The Lap Chill Mat from laptop accessory manufacturer Targus not only places an angled comfort barrier between you and your laptop but will also help cool your poor overworked portable computer. Its wedge shape allows for air intake through the sides rather than underneath and its decent size sees it comfortably handle anything from diminutive netbooks to 17-inch gaming monsters.

Portable computers are a must for modern living but can soon uncomfortably heat up when placed unprotected on the lap. The solution is to place some sort of barrier between you and the device, preferably one which won't make the situation worse by causing an obstruction to its air vents. The Targus Lap Chill Mat (AWE55US) not only provides such a barrier but also incorporates a dual fan cooling system to help keep your laptop nice and chilled, which should go a long way to extend its working life.

The 12 x 15.1 x 2.2 inch wedge shape is coated with soft neoprene covering, the fans mounted underneath a grill on the upper surface and on which your portable computer will sit. Four raised rubber stops sit at each corner of the air grill which prevent laptop movement. The fans are powered by your laptop's battery via a USB cable from the rear of the Chill Mat and draw air from its open sides. It's a shame that the device does not have independent power rather than relying on the battery from the laptop above. There's also no on/off switch but simply removing the USB cable will disable the fans when cooling is not needed.

The device also complies with the European Directive to restrict the use of hazardous substances in electrical equipment manufacture, Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive or RoHS. Although it doesn't have the benefit of inbuilt speakers like the Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700, it is a good deal cheaper at US$39.99 (and even cheaper via online deals) and is available now.

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