After poring over the top-selling lap desks at Amazon and other large retailers, surveying our readers on their most-desired features, and spending 12 hours using six of the best models we could find, we found the LapGear XL Executive Mahogany Lap Desk is the best option. It has a sturdy and stable work surface that shields your lap from a laptop’s heat, can accommodate a wide range of laptops (and depending on the laptop, even a mouse, smartphone, or notepad at the same time), and is the most comfortable lap desk to use for several hours at a time. Its cushioning allows you to sit comfortably in a variety of positions and avoids trapping too much heat against your legs while you work.
A lap desk is for anyone who uses a laptop or needs a stable surface away from a table or desk-specifically, well, on their lap.
While lap desks have been around for years, modern iterations focus on electronic use rather than handwriting. A lap desk offers a more-stable surface for a laptop (and a mouse, if you prefer) and protects your legs from the laptop’s heat. (There’s such a thing as “toasted skin syndrome” that results in damaged skin from hot laptops.)
When you are battling to maintain your laptop stable in your lap, or you get bothered through the heat the pc creates, a lap desk is a straightforward and affordable solution. Lap desks mainly vary within the desk surface material, the fabric that sits in your lap, and how big the desk area-they’re open to fit laptops of just about any size, from ultraportables to large gaming rigs. Some likewise incorporate fans to positively awesome your laptop, but our survey respondents established that this selection isn’t important, therefore we looked limited to lap desks without fans.
With regards to purchasing a new lap desk, key factors are size (to support your laptop and other things you need to keep at hands when you work, like a mouse, phone, or notebook) and luxury (the way it feels upon your legs and when it adequately shields you against the laptop’s heat). Weight is another consideration sincea lap desk that adds significant weight can become uncomfortable, even after short periods of time.
Lap desks are straightforward products, and while many different sizes and colors are available, we haven’t seen compelling technology or new materials that should prompt you to buy a new one if you already have one that you like.
How we picked and tested
Lap desks are easy products, with couple of significant differentiators apart from color and materials, the choices could be overwhelming. We checked out the couple of existing editorial reviews of lap desks to obtain some perspective on popular models, though most lacked any rigorous criteria or testing. We considered the very best sellers and finest reviewed models at major retailers like Amazon . com, Target, and finest Buy. Finally, we consulted a specialist in ergonomics, Cornell University’s Professor Alan Hedge, to know the physical advantages and disadvantages of lap desk use.
According to responses to some survey in our readers, we centered on lap desks that may accommodate 15-inch laptops, priced from $25 to $50 (the number which more than 1 / 2 of our responders preferred). We selected six well-reviewed models produced from a number of materials: the Targus Slim Lap Desk, LapGear XL LapDesk, Cooler Master Comforter, Honey-Can-Do Portable Lap Desk, LapGear XL Executive Mahogany LapDesk, and Sofia Mike Small Lap Desk.
We spent over 12 hrs testing our finalists, using each having a 15-inch MacBook Pro. This incorporated extended time located on a couch plus intentional interruptions to face up, therefore we often see what it really was prefer to pick everything up and hang it lower on another surface. We considered heat transferred in the laptop or trapped from your own body, the soundness of every desk in a number of positions on the lap so when put on a table, overall comfort, and excellence of construction.
The ergonomics of lap desks
Prior to going further, an email about ergonomics. Laptops present several issues of safety. To prevent abnormal neck, wrist, and arm positions and resulting injuries for example carpal tunnel or neck strain, experts say the top of the a computer’s display ought to be placed at eye level, about arm’s length from your body, as the keyboard ought to be placed so that your arms are bent for the most part 90 levels in the elbow as well as your wrists have been in an unbiased, straight position. Clearly, with no exterior keyboard and/or display, a laptop doesn’t give a good ergonomic setup, along with a lap desk doesn’t fix this. It should not be something use for hrs every single day if you wish to avoid repetitive stress injuries. Based on Professor Hedge, who directs Cornell University’s Human Factors and Ergonomics teaching and research programs, utilizing a laptop (without or with a lap desk) to have an hour or fewer each day shouldn’t cause a lot of issues with time. Any more, and you ought to think about a setup that adheres to ergonomic standards that will help you avoid injuries with time. (We cover good quality gear with this within our guides towards the preferred ergonomic keyboard, the very best chair, and also the best standing desk.)
That stated, some laptop and lap desk setups are superior to others. If you wish to try to stick to ergonomic concepts having a notebook and lap desk, locate a lap desk that enables you to maintain your wrists as straight as you possibly can to prevent carpal tunnel, which occurs when the median nerve that runs out of your forearm for your hands is compressed inside your wrist. Signs and symptoms include tingling, numbness, and discomfort inside your hands and fingers severe cases can require surgery to obtain respite from the signs and symptoms.
Our pick for the best lap desk
The LapGear XL Executive lap desk in mahogany was from all of those other pack within our testing. Its 22.5-by-15-inch top surface is big enough to support a 15-inch MacBook Pro along with a mouse (or perhaps an iPhone or small notepad). It conforms to and rests easily in your lap, it’s stable and simple to get off your lap, it shields you against heat of the laptop, and due to the smart style of its bottom cushioning, it doesn’t trap your personal body heat against you.
It is also probably the most costly lap desk we tested, largely because of the fact that it is surface consists of wood rather of plastic. While a wood desk surface (instead of plastic or any other synthetic material) doesn’t offer any notable edge on other surface types at keeping the lap awesome, where wood sticks out is within overall stability, because of its stiffness. In comparison, the LapGear XL LapDesk that people tested includes a thin plastic surface that flexes noticeably whenever you get it additionally, it has sharper edges making it uncomfortable to understand.
Within our testing, we observed the shape and size from the cushioning against our legs designed a factor in just how much heat is trapped. Lap desks which had just one wedge of froth underneath felt hot after short amounts of time, even just in a cooler room. Both LapGear models we tested have two lengthy strips of cushioning full of small foam beads, which strips allow air to flow underneath-these models didn’t feel as hot as a few of the others such as the Sofia Mike Small Lap Desk, with a thick foam wedge since the entire bottom. The XL Executive rather molds readily for your lap, enabling you to work easily in a number of any sitting down positions, something we found harder along with other designs.
When choosing up a lap desk that’s supporting a sizable computer and possibly a mouse or smartphone, the simpler it’s to grip the desk, the greater. The LapGear XL Executive is thin enough to carry easily but stiff enough that there isn’t any flex when it’s loaded, which makes it very simple to get without having to worry that you will lose your grip or that it’ll tip suddenly and dump your pc on the ground.
Basically we tested all purchases having a 15-inch MacBook Pro, the LapGear XL Executive may also accommodate bigger laptops, with lots of reviewers on Amazon . com attesting it utilizes 17-inch laptops. Other proprietors recognized it to be used with smaller sized laptops plus a mouse or non-computing tasks like writing, drawing, as well as eating. We love to that even when most of your focus is by using it having a notebook, the LapGear XL Executive can offer a reliable and comfy surface of these activities too. Overall, Amazon . com users have provided the XL Executive model a rating of four.5 stars from five over 153 reviews.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Some reviewers on LapGear’s site and Amazon . com observe that the beanbag strips on the pick can flatten out and supply less cushioning with time. Both strips are stitched right into a cloth-covered sheet of plastic that is attached by velcro to the foot of the desk, therefore the entire cushion section could, theoretically, get replaced easily. However, LapGear doesn’t presently offer substitute cushions for purchase through its site or Amazon . com.