Easy Laptop Holder for Vehicles with Cubbyholes
If you have a cubbyhole in your dash, here's a way to get your laptop up off the front seat and parked on the front of your dash. I have an ‘06 Scion xB, but this could be adapted to other vehicles with a cubbyhole.
(1) unit can take a trip over railroad tracks or through a hard corner without losing the laptop
(2) unit can be taken out of the dash easily and stashed under the seats, leaving the car looking "stock" so the Bad Guys wouldn't be tempted to break in
(3) unit has no permanent mounting (but you could make it permanent if you want it that way).
The holder I came up with fits all xBs through the 2007 model; adapt it to any vehicle you want.
It's easy to build from readily available hardware store materials: copper tubing and pipe insulation. It can be soldered or glued.
It's this simple:
Click on any image to enlarge it
The holder slips into a cubbyhole in the dash. In the xB, the owner's manual calls it the “auxiliary box”, and it's under the heat-a/c controls. In the xB, it holds the laptop high enough that there's plenty of space for the driver's hand when shifting.
Here it is in the dash, from the front and the side:
And here it is doing its job, almost completely hidden, seen from the driver's view and the passenger's view:
When I put the laptop on it, it's rock-solid and nearly invisible. When the computer gets warm, the foam cover gets a little grippy, and holds the laptop in place. The open design helps keep the laptop cool. When I stash the holder and the laptop under the seat, the car goes back to completely stock appearance.
(1) my laptop only weighs 3 or 4 pounds, and the dash seems quite happy with that weight. Still, I don't let children or pet chimpanzees bounce around on it.
(2) it hasn't been tested for crash-worthiness. Don't be the first.
(3) the laptop isn't gripped by the foam until the laptop heats up; when you first start out, be careful on fast corners.
(4) It works great for me, and has about 20,000 miles of use on it. Your Mileage May Vary.
The little leg at the inner end is just long enough to keep it steady against the top of the cubbyhole. Similarly, the legs at the middle section keep it snug just inside the lip of the cubbyhole. The width at both parts fits so it doesn't move around.
For the xB, this second version of the laptop holder has a pivoting "keeper leg" that swings down and makes sure the holder stays in place. That's necessary because the xB's cubbyhole is tapered and the unit tends to vibrate loose without it. That's probably not necessary in vehicles with rectangular cubbyholes. If you don't need it, building yours is even easier.
So, let's build it . . .