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Summary:

I was just reading Meryl’s take on our “What’s In Your Bag?” theme and realized we had a lot in common. Turns out that I’m not the only one on the team here without a MacBook or iPhone, and we are also both fans of the […]

I was just reading Meryl’s take on our “What’s In Your Bag?” theme and realized we had a lot in common. Turns out that I’m not the only one on the team here without a MacBook or iPhone, and we are also both fans of the RoboForm Password Manager.

But it was when she mentioned her Lapworks Laptop Desk I realized I had forgotten to include my lapdesk in my own post. Honestly, it is so much a part of my gear that I hardly think of it as anything other than part of my laptop.

A couple years ago I realized that laptops get really hot. The fan on the side of my ThinkPad puts out a good amount of heat and can get uncomfortable pretty quickly. At the time, I did a lot of research about laptop desks and such and eventually ended up buying the oddly named, but very effective, Lapinator portable insulated laptop desk.

Unlike a lot of lapdesks I looked it, it’s not fancy looking and doesn’t include a fan or USB ports. But it is well designed and manufactured with high-quality 3M Thinsulate™ insulation. The design not only minimizes the heat coming from the PC but the dual-padded ridges, or feet, also keep air flowing between it and my legs. It’s much more comfortable than a solid desk.

Lapinator

I don’t just use it when working casually, though. It also serves to keep my laptop raised an inch or so off of any table, so it helps keep things cool even at my desk. I also tend to bring it with me on outings, particularly coffee shop meetings. This helps minimize the risk of damages due to coffee or water spills. It has already saved me a couple of times as spilled fluids run right underneath the base.

For larger machines, there is a Lapinator Plus, which would work well with a laptop with a 17″ display.

For about $25 ($30 for the Plus) it’s a bargain compared to a lot of the other options, and going on four years now it’s still holding up quite well. It’s well made, sturdy, functional, lightweight and an essential part of my work area, no matter where that is. It also stows easily right in my backpack.

Do you use a lapdesk? How do you keep things cool?

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  1. My wife and I have been using Lapinators for a few years now, and we absolutely love them!

  2. Derek Neighbors Sunday, May 3, 2009

    But but but.. how do you live without an iPhone OR a Macbook… All kidding a side the lapinator looks pretty cool.

  3. Meryl Evans Sunday, May 3, 2009

    @Scott, nice to know I am not alone! I almost forgot about my lapdesk, too. Originally, I wrote a comment in Aliza’s bag post — thinking I didn’t have enough for a full post, but then I realized I do carry more things — they just become a part of my routine. I have several of the lapdesks and they’re all great. You can’t go wrong — just don’t get the small one if you have a heavy laptop.

    @JR, what we’d do without our lapthings — I don’t know?

    @Derek, easy. :) Daughter has Macbook. Sure, I’d like a Macbook, but it’s a luxury not a need. Must have PC for a few reasons.

  4. I’ve been using a thin hardcover book as a laptop insulating desk for years.

    If your laptop’s running hot, get a can of compressed air and blow out all the dust that’s accumulated on the fan(s) and heatsink(s). That can make a bigger difference than most people think.

  5. TJ Stankus Sunday, May 3, 2009

    I’ve been using a roadtools.com Podium Pad happily for years. It’s easily the best laptop gadget I’ve ever purchased. The Lapinator looks similar, but I can’t tell if it swivels. That’s the killer feature of the Podium Pad.

  6. What to read on the GigaOM network Monday, May 4, 2009

    [...] Macs: Reasonable or wishful thinking? (TheAppleBlog) Weramouse: Mousing without a desk (jkOnTheRun) Keep cool with the Lapinator Laptop Desk (WebWorkerDaily) Intel to usher in smart grid standards discussion (Earth2Tech) [...]

  7. Scott Blitstein Monday, May 4, 2009

    @jr fantastic – silly name but great product.

    @derek – you’re absolutely right, it’s impossible for me to be productive w/o those things ;-)

    @Meryl – I enjoyed this whole series – lets me get to know everyone. You can tell a lot about a person by looking through their stuff.

    @Jon – The thing I like about the lapinator is how the bottom is ridged and not a solid slap on my lap. Keep air flowing all around. Keeping the fan area clean is a great tip – thanks!

    @TJ – It does look very similar but without the swiveling. As above, I like how the lapinator isn’t flat on the bottom which is also a difference. Will have to give it another look when I need a replacement – the options for adjusting the laptop itself look really useful.

    SB

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