Protect Your Lap
Even with the advent of Windows Vista, and the expected boost that the new operating system was meant to bring to sales of new powerful computers, currently portable computers are outselling their larger desktop siblings. Whether you refer to these portable models as notebooks or laptops, they will, at some stage or another, find themselves being used when perched on your lap (hence the laptop designation). One common factor, which I have noticed with all the various notebooks/laptops that I have used, has been a tendency for each of the devices to generate a certain amount of heat that emanates from the base of the machine.
While this might, initially, be appreciated in mid-winter, it can soon become uncomfortable - maybe not to the degree of causing burns but enough to make you look for an alternate position to place said notebook/laptop. Of course there might not be an option to place the notebook/laptop elsewhere due to space restrictions. If that is the case then you could consider a solution that raises the heat-producing computer away from your body. I have been field-testing, or should that be lap-testing, Belkin's CushTop product from its laptop@home series.
The CushTop is made of a durable microfiber substance which is hand-washable. This rigid cushion-like product has been constructed in such a way that it can be flipped over. This allows it to be used with either a 15-inch or 17-inch laptop. The supporting surface slopes which allows for a more comfortable working position, especially important when log sessions are the order of the day. Running through the centre of the CushTop is a compartment which can be used to store items such as cables, a mouse or USB memory stick when not in use. This compartment can also be used to grip the CushTop when moving it, with or without the laptop, to another location. I found the latter use to be of more value than the former.
Although reasonably lightweight, the CushTop is too bulky to really be considered as a travel companion for your portable computer. It is more suited, as you would expect from its laptop@home product category, for use in the home where it could prove to be of value in various situations. Belkin feel the CushTop is suitable for use on a couch, easy chair, bed or floor. I must admit that I have only used it with the first two locations where it has provided both ample protection from heat and a firm working platform. The CushTop is available in silver, orange or green and has been priced at approximately £22.
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