Laptops are designed to be portable and versatile. In order to compact all the necessary components into a small unit, however, laptop computers often have less impressive features than competing desktop models. While laptops are ideal for basic word processing or Web surfing, they sometimes require additional, external components to perform complex tasks such as slideshow presentations, gaming, or graphic design. Luckily, laptop trolleys allow for external laptop add-ons without sacrificing portability.
A laptop trolley is essentially a mobile cart specifically designed for laptop computers. The carts often feature several tiers, with housing for wires and disk storage on the bottom of the trolley, pull-out keyboards or external drives on near the center, and a large, flat top-surface for the laptop to sit. On the top surface, some trolleys also have a "docking port" where the user can effortlessly plug a laptop into the cart's stored components.
While a store-bought laptop trolley typically features convenient space for drives, a keyboard shelf, and holes for wiring, the key to successful use of a laptop trolley is in what the user adds to the cart. In addition to a few standard storage compartments and pull-out shelving, carts can also be ordered with pre-designed niche shelves. These allow for storing different computer components based on the user’s needs.
The most common type of niche laptop trolley is one rigged for slideshow presentations. These are often seen in schools or businesses where PowerPoint® presentations are a regular occurrence. These carts feature an extra long top surface, ideal for keeping a projector hooked up and ready to go whenever a laptop is added to the dock. Beyond a large top surface, these units are often otherwise bare, featuring only a few bottom shelves for papers or other small pieces of equipment that the presenters may need to take with them. Generally speaking, a slideshow laptop trolley is very inexpensive, but it is also not very versatile.
A user purchasing a gaming laptop trolley will usually find built-in modular storage spaces designed for an Ethernet hub or an external high-speed wireless antenna, allowing the user to easily connect to nearby networks. This easy and relatively low-cost connectivity makes it simple for the user to quickly bring his or her laptop and necessary equipment to a gaming convention or local area network (LAN) gaming party with ease. Beyond this feature, little differentiates a gaming trolley from other standard models.
The best graphic design trolleys, though expensive, will feature a "tablet" interface on the top surface of the mobile trolley. When a laptop is connected to the interface, the flat tablet surface acts as a computerized writing slate. The slate allows the user to access files and work on graphic imaging with a digital pen rather than a mouse or keyboard.