Review: LapWorks Laptop Desk

Lapworks Laptop Desk

Come and listen to a story about a lady named Jen,
Poor work laptop overheating once again,
Company’s tech support always dealing with her,
They finally discovered the problem, a down comforter…

While this tragic theme may seem comical, it is a true story. After purchasing a down comforter, a user had several issues with the fans going bad in the laptop and the laptop always overheating… but only at home! Like many of us, she’ll lay on her comfy bed while working and watching TV at night. Quite often laptops work themselves into bed nicely cutting off the external flow of heat from laptops. This is especially true with Jen’s down comforter as not only the bottom of the laptop’s air flow is cut off but so are the sides and back of the laptop which is not a good thing!

Not only is the laptop at risk from overheating but so are people, particularly men!

LapWorks specializes in products for laptops and products that help the cooling process for laptops and have several offerings including a line called Laptop Desk. There are two versions of Laptop Desks including “UltraLite” and “Version 2.0”. Read on to see what the Geeks thought of the Laptop Desks.

Laptop Desk LapWorks made two separate versions to accommodate various sizes of laptops. The “UltraLite” version weighs in at 14.6 ounces and is made for laptops smaller than 5 pounds. Unfolding to a size of 22″ x 11″ x 5/16″, the laptop desk is billed as the thinnest lap desk on the planet. The “UltraLite” folds up to a very manageable 11 5/16″ x 11″ x 5/16″ allowing the “UltraLite” to easily travel with you to use on airplanes and on hotel beds!

The “Version 2.0″ Laptop Desk is slightly more beefy weighing in at a still very manageable 1 pound 6 ounces and helps cool down laptops over 5 pounds. The unfolded size of the Laptop Desk is 20.56″ x 11.13″ x .31” and when folded up for travel, “Version 2.0″ measures 11.13″ x 10.69″ x .63”. Again, at that size you can slip it in your laptop case for travel.

The “UltraLite” is simple to use. You simply need to separate the panels of the “UltraLite”. If using in a desk top setting, release the wireform by pushing with your thumb and then lock the wireform into position on the opposite panel. If you are using in a mobile setting (your lap), you just need to unfold the Laptop Desk and place the unfolded “UltraLite” on your lap.

Laptop Desk “Version 2.0” operates in much the same way. If using on your lap, you just need to unfold the Laptop Desk. For stationary or desk top use, while unfolding the Laptop Desk, pull the hinge in the middle of the gizmo down and lock into a notch on the opposite panel.

Each version of the LapWorks, Inc. Laptop Desk provides five typing positions and uses rubberized surfaces to prevent slippage and movement of the Laptop Desk.

The main selling point LapWorks, Inc. uses is preventing “Hot Leg” for users that use laptops on their laps. If you use a laptop for any extended period of time on your lap, you know about “Hot Leg”. The more interesting selling point for myself was the claim of “Reduces heat build-up in notebooks by 15% to 20%.”

In fact, LapWorks, Inc. claims that you can reduce heat build-up by 8%-10% when used in a mobile configuration and 15%-20% when positioned on your desktop in the stationary configuration.

We decided to put this claim to a real world test. Using a Dell C840 I measured internal temperatures at the CPU between 58C and 63C and temperature at the hard drive of 51C while the laptop sat on top of a bed (regular comforter, not a down comforter!). While using the Laptop Desk “Version 2” we measured the internal temperature at the CPU between 57C and 60C and the hard drive temperature of 50C. This results in roughly a 6% decrease in internal heat which is just shy of the LapWorks, Inc. claims; HOWEVER, since my laptop automatically kicks on the cooling fans when internal temperatures reach 65C, these numbers cannot be trusted. The fan almost ran constantly without the Laptop Desk and ran much more infrequently while propped up on the Laptop Desk.

Laptop Desk Using Version 2 in 1st position on a bed
CPU 57C – 60C (58.5C average)
HDD 50 C
Fan runs every few minutes

Using nothing on a bed
CPU 58C – 63C (60.5C average)
HDD 51 C
But the fan ran constantly

The LapWorks, Inc. claims come from a thermal study conducted by the California Polytechnic University at Pomona. This study proved that the Laptop Desk reduces the heat passed through to the lap by 8% to 10%.

Overall, the Geeks feel the $29.95 price tag for either the “UltraLite” or “Version 2.0” of the LapWorks, Inc. Laptop Desk is definitely reasonable considering the ability to lower the internal heat which is a killer of laptops. This is a simple solution that works.

The Laptop Desk Ultralite is available through retail for $29.95 under the Targus brand and from Amazon. The Laptop Desk 2.0 is available through Amazon, CompUSA and Tiger Direct.

What’s Groovy and What’s Sucky

What’s Groovy:

Simple sturdy solution that’s small enough to bring on travel.

What’s Sucky:

The real world tests did not quite measure up with the claims BUT the cooling fans are
suppose to keep the internal temperature under 65C and they were constantly running with
no Laptop Desk.

Features Performance Quality Value
4 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Featuring super strong Polycarbonate plastic, no-slip rubber preventing slipping, a
five position incline for ergonomic typing, thin foldable profile for travel and built-in
mouse and/or cell phone pads the Laptop Desk has plenty of useful features.
According to the real world tests we conducted, the numbers were not quite as good as
claimed BUT to have the numbers really count, the fans would need to be turned off as
they interfered with the tests once the temperature reached 65C. The cooling fans did
run constantly without the Laptop Desk though which does prove an increased outflow of
higher temperature air from inside the laptop.
The product definitely works.
Made of Polycarbonate plastic and rubber the gizmo is built to last even for travellers.
The only weak point for the Laptop Desk is where the hinge that allows you to set the
Laptop Desk to five different positions. That point has the least amount of thickness
but has to deal with the strain of the weight of the laptop positioned on the Laptop Desk.
$29.95 is well worth extending the life of your laptop and by reducing the heat in the
laptop, the Laptop Desks are a great value.
Overall
4 Stars
Overall the Laptop Desks are worth the $29.95 price to protect both you and your laptop…
unless you want to use your laptop as a birth control device!