Laptops are getting thinner, to the point where they're in danger of becoming edged weapons.
This increasing thinness is often accomplished by the simple expedient of removing functionality - serial ports are too fat for a slim laptop; CD drive takes up too much space; presumably the keyboard will
eventually have to go and we'll just let the computer decide for itself what it wants to do.
Proposed, thencefore, is an Under-laptop device (or ULD, as the marketing department prefer to call it). It is about 9/32nds of an inch thick, and has a raised lip in which the base of the laptop snuggles. It's slightly wider than the actual laptop, and it is locked in place by two USB plugs that slide, latch-like, into the laptop's ports. This not only holds the ULD in place, but also provides it with power and data connectivity from the laptop.
The ULD itself is packed full of goodness. It has every imagineable kind of port (all interfaced via the USBs, and with additional USBs replicated on the ULD), a CD drive, serial port, potentially even a 5 1/4 floppy drive for nostalgists. Another option is to have some additional batteries, for longer working time.
Best of all, the ULD has a little drawer, which can be opened computronically, for holding paperclips, PostIts, pencils, or one very thin sandwich. It also has a retractable handle for carrying your laptop around.
All options are, of course, customizeable. You want a carbon-fibre ULD for a Dell 8210, with two serial ports, five USBs, a SCSI, an SD card reader, 1/4" headphone jack and a Tic-Tac dispenser? No problemo, amigo, comprendo?