Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Portables Hardware

Heat Insulators for Laptops 363

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-its-stupid dept.
Alex Bischoff writes "The Gadgeteer has a review of a product called LapPads from LapLogic. They're heat-insulating pads to protect you from cooking your lap when using your laptop. Depending on the model, they apparently provide up to 57 degrees (F) reduction in heat transfer. Why didn't someone think of this sooner?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Heat Insulators for Laptops

Comments Filter:
  • Hot indeed... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ack154 (591432) * on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:49AM (#9366758)
    I'm sure this [theregister.co.uk] guy [wired.com] is really wishing this would have been made sooner...

    Then again, if it were out at the time, would he have used it?
  • by YankeeInExile (577704) * on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:50AM (#9366778) Homepage Journal

    The first thing I thought on reading this headline was, Where does the heat that used to be dissipated in the user go?

    It appears that there is a textured surface on the pad, one might assume to allow SOME airflow. However, the reviewer was using it wrong:

    Early on I realized that I was actually testing these LapPads wrong when I visited the LapLogic web site and happened to see a picture of one of the pads in use. The bottom of the laptop is supposed to rest on the grippy surface, no the colored canvas surface.

    (Of course, any hardware that uses the operator as a heat-sink is ASKING to lose.)

    • "(Of course, any hardware that uses the operator as a heat-sink is ASKING to lose.)"

      Many products use the user as a heat sink successfully. Handheld radios used by ham radio operators often rely on the user to hold them. Given the relatively large surface area, and the fact that the radio is conveniently palm sized, sometimes with metal casing, the operator generally is unaffected by the transferred heat.

      If these same radios are left on a tabletop in a windless day and connected OQO style... transmitt
    • The heat doesn't go anywhere. It is prevented from traveling out from the laptop. In effect, it bounces back and heats the laptop more.

      Look at aerogel (or airogel?) and you can see a blow torch not melting crayons through a small (clear!) insulating barrier.

    • I bet the people that complain the most are probably the ones that have "desknotes".

      A straight Pentium 4 (or K8 for that matter) with no dynamic clock throttling simply isn't meant for mobile use. I think mobile chips are also fabbed using different processes to drain less current, and use some fancy tweaks as well.

      Not that they have battery power worth shit anyways, they often barely last an hour, forget three or four.
  • Effect on laptops (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rufus88 (748752) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:51AM (#9366789)
    Has there been any investigation into the effect this has on the laptop computer itself? After all, you're keeping in the heat that the laptop was trying to dissipate.
    • Re:Effect on laptops (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DrEldarion (114072) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:54AM (#9366840)
      Is the laptop SUPPOSED to be bleeding heat through the case rather than the fan vent out the back anyway?
      • by Rufus88 (748752) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:10PM (#9367053)
        Whether or not that was the best design for dissipating heat is a separate discussion for another day. The fact remains that the laptop *is* dissipating heat this way, and the designers of the pad *know* it, and they are knowingly circumventing it.
      • Re:Effect on laptops (Score:4, Informative)

        by Paulrothrock (685079) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:13PM (#9367091) Homepage Journal
        Yes. One reason Apple switched from plastic to Titanium (and later Aluminium) is because they were having trouble dissipating the heat from the G4. Plastic doesn't conduct heat that well, but metals do. (I bet most of the pots in your/your mom's kitchen have some aluminium in them. Mine have little aluminium discs on the bottom. Except for the ones that are cast iron.)
      • Re:Effect on laptops (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dirk Pitt (90561) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:14PM (#9367113) Homepage
        Absolutely. Any PIM 'bathtub' that's designed to hold electronics will have gone through thorough thermal analysis. The fan is really only half the picture.

        A cell phone is a good example of a case that must purely disapate its own heat. Most cell phones would benefit (structurally speaking) from a thicker case. In fact, I've seen design engineers at at least one major mobile phone maker that constantly want to double and triple the size of the "ribs" that reinforce the B-class interior surfaces. This is followed, everytime, by an engineering analyst who's bitching about the fact that the new plan will fry all the electronics.

        If the case was nearly a perfect insulator, and the fan was responsible for pushing all the hot and cool air in and out of the case, you'd have a laptop that sounded like a small jet engine. ;-)

      • Re:Effect on laptops (Score:4, Informative)

        by skiflyer (716312) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:37PM (#9367371)
        Several laptops (I know for sure Dell and Toshiba anyway) are designed to work properly on a flat smooth surface. That is, they have either an input or output vent which is supposed to be kept just above the desk surface by little feet. Those of us keeping it on our laps defeat this and become perfect candidates for some type of platform... be it a pad or a phone book.
  • Use a cookie sheet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Red Snertz (780511) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:51AM (#9366792)
    I use one of those cookie sheets with the insulating air space between two sheets of steel/aluminum/whatever. Provides a big dissipation area, the underside is warm but not roasty-toasty, and it cost about $4...
  • Yeah but during cold winters nothing short of a cat can keep your lap quite so toasty warm as a Compaq with a fresh battery.
  • This was invented about the same time as dinner mats and coasters. Duct tape a table mat to the bottom of your laptop for a similar and cheaper effect.
  • Not New (Score:2, Informative)

    by Beer_Smurf (700116)
    This was out back in '98 with the Wallstreet PowerBooks.
  • Cheap Option... (Score:2, Informative)

    by md81544 (619625)
    I use a tray with a "bean bag" attached to the bottom - they're commonly available over here in the UK for people who eat TV dinners etc - it's just the right size for my Linux Laptop, it's rigid, and no heat! I wouldn't want to carry it around outside the house though...
    • I use a phone book. Sure, it doesn't look as cool, but it's virtually free. Of course, I had to move to a larger city first, as the Elyria county book is less than a cm thick, and tended to let a lot of the heat through.
  • Most laptop instruction books I've read (not too many though), say the laptop should be used on a flat surface that does not block the ventalition.

    An insulator may just help the laptop fry itself more, a piece of laptop sized wood is probably more helpful, though not "cool" to be seen with.
  • I work for a company that owned a bunch of Dell C600 laptops. There was an issue where IBM-branded hard drives would overheat and fail. We had many models with Hitachi drives and they never exhibited this problem.

    I realize that Hitachi has purchased IBM's Travelstar line but this is beside the point:

    Where does this insulated heat wind up? Probably in vital components like the hard drive. They should just change the name of the PC from "laptop" to "mobile". Problem solved.
  • Er, wait... (Score:5, Informative)

    by evil carrot (669874) <{evilcarrot} {at} {lickable.net}> on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:54AM (#9366833)
    What about the CoolPad [coolpad.com]?

    I've had one for my iBook since early 2002 and it's great for that kind of thing. The swivel feature is neat when I'm working with someone and want to show them something on the screen.
    • Re:Er, wait... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RevRa (1728)
      That's exactly what I use for my Toshiba laptop. It's a p4 2.3ghz and runs so hot that it'll occasionally spontaneously power off.

      When I'm at home with it on my lap, I set the laptop on a plastic tray that I "borrowed" from the cafeteria with the coolpad under it. Keeps me from burning the hell out of my legs, and keeps the computer from powering down spontaneously.

      -k
  • by 14erCleaner (745600) <FourteenerCleaner@yahoo.com> on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:54AM (#9366835) Homepage Journal
    They sell generic equivalents of these heat-insulating thingys at Wal-Mart.

    They're called towels.

    • Re:Good grief... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Paulrothrock (685079) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:08PM (#9367025) Homepage Journal
      Towels, ehhh, I wouldn't do that. Nor pillows or blankets. I RTFM for my new Powerbook, and it specifically states that towels, pillows, blankets and other soft squishy things interfere with the intake ports on the bottom corners of the machine, causing it to possibly overheat. I would rather get a Podium, as someone linked to earlier. The swivel feature is great.

      Maybe a USB powered fan system to supplement the built-in system during processor intensive stuff (where you're probably plugged in anyway).

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:54AM (#9366842) Journal
    With a 57 deg gradient, I have to think that a pad that size should be able to reclaim some energy, a la peltier effect. With todays tech, it might not be much, maybe enough to extend battery live a minute - but it is a start.

    I firmly believe that devices of the future will attempt to reclaim whatever energy they can, which would go a long way. I forsee our kids looking back and thinking how wasteful we were, we would just let heat go off into the atmosphere without converting some of it back to usable energy.
    • An alternative is to sacrifice a little performance for a little energy efficiency, which has much larger returns.

      So it takes you 5 minutes instead of 4 minutes, but there is a 20 deg difference and battery life is increased by 20%. I think that's worth it :)
    • With a 57 deg gradient, I have to think that a pad that size should be able to reclaim some energy, a la peltier effect.

      Errm.... doesn't the peltier effect require a heating surface and a cooling surface? So, your laptop heats the top of the pad. And the pad is cooled by... your lap?
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:54AM (#9366845) Homepage Journal
    A hot computer on my lap is the only action I get.
  • Remember the old IBM Thinkpad 760 series? They had a silicon pad on the bottom of it (wasn't on the original models, added sometime in their production run) to keep you from burning yourself. It was their "fix" for a computer that had no fan, and got way too hot. And those were only P120-P166 models.
  • by digitalgimpus (468277) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:55AM (#9366852) Homepage
    People seem to get really upset and mad when they smell burnt testicle.

    Perhaps now some penis oven mitts?

    Some say this heat thing is a problem... I say kill the sperm. My laptop is my birth control method ;-)

  • by bourne (539955) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:56AM (#9366872)

    Cooler laps are well and good, but I note the reviewer didn't do any analysis of what happened to the CPU temperature when using these pads. If the heat is being redirected right back at the laptop, it may be defeating the coolant systems on the laptop.

    For example, Dell Inspirons have a fan on the bottom that blows straight down. Not bad on a hard desk where the air will blow away. Not good on a bed comfortor that smothers the airflow. Where will these pads fit in on the spectrum?

    I think what's needed is a pad that works to draw the heat away from both lap and laptop, maybe something like the Chillow [smarthome.com] for laptops.

  • Possibly because we all had Apple laptops that weren't burning our laps? Seriously, my wife's Toshiba burned itself out when it failed to go to sleep properly. And laptops with fans? Why don't people just use a full size machine if they need the computing power that would require fans? You can get far with SSH and VLC.

    A frustrated former hot laptop owner,
    F.O. Dobbs
    • Possibly because we all had Apple laptops that weren't burning our laps?

      Unlike my 300 MHz Wallstreet PowerBook G3, my 550 MHz Titanium PowerBook G4 was just as hot-running as any PC notebook I've seen. Not comfortable for lap use for more than 20 minutes. Oddly enough, my new 1.5 GHz PowerBook G4 runs much cooler... improved design? It's not any louder either. Might have something to do with the switch from titanium to aluminum.
  • by Z4rd0Z (211373) <joseph at mammalia dot net> on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:58AM (#9366902) Homepage
    I've used these inventions before, they work really well. Only we used to call them pillows.

  • "Why didn't someone think of this sooner?"

    I've seen laptop pads at the local computer shows for years.
    They're the footprint of a notebook computer and about 3/4" thick.
    They have lots of venting, and fans that (I believe) blow out the back.

    Unlike the product in the story, this would not only keep your lap cool, but it keeps from overheating your notebook computer by NOT blocking the vents!

  • Surely this could have some harmful effect on the processor of your laptop. That heat has to go somewhere. Although even less practical, I've often considered something like this [3dcool.com] for my Athlon laptop. What would truly be innovative would be an insulator on the bottom and some sort of heat spreader on top.
  • OK so it was a field EC that eventually found its way into late model 760s but in 97 there were more than a few problems 'in the field' aka people getting burned.

    But to be fair this didn't usually happen w/o the unit also being plugged in. That is, if you ran off the battery alone it would not be nearly as hot.
  • I call it "pants"
  • by CobwoyNeal (778670) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:00PM (#9366937)
    57 degrees reduction in surface temperature doesn't just depend on the pad, it assumes a a laptop with certain thermal characteristics and surface area and power use. It could be any laptop, since they don't tell you which, so they might as well be pulling the number out of their ass. The thermal resistivity of a planar surface should just be quoted in watts per degree celcius per square centimeter, ok? This is ridiculous. It reminds me of the History channel talking about "pounds of energy" in a wave. Get the units straight or you might as well be pulling a number out of your ass.
  • Summary (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by nounderscores (246517)
    1. The heat will reflect back into the laptop, cooking it.
    2. But that is preferable to Burning Off Your Penis
    3. Of Course You could just use a Towel/Placemat/piece of cardboard/cat


    Anything new here to say guys?
    • I don't think my cats would appreciate having a laptop plopped on top of them. And an angry cat is a far worse thing to have on your lap than a hot computer.
    • While item number 3 is funny, what I think most people are forgetting is that this pad seems to be made of a DARK material (the grippy stuff). This grippy stuff will ABSORB the heat. Not reflect. Now, I hope the heat that's absorb dissipates in some way.
  • Why not make laptops that don't *require* extra equipment to prevent you from burning your family jewels off? What a concept!
  • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:03PM (#9366970)
    Obviously, there should be a better design that doesn't rely on human flesh to get rid of excess heat. If someone sues, the manufacturers will be forced to have labels on it warning people not to put their laptop on their lap or serious injury might occur, including roasted nuts and inability to reproduce.
  • by AlphaHelix (117420) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:04PM (#9366992) Homepage
    I have a Case Logic neoprene laptop sleeve [amazon.com] that protects my laptop when I throw it into my backpack, and doubles as a lap protector. The neoprene is a very good insulator, and this is much more useful than a dedicated laptop crotch protector.
  • by sulli (195030) * on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:06PM (#9367009) Journal
    Because most of us wear pants when using a laptop?
  • I love it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:07PM (#9367010) Homepage
    Dozens of comments along the lines of "Duh, you'll cook your laptop if you don't let the heat out!" Every single time a new product is presented on Slashdot, we get to hear from the peanut gallery of armchair designers trumpeting the single most obvious potential design trap that product could encounter.

    Rangefinders for cars? Durr, what about oncoming traffic--it'd make your car flip out! Robotic vaccuum cleaner? Hah hah, what about my stairs? Hard-drive based music player? What if you drop it? Wouldn't it a-splode? Drinking straw? What if you accidentally put it up your nose instead of in your mouth? Huh? What then? Chaos!

    Reading the FA aside, does it ever occur to people that a company in the business of making heat-dissipating pads specifically designed to work with laptops just might take the internal temperature of the laptop into consideration? Do people really think that products are designed by an army of Mr. Magoo clones?

    Yeah, design mistakes happen, but seriously--if you're able to think of a potential problem after ten seconds' worth of thought, do you really think it likely that the design team wouldn't have considered the exact same thing?

    • seriously...mod this shit up.

    • I would normally agree with you, but I have seen some products that were so poorly-designed it was unfathomable.

      For example, my mother one time bought a Volkswagon Hatchback with the air-cooled engine in the rear, and the louvers on the sides were reversed and pointing the wrong way, so the only way air got in to cool the engine was if you were driving in reverse! I can't make this stuff up. Of course, the car burned up the first time it was driven for more than two hours. That's an obvious thing that yo
    • Re:I love it (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No. Companies are in the business of selling their product. They don't really care if your laptop dies or not - so long as you don't blame them for it. And what average computer-ignorant person would? They're most likely going to blame the laptop manufacturer for a dead harddrive or whatnot - even if they have been running their laptop at high temperatures.

      So yeah, you bet the company has considered the effect of overheating laptops - and they probably don't care. When Dell starts shipping a 'laptop heat i
      • Re:I love it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @02:20PM (#9368555) Homepage
        No. Companies are in the business of selling their product. They don't really care if your laptop dies or not - so long as you don't blame them for it. And what average computer-ignorant person would? They're most likely going to blame the laptop manufacturer for a dead harddrive or whatnot - even if they have been running their laptop at high temperatures.

        ...so do you assume that your pen is going to fail and leak ink all over your letter, seeing as Bic doesn't really car about whether or not their pen works--so long as you don't blame them?

        You think that the folks who made the alternator in your car just kinda half-assed it, in the hopes that you don't know enough about cars alternators to be able to trace the problem to their product?

        I'm all for a healthy level of skepticism when it comes to evaluating new products, but to assume that any given company is looking to sell you snake oil is silly. Most companies do care about making a quality product. They also care about making money--the two aren't mutually excusive.

        What's more, while many users wouldn't have a clue as to how to go about testing LapLogic's claims, it's freakin' trivial for a moderately tech-saavy laptop user to monitor the temperature of their laptop and compare the results between tabletop, bare lap, and laptop pad. We're not talkin' mass spectrometer analysis of the secret sauce, here.

        Still your faith in commercial designers is worrisome. There are examples of poor design everywhere, and if you haven't noticed it in things you've bought and used, then you haven't been very observant.

        There's a difference between being a blind fool and being willing to give a company the benefit of the doubt. When you buy a shower curtain, do you worry about whether or not it will disintegrate when exposed to water? When you buy coffee, do you wonder if the manufacturer mixed rabbit shit into the beans to increase volume? Do you have proof that dismisses these concerns?

        What reason do I have to believe that this company has released a product that doesn't do the two things it explicitly states it can do, especially when the two claims are so easily tested? Should I really just assume that small businesses are out to fuck me over for my dollar, until proven otherwise?

  • that is when having a laptop with a Pentium 4 processor comes in very handy on an extremly cold day.

    I can even warm my hands near the heat vents that the laptop case fan blows out hot air with.
  • They've already got pads with built in usb powered cooling fans [compusa.com] of varying designs [compusa.com] and number of fans [compusa.com].

    What about a full on LAPDESK [compusa.com] for your laptop?

    Or, as another poster pointed out, they have cooling pads that can rotate and elevate your laptop [compusa.com] that also come in varying designs [compusa.com].

    And don't forget about cooling yourself off! [compusa.com]
  • by nikster (462799) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:11PM (#9367068) Homepage
    maybe add this to the post:
    Despite shielding the user from heat, the laptop will
    run cool [laplogic.com].
    ...just for those too lazy to research the product before posting their opinion.
  • I've been quite happy with the Vantec LapCool Laptop Cooler [frozencpu.com]. My battery died on my old laptop, so I had been leaving it on in my living room on the coffee table. It is one of those beasts of a "desktop replacement" laptop, so thing gets HOT. I was a bit concerned with the heat on the table, and the noise from the fans was noticable while just sitting on the table, let alone when my girlfriend plays the sims on it. So I picked up one of these suckers and have been very happy with it. It is almost silent
  • by sdo1 (213835) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:14PM (#9367110) Journal
    they apparently provide up to 57 degrees (F) reduction in heat transfer

    Heat transfer is not measured in degrees! Here's a quick thermal lesson for you electrical guys....

    Temperature rise is equivalent to voltage or potential.

    Heat flow (Q) in Watts is equivalent to current in amps

    Thermal resistance, measured in Degrees per Watt is the same as resistance measured in ohms.

    The equations work the same way too. For most instances of steady state heat dissipation what you have is a constant power dissipation or in electrical terms a constant current. The thermal circuit in this case has the heat generating components at V+ and the room can be considered to be ground. There are resistances in the path and the the higher the resistance, the higher the temperature rise there is between nodes.

    What this blanket does is to stick a high thermal resistance between the laptop and one of the heat paths and as a result there is a higher "potential".

    But indeed the "current" (or watts) is still constant, so by increasing the resistance through one of the paths, you increase the current flowing through the other paths (and as you know from electricity for a constant resistance, will result in higher voltage across those resistances.

    So yes, you keep you lap cool... at the expense of the components in your laptop. Be careful what you wish for.

    -S

  • Because its silly? (Score:5, Informative)

    by AmericanInKiev (453362) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:17PM (#9367139) Homepage
    I downloaded a program for Toshibas thats runs the fan all the time - keeps the laptop cooler - uses a bit more juice I suppose - but who really uses bateries for anything more than shoulder strain?

    cost is $2 - save yourself the $45 dollar (with shipping) silly thing

    AIK

    • So are you going to replace the fan in 2 years after it fails from being run 24/7?

      I should know, i've been through 2 already on a dell latitude c600...running seti@home will *kill* a cheap fan.

      Steven V.
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:18PM (#9367155)
    Macally has had soemthing like this for quite a while. Although I think I might get that Kona model (teh one that folds up). I do the same as Julie. Recline and compute at the same time.

  • by bogie (31020) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:20PM (#9367175) Journal
    I have a 900MHz Dell laptop that I have set to not go above 700MHz. Even at the lower setting it gets warm, but if I run it at 900MHz it will literally burn you if you max out the cpu and touch your hand or bare leg to it. Why these retards released a product that gets so hot you can't touch it is f*cking beyond me. What were they thinking? Did they just assume nobody would ever use a product called a "laptop" on their lap? The other side benefits of running at a lower speed are of course longer battery life and no loud annoying fan to deal with.
  • As mentioned before, the heat stays in your lappy.
    This cooler [usrbingeek.com] (active) or this cooler [xpcgear.com] (passive) look like better alternatives.
  • These [xoxide.com] on the otherhand (the bottom four anyway) seem to be a much better solution to aditional laptop cooling. I'm thinking of getting one, as my laptop is completly passivly cooled and it gets quite warm when sitting on the carpet or the footrest of the couch.
  • by dracol1ch (628484) * on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:26PM (#9367235)
    Quoting from Laplogic:

    "Traveler LapPads - 54F of Heat Protection and Cooler CPU Temperatures
    Our Traveler Series LapPads are designed to keep you and your laptop cool. The Traveler Series LapPads can provide up to 54F of laptop heat protection for you while keeping your CPU cooler."

    It's not that hard to dispel /.logic.

  • I was recently issued a Dell Inspiron 8600, and the top surface gets hot right where the left hand would rest while typing, to the point of being uncomfortable. I'd be happier if it vented out the bottom.

    Regarding overheating: If the laptop is sitting on a wooden (or similar material) desk, very little heat is being absorbed by the surface, it's the airflow around it that's critical. Similarly, these pads should provide enough space for the feet on the laptop to give enough airflow. Wrapping it in a to
  • Years ago when my laptop was my main computer I used to put phonebooks in the freezer and use them on my lap in the heat of summer with my laptop. Having 2 or 3 in there let me rotate them and stay cool all day.

    Nothing like computing from the recliner... :-)

    This was also when I lived in a smaller town and the phone books were only an inch or so high.
  • 3 ring binder (Score:3, Informative)

    by kallistiblue (411048) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:27PM (#9367250) Homepage
    Put a 3 ring binder in your lap and the computer on top. It works perfectly.
    The air space between the covers prevents the transfer of heat.

    I figured this out through trial and error.
  • "Why didn't someone think of this sooner?"

    THEY DID. There have been products out there that do this for ages. Off the top of my head, the Antec Notebook Cooler [antec-inc.com] which has built in fans to handle heat, which means the laptop truely does run significantly cooler. There are a slew of similar products that have been on the market for ages.

    Perhaps Slashdot's next post should be about a new invention by a small unknown company that they call a "rodent", that can be used to move a cursor around the screen! Ex
  • they apparently provide up to 57 degrees (F) reduction in heat transfer.

    57 degrees is not a unit of heat transfer.

    A better statement might be :

    they apparently provide up to 57 degrees (F) reduction in contact temperature
  • by dcavanaugh (248349) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:34PM (#9367325) Homepage
    Sulu: "Captain, there is a piece of paper floating in space, directly in front of our ship!"

    Kirk: "What does it say? Put it on the screen."

    Spock: "Use of insulating devices will interfere with your notebook's thermal design and will void your warranty."

    Kirk: "Great, but what does it MEAN?"

    Spock: "In Earth's 20th century, there was a software company that now makes software for the Klingons and Romulans. This ancient software consumed vast resources and even portable computers of the era generated a tremendous amount of heat. To this day, the Klingons and Romulans are trying to make their computers run cooler and stop them from being hacked by freshmen from the Federation Middle School. The existance of this paper would tend to indicate the presence of a hostile ship nearby."

    Kirk: "All hands, battle stations"
  • by ssxxaa (786477) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @12:51PM (#9367563)
    I made my lap heat shield out of a car sun blind. 1. Buy car sun blind (any gas station or car parts store. about $10). It's a folded piece of foam covered in a metalic film, the size of a windshield. 2. Cut to size. 3. Tape/glue to bottom of laptop. 4. ??? 5. profit! Usually there's no need to cover the whole bottom of the laptop, just the part that generates the most heat (use hand to find it). Haven't noticed any ill effect of the heat shield on the laptop's performance. Why don't they just build them like this? Maybe with an internal heat shield.
  • by lpq (583377) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @04:40PM (#9369902) Homepage Journal
    I can't see how those pads are that much better than a Targus Chill Pad [targus.com]. It's powered off your USB port using 1W of power.

    Alternatively, you could use a Radio-Shack Rechargable battery pack (couldn't find URL, but catalog no. _was_ 23-047). It's about the size of 4 cassette tapes, ~12.6oz (~350g), output voltage selectable from 3-9v output and rechargable by plugging it into a wall output or from a 12v400ma source. If you are a doit-yourselfer, buy a 4 "cell" holder and wire it in series. Radio Shack sells battery adapter extension cord and heads singlely. You could choose capacity and weight by cell size (though note, I've often seen "D" rechargable cells with same ratings as the "C" indicating they've just stuck a "C" cell in a larger container.

    Externally powered, this _should_ slightly increase laptop runtime (i.e. active external cooling => less internal fan use).

    It holds the laptop on rubber feet about 7mm above 2 fans sucking air from center of underside and venting out the back.

    -l

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.

Working...