Hot laptops are nothing new. Even with smaller processor fabrication, laptops keep getting smaller making it hard to effectively cool them without a large heatsink or loud fan. Case in point - my MacBook Air is a heater and it doesn't help that the exhaust vent is angled down. I end up moving it around in various awkward lap positions while in classrooms with stadium seats that offer little desk space to place a laptop.
Enter LapLogic's Aerogel Extreme LapDesk (G800) and LapDesk Wide (W800). They are rigid and insulated surfaces for lap computing. The key selling point is what LapLogic uses for insulation: aerogel. If you're not familiar with aerogel, it's more expensive than gold (pound for pound) and has unparalleled insulative properties, which is why NASA uses this stuff. I'm sure people will buy this for the aerogel geek factor alone.
Other notable LapDesk features include an elevated laptop section designed to help funnel away heat along with a non-slip surface that happens to look surprisingly like cheap cupboard liner. The wide version is meant for use as a mouse pad as well but probably isn't big enough for your 17-inch MacBook Pro and a mouse.
Pros and Cons
Unlike my self-proclaimed uber reviews, I'm going to make this review quick to read. The Aerogel Extreme LapDesk works very, very well for what it was intended: keeping your legs and manly parts cool and comfortable. From the performance side of things, I only have one complaint. The bottom of the LapDesk seems to amplify your own body heat and make it an annoyance. I think the bottom should absorb and dissipate your own heat while a top layer just blocks laptop heat.
And now for the blatantly obvious con: this thing is huge. I seriously can't take a LapDesk out in public when it's larger than my laptop. I realize that comparing the LapDesk to a MacBook Air is kind of unfair, but even if I compare the LapDesk to a regular MacBook, it's still pretty thick.
Aside from the size, it isn't terribly aesthetically pleasing either. Chris mistook the W800 for a mini ironing board. There's a plastic pocket inside of it as if people would store things in there. I'm looking for something simple to keep my legs cool, not hold my change. LapDesk build quality is high and the surface is sturdy but I would like to see some design innovation. Perhaps it can just be replaced with a thin sheet of adamantium (insulates better than aerogel) coated with a non-slip rhino lining?
The LapLogic Aerogel Extreme LapDesk G800 and W800 retail for just shy of 70 and 80, respectively. They receive 5 out of 10 Stammys.
How do you deal with toasty laptops? Would you consider a LapDesk?
Disclosure: Evaluation units provided by LapLogic.