We think that eTray laptop trays are special for a number of reasons. One reason is that they are the only beanbag laptop trays we are aware of that are purpose designed for laptop computing.

Another is that they are available in different sizes to suit different sized laptops and to take account of the different ways that you might want to use them.

There is also the wide (and growing) range of designs and colours that you can choose from.

But, perhaps the most important reason that they are special is the amount of care that we put into making them.

We use the best materials that we can obtain, and these are careful assembled and hand finished to provide a product that is beautiful and tough enough to survive daily use for years.  All eTrays come with a one year warranty, but our intention is that you should have them for life.

All eTrays are made using a step by step process that starts by selecting the materials that are to be used and ends with the completed eTray ready for shipping.

Three main parts

eTrays are made from three main components; a frame, the laminated deck that the laptop sits on and the bean bag assembly that fits under the deck. Let us start with the first of these.

Building the frame

We make use of the same general formula that picture framer’s have used for years to produce our frames. Four lengths of frame material are cut with 45 degree bevels and these are glued and butt jointed together with stainless steel “V” nails.

Making the deck

An eTray deck fulfils three purposes:

  • It provides a flat surface for the laptop to sit on. This is important because it allows air to flow freely underneath the machine and that allows the machine’s cooling system to operate properly.
  • It provides a surface for the mouse to operate on. This needs to be both durable and must provide a texture that optical mouse can “see” so they operate properly.
  • It acts as both insulation and shield to reduce the transmission of heat and electromagnetic radiation between you and your laptop.

To make the deck we use rigid high quality MDF board with an aluminium foil shield panel attached to the underside. We use a wide format printer loaded with archive grade ink and high quality photo paper to produce the ink jet prints that go on top of the MDF panels. close up of etray mousing material

These are laminated with a finely textured vinyl laminating film before being fixed to the deck using a low-acid photo mount adhesive.

Sewing the beanbag

The bean bag that fits to the base of an eTray is made of fabric attached to a sheet of card which is used to attach the bag to the base of the tray. The corners and the overlapping adge must be sewn with great accuracy.

Once the bag is sewn it can then be filled with expanded polystyrene beads. The exact amount required varies with the different size trays, but it is important to get the right amount. If we add too much then the tray won’t sit on your lap correctly and the whole thing can become unstable. Too little and you lose the insulating effect from the polystyrene beads.

Putting it all together

Once we have all three component parts available, the next step is to assemble them to make a completed lap tray. We start by fitting the deck to the frame.eTray deck glue

We trim the edge of the laminate so that it is a slightly loose fit in the frame. This allows some room for heat expansion.

The deck is bonded to the frame around its entire circumference with a specialist glue. This last stage is very important because it is this that give an eTray is characteristic solid feel, and also helps makes them extremely durable.

To fix the bag we apply hot melt adhesive around the edge of the deck  to bond the bag firmly into place.A finished etrayAfter a careful inspection the eTray is now completed, ready to be packaged for shipping.

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