In the interest of helping visitors, I’m adding some of my Epinion reviews directly to my blog. Even though I have a feed coming directly from Epinions, it doesn’t always work so I thought it would be better to put a few of my reviews here, in “plain sight” as it were. The first one is for the Belkin Cushtop, a laptop “pillow”.
I like to use my laptop in bed, usually writing papers for school, reading ebooks, or just surfing the web. I own a MacBook Pro, so even with a laptop cooler it still gets quite warm at times. And because my cooler is cheap, some of the heat passes through the bottom of the fan compartments onto my lap.
In the past I would put a blanket on my lap to act as an insulator but then I would inevitably get hot. So I started using pillows but then the laptop would sink enough so much that the air vents on the cooler and laptop would be covered up, making everything even hotter.
I happened to see the Belkin Cushtop when I was at OfficeMax and thought it looked promising. I was able to get it on sale for $22, which seemed a little pricey for a simple pillow. However, it’s better than a pillow.
The foam itself is very thick and sturdy, not squishy at all. It provides a stable stand to place your laptop without worrying about blocking the vents. One side is smaller than the other, allowing you to use it for either 15″ laptops (or smaller) or 17″ laptops (or larger). If you buy a bigger laptop, simply flip it over; you don’t need to buy a new cushion.
The 15″ side is angled, providing the perfect incline to keep your wrists from hurting when typing for long periods. I did notice that, when used in conjunction with my laptop cooler, the laptop now sits higher than expected so the typing angle isn’t as good as when I don’t use the cooler. It still works but now the edge of the laptop bites into my wrists a little bit.
The cushion is hollow, with two holes on either side (as shown in the picture) that go all the way through. According to the “instructions” that come with the cushion, you can insert small items (mice, hard drives, power supplies, etc.) inside the cushion and use it as a carrying case.
However, since the cushion’s material isn’t squishy, you have to force any items inside. I tried putting a portable hard drive in it but gave up; to really make the hole big enough to put something in, you have to use two hands. Unless you have someone around who can put the device in while you hold it open, it’s nearly impossible to easily do. However, if you do get something inside, you can be sure that it won’t slip out accidentally.
Finally, the cover can be unzipped and washed. I actually didn’t expect this. I assumed that it was sewn on permanently. So now cleaning should be a snap, though I don’t know how difficult it will actually be to put the cover back on.
I mentioned that the case is removable for cleaning. This was based on the packaging info with the cushion. When I looked closer, there is indeed a zipper on one end. However, there isn’t a zipper pull tab to actually open it up. If you can remove the cover, I don’t know how, so be careful around liquids and anything that can stain upholstery.
The Good: Cheap, sturdy, non-slip material, can store small objects inside
The Bad: Tough material makes it hard to insert objects inside, not totally compatible with laptop coolers
Overall: Good for ergonomics and keeping your lap cool. Also works on desks, tables, etc. Just difficult to put stuff into.