How to Keep your Laptop Cool: Three Budget Ideas for Reducing Laptop Overheating

Over the last few years laptop manufacturers have crammed ever more powerful components into increasingly slimmer and lighter cases. The result is that we now have all the power and performance of a desktop machine operating in a very confined space. Part of the problem is a lack of air flow: Cool air is pulled in through the sides or at the bottom of the machine and it is then pushed out at the back. If you use your laptop on your lap, a blanket or a cushion, you could potentially block these vents and cause the temperatures to soar.

The Demand from newer Operating Systems

Its not just hardware – or surface-ware – problems that can cause heat increases. Software upgrades can also play a detrimental effect as newer operating systems demand more and more from the CPU (Central Processing Unit). With ongoing background searches, file indexing, automatic updates and back ups, today’s laptops never stop working even when you do.

The Importance of Air Flow

Even if you use your laptop on a desk, the heat that builds up from beneath the machine still needs to be dispersed for temperatures to remain stable. There are a number of excellent commercial products on the market, such as the Lapinator, that fundamentally prop up the laptop but with a little ingenuity its easy to get the same effect.

Here are three options to cheaply and easily cool down your laptop.

The Ruler

The simplest solution for a typical 15 inch laptop would be to purchase a 12 inch Helix Aluminium Ruler. This superb accessory has a non-slip surface and a central channel for placing two Helix erasers. To construct this passive cooling system, merely place the two erasers into the slot of the aluminium ruler and then lower your laptop on top of the two erasers so that it inclines towards you.

The Mini Camping Table

For a slightly more chunky version of the above, a small aluminium camping table. 15.5 x 11 inches costs about 25 euros and folds up into a neat little oblong bag when not in use. The legs are adjustable in height and the aluminium slats allow for greater air flow. The ruler alone is fine for general year round cooling use, but when the weather gets really hot you will really need the small slatted table. For the deluxe version, add the ruler and the table together for an even more effecient heat dispersion.

The Bottle Tops

Finally, if you do not want to spend any money at all, this solution could be what you’re looking for: Four bottle tops – one under each corner – will work well to disperse the heat from under the machine, but alas do little for typing stability.