Laptop desks come in all shapes and sizes, but our unscientific anecdotal evidence shows that one of the most popular items to prop between an overheated laptop and your legs is actually a pillow. The designers at accessory maker Belkin must have discovered the same thing, as the company's CushTop laptop desk is essentially a big (albeit kind of hard) pillow for your laptop. The $35 CushTop won't fit in your laptop case, but for home use, it's a snazzy little portable desk that will make couch-based computing more comfortable.
Available in silver, green, and orange, the CushTop looks like a slightly malformed angular pillow, with a large hole going clear through from one side to the other. The opening in the middle can be used to store an AC adapter brick, a mouse, or any other small accessory you want to keep out of the way.
Measuring 14.5 inches wide by 12 inches deep, the CushTop gently slopes from 4 inches high in the rear to 3 inches high at the front, providing a comfortable ergonomic angle for typing. It's not nearly as soft as it looks, although the fabric covering (described by Belkin as "furniture-like upholstery") looks and feels nice.
Propping the CushTop on our laps, we found it put our laptops at a decent height for typing. It was a little on the small side for a large 17-inch desktop replacement laptop, but a perfect fit for mainstream 15.4-inch systems. The interior pocket was tighter than we expected: we had trouble shoving a midsize power brick inside it, and larger ones would be out of the question.