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Best Portable Laptop Lap Desk with Fan

Updated on March 10, 2014

Get a Cooling Lap Desk for Laptop Use

Modern laptops have become so powerful and feature-rich that they have almost completely taken over from desktops at home. If you're like me, you rarely browse or work on your laptop at a desk all day. I move around with it from my couch to my deck to my bed and I usually have it on my lap.

However, as laptops get more powerful they also get hotter and mine scorches my lap in about a couple hours. I know that's not good nor comfortable but using a simple lap desk that lifts the laptop off my lap isn't enough. My laptop crashes if it gets overheated! So now I use a portable laptop lap desk with fan built in to keep the laptop off my lap and dissipate the heat generated.

When looking for a good lap desk, there are a few things to take into account. The top rated cooling lap desks for laptops run the gamut in price and the following features can determine what you should expect one to cost.

  • Weight and comfort - it will add to the weight of the laptop but should not be uncomfortable to use for long periods of time. Some desks have padding on the bottom. It should also be light enough to make it easy to take it and the laptop with you to any spot in the house.
  • Ergonomic - an adjustable lap desk is best, but if not, make sure the angle of the desk is right for you.
  • Size - Is it large enough for your laptop? If you use a mouse, does it have enough space for that?
  • Fan - How does the fan work? Is it powerful enough to dissipate the heat?
  • Noise level - Is the fan too loud? You don't want to be distracted while working, listening to music or watching a movie.
  • Non-slip - Does the laptop stay in place even at an angle?
  • Price - There are some really fancy and high priced lap desks out there. Do you want one with lots of features or a simple and cheap one?

Now that you have an idea of what to look out for, it should be easier to pick the best portable laptop lap desk that comes with an in built fan. Let's take a look below to see which one fits your needs.

Best Simple Ergonomic Lap Desk

If having a light lapdesk is your major concern, then a simple one with an inbuilt USB fan is what you should get. This is also called a cooling pad. In order to be ergonomic and safe for long hours of use, the surface should be slightly slanted towards you. This reduces the stress on your wrists and fingers. This kind is the most portable option and will sit easily on your lap no matter what position you're in.

A Travel Lap Desk from Targus

It's hard to find a large cooling pad with a fan that can also go anywhere with you and your laptop. Even though this Targus Space Saving Lap Chill Mat weighs just 1.38 lbs it is not one of those simple wedge type pads that only serve to keep the heat off your legs.

It can hold laptops up to 17" and its USB powered dual fans ensure that there's complete cooling. Rubber tabs on the surface prevents slipping however it's used and the bottom features woven gabardine padding so that it doesn't feel like it's digging into you.

To use it, just pop open the tabs to set it an angle and allow air to flow through the wedge opening. When not in use it folds down to just over an inch thick and the mini-USB cable winds around the outside, making it compact enough to slip into your laptop bag to take with you to work or even on a trip.

While this is the most portable cooling lap desk around, some reviews state that the fans start out quiet but may start to get a bit noisy after a few month.

LED Lit Pad

This cooling pad looks like it was designed for gamers! A blue LED light shines through the pad's metal mesh surface but more importantly, gamers report that the large fan cools their laptops substantially.

It can hold units up to 17" diagonally, weighs 2 lbs, and the fans run via the included USB cable. There are two height settings for an ergonomically comfortable angle. The mesh surface and clearance from the bottom serve to add to the cooling effect.

Some users report that certain laptops tend to slide off the surface but the fan is quiet and effective.

Best Portable Cooling Pad for 15.4 Inch Notebooks

If you're concerned about draining battery power while running the USB powered fan on a lap desk, then this Logitech N100 is a good choice. Built to hold laptops of up to a 15.4-inch display, this one is not meant for heavy gaming or laptops that tend to get overheated very fast. You also can't adjust the angle of this desk.

It is extremely lightweight, the fan is barely audible and it is a pad that will look good anywhere in your home.

The fan uses low power consumption and is set under a slotted surface. The silent intake of air happens through the rear.

There is a slot on the bottom to anchor the USB cord when not in use. The enclosed construction protects the fan from dust and damage.

Adjustable Lap Desk

Since most people find a specific angle to be the most comfortable while working, you can get more flexibility with a lap desk that can be adjusted to one of several angles. This also allows you to change the angle throughout the day. This type of pad will be a bit heavier that non-adjustable ones.

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Adjustable Laptop Lap Desk with Mouse Pad

If you prefer using an external mouse rather than your laptop's touch pad, you'll need additional space for it when you don't have a desk available. The Aidata LD007P Cooling Lap Board includes a sturdy and detachable right or left handed mouse pad and can be adjusted to any of 5 different angle settings. The cooling fan works on USB power and open surface adds to its cooling ability.

This desk is made of high impact ABS plastic, weighs 2 lbs and is large enough to hold a 17" laptop. There's a removable air mesh cushion on the bottom to reduce the pressure of the stand on your legs. A front edge lip and non-slip rubber pads on the surface prevent the laptop from sliding off. A handle bar makes transporting it easy.

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Rotatable Stand or Stationary Stand for 15-17" Laptops

If you're looking for an all in one accessory for your laptop that's versatile for use on your lap or desk, Cooler master makes two very good adjustable laptop lap desks that will fit a 15 inch or 17 inch laptop - the Ergo 360 and the NotePal Ergostand. The cooling effect is powerful, making them great for gamers and all day laptop workers.

Why 2 options? Well, there are a few differences to both that may affect your buying decision. The Cooler Master Ergo 360 is a cooling pad set on a detachable 360 degree rotating foot. When attached, you can use the stand to swivel your laptop around on a desk. When detached you get two separate accessories - the cooling pad can be used to hold your laptop on your lap, while the rotating foot is perfect as a tablet stand!

There are 3 ergonomic height settings to allow you to have complete comfort while browsing or working and two front edge tabs prevents your laptop from slipping even when it's at the highest setting. There are two silent but efficient 80mm USB fans under the aluminium surface that work via an attached mini-USB cable.

The stand and cooling pad together weigh 2.1 lbs.

The Cooler Master NotePal ErgoStand is perfect for a heavy duty gaming laptop. A stationary stand can adjust to 5 different levels for maximum ergonomic comfort and two adjustable anti-slip front tabs to keep your laptop from falling off.

The metal mesh surface encases a powerful 14mm fan and there are 4 USB ports and fan speed control. Rear clips and side handles keep the cables out of the way.

This heavy duty stand weighs 2.3 lbs.

Extra Large Lap Desk

Is your laptop more than 17" diagonally? In that case you'll need a larger than normal desk that is strong enough to hold the weight. An ideal one will also have a larger fan or more than one fan so that there's complete and uniform heat dissipation.

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A Cooling pad for Jumbo Laptops

Laptops larger than 17 inches are tricky to hold on the lap and even trickier to keep cool, especially if it's used a lot for gaming. This Cooler Master Notepal U3 comes with 3 movable 80mm fans that spin up to 1800 rpm, making it ideal for extra large processor-intensive laptops.

The angle is not adjustable but the strong aluminium mesh surface is set at a comfortable angle. There may be slight slippage for some laptops.

All three fans are attached to a speed control clip and are jointly powered by one USB cable. The fans can be replaced, moved and locked onto different spots under the surface, so that your laptop's hottest spots are targeted. There is also one USB port available.

It weighs 2.3 lbs and can hold an up to 19" laptop.

Lap Desk with Speakers

If you listen to a lot of music or watch a lot of TV or movies on your laptop, you probably find its speakers inadequate. Connecting the audio output to speakers that are built into your lap desk can make the experience better. The speakers can vary in quality depending on how good the sound should be.

Get Stereo Sound with the Logitech N700

You don't have to settle for bad laptop speakers if you watch a movie or TV show on it. You can instead immerse yourself in a full audio experience with inbuilt lap desk stereo speakers. Use it anywhere and anyhow, even on your lap as the padded base and angled surface makes it very comfortable to use.

This cushioned lap desk has an air mesh fabric bottom with polyutherane foam padding. The bottom is heat shielded and the fan pulls in air from the rear. A grill prevents damage to the fan as well. It even has double bass vents over the two stereo 2.0 speakers and you won't be distracted by fan noise, as it is silent. Integrated laptop holders can angle your laptop up to 50 degrees and sticky tabs keep it in place even if you move your legs.

You can use this lap desk with any Windows powered laptop or MacBook up to 16". Some customers say that you can actually use a 17" laptop and although the speakers would be slightly blocked, it does not affect the sound quality. A single USB cable to your laptop powers both the speakers and the fan. It's as simple as that - no batteries and no software or drivers to install.

You can control the fan and the volume via toggle switches conveniently placed on one side. A red LED light tells you when the volume is on mute. The fan speed is automatically controlled.

Reasons Why You Must Use a Poratble Laptop Lap Desk with Fan

  1. You must keep your laptop cool. Overheated laptops will shut down suddenly because the laptop's own fans can't control the heat generated. Excess heat is one of the most common causes of a laptop's reduced life span.
  2. You must keep your lap from getting scorched. Although it hasn't been scientifically proven yet, there's a possibility that long term scorched skin can lead to skin cancer. Even if it turns out to not be true, have you seen the darkened skin that develops after just a few days of use on your lap? If nothing else, a cooling pad makes laptop use more comfortable.
  3. Ensures ergonomic use of your laptop. When you place a laptop flat on your desk or lap, your wrists are slightly bent while typing. Using a lapdesk keeps your forearm, wrist and hand in a straight line, which is what you want. It also raises the level of the laptop so that the screen is almost at eye level. Again - that's proper ergonomics because your neck won't be bent.

Ergonomics Explained


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      Rocky 3 years ago

      That's a smart way of thnkniig about it.