The laptop cooling business is big business. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen a lot of these gadgets being peddled in computer shops— cooling pads, mats, fans, etc. They come in different sizes, shapes and configurations but all of them aim to do only one thing: to keep your laptop or notebook from supposedly overheating and frying itself into electronic death.
The funny thing, however, is that I’ve never really used one of these contraptions and I’ve never lost a laptop to overheating. And so these got me wondering whether we really need such gadgets or whether they’re just another scheme of manufacturers to pry us away from our hard earned doughs, mayhap needlessly.
I did a little research and here’s what I’ve learned:
- Overheating is indeed bad for your laptop as it is, in general, bad for any electronic device. There are a lot of reports online about laptop overheating issues and one of the most common signs that your unit is experiencing such is when your laptop experiences unexplained shutdowns. One of my laptops is a 4 year old Toshiba L310 and among all my laptops (I’m currently actively using 4 units: the Toshiba, 2 Asus units and an Acer), the L310 is the one most prone to getting a bit too warm. And come to think of it, I’ve had a number of times when I found it shut down for no reason. I guess one possible explanation is overheating.
- Other signs that your laptop or notebook may be over heating are memory dump errors, run-time errors and even the blue screen of death (BSOD).
- Most laptops are designed to deal with the heat produced by its components. It is built with fans that facilitate the proper ventilation and circulation of cooler air to keep its internal temperature down. Of course if you work on your laptop under the blazing heat of the sun, not even the world’s best internal cooling fan will keep it from overheating. Using your laptop in air conditioned rooms is probably the best way but I use my laptops at normal room temperatures all the time with no problem. However, keep in mind that not all models are made equal. It is best to get to know how your unit responds to the way you use them and take measures accordingly. I guess one of the cheapest ways to go about it is to supplement your laptops internal cooling with suitable laptop cooling fans or pads.
- There are some reports that indicate that overheating can be caused by dirt build up on the laptop’s fans and vents so be sure to keep these parts clean and free of dust. Opening up the bottom panel (assuming you know how to do this and not get electrocuted) and cleaning the cooling fans and vents with a soft brush and/or a can of compressed air should do it.
- Some extreme cases indicate that overheating laptops can cause skin burns and/or discomfort especially if you place them on your lap while working. In 2006, even Apple advised their buyers not to use their Macbooks on their laps!