Review: Side-by-Side Magic Lapdesk

A lap tray that holds your keyboard and trackpad. (February 26th, 2011)

This lap table-like tray holds your wireless keyboard and trackpad comfortably. No more fussing with devices and dropping them the floor.

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: Magic Lapdesk

Price: $49.95 US

The Good

  • Solves the couch surfer’s needs.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Light weight.
  • Solid and well made.
  • Three models cover all Mac keyboards and mice.

The Bad

  • Keyboard and trackpad can slide side-to-side.

I have wanted to set up a Mac mini connected to my television for a while, but I have a problem - what can I use to control it? You need both a keyboard and a mouse or trackpad, plus I wanted a wireless solution. I want to sit on the couch, across the room from the computer, and have it display on the large screen.

Apple makes a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, and trackpad, but they are all separate and I don't want to have two separate pieces of equipment on my lap. I also need a surface upon which to use a mouse. A couple or manufacturers make combination keyboard and trackpads, but they are quite expensive and usually use some custom wireless protocol, not Bluetooth wireless, which requires a USB plug on the Mac.

A friend of mine told me about the Magic Lapdesk. It is a type of table or tray that sits on your lap and holds your wireless keyboard and trackpad. The Magic Lapdesk has a slot that holds the riser of the keyboard and trackpad, keeping them securely in place.


Magic Lapdesk Empty

You place your existing keyboard and trackpad on the Lapdesk, with the risers in the slot. This makes the keyboard and trackpad lie flat on the lap desk, as opposed to an angle as they would on a regular desk. However, since the Magic Lapdesk sits on your lap, you can angle the entire assembly however you want. There is just a single slot for the both the keyboard and trackpad, so you can arrange them either with the trackpad on the right or on the left.


Magic Lapdesk With Keyboard and Trackpad

The Magic Lapdesk is 20" wide, 7.25" deep, and .75" thick. This light solution, weighs in at about 22 ounces. The entire assembly, the Magic Lapdesk, with the keyboard, and trackpad installed, weighs less than my MacBook Pro. I have no problem with it sitting on my lap for an extended period of time and find it quite comfortable to use.

Marshall with desk

Marshall Using His Magic Lapdesk

The sturdy Magic Lapdesk does not flex or twist when you put stress on it. The surface of the lapdesk is made from the same material as dry erase whiteboards, so you can write notes on the desk if you feel the need, but make sure you use the correct type of erasable pen, or the notes may be permanent.

My keyboard and trackpad fit into the slots on the Magic Lapdesk with about an inch of extra space. This gave them freedom to move side-to-side that I could have done without. I'm tempted to make a little shim to prevent the devices from sliding around.

This review is for the Side-by-Side Magic Lapdesk. There are two other models, one for a keyboard and mouse, and the other with a keyboard and trackpad set up like a laptop, with the trackpad underneath the keyboard. They have a solution that should meet most couch surfer's needs. Each of the Magic Lapdesks cost $49.95 and are only available on the Magic Lapdesk site.

trackpad version

Magic Lapdesk for Apple Magic Trackpad

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Marshall Clow


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