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(Pocket-lint) - Serious road warriors will know all too well about the serious problem created by serious heat in a very serious area of the trouser department by their laptop computers.

One company that came up with a serious solution many years ago was the US based LapWorks with their Laptop Desk concept. Essentially a clever slab of folding plastic that acts as a barrier between your lap and the laptop itself, preventing heat damage to you and your computer as the design also encourages air-flow to keep the notebook cool.

We’ve been great fans of these things since the very first one hit our doorstep many years ago and we fought over who would be keeping it. Unfortunately, the one problem that all the laptop desk designs have suffered with is that of true portability. As notebooks have been getting smaller and lighter so that slab of plastic has been looking increasingly bigger and heavier, and we just cannot bring ourselves to carry it around with us. After all, with a sub-notebook taking up no space whatsoever these days, the last thing you want to do is be distinctly uncool having to answer all the "so what’s that plastic slab you are carrying around for" questions.

Which is why we were ever so excited again when the latest development from the trouser friendly chaps at LapWorks arrived at Pocket-lint: the Aluminium Desktop Stand.

OK, let’s clear up one thing immediately. This particularly svelte piece of metal, measuring in at 300 x 240 x 7mm and weighing just 600g, is marketed as a desktop device for keeping your laptop cool, raising the screen height and improving typing ergonomics. But hey, we think it is perfect for on the road trouser protection duty as it’s the lightest and sexiest laptop desk yet. It also comes in its own jet black neoprene-like slip case which makes it even sexier in our opinion.

Hold on a minute you might be shouting, surely if this is constructed of heat-dissipating brushed aluminium then all that heat will dissipate straight towards your pants? Well no, you see, because the design is such that the stand unfolds into two halves, and the bit that you bolt to your lap does not get hot like the bit that is underneath your laptop. There are six adjustable angles and elevations so you can be sure of a comfortable position at either your desk on your lap, and a 360 degree swivel base (in truth the secret behind the keep cool lap as this bit is made of plastic) lets you point the screen at whoever needs to see it.

It truly is a marvel of clever design, folding very nearly flat into nothing when not in use and requiring only the minimum of supports for maximum strength when unfolded. The neoprene travel slipcase even doubles up as a mouse mat should you need one. According to the California Polytechnica University at Pomona which carried out a thermal study for LapWorks, it reduces heat build-up in your laptop PC by as much as 23% which equates to less wear and tear and so a longer laptop life.


At £35 this is not an impulse buy, but if you value your genitals as much as you value your laptop then we think it represents pretty good value.

Writing by Davey Winder. Originally published on 25 April 2007.