The new 2021 Ford F-150 has no shortage of party tricks, but the star of the interior show is without a doubt what Ford calls the "Interior Work Surface" option. This is a rather dull name for the feature, if you ask us, especially since it's describing a fold-out center console table and stow-away gear selector.
With the push of a button, the gear selector stows away into a recess in the center console, allowing the table to be folded forward from the armrest and creating a completely flat work surface large enough to accommodate paperwork or even a small laptop. Autoblog video producer Alex Malburg got a chance to play around with the interior of the 2021 F-150 this week, and the fold-out table makes an appearance here in his overview video just after the 1:35 mark or so. (The entire video's pretty slick, though):
Ford wanted to offer its customers a factory solution to a problem which, until now, was largely addressed by the aftermarket. Owners who need space to work on a computer or do paperwork have long installed accessory tables and laptop cradles, often on bulky, cumbersome swing-arm mounts designed to help them clear the physical controls on the center console.
This rather trick system completely eliminates the need for such accessories and saves buyers from having to hack up their interiors. If you can't watch the above video, here's a quick clip of the feature in action:
This feature obviously has its limitations. With the gear selector stowed away (which is likely only possible to do while the F-150 is in Park), the car is effectively immobilized while the table is in use. That eliminates the option of passengers using the space while the truck is in motion, but it makes sense from a safety perspective. It also eliminates access to the two forward cupholders next to the gear selector. Fret not, however; the F-150 has plenty more beverage-storing nooks, including two more on the rearward portion of the console.
While it may not be for everybody, this feature is just another example of how Ford's designers and engineers found new ways to expand the pickup's versatility above and beyond basic towing and hauling capability.