Notebook Cooler

The computer industry is well known for its intensely competitive nature. When consumers start asking for a new product, manufacturers launch into development and production at breakneck speed. The notebook cooler is a perfect example of that competitive spirit. Shortly after media reports about notebooks overheating and causing burn marks, a wide range of models started appearing in computer stores around the world. The notebook cooler quickly became a popular accessory, despite the fact that very few notebooks actually need one. Notebooks are designed to operate normally without additional cooling, and only when there is clear evidence of overheating should you even consider using a notebook cooler.

Despite their tiny size, computer processors generate a lot of heat when they are operating. In fact, they normally get so hot that you would burn your finger if you touched one. Without a suitable cooling device, a processor quickly overheats to the point where it suffers permanent damage. The heat generated by the processors needs to be removed from the case, otherwise it causes problems for other components. Such problems include random rebooting, graphical errors, and slower performance. Inside most desktop computers, heat is removed through the air vents by large fans. Enthusiasts who make their computers run faster and hotter even resort to using a liquid cooling system when necessary.

There is not enough space inside the case of a notebook computer to accommodate a large fan, let alone the bulky parts of a liquid cooling system. If that was not bad enough, the air vents are very small compared to the those on a desktop computer. The weight of a notebook sitting on a cushion is enough to deform the material and cause a partial blockage of the air vents. On a hot summer day, this could be enough to cause the notebook to overheat and start behaving abnormally. There are two types of notebook cooler currently on the market. The active type uses fans to remove the heat but the passive type draws it out with a heat-absorbing material.

An active notebook cooler sits underneath a notebook and draws out hot air with one or more large fans. It has roughly the same length and width as a notebook but is only an inch or two thick, so it does not get in the way of using the notebook. The electrical power to run the fans is provided by either a USB cable or a mains power adapter, but there are a few models that can also be powered by batteries. Powering a notebook cooler by plugged it into the notebook will obviously reduce the amount of battery power and usage time. This can be a huge annoyance for people who use their notebook throughout the day so a passive notebook cooler might be a better option for them.

A passive notebook cooler is completely silent because it has no moving parts, but it is not as good at removing heat from a notebook. Just like the active cooler, it also removes heat from base of a notebook but it does so in a totally different manner. One way that heat is absorbed is through a series of heatpipes running across the surface of the notebook cooler, similar to the heatpipes used to cool parts of a computer mainboard. Other models use a large bag of chemical gel which readily absorbs heat but they can only be used for a few hours, after which they need to be rested so that the stored heat dissipates. Another type of passive notebook cooler simply elevates the base of the notebook so that more air can reach the vents.

There is a lot of debate about the merits of the notebook cooler. Manufacturers insist that it can help reduce overheating but many people dismiss them as worthless gadgets that should never have to be used. A notebook cooler costs anywhere between ten and sixty dollars, which may not sound like much but it is money that could be put towards a new notebook. Frankly, if a notebook requires a cooler to operate under normal conditions then it should probably be replaced. If buying a replacement is not an option, a notebook cooler is an affordable way of keeping a temperamental notebook running for a little while longer.

This Notebook Cooler Review is Written/Updated on Mar 18th, 2011 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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