The transition from an in-office workspace to your home’s lackluster kitchen table can be jarring, and that’s completely understandable. Many of us have been faced with the shocking truth that our houses or apartments might not be outfitted for the standardized projects that we completed while on-the-job. We’ve also gone through the processes associated with this realization, including the omnipresent questioning that comes along with it. Luckily, alternatives to the traditional workplace have become more plentiful.
One of the most important aspects of the office is the desk. This essential piece of furniture is often the foundation of the workspace, providing us with much-needed storage space, as well as a stable surface for our items. Since buying a full-fledged desk system can be a daunting process — and oftentimes, expensive — we searched the web for an alternative that could get the job done with much less time, effort, and monetary investment. What we stumbled upon was the lap desk — a small, portable accessory that took the idea of a conventional workspace, and minimized it into a much more versatile design. Instead of worrying about uncomfortable heat dispersion via your laptop or tablet, these unique surfaces act as a barrier between your sensitive skin and blazing-hot smart device, allowing you to work for extended periods of time without any tangible discomfort. Below, we’ve aggregated a handful of our favorites from around the industry, including adjustable-height models for those who can’t sit still for more than a few hours.
While many lap desks were built to get the job done in various areas of the home, few are truly portable. That’s where Honey-Can-Do’s TBL-02869 comes in. To fill the niche left by the genre’s larger, more static offerings, the TBL-02869 boasts a simplified, cushioned layout that’s easy to clean, store, and utilize on a whim. Its unique design boasts a single solid surface that helps to diffuse heat from laptops and tablets, as well as a removable pad for improved comfort during those long work sessions.
HUANUO is making two separate appearances on our list, and for good reason. The brand is notable for its lap desks, which means that its affordable offerings come in many different shapes, styles, and sizes. Its first, known simply as the “Adjustable,” features a lightweight and portable orientation that can be utilized virtually anywhere, thanks to its included carrying handle. Like the Honey-Can-Do, it features a single solid surface and a padded back for longer work sessions. However, what makes the Adjustable so unique is its tilting tray, which allows for a more comfortable working position. Whether you’re utilizing your laptop for a quick deadline, or you want to set up your tablet for an in-flight movie, HUANUO’s unique, eight-angle tilt has you covered.
AboveTEK’s Portable desk is one of the more traditional offerings on our list, but even it has its redeeming qualities. To deviate from the drab path set forth by other, less-interesting models, the Portable features a unique anti-slip surface that’s been textured to provide ample grip for your device. Elaborating upon its anti-slip design, a built-in heat shield has been included, providing adequate heat transfer during longer periods of work. As a result, your lap will remain cool to the touch. To round things out, it only weighs 2.2 pounds, making it compact, portable, and intuitive for use while traveling.
HOME BI Lap Desk
HOME BI’s Lap Desk might look simplistic, but that’s a part of its charm. This aesthetically-pleasing variant revels in its minimalist design, introducing a classic wood grain finish, MDF, and fabric/foam bottom cushion for increased comfort. As a result, it’s stable, stylish, and versatile, allowing you to work from wherever your heart desires, without looking out of place. Its large surface provides ample space for a laptop, mouse, and phone, thanks to its built-in device slot and mousepad. Plus, it boasts the same attractive heat-dissipation system that you’ll find in other models, keeping your legs comfortable and free of workflow-disrupting warmth.
LapGear Deluxe Elevation
Working in a less-lavish location than you’re used to can make the transition from workspace to couch more difficult than it needs to be. For those times where you need a little bit of luxury in your life, you’ll be able to turn to LapGear’s Delux Elevation lap desk — an ergonomic companion that boats a faux marbled exterior. Unlike some of the other models on our list, the Elevation doesn’t boast a hard surface. Instead, it’s padded, providing a comfortable and unique architecture that protects the bottom of your device as your work. When not in use, it folds down into a more malleable shape, complementing its intuitive easy-carry handle. There’s even a media slot for easier access to your phone/tablet as your work, ensuring that your important devices are always within arm’s reach.
Nnewvante Foldable Table
Nnewvante’s Foldable Table is one of the more static offerings on our list, meaning that it might not be able to accompany you on a flight, trip, or jaunt to the coffee shop. Where it excels, however, is in its sturdiness and stability. Since it’s confined to the home, it acts as a large, multi-purpose surface. Whether you’re looking to work from the bed/couch or utilize it as a writing/dinner tray, this foldable table can do it all, courtesy of its handmade, 100% natural bamboo construction. As a result, this height-adjustable model provides a solid, smooth surface for use alongside your laptop, as well as a small storage drawer to keep your important work essentials close at hand.
Earlier in our list, we lauded HUANUO’s lap-top models for their versatility. While the brand’s simplified Adjustable offering served as an entry-level model for the more monetarily-minded, its 17-Inch lap desk is one of the more consciously-crafted in the genre. It features a multifunctional layout that’s perfect for work, play, or anything in between, thanks to its tablet holder, pen holder, and phone slot, as well as an integrated wrist pad for improved comfort while typing. Since the wrist pad is located near the bottom of the tray, it also acts as a baffle for your devices, ensuring that they don’t slide off. When everything is said and done, you’ll be able to utilize the desk’s convenient carrying handle to travel from place to place, making the 17-Inch desk both portable and capable.
Poppin Black Portable
Poppin’s Black Portable Laptop desk might not look portable, and for the most part, we’d say that’s a valid assumption to make. As one of the more obtuse choices on our list, this unique offering was crafted to act as an alternative to the traditional standing desk. It utilizes adjustable legs for optimal placement, allowing for more ergonomic adjustments, overall. This means that you’ll be able to work in a seated, standing, or reclining position, while still being able to partake in the desk’s inherent stability. Like its predecessors, it features an integrated venting system to radiate heat away from your legs (and devices), allowing you to work for extended periods of time without experiencing discomfort.
SAIJI’s Adjustable lap desk features an interesting, telescoping architecture that brings varying heights to the table for workers who like to transition between sitting and standing. Its unique legs can be set to five different heights via a set of integrated clamps, ensuring a comfortable angle/orientation for any project that you have in mind. To keep your items secure while at an angle, the Adjustable lap desk also features a detachable notebook and mouse slip, which prevents your devices from sliding off its surface while in use. When you’re finished working, you’ll be able to fold the device into a flat orientation for easy storage. However, since the SAIJI Adjustable also weighs close to 10 pounds, it might not make the best travel companion.
Offi Walnut Overlap
Offi’s Walnut Overlap tray is our favorite pick on this list, and that’s not due to its modest price tag. Instead, it’s due to its unique design principle, which will accent any style-forward space with ease. This charming accessory features a modern architecture that’s crafted from sturdy molded plywood and cork, giving it a more tangible feel when compared to its metal/plastic counterparts. It doesn’t feature any telescoping parts, adjustable legs, or ambitious technologies — but that’s what makes it so commendable. As a simplified lap desk, it doesn’t try to fill the shoes of larger workstations. It plays to its strengths, gifting users with an attractive, sleek, and slimline design that makes it as much of an art piece as it is a utility-focused WFH essential.
The 20 Best Work From Home Essentials
Buying a lap desk without anything to use it alongside would be a shame. Head over to our guide on the best work from home essentials to ensure that you’ll have everything you need to make the transition from office to abode a little more intuitive.
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