I was focusing on desktop PCs with the last cooling post (and most of the posts so far) but on this last post about cooling, I received a number of requests for information on laptop cooling. As one to not disappoint my readers, lets take a brief look at laptop cooling.
Laptops, like desktops, generate a lot of heat. The problem with laptops is that due to their nature of being smaller than a desktop, everything is packed in so much tighter. The smaller the case the less room for air to move. The less room for air to move, the hotter the computer runs. But fear not! There are ways to cool your laptop as well.
If you've ever sat with a laptop on your lap, you've noticed that it gets very...very warm. That's because all of the components of the computer are located in that section that's sitting right on your lap. So why not just have a fan blow directly on that? Why not indeed! The pad to the left is perfect for keeping your laptop a bit cooler. The large fan in the pad helps pull all that hot air away from your laptop. And because the fan is so large, it doesn't have to run at a very high RPM to move the air, which means it won't be too loud to use. If you don't want to spring for a pad with a fan in it, having a laptop stand without a fan is another alternative. Just having the laptop off a flat surface allows air to move more freely under the laptop which in turn helps keep it cooler.
One thing to note, if you do have a high powered gaming laptop, chances are it already has a built in bottom exhaust built into the chassis. Using the laptop cooler with the fan may hamper this from working properly so it would be best to just stick with a laptop stand in those instances.
There are also fans that fit into a PCMCIA slot on laptops if you have them. These will also help draw out hot air from the laptop. The only problem is if you are already using that slot, you'll obviously not have room for the fan.
Aside from these, there aren't too many other options available for keeping your laptop cooled that are within reason. You could only use your laptop inside a walk-in freezer. Me, I'll buy a fan.