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I've recently noticed my laptop becoming louder and louder and hotter and hotter, especially while I'm trying to watch a film. Playing games was becoming almost impossible, as it would overheat to such an extent that the computer would completely crash at times. I was frustrated because I have a good laptop that should be capable of doing the tasks I ask of it, and cleaning out the fan with a can of air was no use either.
Through a little Googling, I came across laptop cooling pads with their own fan, and I chose this Belkin one because of its great reviews. Not only that, but it cost only £8 with free shipping from Amazon, which if it can stop my computer from frying itself is a pretty good investment.
The idea of the pad is that you place your laptop onto it, plug it in via the USB cable and it cools your computer with the fan in its centre. Not only that, but it is not flat but dipped in the centre, so air is naturally able to flow out. The front of the pad has grippy rubber strips at top and bottom to slow the computer from sliding around and the base has fold out legs in order to prop it up and create a better typing angle. When not in use, the legs also form a handy door behind which the cable can be stored again. The design is very clever and slick and looks worth far more than the £8 I paid for it.
I do have a fairly large wide-screen laptop and I was worried when I saw the size of the pad that it wouldn't work for me. Well, it does and it doesn't. Although it cools well (which I'll get onto later) my computer isn't really a suitable size to make use of the non-slip rubber grips. It's no big deal, but it does slide around sometimes if I'm moving about with it in my lap. Because of that I don't really use the legs to prop it up, which is no big deal for me, and when I've tried it I also found it to be a little uncomfortable digging into my legs. Of course I imagine that particular feature would work much better if you used the computer at a desk.
The pad doesn't need any power other than working off your USB. If you're short on extra USB slots on your computer you might not like this feature too much, but I have plenty to work with and the cable is long enough to reach any of them without getting in the way.
The thing I was most concerned about was how loud the fan is. And yes, it isn't quiet but it's not like a hairdryer or vaccuum cleaner or anything. As the things that usually heat up my machine eg videos or games are ones I would use sound and/or headphones for, it's not really noticeable over whatever I'm doing. I've found that the air-flow from the design itself means the computer's own fan can work pretty well (why DO they put it on the bottom when it's designed to go on your lap?!), so I only tend to plug in the fan when I need it, but use the pad as a surface all the time.
As far as cooling goes, I did notice a huge difference. That is both when I have the fan plugged in, and when I don't but use it as a surface. I am now able to play games and watch movies without burning myself or causing it to get dangerously hot. There are no more crashes either. Because my laptop is a little big, there is a small section that isn't really affected by the pad and can sometimes remain a tad warm but nowhere near hot, and it's not enough to be a problem.
I am really impressed with this pad. It is leightweight, plugs in when you need it and still works when you don't and even though it's a bit too small for my machine is fairly comfortable to use. This is incredible value for money and if you get burnt legs a lot, I'd recommend it!
When I'm using using my laptop at a desk, I tend to have it resting on my knee or the arm of my chair. Now considering that after a point, a laptop will heat up and therefore burn my knee to some extent, and to be honest, I was more worried about it heating the leather on my arm chair. Laptops do heat up when they are switched on and running for a long period of time, so as I use mine a lot, I knew that I needed something that was going to be able to prevent the laptop heating up. Unlike a normal desktop PC, a laptop doesn't come with a fan in the hard drive, but I knew that a fan of some sort was what I was going to need.
There are plenty of places out there that sell computering accessories, so I went surfing the net, and came across this little beauty, the Belkin Cooling Pad on Amazon. I had heard of Belkin before as I bought some wireless equipment of the same brand a while ago and knew they were a good brand. I was only looking for something cheap and was surprised to find that the pad for selling for just over £20, paying £21.49.
Once it arrived I started using it immediately. This product is quite unique, as it really does substitue the fan in a hard drive. You put the board down and place your laptop on it. It doesn't have to be a flat surface as you can adjust both the angle and height of the board so that it suits you. I worry about having too many cables plugged into a socket at once, the Cooling Pad uses a USB cable type connection that can fit into your computer in order to power it, just like an I-Pod charger.
Once switched on , a fan inside the pad starts up and pours cool air into the underside of your laptop, ensuring that when it does heat up, it remains cool. Not only is this product the perfect solution to comfort when using a laptop, like the burning of knee for instance, but will also ensure that your laptop remains in good repair, as over heating can prove to be a problem for laptops.
I would definitely recommend consumers to buy one of these products, they are a great solution to this type of problem, and for the price of the cooling pad, you cant argue with the quality and effectiveness of it.
I work a lot on my Laptop at home and find that it does get very hot when you've been on it for an hour or so and a couple of months back now I was using it and it shut itself down, probably because it overheated as it was burning up when I felt the underside of it. So I'm sure that wasn't doing much for the health of my laptop. It probably doesn't help in the summer either. So I had to put in a dark place and cool it down for a bit. After that I looked around to see if there was someting cheap I could buy that woud perhaps keep it cool in much the same way as servers are kept cool in an office.
I had a look around and found this Belkin cooling pad and it only set me back around £25 so thought I'd give it a go and see how it worked. On first impressions it looked pretty sturdy and Belkin is a manufacturer that I've always associated with quality in their products. The product itself is made of sturdy plastic. It is about 44cms x 36cms x 6cms so not that large really so shouldn't take up too much room on your desk at home. You basically put your laptop on the board and there is a ridge at the front to prevent the laptop falling off and crashing to the floor. There is a cooling fan in the middle of this pad and this gives out the cool air through vents that hopefully will cool down your laptop while using it. The fan can be operated by plugging the lead which is attached to the board and putting it into a USB slot on the laptop. I have found that as the laptop powers the fan it does actually keep it cool and stops it getting as hot as it did before. So in that respect it's fantastic and just what I needed.
A couple of other things that appeal to me about my new purchase are the fact that you can adjust the height and angle of the board meaning this also adjusts the angle of the laptop so you are not restriced to one position. Also the board is made of plastic so you can clean it very easily by just wiping down with a cloth.
I would definately recommend this product to anyone who uses their laptop regularly and for long periods as I do. There are other products on the market but this is certainly worth a go.
Over the last week or so, probably because of the very hot weather we've been having, I've found it more and more noticeable that my laptop is getting very hot when I'm sat with it on my lap. I tend to balance my laptop on a cushion and so obviously there is no air circulating underneath and so it gets hotter and hotter. From previous experience I have had laptops crash and break because they've become overheated and I wanted to take action to prevent that from happening again - and so I decided last week I would buy some sort of laptop pad cooler.
PC World had several laptop coolers on display, but I decided to go for the Belkin Laptop Cooling Lounge. This was the most expensive one in PC World at £29.99 (although I have seen it since on Amazon for £15.99!), but in the box it also looked to be the most sturdy and so I was willing to pay a little extra if it was a better design.
To be honest, when I first took it out the box I thought that the cooling board did look a little bulky and cumbersome. It is made of sturdy two-tone grey plastic and it is effectively divided into thirds (horizontally) with the middle panel being a darker grey compared to the two outside panels. Its dimensions are 44 cms x 36 cms x 6 cms and it is used in a landscape orientation. It is suitable for laptops up to 17 inches. There is a curved concave dip on the middle third of the board which dips smoothly in to a maximum depth of approximately 2 cms. There is a shelf at the front of the board which is about 2 cms higher than the rest of the board and the function of this is to prevent the laptop from slipping forward when it is resting on the board. Under the bottom of the cooling board is a plastic "wing"which is slightly textured and a lever push / pull lever with a locking device. There is a white lead that comes from the bottom of the board from the back, which has a USB connection attached to it. On the bottom of the cooling board here are also two resting pads to prevent scratching or slipping if you are using the board on a table or flat surface. All of the edges of the cooling board are very smooth and nicely rounded and it looks ergonomically well designed.
Under the middle third of the board, there is a fan which gives out cool air through vents in the top of the board. The fan is operated simply by plugging in the lead attached to the laptop board to the USB port on the laptop and so it is the laptop that drives the fan. When the fan is plugged into the laptop, you can feel a steady stream of cool air blowing out onto the bottom of the laptap and circulating underneath. Undoubtedly the cooling board certainly does keep the laptop cool to the extent that the bottom of my laptop actually doesn't even feel warm, even when I've been using my laptop for several hours. In addition to this, not only does the fan keep the laptop cool, but by its very nature, it also manages to keep me cool - which is very much needed in this hot weather! It very much increases my comfort level simply from a "heat" perspective when I'm working.
Although the cooling board it is fairly bulky, its width actually improves the ergonomics of the board because it means that my laptop fits very comfortably on it. The board does weigh 1.5 kgs, but because it is the thin wing rather than the board that rests on my lap, it actually doesn't feel heavy. By adjusting the wing underneath the board, its possible to adjust the angle of the board (and thus the laptop) by elevating or reducing the height of the back of the board. The fact that the wing is textured also means that, when the cooling board is sat on my lap, it has some grip and it does not slip off of my lap.
The only complaint I do have about using the cooling board is that I feel the shelf at the front of the board is too high and so it can feel a little uncomfortable on my wrists if I'm typing for a long time. There is a dip in this shelf at the centre of the board and so the mouse can be used without touching the shelf, but when using two hands to type, the shelf digs in a bit. I've taken to slipping something underneath my laptop at the front to raise the front of my laptop to be at the same height as the shelf as I find this more comfortable.
Because it is constructed from plastic, the cooling board is easily wiped down with a damp cloth. Also because the fan is inside the cooling board, there is no where for little children to stick their little fingers if they're prone to investigation!
Because of its size, its not really something that you could use portably if moving from place to place because its too large to fit comfortably in a briefcase or a bag.
However, overall I would recommend this device for anyone who regularly uses a laptop at home or in the office because keeping your laptop cool is not only more comfortable for you, but it also increases the life of your laptop and helps to maintain smooth running of the operating system.