Portability is the greatest thing about working with a laptop. Not just the ability to take the computer to the coffee shop, airport or library. The ability to work with your laptop anywhere. Work while relaxing on the couch, in bed, at the beach, in a hammock, from your seat on the train, car or airplane. Its quite refreshing to change your scenery and perspective while working and it can benefit your creativity.
In order to go portable, and care for your laptop, (without burning your lap) you will need some sort of portable laptop desk. These range in price, shape, size and color. Some are small and designed to sit on your lap, others are full blown portable tables.
Here are seven portable laptop holders to protect your computer while you relax:
IKEA – Brada Laptop Support Cushion
Known for minimalistic simplicity, the IKEA Brada Laptop Support Cushion is a comfortable and cheap solution for laptop portability. It fits on your lap and the cushion area underneath will conform for uneven surfaces such as your lap. Includes a pocket for pens, usb drives, mobile phones and other goodies.
Belkin CushTop Notebook Stand
Belkin’s CushTop Notebook stand is designed to give padded comfort for those long hours of laptop work. Including a space between to put your charger, this laptop stand is hand washable and designed for a 15″ laptop on one side, flipping over for a 17″ on the other side. Comes in a variety of colors: green, orange, chocolate, gray, and champagne.
Xpad Non-Slip Laptop Cooler
For those extra-concerned about laptop heat, Xpad has the non-slip laptop cooler. 100% passive heat reduction, you can rest at ease knowing that this cooler will not damage your USB port nor drain the battery while running a fan. Will easily fit on your lap and its non-slip surface will keep your laptop in place.
Lapinator Portable Insulated Laptop Desk
Lapinator provides a lightweight, heat reducing laptop desk that provides comfort for you and heat reduction for your laptop. Its self-adhesive bumpers keep the laptop at a comfortable angle while legs underneath reduce body heat and give comfort. Available in two sizes – 13″ and 17″, they will easily fit in your laptop bag.
Lap Desk – Hybrid
More of a mini table than a cushion, this Laptop Table resembles a portable desk. Its made of wood and firmer than a cushion. With a trough along the side for your coffee or other drink, This is a desk away from your desk. Great for sitting on the couch and sturdy enough for outdoor usage. I’d recommend this for use while lying on a bed. I’d be careful about using its drink holding capabilities though.
IKEA – Dave laptop table
For someone looking for something more along the lines of a portable table, the Ikea Dave table was designed especially with laptops in mind. Fully adjustable height and angle for your comfort, the Dave table is inexpensive, comfortable and large enough to hold your laptop comfortably.
OfficeDepot – Tiffany Industries Laptop Caddy
If you are looking for something more robust than a simple table, yet more portable than your desk there’s always the Tiffany Industries Laptop Caddy. A bit pricey, and with similar designs (from different manufacturers) having stability issues, you may want to demo this one in the store before dropping $90 on it. It has wheels to protect the floor and has adjustable height. Also comes in Cherry/Metallic Gray.
Bonus: The DIY Laptop Stand
Finally, if you’re the do-it-yourself type, instructables.com has step by step instructions on how to build your own laptop stand. Costs are estimated at about $15 depending on the materials used.
Which one to choose?
Ultimately it will depend on where the laptop is being used as well as your personal preference. The traditional tables or caddies aren’t very portable yet the cushions and lap pads may not be as professional as a rolling table. The one holder that really caught my attention and would recommend though is the Lapinator. Its small, sturdy, will protect your laptop from overheating and will fit inside your laptop bag along with the computer.