Friendly advice from a friendly expert.
The term "Laptop" is wrongly used. There is no such thing as a "Laptop", they are actually called Notebooks. A Notebook or Netbook should be used on a flat surface which would provide the ventilation the device requires to perform optimally and will greatly increase the lifespan of said device. If a Notebook/Netbook is used on an unsuitable surface i.e. a Lap or Bed etc. the fan that cools the components can and most probably will become blocked, either by the surface itself or by particles such as dust, hair and other such fan blocking things. We recommend using a table or desk, but that is not always suitable, therefore we would recommend using a Food tray or any other similar stiff and sturdy object which can be used on the lap or bed or anywhere really. You could always purchase a Laptop cooling station which would also provide the adequate ventilation and most come with their own fans and snazzy blue LED's. The other thing with using a Notebook/Netbook on an unsuitable surface is the risk of it falling off and breaking, which I might add happens alot of the time. I will add another article which explains what can happen to a Hard Drive which resides in a Notebook/Netbook when it is exposed to the shock of a drop.
That's all folks! :D