If you are sitting at a desk for hours on end the chances are that you will at some point need liquid refreshment. Whether your choice of drink is coffee, tea, water there is one big worry. Spilling. Spilling over your mouse, keyboard or worse into your laptop or into your lap. The Vector Coffee Cup Holder tries to be a solution to this problem.
The Vector consists of a single bent piece of aluminum with clamp on one side and a twistable C on the other side. Use the clamp to attach quickly to any hard surface and then turn the C 90 degrees and it locks in place. Put your drink in and there you are.
The secret behind the Vector is that it lowers the centre of the gravity of the drink below whatever surface it is attached to. This means that even if it does get knocked – and that isn’t impossible – that it falls down onto the floor rather than into whatever is on your desk.
It can handle drinks of up to a diameter of just under 9cm or 3.5 inches at a height of 8cm or 3 and a quarter inches. I found that the ideal size cup for it was one that was a fraction of a cm under that. A little searching through my cupboards found an older style Starbucks coffee cup that fit perfectly for me. I initially thought it was being scratched slightly by the hard edges of the Vector but it turned out that it was only a slight transfer of aluminum dust and a good wash of both the Vector and cup fixed the problem. In the month I’ve had the Vector I’ve had a wide variety of drinks in the Vector including coffee cups and mugs, travel mugs, McDonald’s drink cups of large, medium and small sizes, beer bottles of multiple sizes, water bottles of differing sizes and shapes, glasses, and disposable coffee cups.
Unlike most cup holders the Vector does not need permanent fitting, nor any cables or extra parts. The unit is a single foldable item which goes near flat and slides into a bag pocket very easily. It has won a place in my gear bag and when my mobile office gets packed always comes along.
The Vector was originally designed to attach to tables for office or IT workers but the clamp is strong enough to hold on to a large variety of surfaces. These can be up to 1.75 inches or 4.5cm thick and as long as they are solid and the Vector can slide on by about 2 inches or 5cm. I’ve had it attached to desks, chair arms, draws, a wheelchair arm, my car dashboard and a window ledge.
As a coffee drinker and someone who spends and awful lot of time sitting at a desk I fall exactly into the original target demographic for the Vector. Its designer was inspired to create it after several of his friends had computers or equipment damaged by their drinks. Once created he realised it wasn’t just for desks. At this point the VektorWerks website shows pictures of people using it in multiple locations clamped on to tables, wheelchairs and in particular in transport. If you think about it on a train or airplane the whole area is moving, vibrating and possibly bouncing up and down. Having your coffee be far less likely to drop in your laptop or lap is a big bonus.
Size: Folded 13cm x 16cm maximum dimensions
Item Weight: 96g
Colour: Grey metal with black padding on the clamp
Warranty: 90 day warranty
Beyond the fact that you must have something to clamp it on to and that you need to have something to put into it there are no requirements for use.
The Vector is completely accessible from a visual perspective. It has no lights, indicators or any form of labelling or electronics. It would be usable for anyone with any form of hypersensitivity, photophobia or with any form of vision loss or blindness.
The Vector has no audible element. The spring is silent in use. It would be usable for anyone with any form of hearing loss or hypersensitivity.
Input and touch
The Vector is simple to use but needs a certain amount of hand strength to open the clamp. The ledge which has the cup on top of it narrows to a wedge which while not sharp could not be called blunt. This is unlikely to be a problem for most circumstances but I would think about it carefully if you have a toddler as hanging off your desk it would be at about eye height.
Ease of Use
Once you know what the Vector is designed to do it is very simple to use and self-explanatory. I gave it to a several people without explaining what it was for and none of them were able to figure it out, but once they were informed they understood immediately.
The Vector is made almost entirely of aluminum with a brushed surface. The inside of the clamp has lines of rubber to prevent damage to the surface it is clamped to. If you have acute contact dermatitis caused by aluminum this might cause you some issues, but if you are careful in use you once clamped on you never actually need to touch the Vector. I find it very unlikely to cause most people problems.
The Vector never comes into contact with the contents of the cup and with most designs of cup will not come into contact with the rim.
The Vector was thought up by Connecticut lawyer Cliff Thier. Thier developed the Vector after several friends damaged laptops in quick succession.
RRP: $50.00 or about £35
Shipping: $18.60 to the UK or about £12.70
Retailer: VectorWerks website
Some of you might be thinking that £35 is too much to pay for a simple coffee cup holder – and it is not a cheap option. It might however be an economic one. Most of us have knocked over our drink at some points and if you knock it into your keyboard and mouse they will need replacing which is often easily that £35 value.
I would not ordinarily think of a cup holder as a triumph of simple design but the Vector is. It does exactly what it claims and does it reliably in a way that makes you wonder why no-one has thought of it before. It’s won a space on my desk and a place in my bag. Highly recommended for anyone.
The review is based on the Vector Cup Holder kindly provided by VektorWerks