Sometime ago, I found myself standing with my co-worker Frank at our newspaper’s lobby entrance, which required placing a key card in front of a sensor to open the door. Just as the both of us started reaching for our wallets in our back pockets, a female coworker nonchalantly walks up to the sensor and raises her large purse. Like magic, the door opens. Apparently, the door sensor was strong enough to go through all the junk in her bag and sync with her security card. As we all enter the door, Frank looks at me with furrowed brows and right hand still in his back pocket.
“Of the course, the real question is, ‘What is this sensor doing to our butts?’” he quipped.
Alas, my dear buddy Frank has since left the newspaper and moved on to better things. Nevertheless, his comment lives on in my mind as I review the DefenderPad. Not to be confused with the iPad, the DefenderPad works just as its name implies. Essentially, it is a protective pad that shields your lap and any other, uh, precious body part within its immediate vicinity from the side effects of heat and radiation. I’m talking fertility issues, DNA damage and a host of other problems that I wish I knew about before I started my research on just why the heck a protective pad is necessary for laptops in the first place. Yikes! I would now like to take this moment to apologize to my future children and grandchildren who will never be born thanks to the gajillions of hours that their irresponsible ancestor spent with a laptop on his lap. Hey, aliens had to be killed and bills had to be paid, darn it! And thus, the Hidalgo clan became extinct and was wiped out of the face of the planet… On the positive note, I should have been exposed to enough radiation through the years to become a superhero.
But hey, enough about me, let’s talk about you — and whether the DefenderPad suits your needs. The pad itself has a rubbery plastic feel that blocks potentially scalding heat as well as a wide range of electromagnetic radiation and radio frequencies based on independent testing that conforms to Federal Communications Commission standards. That would be the same FCC, by the way, that just gave airlines the OK to let passengers have their personal electronic devices powered on in airplane mode even during takeoff and landing (so they better know what they’re talking about). The DefenderPad itself has a large enough area to accommodate even my ginormous 17-inch ASUS Republic of Gamers G74SX laptop. Let’s just say that if the pad can accommodate that large slab of portable electronics, it can pretty much accommodate any laptop. Another plus is that the surface of the DefenderPad prevents slippage when in contact with a laptop’s rubber grips, including larger devices. That’s good as you certainly don’t want your pricey investment crashing down to the ground like, well, my future hopes and dreams to be a father after all of my apparent laptop radiation exposure.
Speaking of size, the makers of the DefenderPad tout that it’s pretty portable, which is true to a certain extent. It’s relatively slim as far as dimensions go but it is pretty wide so you might have a hard time fitting it inside a backpack unless you’re using something like the Slappa Stovepipe Chaos or an ECBC Tomahawk carrier bag, for example. Another potential downside for folks is price. At $90, the DefenderPad is pretty pricey for a product that doesn’t have any electronic or moving parts. Still, if you’re a heavy laptop user and you’re worried about burning your lap with a hot computer or being exposed to enough radiation to turn you into Atom Man (or Atom Woman), then perhaps those $90 are a worthwhile investment. I’m sure it’s a tradeoff guys like Frank can definitely live with.
Final rating: 4 stars out of 5
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