Monday, November 2, 2009

Cooling your warm laptop

Some people call them notebooks. Others call them laptops. If you use your computer on your lap, then you're probably going to call it a laptop. My colleagues often complain that their laptop computers feel like they are burning their legs.

Older laptops that had Intel Pentium (P4) processors used to get really hot! Thanks to low-voltage (such as the Intel Centrino) and even ultra-low voltage processors, we're seeing laptops staying cooler. Additionally, the use of solid state drives (SSDs) have further reduced computing temperatures. Heat is the ultimate enemy to computer components. I've seen many hard drives fail due to heat damage. I've also seen motherboards get damaged due to excessive heat.

If you use a laptop on your lap, make sure you're using an active cooling pad that has a built-in fan. These comes in all types of sizes and styles. Some cooling pads are meant to be used only on a desk. Others are designed to work on a desk or a person's lap. You may spend anywhere from $15 up to over $50, but it's well worth the investment if you don't want to lose your data.

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