Laptop Cooling Pads Improve Comfort, Not Laptop Longevity

If you're tired of your thighs feeling like they're in a slow cooker, by all means, buy a laptop cooling pad with or without a USB-powered fan. But don't buy the argument that they'll extend your laptop's life.

The New York Times' Gadgetwise blog digs into laptop pad longevity claims and finds that, at best, they might extend the life of your computer's own cooling fans, which isn't all that expensive a replacement. Testing found that a new line of laptop pads dropped laptop temperatures only five degrees Fahrenheit, so even the fan-saving function is a slim promise, at best. Got a great laptop cooling pad that's worth the cash-for-comfort trade-off? Show it off in the comments.

[NYTimes/Gadgetwise]


Comments

    I haven't used a seperate cooling pad before, but am always concious of where the air vents are.

    If your laptop is running it's CPU at 60• C, then a couple of degrees off that could massively increase its lifetime.

    Don’t buy the argument that they won't extend your laptop’s life.

    whether or not it increases your laptop's lifetime is a different answer to all laptop users. If you make sure your laptop's air vents are always more than clear and your laptop remains cool then the pad wont do anything, but if you plonk your laptop down on anything and have no regard for the air vents, this could improve your lifetime.

    So for a tech savvy person, it probably wont help but it will help the people the device is marketed towards.

    The only thing it could be deamed to improve the life of is the battery. Heat in Lithium batteries causes them to deplete their total capacity quicker then their regular decay. Same can be said for 100% charge all of the time (i.e. left plugged in always).

    Basically the worst thing you can do is to use your power brick as a laptop stand, where the battery is resting on the power brick. (usually the case since the battery tends to be at the back of the machine.) This will give your laptop room for cooling underneath but at the expense of battery life in the long run.

    My laptop reaches about 75 degrees celcius (then dies) if I leave it on my lap, while slouching, and watching flash based video. (My jeans cover both the input and output vents pretty badly) Moving the laptop to a solid flat surface prevents it from going over about 60 degrees. Giving it extra airflow can push that down another few degrees while under load.
    I suspect a well designed cooling pad could greatly extend the life of this laptop.

    The less work the fan has to do the longer the fan will live, if the fan was on 24/7 at full speed i doubt it would last as long.

    I travel a lot and work out of doors with my laptop and I use a laptop cooler pad- which I plug into an iPod USB charger- which frees up USB ports, provides more volts to the cooler and is more aesthetically pleasing.
    I am in no doubt it works as I often work in warm environments (Darwin)and I have had my laptop shut down due to overheating until I got it- since then (and recently in Townsville) it worked a treat.
    And whil eit may not extend your laptop's life, I'm pretty sure that random overheating shut downs can't be good?

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