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How to Choose a Laptop Tray

How to Choose a Laptop Tray

Whether you are a casual laptop user or you have to sit with your laptop all day for work, there is one piece of computer equipment that many people don’t consider obtaining. What’s this mystery piece of technology?

It’s a simple laptop tray, and while the item itself is nothing fancy or technical, there are some amazing benefits to owning one. If you’ve decided to purchase one, use the following guidelines to ensure you choose the perfect one for you.

First and foremost, the purpose of a laptop tray is to offer a solid surface for your laptop to rest upon. This stability will really help when you’re typing, because you don’t have to move your wrists as the laptop totters back and forth on your lap. For prolonged periods of typing, any form of laptop tray can reduce a great amount of the stress on your wrists and perhaps even curb instances of carpal tunnel syndrome in the future. When searching for your laptop tray, just ensure the surface is a durable plastic or other hard surface that will stay hard over prolonged use.

The second major benefit to consider with a laptop tray is the stress it can take off your computer. A major problem with many laptops is that they easily become overheated. Even if the laptop has an internal fan to diffuse some of the heat generated by the computer and the battery, resting the laptop on your lap or a pillow can often block that fan and stop it from performing optimally. Overheating your laptop can easily lead to internal damage, some of which is irreparable. If that’s the case, you will need to purchase an entirely new laptop, and that quickly becomes an expensive endeavor.

If this is something you are particularly concerned about, some laptop trays also have built-in fans to cool off the machine while working. True, the trays with fans are more expensive, but considering that they might cut down on costly computer repairs, it could work in your favor in the long run. They will also optimize personal comfort, as they will also keep your legs cool. This isn’t a problem so much in the winter months, but having a warm computer on your lap in the summer months can become downright uncomfortably warm. Trays with fans will keep both yourself and your computer at an optimal temperature.

The last main factor to consider when purchasing a laptop tray is the comfort of the item itself. The tray will act as a barrier between your lap and the computer, and as such, the tray should definitely offer some kind of padding. Unpadded trays might be appealing because of their low sticker price, but after prolonged use, they are sure to prove awkward and uncomfortable. Look for trays that have padding on the bottom and along the wrist. Especially having padding available for your wrist will not only be more comfortable, but it will also force your wrist into proper typing form, which can minimize any long term damage from prolonged periods of typing.

Photo courtesy of bigpresh.

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