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Paper Holding Accessory
For those not too familiar with Bakker Elkhuizen, I should explain that this company is based in the Netherlands. Bakker Elkhuizen is a company that specialises in the development of high-end and ergonomic hard and software solutions designed to help users adopt a more positive proper working condition for their general environment. One such product is the FlexDesk 640 but before taking a look at this product, allow me the opportunity for a few moments of reminiscing.
Many years ago, when I had fewer grey hairs and could move faster than my current tortoise-like crawl, due to various health issues, computer enthusiasts could attend numerous computer fairs to check out the latest developments and purchase new product. It was at one of these fairs that I came across a device that was imaginatively entitled “Thingy”. I apologise if the intervening decades have resulted in any mis-spelling of this black plastic product that features a Velcro strip and paper grip clasp. We are talking about a period when many computer users would spend hours typing in lists of code and other forms of documents as their main computing occupation and this product was meant to help.
The “Thingy” was designed to be attached to the side of a CRT monitor with relevant sheets of paper being hung from the paper clasp thus being in clear view of the user as they transferred the text to the computer’s memory using the keyboard. I can not remember how much the “Thingy” cost but would guess its price at around a couple of pounds. Unfortunately I have been unable to find a reference to this device on the Internet so would-be purchasers are out of luck. However there is a possible alternative in the form of the Bakker Elkhuizen FlexDesk 640 product.
Whereas the “Thingy” went for a very basic and simple solution of acting as a document holder, the same could not be said of the FlexDesk 640 offering. In almost every single aspect, the FlexDesk 640 is different from the “Thingy”. The one exception being that the FlexDesk 640 is meant to be used as a document holder but more on that particular aspect a little later.
When first unpacked, the FlexDesk does require some manual customisation as you prepare the kit for use. This preparation task involves attaching two adjustable ski-like feet to the sides of the main acrylic unit which consists of a raised tray element and a sliding easel top that can be used to hold various documents. The design of the ski-like feet is such that they can be set to adjust the height of the FlexDesk 640 from 3 to 4 inches at the front and from 4.3 to 7 inches at the rear through the movement of four retaining screws. This will also have the effect of creating sloping angles of 7, 12 and 15 degrees. An illustrated instruction sheet is provided but I felt this document was not as clear as it could have been as I struggled to work out what was required.
Once you have attached the side-mounted feet, the FlexDesk 640 needs to be positioned between the computer monitor and the keyboard or, if you prefer, situate it on one side within easy viewing range to suit the user. Documents, whether a single page or two or perhaps even a reference book, can be placed on the sliding easel element. When necessary the easel can be slid closer to the user. Although designed for use as a document holder, this is not the product’s only purpose. The sliding easel can also be used as a writing desk for the production of notes and other types of documents. Concealed beneath the sliding easel, when closed, is a groove for holding writing implements for when they are needed..
With dimensions of 20 z 11.5 inches, the sliding easel can easily accommodate two sheets of A4 paper or a reasonable sized reference book. A raised lip along the front of the sliding tray helps ensure that documents do not slide off the tray when it is angled at 15 degrees.
Bakker Elkhuizen has priced this stylish looking piece of kit at £159.99 which might seem a tad expensive for what is a semi-portable (easily moved but a bit too bulky for accompanying the user on travels) writing easel and document holder. However you do need to consider the ergonomic aspects of the product which could add to its value.
With its ability to switch between the different sloping angles, the FlexDesk 640 can be set up to deliver a viewing area to suit the user. You can also position the device to help reduce the strain that can be caused to the neck, shoulder and back muscles by moving the sliding tray backwards and forwards to a more convenient position.
I feel this product is more suited to an office type environment. I needed to spring clean my computer work area to gain enough space to fit the FlexDesk 640 unit and suspect others will be in the same position. Supplied with a two year warranty, the FlexDesk 640 is available from sources such as Bakker Elkhuizen and Amazon.co.uk.
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