Three Easy Solutions to Prevent Laptop Overheating

Once we completely switched from a desktop computer to a laptop, overheating became a serious issue. Whether it's on the desk or on our lap (yowch!), our MacBook Pro has a tendency to run very hot. And since overheating can lead to hardware failure, we knew something had to change, pronto. Here are three tech solutions to help you find the perfect solution for your own setup.

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1. Laptop stand ($48)
A laptop stand is an elegant desktop solution to both reducing heat under your laptop and clearing usable space, since it raises your computer off the surface of the desk.

We use the mStand by Rain Design. It's affordable, well-designed and has a nearly unanimous 5-star rating on Amazon. It's great if you use a keyboard with your laptop, since the design lets you stash the board underneath the setup when not in use.

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2. Notebook feet ($11.50)
These Cool Feet supports by Bluelounge attach to the bottom of your laptop using suction cups, lifting it just high enough off the desk to allow air to flow underneath. The slight angle even makes typing easier. Also comes with sticky discs to help suction on laptops without a smooth bottom surface. Great for laptop users who want to type using the built-in keyboard, for example while at a coffee shop or traveling.

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3. Laptop cooling pad
The fans on cooling pads use convection to draw heat away from the bottom of your laptop, so if you need a serious solution for heavy computing, this is it.

The VANTEC LapCool3 notebook cooler (shown above, in use, $25.20) or the Cooler Master Notepal U2 Cooler (shown below, with two fans, $18.16) are two agreeable options.

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Along with these solutions, don't forget to occasionally clean out the vents and fans on your laptop -- a can of compressed air only costs a few bucks, and can really help the heating situation.

As Ben Franklin wrote, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." With a little forethought, we can care for our devices and extend their lives, saving ourselves time, money and potential lost data.

(Image: Flickr member sizemoresr licensed for use under Creative Commons)