The main problem with laptop computers is that they're not very comfortable to use on your lap.
First, today's hot microprocessors put out a lot of heat, which is often vented downwards through the bottom of the computer. As a result, a reasonably powerful computer can wind up slow-roasting your legs.
Second, your lap isn't a very stable place. Move a leg or squirm a little - which is going to happen when you get cramped enough from sitting with your legs together with a computer balanced on them - and your expensive PC winds up, with a "thunk," on the floor. This is definitely not the way to treat a delicate machine.
So here's a great idea: the $30 Laptop Desk from Lapworks, which solves those problems handily without adding an untolerable burden to your PC carry bag.
This plastic gadget is a lightweight, heavy-duty, hinged platform that unfolds to provide a mini-desk 20.5 inches wide and more than 11 inches deep. It weighs 1.4 pounds. Folded up, it's 5/8 of an inch thick.
A ribbed design with gripping surfaces on both sides provides plenty of ventilation to dissipate laptop heat at the same time that it provides a firm grip on your legs and your laptop. Never having tried one of these before, I was amazed at how comfortable it was - for the first time, a laptop on my lap felt stable and secure.
The platform is wide enough to allow a little room on both sides of the average notebook PC, so it can accommodate a mouse (you'll probably do better with a miniature pointing device).
Unfortunately, it's a little too wide to fit in the confines of an economy class airline seat.
Still, this is a clever product that solves a real problem.
Information: 877-527-9675 or www.laptopdesk.net.