. Devices plug in through a long, narrow slot in the desktop; with the tray closed, the only evidence of the teeming electrical core is a single power cord snaking along one of the desk’s hind legs.

Aesthetically, the StudioDesk adopts what Symons calls the “pleasant and homey” look of an old-fashioned kitchen table. The legs are solid mahogany; the top is laminated MDF with mahogany details. A removable faux-leather mat conceals the seams of the sliding top, so the surface can remain truly pristine, even with total chaos hiding underneath—which, Symons points out, is a key part of the appeal. “Even if you’re kind of a messy person,” he says, “with this desk you can actually be clean.”

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