The Lap Desk is a pretty simple concept - it provides you with a flat surface for your computer or notepad in places where there may not be a table for you to use.
Since it's pretty thin, I recommend slipping the desk down beside your chair, lounge, or anywhere else you often need a flat surface regularly but don't find one available. That way, it's ready to be pulled out whenever you require it.
The desk has a handle at the top to make it more portable. However, I think it's too big and cumbersome to actually carry around much. Better to just make do with the surfaces at hand in some cases.
The Lap Desk
The lap desk consists of a painted wooden top and a padded base, with the two parts attached by Velcro. There's no chance of them coming apart unexpectedly though - I didn't even notice they could separate at first, because the Velcro is quite strong.
The padding underneath
The desk is a pretty reasonable size, and has clearly been designed with laptop users in mind. There's enough room for both a computer and mouse pad on it, though a single laptop fits the most comfortably.
The perfect size for a laptop
Initially, I intended to use my lap desk for my laptop, as I think most people would. At first I was quite impressed, immediately noticing that my laptop didn't slide around at all on the surface of the desk.
However, I then noticed that it did get very hot underneath. Using the desk, I kept feeling like I needed to turn the computer off to let it cool down, which I don't often do otherwise.
That said, I don't often use my laptop on flat surfaces in the first place (usually it's just sitting on my lap), so the heat may be pretty normal and nothing others would worry about. Still, it means the desk hasn't ended up getting that much use.
Lap desks aren't an expensive purchase - mine was around $10.00, which I thought was pretty cheap, but the price may be reflected in the quality. The bottom two corners of my desk are already damaged underneath and I don't even remember how this could have happened (particularly as I haven't used it that much).
However, my father also has a lap desk, and while he uses his a lot more, it isn't damaged like mine. He has also found that by using a laptop stand on top of the desk, he can prevent his computer overheating while using it.
Some of the damage
There is no mystery to the lap desk. You know what you're getting when you buy it, and for anyone who likes using a laptop on the lounge, eating dinner in front of the television, or doing some writing in their comfiest chair, it's something to consider.