Never needed a lap desk? Most people don’t… until they try using one! Or maybe you already have a basic lap desk and wonder how much more the world of lap desks really has to offer (hint: wonders beyond your wildest dreams!). Let’s talk about it!
Lap desks are compact and convenient desks that rest on your lap and provide stable support for activities like using a laptop computer or tablet, reading, writing, drawing, crafting, and snacking. It’s only limited by the size of the lap desk, the nature of your needs, and the creativity of your imagination. Most activities are made easier and more comfortable with a lap desk, but laptop use is a particularly popular one we’ll focus on here. Maybe you’ve managed for years with a laptop directly on your lap, but there’s no need to feel the burn of your laptop as it simulates the heat of space shuttle re-entry (CAUTION: Hot. 3,000°F)!
Even people with the full work-from-home standing desk setup sometimes just want to move their work to a favorite armchair or cosy bed. A lap desk also has some clear benefits over a large and heavy standing desk if you need to work on-the-go… I know which one I’d choose for that!
Lap desks make work (or other activities) much more flexible. You can take your desk with you and work anywhere more comfortably. Lighter desks usually weigh under two pounds. Some larger models weigh twice as much. Users often don’t notice the weight of a desk on the lap because pressure is distributed evenly, but weight may be important if you often work on-the-go. Many desks have handles for convenient carry.
The tops of lap desks are generally made of plastic, and sometimes other materials like engineered wood. Plastic is a sensible choice for lap desks used on-the-go because it’s very strong and light. Added surfaces like PU leather enhance functionality and style. These surfaces often improve mouse control; or you can choose a desk with dedicated mouse pad.
Most laptop lap desks have a stopper (usually a ledge) to stop your laptop sliding off. Not so many also have one for the mouse. The best option is a wrist rest cushion that runs along the whole bottom edge of the lap desk to provide soft support and prevent your laptop & mouse sliding off. This works great wherever you position your laptop & mouse and your hands.
There is a lot of variation in lap desk base cushions. The base cushion is the critical interface between lap and desk where wars are won and lost (wars for comfort against gravity and heat). The cushion may be wedge-shaped or come in two or more sections that have spaces for cooling and air flow inbetween.
Lap desk cushions are often filled with foam microbeads that freely conform to your lap for comfort and stability. Common EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam microbeads are a cheap option but they soon compress, causing loss of shape and a decline in comfort. They are also associated with unpleasant chemical odors and some possible human health risks. Premium EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam microbeads resist deformation, maintaining shape and comfort. They are also odorless and highly stable, supporting a pure and healthy home environment. Besides microbeads, there are memory foam cushions, which are also a comfortable option but may conform less to fit the lap.
Some lap desks have storage pockets on the sides or even concealed in spaces underneath. A lap desk with storage is surprisingly handy to hold pens, sticky notes, Bluetooth earphones, USB drives, and more exactly where you need them.
Lap desks raise the laptop, and most are angled up at the back to elevate the screen even more for ergonomic viewing. Forget the days of hunching over to read tiny lines of text or study the details of a hundred-cell spreadsheet (more like a thousand cells? I hear you!). Like magic, your laptop screen is instantly raised and you can finally sit up straight again! If you want to take it to the next level, you need a height-adjustable lap desk for laptop. They are interesting on a lot of levels (usually five or more levels). They elevate your laptop higher and give you more flexibility to get the height & angle you want.
Lap desks can be used for multiple devices. They often have a slot to hold a tablet or phone (sometimes both together), keeping these devices accessible while you work on the laptop. You can also use the desk for comfortable tablet viewing.
If you explore the world of lap desks more, you’ll discover lap desks that also work as bed tables, laptop cases, or personal electric vehicles. The vehicle version only comes in kit form, but is pretty easy to build and ride.
To reward you for reading this far, I’m going to tell you about the latest development from Huanuo’s own hi-tech lab. Their special sub-brand Magno has a modular magnetic laptop stand that switches to a laptop lap desk in a snap. It’s an attractive choice that offers more than standard laptop stands and lap desks combined.
Whatever ergonomic solution you choose, remember it’s all about angles.