With the advent of the laptop computer comes the need to use them in comfort. Using a laptop on a chair or in bed often leads to neck and back strain, but by using a laptop table or laptop desk, much of this can be avoided. Take a look at the two basic designs available to find what would work best for you.
In the last 10 to 15 years, a new piece of furniture has been developed to fill a new need in the market place, and that is a laptop desk or a laptop table. In some ways this piece of furniture reminds me of a lap board or breakfast tray. But the variety of styles of a laptop desk is way more deluxe, and sometimes quite different than either of these other items.
First, there is the basic "tray" style laptop table, great for using while sitting in a chair or propped up in bed (or lying down if it has a tilting, adjustable top). Much more comfortable than balancing your computer on your lap. There are a lot of different designs just within this subcategory of laptop tables. I have seen some where a portion of the table is adjustable, tilting up at various angles to make using your laptop more convenient. This is great for relieving neck and back strain, making you, as the user, more comfortable. Usually next to the adjustable part of the table is a flat area for using your mouse. Some even have a built in mouse pad. The leg height on most models is also adjustable. I have seen this style in wood, metal and composite plastic, and also in a variety of price ranges. A few I have seen have very sleek and stylish lines and others are very utilitarian. Most are quite light and some even fold away for easy storage. Though this style is designed for use with a laptop computer, it can be used for a variety of other activities such as homework, crafts, reading and meals.
A variation of the four legged tray, is a pedestal that has a base board that you can slide under your leg to keep the tray firmly in place. These also usually have adjustable height and tilt.
Probably the more innovative design has been the mobile laptop desk. These often have lockable casters so that you can easily move the desk to where you are working and then lock it in place. The height is fully adjustable and most have a tilting portion for the computer. This part will have a small ledge to stop the computer from sliding off the desk top. I have even seen some that have a small shelf on the bottom, which could be used for a printer. There is usually a single pedestal leg which has other legs coming off of it with the casters. These are usually very low to the floor, that way they can slide under a chair allowing easier access to the work space. Many I have seen with the adjustable tilt, will tilt in either direction, which allow for left or right hand access and use of the laptop desk. Some designs have two adjustable table top areas, one for the laptop and the other for the mouse, this is great for ultimate adjustability and compatibility for the user. This style also comes in a variety of material, including metal and wood, and often a combination of both.
So, if you have a laptop, consider getting a laptop table or a laptop desk because regardless of the style that you use, most offer the same benefits: they keep the heat off your lap, the computer stays cooler on a harder surface, they allow you to work more ergonomically, most have adjustable height and tilt which results in less strain on your neck and back. With benefits like these, a laptop desk or table will allow longer periods of use and will make your time more productive. Also, with such a large variety of styles available, you are bound to find one that is perfect for you.