And, like the Designer, it has a fabric handle sewn into the top so you can easily tote it around. Plus, it’s one of the least expensive models we tested. Comfortably use your laptop computer or tablet in bed or on the couch while keeping your smartphone within reach. Plus, the lip around its tablet slot creates an uneven surface for a laptop or notepad. As a bonus, the Designer has a little slot to prop up your phone while you’re working or to store a pen and pencil. The best of modern, priced for real life. Getting the legs to unfold and extend and adjusting the table’s angle takes some practice.

You can use the tablet slot to prop up a book or iPad, or you can cover it up with your laptop.

There may be limited stock or extended shipping times of some picks as more people are working from home unexpectedly. Includes tablet slot that holds devices up to 9.6". You can even adjust the angle (roughly) to fit your position. We previously tested and liked a slightly wider model—one that measures about 18½ inches—if you want a little extra surface space. Includes tablet slot that holds devices up to 9.6". It features a cup holder and a tablet holder, and its curved cut outlets you bring things up close if necessary. The eDesk is small and light enough to pack in a carry-on bag or tuck out of sight in a tiny apartment.

It has a slot to perch your phone, a handle to carry it around or hang it up, and an elastic strap for storing index cards or a pen. Plus, you can easily remove the laptop rest—two rubber pieces are included in the box to plug the holes left behind—if you don’t want it there. AboveTek Folding Laptop Table Stand: This was initially the only lap desk with legs we had called in for testing and it was so bad that we had to send for another one (the Avantree). For a previous version of this guide, we spent an additional 12 hours testing lap desks and interviewed ergonomics expert Alan Hedge, a professor at Cornell University. The eDesk is small (17½ inches wide) and lightweight (1½ pounds) enough to fit in a carry-on or large commuter pack, making it handy for travel. By comparison, we struck plenty of models from our testing list—see the Competition section—due to a pattern of owner reviews reporting shoddy workmanship and cheap-looking materials. If you like to work on a laptop or tablet—or do a crossword, write thank-you notes, color, consult your tarot cards, whatever—from your couch or in bed, lap desks can help. The top surface of the lap desk (made of a warm-colored, faux-wood laminate) is equally comfortable to use.

Plus, if you set the Avantree Multifunctional on a desk or table, you can also use it as a DIY standing desk or laptop stand. Imagine the long road trips, pushing the stroller through the mall, or being stuck in traffic. This lap tray is the ultimate in versatility. It reigns supreme in terms of comfort and build quality, has one of the widest and sturdiest surfaces of any lap desk we tested, and offers extra storage options for your phone and other supplies. It’s one of the widest models we tested, its padding is ventilated, and it has dual mousepads, zip-up storage pouches, and a roomy laptop rest. (If you don’t like our picks—and are feeling spendy—you can buy a replica of the founding father’s lap desk or just make your own [PDF].). easily. They let you pick up your workstation and take it with you. The tablet slot at the top of the eDesk is over a foot long and about an inch deep, which is plenty big enough to prop up an iPad Pro. By comparison the 2-pound Designer feels noticeably bulkier in your lap. The Avantree seems to be made of high-quality, durable materials—metal and thick plastic—and is robustly constructed. Or use it to serve breakfast in bed or to serve snacks for the game. Honey-Can-Do Laptop Desk: This lap desk (our former budget pick) was nixed in our latest round of testing because it doesn’t have a built-in laptop rest to keep your stuff from sliding off. Plastic plate, polyester-secured base. The lap tray is the perfect lap desk for your home, office, or hotel. Enter: the lap desk. Most modern-day lap desks have padding, ventilation, and something to keep your phone, tablet, or laptop from sliding off, but the basic function is about the same. I’ve also written about mouse traps, USB-C cables and adapters, portable solar chargers, and more for Wirecutter, and before that I was a science writer for over four years. The small lip on the Designer’s near edge (a 6-inch strip of white plastic just a half inch tall) is just wide enough to ensure that your laptop doesn’t slide onto your abdomen while you’re typing. Thomas Jefferson even used a lap desk of his own design—it’s made of solid mahogany, weighs 5 pounds, and has a built-in drawer for storing quills and ink—to draft the Declaration of Independence. It doesn’t offer any storage options for pens, a phone, or other supplies.

It weighs about 2 pounds, which feels roughly the same as a thick wool blanket laid across your lap. Lap desks are like the athleisure of workspaces: not the most elegant option but generally comfortable and functional. Its smooth, matte finish won’t chafe your wrists as you type, practice calligraphy, color a zentangle, or handwrite the first draft of your novel. We also consulted outside editorial sources like Bustle, CNET, Lifewire, Lifehacker, ReviewGeek, and The Strategist to see what their favorite lap desks are. The Avantree Multifunctional is the best option if you want a lap desk with built-in legs.

But since the Designer comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors (seven at the time of this writing) we think most people can find one they like, even if it wouldn’t be their first choice. Because it doesn’t have to make direct contact with your lap, your legs won’t get hot or restless. They provide a work surface that’s flatter and more stable than your bare lap and should effectively shield your skin from laptop burn (details on that and more in the health considerations section). If you want a lap desk that raises your work surface even higher off your lap, increasing airflow and improving your posture, you should get the Avantree Multifunctional. No other model we tested has the option to switch out the laptop rest like this. The tray holds snacks, drinks, books, toys, crayons, etc. Like the LapGear Designer, the Avantree has a laptop rest at the base of the desktop, with ample room on either side of a 13-inch or 15-inch laptop for you to write or slide a mouse around. The LapGear Designer is the total package in terms of style, comfort, stability, and build quality, and it includes some extra storage options. We prefer this texture to a dimpled plastic, like on the LapGear Smart-e, or the slick, shiny surface of the Honey Can-Do Laptop Desk. Paisley and argyle aren’t for everyone, and it would be a shame if your lap desk clashed with your home, office, or dorm-room decor. By comparison, the LapGear Designer is about an inch wider (17.7 versus 18.5) and more than two inches longer (12.5 versus 14.8), and its padding is a lot bulkier. The handle and bottom cushion are made of a vibrant fabric that comes in a variety of colors and patterns, giving you lots of options to match your personal style. As the writer of this guide, I spent 10 hours researching and 25 hours testing lap desks. Since joining Wirecutter, she has researched, tested, and written about surge protectors, power banks, lap desks, mousetraps, and more. After narrowing our list based on these criteria, we ended up with seven models, which we tested alongside our two previous picks, the LapGear XL Executive (formerly called the LapGear Euro) and the Honey-Can-Do Laptop Desk: We had three or more Wirecutter staffers test each lap desk, using them to work on a laptop for at least 30 minutes per lap desk and filling out a survey after each one. The sofia and sam multi-tasking lap tray is the modern take on the classic lap tray. But in practice, that laptop rest is made of hard plastic and makes the whole thing uncomfortable to use. The LapGear Designer has a clean, simple design and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. The lap desk has a luxurious cushion of furniture grade memory foam for total comfort and support. It’s sturdy and well made, and feels comfortable and cool in your lap. LapGear XL Executive: This model, formerly called the LapGear Euro, used to be our top pick. But for people who frequently work on a commute or are generally tight on space, the LapGear eDesk is a more compact and portable alternative. It’s simple and stylish looking, and has a streamlined shape that’s easy to tuck under a couch or next to a bedside table. Even though the topper is not made of real wood (which might look and feel more luxurious, but would also be heavier) the Designer feels sturdy and well constructed. This wheelchair tray is an entertainment center for the kids and adults that attaches perfectly to strollers and wheel chairs, giving kids and seniors the ability to eat while on the go. Stylish faux white marble finish on top. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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