Elan was designed to be compact enough to go anywhere you might carry a medium to large tote. The idea of having the positioning arm that can fit one way for use and another for stow and tote just made sense.
The continuing popularity of Elan attests to how easy it is to bring along, but also how it is able to handle a large capacity. When the center section slides out, Elan can hold a 30” wide scroll frame.
In addition, you always have a lap if there is a chair to be found.
I think Elan qualifies as a cool “gadget” despite being a very nicely finished piece of Red Oak architecture. Perhaps it would be a worth addition to James Bond’s collection of “Q-s” inventions. He could use it when there are no casinos or pretty girls around.
The name say it all: “elan” means “youthful verve and exuberance”. AMEN