BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a stand for portable computers. More particularly, although not exclusively, the invention relates to a stand for placement upon a desktop and upon which a portable computer can rest at a selected inclination.
- OBJECT OF THE INVENTION
It is known to provide docking stations for portable computers. These often comprise a base for connection to a computer network for example and to which the portable computer is connected electrically. Pointing devices and other peripherals can be attached to the docking station. Apart from providing the necessary electrical attachments to the portable computer, such docking stations provide nothing in the way of variable inclination adjustment for comfortable user manipulation of the portable computer's keyboard.
- DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
It is the object of the present invention to overcome or substantially ameliorate the above disadvantage and/or more generally to provide a stand or docking station for placement upon a desktop and upon which a portable (laptop or notebook) computer can rest at a selected inclination.
There is disclosed herein a stand for a portable computer, comprising:
a platform attached pivotally upon the base and configured to support a portable computer,
a support mechanism interacting with the platform and with the base to maintain the platform at one of a plurality of selectable acute angles with respect to the base.
Preferably, the support mechanism comprises a primary support bracket attached pivotally to the platform or base and having a primary bar extending into a selected one of a plurality of parallel primary slots formed in the other of the platform or base.
Preferably, the stand further comprises a secondary support bracket comprising one or more secondary bars attached pivotally to the platform or base and extending into one of a plurality of parallel secondary slots formed in the other of the platform or base.
Preferably, the primary bar extends further from the platform than the secondary bar.
Preferably, the base comprises a plurality of desktop-engaging rollers enabling the base to be moved linearly upon a desktop.
Preferably, the stand further comprises a braking mechanism engaging one of the rollers, and a user-activated pushbutton to release the braking mechanism upon depression.
Preferably, the braking mechanism comprises a lever engaged by the pushbutton and mounted pivotally to the base, and a spring that biases the lever against said one of the rollers.
Preferably, the pushbutton is mounted pivotally to the base and slides against the lever.
Preferably, the braking mechanism comprises a pair of said levers each interacting with the pushbutton and respectively interacting with an individual said roll.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Preferably, the stand comprises a pair of said secondary support bracket is at laterally spaced, aligned positions upon the platform or stand.
A preferred form of the present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective illustration of a portable computer stand with its computer support platform raised to a high acute angle,
FIG. 2 is a schematic plan view of the stand of FIG. 1, with the platform lowered flat,
FIG. 3 is a schematic inverted plan view of the stand of FIGS. 1 and 2, with its braking mechanism in a roller-locked configuration,
FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective illustration of the stand of FIG. 1 with the computer support platform raised to a low acute angle,
FIG. 5 is a schematic inverted plan view of the stand of the preceding figures, with its braking mechanism in a roller-released configuration, and
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIG. 6 is a schematic partial inverted detail view of part of the braking mechanism.
In the accompanying drawings there is depicted schematically a portable computer stand 10. The stand comprises a base 11 and a platform 12 connected by hinges 23 to the base 11. Extending upwardly from the bottom edge of the platform 12 is a lip 22 against which the forward edge of a portable computer can bear when resting upon the platform 12.
Attached pivotally to the back of the platform 12 is a primary bracket 13. The bracket 13 comprises two legs and a horizontal bar extending between the legs which fits into one of a number of primary slots 15 on the upper surface of the base 11. A pair of secondary brackets 14 is similarly attached to the back of the platform 12 and these also each comprise a pair of legs and a bar extending between the legs that can fit into one of a number of secondary slots 16 that are located nearby respective lateral edges of the base 11. The primary and secondary brackets can be folded against the back surface of the platform 12 for storage purposes. When it is desired to maintain the platform 12 at a shallow acute angle by use of the secondary bracket 14, the primary bracket 11 is pivot forward away from the primary slots 15 to fit neatly between the base 11 and platform 12.
Underneath the base 11, there are a number of rollers 17. The rollers are parallel with one another to enable the base to roll linearly back and forth upon a desktop surface.
Two rollers 18 located near the leading edge of the base 11 are engaged by respective braking levers 20. Each braking lever 20 is mounted pivotally to the base and is also connected via a coil spring 21 to the base. The coil spring 20 is under tension to pull the lever against the respective roller 18. In the roller-locked configuration as depicted in FIG. 3, the levers 20 are drawn firmly against the respective rollers 18 by the springs 21.
There is a brake-release pushbutton 19 mounted pivotally to the base 11 and having a trailing edge that slides against a bearing surface 22 of each of the levers 20. Upon depression of the pushbutton 19, sliding interaction of the trailing edge with the levers causes the levers to move backwards against spring tension to thereby release the levers from their respective rollers 18, thereby enabling the base to be rolled back and forth upon the desktop surface.
The pushbutton 19 is conveniently located to be activated by a user's thumbs without the need to raise the palms from the base 11 or finger tips from the keys of a laptop or notebook computer for example support upon the platform 12.
It should be appreciated that modifications and alterations obvious to those skilled in the art are not to be considered as beyond the scope of the present invention. For example, instead of attaching the respective primary and secondary brackets to the back of the platform 12, these might be connected pivotally to the base—in which case the engagement slots 15 and 16 would be provided on the back of the platform 12. Furthermore, the stand might be provided with an electrical interface having various ports and connectors enabling it to serve as a docking station.