Ten things you must know about a Notebook Cooler


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Photo credit: Astonbreak. This photo is published under this creative commons license.

If you work on your notebook/laptop for more than a couple of hours continuously, you would have noticed that the notebook can get quite hot. When I was younger, computers were always used in Air Conditioned premises. Back then, they were so expensive and hence no one could afford to lose them to heat or dust.

But these days, computers and notebooks are used just about everywhere. Heck, people sit in their lawns and literally sun-bathe themselves and their notebooks!

But many people don’t bother to maintain their laptops. If certain precautions are taken, you can expect your notebook to not only give a longer life, but be relatively trouble-free during that period.

One important maintenance activity, that can be carried on without user intervention is cooling a laptop while working on it. People often underestimate the important of this activity. Why work on an oven which might auto-shut down if operated continuously? Heck, why is there a sensor in the first place to make it auto-shut down?

It is there to reduce the amount of heat generated by a laptop due to the CPU, hard-disk, etc. This heat can damage other components inside the laptop and can rarely burn a finger or two. I hope you haven’t experienced the latter, because you would have already bought a notebook cooler, if so 🙂

Let us look at Ten things you must know about a Notebook cooler:

1. There is no standard notebook cooler. There are various types, and some of them are made for certain applications. For example, there are notebook coolers with fans and without them, there are laptop coolers that can be placed right below your laptop or placed on side (external). There are laptop coolers that can only be placed on the desk but some of them can be placed both on desk and your lap.

2. Every notebook cooler is best suited for notebooks of certain sizes. Many notebook coolers support common models (up to 17″ screen size) but they are rated for certain sizes.

3. There maybe one, two, three or more fans within the notebook cooler. Some of them allow you to control the speed of the fans in order to reduce the speed and hence the sound, which can be audible when fans operate at high-speed.

4. Some notebook coolers come with adjustable placement of fan modules so that maximum cooling can be focused on certain hot-spots in the laptop. Every laptop is different and hence they can get hot at different places, depending on where the heat generating components are placed.

5. Some laptop coolers come with an On-Off switch. It’s comfortable because fans can be switched off without removing the USB cable every time. Some laptop coolers even have an LED indicator to let the user know that it is running. It can double up as a cool gizmoish night lamp. Just kidding 🙂

6. Laptop coolers need to be connected to one USB port of your notebook (they get powered that way). But since many notebooks have limited number of USB ports, it is better not to lose one USB port exclusively for this purpose. Some notebook coolers have two USB ports, one of which can be used to connect to the laptop and the other can be used to connect external USB based peripherals.

7. A notebook cooler allows you to operate your notebooks for a longer period. It is useful when you want to play games, stream video, play movies or use Wi-Fi connections as these things generate more heat. But since most of us use our laptops only for this purpose, you might now be clear on why a laptop cooler is very important!

8. Some notebook coolers have a designated area for mouse. So, if you normally use an external mouse, this type of laptop cooler might be very useful to you.

9. Some laptop coolers come with adjustable height settings. It offers a better view and makes typing more comfortable. But laptops might slip, as they are placed over a slope. So, its important to have some rubber grips to hold the laptop in its position and most notebook coolers come with them. But it’s still better to check.

10. If you want to carry your laptops around, you might want to use a portable notebook cooler that is easy to carry. Some of them are bulky and meant only for desk use, but some of them are light weight/thin and can be carried around. You might want to have both, if you travel frequently.

Whether you have a laptop/notebook cooler or not, it is important not to stare at the laptop monitor for long time. If you take breaks (after every one hour, for example), its good for your eyes and it also prevents the laptop from getting over heated.

Some notebook cooler models to consider (when you plan to buy):

1. Cooler Master Notepal X2 Master Cooler (Dual purpose – you can place it on the desk and your lap)

2. Xpad Slim (Fan-less and slim, good choice for travel)

3. Cooler Master Notepal U2 Notebook Cooler (This one comes with movable fan modules that can be positioned anywhere below the notebook)

4. Thermaltake Mobile Fan 12 External USB Cooling Fan (This one is stand-alone cooler and can be placed at sides/anywhere. It is useful for cooling desktops and other electronic equipments that can’t be cooled from below).

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