Review: Rain Design iLap laptop stand for Mac and PC
November 30, 2012 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Typing on a computer is most ergonomically ideal with the back of the keyboard raised a bit, but you can’t do that with a laptop unless you tilt the entire thing. And typing with your laptop on your lap is always an ergonomic challenge. The iLap from Rain Design looks to address both those concerns. The term “lap desk” evokes images of an overgrown and bulky slab of a product, but the iLap aims for the minimalist: it’s a thin sheet of aluminum with padded cushions running across the front and rear, with the rear slanted a few degrees up from the front. Set it on your lap, and it runs from your waist to your knees.
Testing out my laptop and the iLap on my lap, I found the product to be something I never knew I always wanted. With my MacBook sitting just a little higher and tilted a bit forward, finding a comfortable typing position became easier. It also allowed me to use my laptop on my lap while wearing shorts without it becoming uncomfortably hot. I’ve tested other, bulkier lap desks in the past to try to solve this, but found that their weight eventually cut off the circulation in my legs. With the lightweight iLap this wasn’t the case at all.
iLap has a dual functionality whereby you can remove the front pillow cushion and use it as a laptop stand on your desk. I actually found that I preferred using it as a desk stand with the front cushion still attached, and it solved the one major ergonomic faux pas which Apple has committed with the MacBook lineup, which is that the front edge is sharp and your wrists can pay the price while you’re typing. And that alone is worth the price of admission.
It’s a good thing the iLap works well as a desk stand with the front cushion attached, because without the cushion I’m not quite sold on the product. With the cushion removed there’s no front lip, so you’re relying on nothing but the four small stoppers included with the iLap to keep it from sliding off the front of the stand. This concern is driven home by the notice on the instruction sheet which warns you not to leave your laptop on the iLap “at the edge of the table unattended.” In my desk tests, my laptop didn’t slide off while in use or not in use, even with the front cushion removed. But the included warning alone suggests that the cushion-less desk stand aspect of the iLap is best skipped.
That leaves the iLap as simply a lap desk which can also be safely used on your desk with the front fusion on. And in that role, the iLap functions superbly. I expect the iLap will become a permanent addition to my living room.
Rain Design offers the iLap in sizes ranging from twelve inch to seventeen inch laptops, at various prices.
Price: $44 to $62 • raindesigninc.com