A Guide to Today’s Lap Desk

A lap desk is a wonderful convenience for anyone who would like to work on a flat surface, but wants or needs to move away from a conventional desk, lap trays or countertop. With applications limited only by a user’s imagination, a lap desk may be used just about anywhere one cares to sit: in a chair, on a couch, on the floor, in bed, even seated at a desk of an inconvenient height. A lap desk is equally at home in the car, at home, in a dorm, at the airport or in a plane, on a train, on a camping trip, at the office, practically anywhere.

Adapted from writing desks of centuries ago, more modern lap desks have taken on many forms and been constructed from a variety of materials. Most have incorporated some sort of hard, flat surface on the bottom of which is attached some kind of pillow or arrangement of pads that cushion the user’s legs from the hard top surface and allows for some level adjustment.

Today’s lap desk designs usually incorporate either a wooden or plastic top surface bonded to a lap pillow filled with micro beads that easily adjust to a user’s lap. Wooden surfaces are available in a variety of finishes, and lap pillow covers are most often crafted from vinyl, fleece or other easy-care materials.

Wood topped lap desks tend to be somewhat heavier than plastic or composite designs, but offer more elegant designs. Plastic and composite tops offer the advantage of being lighter in weight and can incorporate non-slip surfaces, recessed airways for improved laptop airflow and many other conveniences.

The shape of the tops on today’s lap desks are most often rectangular, but some are now being manufactured in a wrap around design often referred to as European or “Euro”.

While many are simple in design, other lap desks feature storage compartments, pouches or recesses, cup holders, pencil or pen holders, etc. Some even include battery powered task lights or USB powered cooling fans for notebook computers.

Sizes range from no larger than a laptop computer, easily fitting into a backpack or laptop case, to much larger surfaces suitable for large board games.

Lap desks are sometimes also referred to as lap trays, computer desks, portable desks, personal desks, lap top desks, etc. Some lap desks intended specifically for supporting computer keyboards or laptop computers also include ergonomic wrist rests to enhance usability.

Whether you’re looking for a handy writing surface, a place to work on bills, a convenient flat surface for hobby, sewing or craft work, a functional support for your laptop or notebook computer that will also keep the heat buildup away from your legs, a more convenient support for your computer keyboard, a place to play solitaire or other card games, a handy support for your book and book holder, there’s a lap desk that’s bound to be perfect for any application.

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