How To Make Your Own Diy Vented Laptop Tray

computer lap top trayLaptops have become a very important part of our lives.  We take them almost everywhere which means that we can get work done almost no matter where we are.  This also means that our trusty lappies are subjected to all sorts of interesting situations.  We use them on desks, in bed, in the car, outside, and even on planes.

Some of these situations would not be as feasible without some sort of laptop tray. Laptop trays make the versatility of the laptop that much more versatile.  But what is the point of a laptop tray?  Well, there are several.

Laptop trays can make using the laptop more convenient.  For instance, have you ever attempted to use your laptop in the driver’s seat of a parked car with the steering wheel in the way?  They make trays for that.  What about while sitting in bed or on the couch?  They also make trays for that.

If you get the right tray, it can also save you or the laptop from harm.  You see, since laptops vent hot air, they need a tray that will not hinder the flow of air.  Otherwise the laptop could overheat which damages it, or even more importantly, you could get burned.  A laptop tray could aid you in this area.

There are several areas you need to consider when looking to acquire a laptop tray.

  • How much air flow is allowed in the area where the laptop’s air is vented?  Make sure nothing is in the way that could either get hot or block the air flow altogether.
  • How far off the surface (ie. desk or lap) will the laptop be lifted?  This could be for ventilation or just protecting you from the heat.
  • How comfortable will the tray make your computing?
  • How versatile is it?  Can it adapt to different users or situations?
  • How portable is it?  What if you need to travel?

In this article I am going to share with you several plans for making your own vented laptop tray (around here we like tech-related DIY projects).  Your situation will dictate which tray you choose to make.

1.  The “Type-In-Bed” Laptop Tray

This type of laptop tray has been on the market for quite some time but why would you want to buy one of these

DIY computer lap top tray

…when you can make one?

diy lap top tray

This person decided not to bite on one of those store-bought varieties and decided to make their own.  You can follow the instructions and do it yourself, too.  You’ll notice though, that there is no venting going on so the air probably won’t have any place to go but into the computer components and the wood.  Vent this baby using a drill and you’re all set!

2. The Cop-Style Car Tray

Have you ever wondered about those “no cell phones while driving” laws but noticed how police cars always have their laptops mounted and facing them while driving?  The truth of it is that they probably only use them when pulled over.  You can probably also think of various uses for a laptop while traveling by vehicle.  For instance, if you do garage sales a lot and you’d like to be able to check prices.

This dude grabbed some PVC pipe and went at making his own tray for his truck.

laptop tray

It looks so easy to do that even I could probably pull it off.

3. The Laptop Tray For Your Lap

This person decided he would make it possible to use his laptop on his lap.  Who would have thought of that? (via Lifehacker)

laptop tray

With just a few twist-ties, some left over shelving and a few tee shirts for padding, you’ll be in comfort heaven while computing on your lap.  I like how the wire shelving works great at letting the laptop vent its air.

If all you need is some added ventilation when working at a desk, why not try a few rubber doorstops just to get some distance between the laptop and the desk?  I’ve also used books so you can be creative.

What do you use as a laptop stand?  What about keeping your laptop cool?  Please share your secrets in the comments!