A while back I had the opportunity to try the LapWorks Mac Feet. The stick-on little feet for my PowerBook were excellent. But alas, as durable as they were, they didn’t stand up to the destructive power of my 2 and 4 year old boys…plus, I’ve moved on to newer notebooks since then anyway. Today I’m here to share with you, my thoughts on LapWorks’ Laptop Desk 2.0.
Essentialy the Laptop Desk is 2 corrugated black pieces of plastic that fold into one another. The “corrugated” part is apparently for dispersing heat more efficiently. The outside parts have rubber in-lays to prevent slippage of your notebook computer. The design seems well thought-out, as it’s small and light-weight design collapse nicely for throwing it in your bag and taking wherever you may need.
There are two modes you can use the Laptop Desk in: First is the opened/flat system which is intended for using on your lap. The 2nd is folded, with 5 possible height settings which is best suited for a desktop application. Initially my thoughts were to use the CoreDuoTemp utility to easily track the differences in heat build-up when used normally on a flat surface, as opposed to the 2 options that Laptop Desk offers. However I found that CoreDuoTemp was unreliable for real numbers – so what I can comfortably say is that (as one would expect), the numbers climbed and jumped around much less when the MacBook was being used on the Laptop Desk, than when it wasn’t.
Using the Laptop Desk in the flat configuration was anti-climactic. When trying to flatten it out, it wouldn’t quite go completely level for me. There was a slight crowning at the center, so I attempted to force it. No dice. It creaked a bit and I was afraid it was going to break, so I backed-off. (But there’s a lifetime warranty, so there is that…) I tried using my MacBook on it this way, but despite the rubber nubbins on the MacBook, and the rubber strips on the Laptop Desk, the high center just made it too cumbersome to use easily.
The other configuration is folded with the stand in one of the 5 slots to prop it up to the right height. I love using the Laptop Desk this way. The rubber strips hold it in place, whether I’m balancing it against my knees on the couch, or setting it propped-up on my office desk. When I use it on my lap, it definitely keeps the heat off of me which is much appreciated. And the added angle of the keyboard is quite comfortable to boot. Stars all around for that!
When I use it on my desk in the folded mode (think of it as sort of an iCurve competitor here), I’ve got my MacBook connected up to all my USB peripherals, and dual screened to my larger LCD display. The height slots on the Laptop Desk are great for elevating the display so that it’s at least even with the bottom of my LCD. This is nice because it makes it a little easier on my eyes.
The heat dissipation is definitely evident. When running Photoshop CS2 (under Rosetta), my machine typically churns up the fans in no time. While it still happens with the Laptop Desk, there’s a significant delay before the fans finally kick in. In general, the temperature build-up on the top left corner of my MacBook is significantly decreased when it’s got some room to breath, courtesy of the Laptop Desk. While I can’t speak to real temperature numbers, the heat is obviously given more space to dissipate when used on the folded Laptop Desk, as opposed to sitting on some flat surface. And if nothing else, it’s a very nice elevated stand for use on your desk!
The Laptop Desk is small and I have literally taken it with me everywhere since getting my hands on it. It’s thin enough that it’s completely unnoticeable when added to my computer bag, but it’s also solidly built. This model of Laptop Desk is supposed to be for larger sized laptops… I sat my work 15″ Dell on it, but it felt a little unbalanced. My 13″ MacBook however seems like it was meant to sit upon this unit.
Admittedly, I use the Laptop Desk most often on a desktop surface. But on the occasions that I’m on the couch or in bed, it’s quite handy and definitely keeps the heat off of me – and manages to keep from being cumbersome or unstable. At $29.95, it’s a solid little item to add to your arsenal of computer related gadgets. The LapWorks website states all kinds of statistics and proven reasons that it’s going to improve your computing experience. While it mostly comes off as marketing hype, it truly is a useful item.