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The end of ‘hot legs’

The good thing about a portable computer is that you can put it on your lap. The bad part is when it begins to heat up. Could LapWorks’ laptop desk mean the end of scorched legs?

Got a portable computer that scorches your legs, making you think “cooktop,” not “laptop”? Then you might be interested in the $30 LapWorks Laptop Desk 2.0, a sturdy black 23-ounce polycarbonate clamshell that when folded is only 11 x 10.5 x .75 inches. It’s also produced by LapWorks in white for MacAlly as the ICEPad. Folded, the Laptop Desk neatly shares the laptop compartment in my carrying case–designed for laptops thicker than my PowerBook’s one inch.

Opened, the Laptop Desk forms a solid 20.5 x 11-inch surface that accommodates the biggest laptop plus a pen, notepad or cell phone on either side. (Minor quibble #1: I’d like a molded tray to keep my pen from rolling off.) The rubberized coating on its top very effectively keeps the laptop from slip-slidin’ away, and the same material on the bottom keeps the whole works firmly planted on even the slickest fabric. Deep grooves molded into the surface both insulate you from the laptop and purport to keep it 15 to 20 percent cooler. I wasn’t able to scientifically validate the latter claim, but my PowerBook’s fan did seem to run less frequently.

An optional clip-on MouzPad ($5 when purchased with the Laptop Desk) provides a usable mousing surface for them that hates trackpads and such. (Minor quibble #2: with the MouzPad attached, the folded Laptop Desk is a bit of a squeeze in my bag, and unclipped it doesn’t stow neatly inside the folded unit.) For desktop use, the Laptop Desk has an adjustable arm that lets you fold it into a wedge of five different heights, to angle the keyboard and elevate the screen. Even at its highest angle, the rubberized surface keeps my PowerBook firmly in place.

My verdict? Well worth the cost and the weight.

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