Keeping Your Laptop Cool

Thursday, February 19th 2009, 3:26 pm
By: News 9

By Joel Craig, NEWS 9 Contributor

More and more people are choosing portable laptops over desktop computers. And there are easy ways to protect your laptop without giving up the convenience of moving around.

Laptop computers have surpassed desktop computers in overall sales. And if you're like most people your laptop computer actually ends up sitting in your lap from time to time. The one thing about electronics most of us don't usually think about is when being used they give off heat. And I'm sure those of you with laptops have noticed they can generate a fairly significant amount of heat - which can make your legs pretty uncomfortable. Look at the bottom, sides and back of your laptop - see those vents? They, along with a built-in fan, help air flow to keep the computer from getting too hot, which isn't good for any piece of electronics.

There are products on the market called, appropriately enough, laptop cooling stands. Some of them are for use when your laptop is sitting on a table. The thought being these stands help raise the computer up to help increase air circulation. Some of them have fans to supposedly help keep the laptop even cooler. But I've got to question the merit of some of these stands.

You see most laptops draw air in from the bottom - up and out the sides. Well a lot of these stands with fans have the fan pulling air down. So if the computer is trying to pull air up and the stand is trying to pull air down the computer can end up on the short side of air flow and actually end up getting hotter. Another common type of cooling stand is one that sits on your lap and the computer on top of the stand. I've got to admit I think these can be great. The computer can be at a better height and angle and it's much easier on the legs. This one is cool looking but it's made out of fabric and firm foam. The problem I see is the laptop can depress into the foam far enough to cut off the air vents on the bottom. For me - I use one which has a bean bag bottom for comfort and a hard plastic top which allow the laptop's own feet to raise the computer for needed airflow.

If you've got a laptop, consider getting a cooling stand. For the desk they can help angle the computer for easier typing. For your lap the comfort factor is a winner with me. There are many types available, just check them out and decide which is right for you.