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Cooling mats for laptops - are they useful?
Thread poster: Nicole Schnell

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:32
English to German
+ ...
Jun 18, 2009

We don't have air conditioning in our office - there is no need in a state with moderate temperatures such as Oregon. However, on really hot days the laptops may develop temperatures that are appropriate to fry eggs on them.

I read about cooling mats which sell for about $ 20.00. This sounds too good to be true. Do they actually work or is it just another cheap gimmick?

TIA!

Best,

Nicoleicon_smile.gif


 

Ljiljana Krstic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 08:32
English to Serbian
+ ...
ANOTHER INTERESTED LAPTOP USER Jun 18, 2009

Hi,

we are becoming a subtropical country, wih temperatures over 35 degrees C here in Serbia, and my laptop is already giving up -when it overheats, I loose wireless and USB connection (ASUS), so I am also VERY MUCH interested in anything that can cool it quickly - if there are such mats, and anyone knows about them, please inform us about the price and where we may buy it. Thanks in advance, Ljiljana


 

Marie Halvorsen
United States
Local time: 23:32
English to Danish
They help Jun 18, 2009

I live in Illinois and in the summer you definitely want the A/C on.icon_smile.gif
About a year ago or so I purchased a Zalman ZM NC1000 laptop cooler for about $50. My laptop gets extremely hot, so this helps me keep it cooler, although not as cool as I had hoped. I don't think you could fry eggs on it though, so that's good.
I always keep the cooler on the highest setting even though I do notice the noise. It's not too bad, but it's there, so I might have to look into those cooling mats for $20 you mentioned!


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:32
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Where I found those thingies Jun 18, 2009

http://www.bizrate.com/laptopaccessories/products__keyword--laptop%20cooling.html

Not sure what to think of it.

I am going to take look at the Zalman ZM NC1000 laptop cooler right now, thank you, Marie-Louise!icon_smile.gif


 

Sakis Serafeim
Local time: 09:32
English to Greek
+ ...
How to cool your laptop efficiently Jun 18, 2009

I'm satisfied with my Zalman ZM-NC1000. HOWEVER, not all cooling pads are a perfect match for all laptops (and you don't wanna throw your money out of the window, do you?). So, have a look at this before you make up your mind: Notebook Coolers: A Buyer's Guide. Also, this info is very useful: Guide to Cooling Down Your Notebook Computer.

 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:32
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
What about power settings Jun 18, 2009

Hi,

If you are using Vista - it is very easy to change power settings, you just click on the icon of a battery in a system tray and choose between three original settings (High performance, Balanced and Power Saver). From my experience changing from High Power (the default) to Power Saver or even Balanced significantly reduces emission of temperature (and noise too) while providing enough power for text processing and most other applications used in translation.

I don't want to discourage you from buying a cooling mat but maybe that's something you could consider as well?

Best Regards
Stanislaw

Btw. in Control Panel you can change the standard settings (for example adjusting maximul processor power) and you can add your own custom settings.


 

Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:32
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 18, 2009

I use one of these (except mine is for a 17 inch notebook):

http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=282158

If it works in southern Portugal in the heat of summer, it will work in most places.

The sloping design is also a definite plus and it's not too noisy. The noise doesn't distract me or affect me dictating with DNS at any rate.

If memory serves me correctly, I spent less than EUR 40 locally.

HTH
Debs



[Edited at 2009-06-18 22:10 GMT]


 

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 01:32
Member
Spanish
+ ...
Yes they are Jun 18, 2009

Temperatures that are too high can have negative effects on the CPU, hard-drive and the battery of a laptop. If you use your laptop for long hours, you should at least consider getting one. Even a cheap one would do, I bought mine on Ebay for 15 dollars, it has 4 USB ports and 3 fans.

But regardless of how much you pay for yours, you should first check where your laptop vents are located and get one that has the fans in the right places. Even my cheap chilling mat can decrease the temperature of my laptop by 20 degrees.

There are a couple of programs that can help you maintain your laptop: Notebook Hardware Control monitors the temperature of the CPU and HD, and warns you when any of them gets too hot. Vista Battery Saver adjusts the settings of a laptop to save power and make the battery last longer when the laptop is not plugged (it turns Aero off, disables the sidebar, etc.).

[Edited at 2009-06-18 22:22 GMT]


 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:32
English to French
+ ...
I have the cheap hard plastic kind Jun 19, 2009

Wow! I am amazed at the cooling technology of those coolers! However, I wonder about energy efficiency... I find that a computer already gobbles up a lot of power.

I have the cheap, basic, hard plastic kind of mat. It's about 5/8" thick at its thickest point. It is the same kind of hard plastic laptop cases are made of. There is no fan, no fabric - just a piece of flat plastic that fits onto the bottom of my laptop. I believe I paid it about ten bucks. The idea is simple - the mat creates a small compartment for the hot air to circulate freely. I live in Montreal, where the summer can be hot and very wet (yuck!). I tend to prefer working in the yard as long as the sun shines and it's not raining.

I am very satisfied with the cheapest of solutions. It takes no power to use, there are no electronics that may break or need fixing, it was extremely affordable. I find that it reduces the heat greatly. On a hard surface, you can feel a tiny bit of warmth if you lay your hand on the left side of the laptop. As you type, you can't feel any heat. On a soft surface (I sometimes relax on the sofa with my laptop, reading Lifehacker and watching Comedy Network videos), it does tend to heat up the surface a bit as soft surfaces absorb heat, but it's not nearly as bad as nubuck car seats in a hot parking lot after a shopping spree. In any case, I couldn't use it to iron my sofa, try as I might.

[Edited at 2009-06-19 01:54 GMT]


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
What? Jun 19, 2009

I live in a place that is REALLY hot, and my laptop? Always cool. I did not know such a problem even existed.

 

Piotr Bienkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:32
Member (2005)
English to Polish
+ ...
Me too :-) Jun 19, 2009

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

I use one of these (except mine is for a 17 inch notebook):

http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=282158


[Edited at 2009-06-18 22:10 GMT]


I use sth like this too, but with three fans, for my wide screen HP Compaq.

Regards,

Piotr


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:32
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Off-topic: why a laptop? Jun 19, 2009

Sorry folks. Just a side thought about this: do you mean that many of you use the laptop as your only computer and use it for translation work? Is the laptop powerful enough for that or is the balance between required mobility and power more on the side of mobility in your case?

 

Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:32
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 19, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Sorry folks. Just a side thought about this: do you mean that many of you use the laptop as your only computer and use it for translation work? Is the laptop powerful enough for that ...?


Yes, to both questions.

I have a 17 inch laptop for everyday use and a 12 inch laptop for when I'm on the move.

For the type of work I do and software I use (Trados, DNS, electronic dictionaries, etc), I find it powerful enough and, for some reason, have far fewer problems than when I worked with desktop computers.

Have a nice day
Debs


 

hazmatgerman (X)
Local time: 08:32
English to German
low-tech solution Jun 19, 2009

Placing an ice pack in front of the air intake and replacing it periodically works fine for a tower PC. Of course one wants to put a plate underneath the ice pack to collect the condensation. And, no, it does not lead to dewpoint problems with the PC housing.
Yes, for a laptop the Gimbe solution works fine too.
Regards.

[Edited at 2009-06-19 09:59 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:32
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Off-topic: cracked desk Jun 19, 2009

Nicole Schnell wrote:
However, on really hot days the laptops may develop temperatures that are appropriate to fry eggs on them.


I'm bunking with my parents until my emigration papers are sorted, so my dad built me a large desk for my room where I can work. It turned out that the wood wasn't quite dry yet (a common thing in my country) and the desk's top cracked in a weird place... which happens to be roughly underneath the laptop, so we suspect the heat of the laptop caused the desk to crack. (The top slab is 18 mm but it is reinforced and boxed on the sides so that it can carry weight... but obviously the slab itself was not happy with the temperature.) The crack appeared after about a month.

I suspect a cooler would have done wonders for my desk, had I used it.


 
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