The term "laptop computer" is not to be taken literally because it can be dangerous.  Keeping your laptop in your lap for extended periods can lead to a problem known as "toasted skin syndrome". While this may sound like a new menu choice at a fast food restaurant, it's actually a mottled skin condition resulting from long periods of heat exposure, and anyone who uses a laptop can tell you that the battery compartment gets hot.  In one recent case, a 12-year old boy's sessions of computer game play over a few months led to skin discoloration on his left thigh as he ignored the battery getting hotter and continued to play, yet another example of how video games zombify kids.  Scientists acknowledge that similar results can occur from overuse of medical heating pads, but computers are more dangerous because of their daily use, and in some rare cases "toasted skin syndrome" can lead to cancer.  Use some kind of shield such as a ventilated laptop pad between the laptop and your body.