Rating: ★★★½☆

Most of us that use our laptops on our, ehem, laps know that there’s a delicate balance between finding something comfortable for the laptop to sit on, and not obstructing the fan vents.  Trying to sit a laptop on a pillow for example will quickly cause it to overheat; on the other hand, you don’t very well want to put it on a piece of wood, as that wouldn’t be very comfortable at all.  Targus has come up with some nice ideas before with their line of Chill Mats, but I think this one beats them all out.

It’s the design of the Targus Laptop Desk with Storage that’s the key to making everything work here.  The whole thing is basically a plastic teardrop shaped wedge.  On the bottom, a soft cushion makes sure that you have a good amount of comfort while using your laptop (although for my tastes, I would have rather a piece of memory foam).  The cushion on the bottom is unfortunately a bit thin though, so you may have to accentuate it with a pillow or something.

That’s not a problem though, because of how the rest of the design works.  The laptop rests on the top of the teardrop shape, and it’s keps away from any sort of fan blockage.  You see, the center of the desk is hollow, so no only is air flow not being blocked, it’s actually being improved because of how much air can pass through.  Think about using your laptop on a desk or table – there’s not much room between the table and the bottom of your laptop for air to flow through (not unless you have inch high feet on it).

The center of the desk isn’t just for increased air flow however, as the entire top can lift off of the bottom (there’s two latches to make sure this doesn’t happen accidentally) for storage of things such as pens, note cards, or anything else small enough to fit in its pouches.  No, the storage area isn’t huge – but it is just big enough to be useful.

While I like the idea, and how simplistic it is, I also wouldn’t mind seeing a more advanced model in the future.  Targus could easily take ideas offered by their other Chill Mats, and incorporate more active cooling instead of leaving it all to passive.  A powered fan or two in the top of the desk would make it even more invaluable to someone like me who’s on their laptop all day long.  Even if it would need to be raised an inch, that would still be preferable to me.

Another issue for me, is the fact that there’s nothing to keep the laptop in one place.  While I understand the need to make the desk accessible to laptops of multiple sizes, had they replaced the plastic and cloth portions of the top with rubber, I would think a laptop would grip better.  Right now whenever I readjust, I also have to spend time readjusting how my laptop is sitting because it inevitably slides.  They could have even just raised the corners a bit to make sure it doesn’t slide off – there are a number of good solutions to this issue that I’m really surprised they didn’t get it right.

The Laptop Desk with Storage isn’t a bad product by any means, but it’s also not a great product either.  Targus missed the mark a bit with this one, and I don’t think it holds up as well as some of their other really great products.  However Targus has been good in the past with fixing problems, and re-releasing things, so I really hope that ends up being the case here, as the main issues I have with it are simple ones.  For now, I give the Targus Laptop Desk with Storage a review score of three and a half stars out of five.  If and when it gets revamped, I’ll definitely revisit it in order to adjust the score.

Pros:

  • Allows a lot more air flow to your laptop than it would normally get sitting on a table or normal desk
  • Low-tech options means no extra wires plugged in everywhere
  • Even with thin cushioning, it’s still pretty comfortable after a few hours on your lap

Cons:

  • There’s nothing to assist in holding the laptop in place which is a pain if you move around a lot
  • The price is pretty high for what you get, especially with such thin padding
  • The carrying handle seems pointless to me – I can’t see why you would ever use it

You can get your own Targus Laptop Desk with Storage from Amazon for $38.63



Staff