The Table-Mate is one of the recent entries into the As Seen On TV comfort items market, flanking its innovative and cozy cousins the Snuggie blanket and the Forever Comfy gel pillow.
In TV advertisements, the Table-Mate is shown in a variety of colorful everyday situations, showing its black-and-white inconvenient counterparts and why Table-Mate is worth every penny of the $29.99 plus Processing & Handling (although, you get a second one absolutely *free, with an additional round of P&H).
After reviewing the laundry list of features of the product this becomes an intriguing purchase. What appears to be an average TV tray is so much more – a command center for watching the big game, a pint-sized platform for the little ones to color on, a bedside breakfast nook, the eighteen-tables-in-one device is even shown to support a giant fifty pound water jug without faltering. The commercial shows a truly useful apparatus.
This table slides and hides, but does it misguide? What can you expect when yours arrives in the mail in its processed and handled glory?
What to expect:
Upon excitedly tearing open the box, you will be greeted with some relatively simple construction. It is imperative that the five pieces click into place tightly. Otherwise, you’ll be in for a surprise when you try to set your laptop (or fifty pound water jug) on its surface. When assembled, the pile of parts becomes a surprisingly lightweight and supportive addition to the room. The unit itself weighs about six pounds, making it a reasonable weight for users of all ages to move and stow.
The legs are attached to the upper portion of the surface and come straight down, leaving ample leg room. This thwarts the cross-structure of many TV trays that confine the legs in an uncomfortable manner. It will be a pleasant surprise to many who have tried -and failed- to find comfortable products in the past.
What does it do:
The feet are two flat rails that parallel to the floor. This ergonomic design allows the device to slide forward and backward. This feature is handy, whether you’re bringing a laptop computer or bowl of chili closer, or getting up to use the restroom. The table moves easily enough without becoming a problem. A minimal amount of effort is required which means your new surface won’t be sliding around the room like an amateur speed skater.
The claim of “eighteen tables in one” is a valid one. The surface portion adjusts three ways: flat (for dining), slightly angled (for reading or laptop computer use), and angled (for drawing or crafting). The legs adjust to six different heights, creating a device that has utility for anyone from a small child to a tall adult. Depending on the chair, a single user will have reason to adjust the device for multiple parts of the room.
Adjusting is simple as pressing in the buttons on the legs and moving to the desired height. However, as these buttons hold up the weight of the table, a little effort is necessary to depress them (heads up for the faint of thumb strength!)
One of the most important aspects of this product is the surface itself. The surface is large enough to accommodate a laptop computer or a full place setting for one (two of the most popular uses). The bottom lip of the surface is elevated to a degree that a laptop, book, or pencil will not slide or roll off. This feature is extremely useful, but some consumers have voiced concerns that the surface can be a little too slick. A thin, cheap rubber mat makes a quick remedy.
The designers slipped in a useful little bonus – a hidden cup holder that emerges from the right-hand side of the surface! The cup holder rotates so no matter the angle of the surface, you will always have an uptight drink. This is perfect for those who like to sip a latte while working on the crossword puzzle or enjoy a pint while watching the game.
What to love:
The adjustable height and straight-rail legs and feet allow for ample leg space while making access as easy as a gentle push or pull. The adjustable angling of the surface makes the Table-Mate the perfect “jack of all trades”, for diners, artists, internet surfers, writers – just about anyone.
The ergonomic folding of the Table-Mate make it easy to set up and take down, to store and stack. Perfect for those with smaller living areas.The cup holder keeps your beverage upright no matter what the use – and leaves extra surface area for diners!
What not to love:
The same adjustable buttons that support up to fifty pounds unfortunately make adjusting the height take a little more effort – could be an issue for older users.
The surface was found to be the slightest bit slick but a thin rubber mat worked as an excellent supplemental grip
As of press time, only one color is available, white. While a neutral color that won’t clash with the room, but definitely can look out of place.
In a generation where every TV advertisement promises to improve consumer’s lives in one way or another, these bold claims are pretty well substantiated. The versatility, portability, and dexterity of this device make it a must-have in any living room situation.
It’s use isn’t limited to one purpose or one demographic – the Table-Mate will change the way you dine, work, and enjoy hobbies. It’s a great bonus that this product is also backed with a lifetime replacement guarantee by the manufacturer.
While some may be turned off by the thought of dealing with paying processing and handling and waiting several weeks, the multiple uses of this handy product outweigh the frustrations of ordering and waiting. When your living room needs a friend, the Table-Mate will be there.
All in all, we found this portable table to be very useful and worth the price.