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Elevating the Laptop | Laptop Overheating

Elevating the Laptop

Many laptops overheat in part because not enough air flows underneath the laptop’s base. When a laptop is too close to a desk or other surface, it cuts off air flow, and makes cooling more difficult.

The first, and most obvious step, is to be sure that you always use the laptop on a hard surface that allows at least the level of air circulation that the laptop designers planned for. Never place your notebook computer on a blanket or comforter, for example, as these will scrunch up against the laptop base, preventing air from passing through. If you use your laptop in bed, you need to place it on a hard surface, such as a large coffee table book or a laptop desk.

Even on a hard surface, however, many laptops overheat because they do not get enough air circulating under their base. The legs of the laptop may be too short to allow the elevation and the volume of air modern laptops require, and overheating may result.

To avoid this, simply elevate the back of the laptop. You can use any of a variety of household items to achieve this – screw on bottle tops from large soda bottles, square rubber erasers, extra batteries for the laptop, post it pads, or books. You can also use a hot glue gun to create custom, longer legs for your laptop.

In case you do not fancy propping your flashy $2000 laptop on old bottle tops at a high powered business meeting, there are commercial solutions that provide a bit more style and still travel easily. At least two companies offer collapsible, folding stands that fold out under your overheating notebook in an x shape, allowing airflow. One company offers fold down legs that attach to the back corners of your overheated notebook, elevating it an inch to nearly two inches, allowing more airflow.

Another option are laptop desks, most of which are also usable on desk surfaces to provide extra ventilation. In our experience, these provide less ventilation in a desktop setting than other options, but do provide a hard surface in bed. They also separate your overheating laptop from your lap, thereby avoiding the kinds of heat related injuries to one’s groin that have been reported in various medical journals.