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Some Like It Hot (But Your Laptop Doesn’t)

Few things are as dangerous to the well-being of your computer as heat. An overheated computer can cause annoying performance issues, such as lockups. It can also cause permanent damage, like when my CPU fan failed which fried my CPU and motherboard. That was a costly problem.

Heat has always been an even bigger issue with laptop computers. Heat producing components are crammed into the smallest cases possible. This leaves very little room for cooling systems, which are usually limited to tiny exhaust fans. Not quite adequate.

Use your laptop for an extended period of time and feel the bottom. It is hot! People have burned their legs from this heat. Furniture has even been marred from it.

Thankfully, there is an easy, inexpensive solution to the laptop heat issue.

Manufacturers, such as Targus, Belkin and Antec, are producing laptop cooling pads. These thin plates contain 1 or more cooling fans and are powered via a USB cable. When you set your laptop on one of these devices, fresh air is continuously blown on the bottom of the laptop keeping it cool.

I was very skeptical of these cooling devices. I doubted their effectiveness. They seemed too bulky to carry with my laptop. I was also concerned with laptop battery life due to the power draw of the extra fans.

After using my Targus Laptop Chill Mat for a month, I wouldn’t use my laptop without it. Here are a few benefits that I have experienced:

  • My laptop no longer slows or locks up after running for awhile.
  • It is now comfortable to use my laptop on my lap for long periods and my furniture is safe.
  • I can use my laptop in bed without fear of the blankets blocking air flow to the exhaust fans.
  • Turns out that a cooler running computer is a more efficient computer, so I haven’t noticed any battery life changes using the extra fans.
  • The cooling mat is very light and slides into my laptop bag easily, making transporting the device a breeze.

In short, every laptop toting real estate agent needs this technology. It will improve your computing experience and will extend the life of your expensive laptop.

Cooling mats start at around $30. Models that integrate a USB hub (a handy addition if you are short on USB ports) start at around $50. With a bit of patience, you can get a deal on one. Each week, Best Buy, Circuit City or Staples will usually have a cooling mat on sale. I decided the model that I wanted and waited a couple of weeks until I found it on sale for $20. One of the cheapest technology investments you can make.

About Chad A. Johnson

Chad A. Johnson is the President/COO of Agent Evolution, a social media education and WordPress web design firm. Through his multiple roles at Agent Evolution, Chad stays on top of the latest in WordPress development and business operations technology. Allow him to share WordPress tweaks, cloud computing services, and much more through his MTO posts.