Laptops spend a lot of time on our laps - right above sensitive areas. DefenderPad promises to protect a user from various forms of radiation. But is it worth the investment? Read the review that sparked a response from the makers!
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Review: Defenderpad – a laptop radiation shield [POLL]


If you’ve been a laptop owner for any length of time, you likely know the feeling of “toasted leg syndrome.” Prior to the latest MacBook Pro released a year ago, previous MBP models became excessively hot: my 2010 15″ MBP, for example, heated up so much that even pants weren’t protection enough from the discomfort.

There are many alternatives: pillows, lapdesks, and even laptop desks with cooling fans. But none of them made the promise that DefenderPad makes – protection from many types of radiation (heat included).

According to the website, DefenderPad protects users from

  • Electromagnetic Low Frequency (ELF) Radiation
  • Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation
  • Heat Radiation

As can be seen here, the spectrum of our devices – particularly laptops – is abundant, and under extreme conditions it’s harmful as well.



While the heat from my work’s 15″ Retina MBP was rarely a problem (I think I’ve heard the fan a total of 4 times in the year I’ve used it),  I recently added an older 2011 13″ MBP to my personal Apple collection and found myself yearning for something between my legs and the toasty undercarriage of the aluminum bottom.

Although there are many colors available, the black version was supplied for review.  And after a few weeks of use, below are my impressions.

defenderpad 3Black Beauty? Not

While there is a pleasant embossing of the logo in the bottom left corner, there isn’t a lot to say about the appearance of the black DefenderPad: think heavy cafeteria tray without edges. There are no additional features: no small trough for a pen / pencil, no pillow or padding on the side that rests on your legs, nothing. While the DefenderPad protects your legs from heat, it still warms.  And although the rubber coating grips a laptop to prevent slipping, the same rubber coating promotes sweating between it and your legs.

The one feature that DefenderPad does offer is that of 3 different colors – black, blue, and pink.


The minimal set of features does keep the flat DefenderPad more portable. Since it’s a thin, rigid tray capable of supporting a 17″ laptop, if you have the room and arm strength – it weighs a solid 2lbs 3oz – to take the DefenderPad, why not?


The World Health Organization reports on the health impact of EMF from mobile phones and state “To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”  Given that a cell phone spends time out of a pocket when it’s in use, an operating laptop is often above some mighty sensitive areas!


Frankly, the primary reason one would invest in the DefenderPad is for the advertised protection. According to DefenderPad, FCC certified independent testing show it succeeds in its claims:

The DefenderPad™ laptop radiation shield reduces harmful EMF radiation to virtually undetectable levels. As independent FCC certified laboratory testing has proved, The DefenderPad™ blocks both Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) as well as Radio Frequency (RF) Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) emissions. It is the only laptop radiation shield capable of protecting from both forms of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR). That means you can still use laptop computers, tablets, and other electronic devices in your lap and remain safe.

Craftmanship issue

Right before posting this, the DefenderPad began to split its seam on a bottom edge, exposing the protective interior. After years of use, this might be expected, but after just a few weeks of light use this could indicate conceivable problems in quality control. For DefenderPad’s, I hope that this an isolated case.

DefenderPad seam

To Recommend or Not to Recommend

The idea behind DefenderPad is to prevent the negative health impact of radiation from heat, from electromagnetic low frequency sources, and radio frequencies. As ubiquitous as laptop use is, this may be a solid concern worth solving. The question remains “is the DefenderPad is the solution?”

There are a few factors to consider. First, the price is $99.99 – a heafty investment for a flat, heavy tray between your legs and your laptop. Next, the absence of some padding is a consideration (it’s called a Defender”pad” after all), and lastly, based on this review unit the construction is in question.

DefenderPad is available here for $99.99 (update: $89.99 for the next few weeks!)


DefenderPad was provided for review from MaxBorges Agency and DefenderPad. For questions about our review policies, see our About page.

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