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LapWorks is best-known for making a series of excellent laptop desks, including the LapWorks Laptop Desk 2.0 and the LapWorks Laptop Desk UltraLite. Unlike those passive cooling devices, essentially plastic pads to shield your legs from a hot laptop, the $39 LapWorks Ergo Fan Riser has a single powered fan and includes a four-port USB hub. That's a nice extra, but compared to cooling units from Belkin and Antec, the Ergo Fan Riser is bulky and unattractive.
Measuring 15x11x1.6 inches (when the adjustable rear height is set to its lowest position), the Ergo Fan Riser is bigger than two fan-based laptop coolers we've looked at, the dual-fan Antec Notebook Cooler and the single-fan Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand. It does, however, offer an adjustable riser that can raise the rear of your laptop nearly three inches, providing a more ergonomically correct typing surface. One advantage of the larger size is that it easily fits under a hefty 17-inch desktop replacement laptop.
Unlike the reasonably sleek Belkin and Antec coolers, the two-tone black-and-gray Ergo Fan Riser is woefully unattractive, feels clunky, and the raised front lip made it hard to fit into our laptop bag.
Using a popular business laptop, the Lenovo T60, we put the LapWorks Ergo Fan Riser to the test by running CNET Labs' grueling Multimedia multitasking test on the system and recording the CPU temperature.
Running the test without the laptop desk, the CPU got as hot as 80.8 degrees. After a cooldown period, we ran the test again, this time with the laptop sitting on the LapWorks Ergo Fan Riser, with the rear riser set to its maximum height. The highest temperature recorded during the second test was 76.6 degrees, a reasonable decrease, but slightly less than we saw with either the Antec or Belkin devices, or the surprisingly effective Xpad Laptop Desk, a bulky, passive laptop cooler.