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Heat Insulators for Laptops

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the because-its-stupid dept.

Portables 363

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?"

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blah (0)

lancomandr (785360) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366757)

Finally there will be a chance for the aloe vera to soak into my poor foreskin instead of just boiling off when I set my machine back down... Aside from that, how much heat do modern laptops put off? I have an eNote Lite aka Lindows MobilePC. It has a Via C3 Ezra processor with I believe a very small (.9") heatsink and one fan in the whole machine. During operations like heavy compiling, my processor temperature will reach as high as 80C. Despite questioning for a long time whether my processor was going to melt out through the bottom of my computer into my lap, it never has, and although there can be some heat buildup if I set it on my bed or something, I've never had a problem with resting it on my lap. Perhaps this is more for people with larger laptops whos exhaust fans point out the bottom and they want to avoid excessive ball sweat this summer.

Re:blah (1)

tomknight (190939) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366858)

Well at least you can save money on contraception, or not worry if your young lady forgets hers - all that heat'll probably make you sterile for a short while.

I wonder if this could be used as a selling point for geek couples whjo don't want kids?

Tom.

Re:blah (1)

Wun Hung Lo (702718) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366953)

I think a urologist came up with this idea. They've probably been losing work because it's cheaper to achieve sterility by roasting your testicles than getting a vasectomy.

Re:blah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9367027)

Finally there will be a chance for the aloe vera to soak into my poor foreskin instead of just boiling off when I set my machine back down...

Hey, if you'd gotten the snip perhaps you wouldn't have this problem. ;)

Hot indeed... (4, Interesting)

ack154 (591432) | more than 9 years ago | (#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?

Re:Hot indeed... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366807)

When I saw this headline, I thought to myself, "I bet some loser is going to post a link to the story about the guy that burned his penis." Thanks for not disappointing me.

I thought of it earlier. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366770)

I thought of it earlier, I just didn't think laptop users deserved it.

Where does the heat GO? (5, Interesting)

YankeeInExile (577704) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366778)

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.)

Re:Where does the heat GO? (3, Informative)

DarthStrydre (685032) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366889)

"(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... transmitting nonstop... they would probably get uncomfortably warm if someone went to pick them up.

Of course this is not the intended operation mode or duty cycle...

Re:Where does the heat GO? (2, Informative)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366896)

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.

Good (1, Insightful)

Diclophis (203740) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366783)

So instead of heating up your leg, it will just heat up the inside of the machine.

Re:Good (3, Informative)

Tattva (53901) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366810)

Exactly. The heat will escape from other surfaces and the internal temperature of the machine will rise. The keyboard will definitely get warmer as a result of this and laptime lifetime will decrease.

Re:Good (1)

vmircea (730382) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367042)

Yeah you've gotta love this, cool down your lap at the expense of frying your laptop... Nice heat reducing lap pad: $50 Decent laptop: $2000 Frying your laptop because you used a stupid lap pad that blocks heat loss from the laptopl: Priceless Couldn't resist

The heat has to go somewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366786)

If it's not going into your legs, it might be staying on the CPU resulting in possible CPU burnout.

Effect on laptops (2, Interesting)

Rufus88 (748752) | more than 9 years ago | (#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 (4, Interesting)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366840)

Is the laptop SUPPOSED to be bleeding heat through the case rather than the fan vent out the back anyway?

Re:Effect on laptops (1)

meta_gorn (316019) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366946)

I wonder about this myself. I have an HP Pavillion Laptop that runs really hot. It runs really well considering what a piece of crap it is, but it's several years old and I live in constant anxiety that the machine's just going to up and die at any moment from the thermal pounding. Does heat have the same impact on laptop life as it does on destop mobos?

Re:Effect on laptops (3, Insightful)

Rufus88 (748752) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Use a cookie sheet (4, Interesting)

Red Snertz (780511) | more than 9 years ago | (#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...

Re:Use a cookie sheet (5, Funny)

cuzality (696718) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366948)


But you have to make sure you tell IE or Firefox to reject all cookies or else... well, it could be messy...

Re:Use a cookie sheet (1)

Red Snertz (780511) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366958)

More info; just RTFA. The ones she reviewed are definitely more portable than the cookie sheet, as they can be folded, but I have a fairly big laptop bag and the cookie sheet will fit into it. As far as trapping heat inside the laptop if you use one of these- one of the reasons I hate to bare-lap a laptop is because my clothing has a tendency to cover the intake of the cooling fan. These pads appear to be rigid enough that they won't have that problem.

Northern Winters (1, Funny)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366793)

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.

Why didn't someone think of this sooner? (1, Insightful)

MouseR (3264) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366794)

Because it'll cook your laptop.

Re:Why didn't someone think of this sooner? (3, Funny)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366826)

Which, while not ideal, is marginally preferable to cooking your genitals.

Re:Why didn't someone think of this sooner? (0, Redundant)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366912)

Well if you're a real geek you value your data over your sperm. After all, what do you have more chance of actually using?

(This is why I'm not a real geek.)

Re:Why didn't someone think of this sooner? (5, Funny)

wwest4 (183559) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366938)

Hey, for some of us, the laptop and the genitals are in symbiosis - neither would get much use without the other.

The delicate balance of this relationship is mediated by DSL, screen cleaner and paper towels.

How about building it into the laptop (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366795)

Just make the pad the bottom of the laptop.. I remember the good old days when laptops meant LAPtops..

Now it's "desktop replacements"... like putting a desk on your lap?

Err (1)

TwistedSpring (594284) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366798)

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.

Why didn't they come sooner? (-1, Redundant)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366803)

Because the human body can deal with the heat a lot better than the computer sitting on the lap can. That insulation is keeping the heat in the notebook.. I wouldn't be surprised if major laptop manufacturers voided warrantees due to the use of these pads.

heat dissapation (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366805)

I doubt this is a good idea. Most laptops run, hot as it is, which is the cause of complaint. The laptop is designed o get heat out of itself, if you go and wrap insualtion on the bottom of it even if it is to keep your lap cool, I betch the internal temp on the unit is gonna go up and that is bad bad bad for proc and hardisks.

Sounds like a great way to cook the laptop (-1, Redundant)

Thagg (9904) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366809)

Laptops often run pretty close to the edge in cooling -- converting the bottom of the laptop from a radiator to an insulator sounds like a incredibly bad idea. Some laptops have vents in the bottom, too, which would be blocked by these mats.

Thad

Cheap Option... (2, Informative)

md81544 (619625) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366812)

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...

Re:Cheap Option... (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366890)

...beat me to it. I use one too with a 2.4GHz P4 Tosh Satellite room heater/notebook - very comfy and the hard flat surface still allows air to flow.

Cheaper Option... (2, Funny)

Bobartig (61456) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366981)

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.

because now the laptop will overheat (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366814)

convection is a feature, especially on p4 laptops.

Are laptops designed to be used on laps though (2, Insightful)

Karl Prince (738370) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366817)

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.

Re:Are laptops designed to be used on laps though (1)

lavaface (685630) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367015)

Are laptops designed to be used on laps

Of course! You may be thinking of notebooks, which most certainly cannot function in someone's lap ; )

Warning (1)

swordboy (472941) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366821)

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.

Re:Warning (1)

doppleganger871 (303020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366911)

They're not called laptops anymore... In case you've been under a rock for a few years, they're all referred to as "Notebook" computers... and we all know notebooks belong on a desk... right next to your desktop computer... I think... or so the company probably says...

Re:Warning (1)

Professeur Shadoko (230027) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366986)

Damn !

My Travelstar hard drive just died, a few days ago.

The "funny" thing is, every morning, after a full night of rest, when the laptop is completely cold, the hard drive is kind enough to work for a few minutes before going "cling cling", BSOD, or kernel panic, thus I can save a few MB worth of data each day.

Heat dissipation, eh ?

May not be a good idea (-1, Redundant)

cardshark2001 (444650) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366829)

Yes, it will protect your lap, but what about your laptop? It may not be designed to absorb all of that heat.

Er, wait... (5, Informative)

evil carrot (669874) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

I use a nylon cutting board (1)

khelms (772692) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366834)

It insulates against heat and provides a firm surface to set the laptop on, which lets air circulate in the little gap below the laptop resting on its feet.

Good grief... (4, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366835)

They sell generic equivalents of these heat-insulating thingys at Wal-Mart.

They're called towels.

Re:Good grief... (3, Informative)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367025)

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).

Why not reclaim heat energy? (2, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366842)

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.

Re:Why not reclaim heat energy? (2, Informative)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366996)

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 :)

IBM Did something like this years ago... (2, Insightful)

doppleganger871 (303020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366846)

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.

Well this could be helpful (2, Funny)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366852)

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 ;-)

Re:Well this could be helpful (1, Funny)

ContemporaryInsanity (583611) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366987)

'My laptop is my birth control method'

Hmmm, no. You post on slashdot, your personality is your birth control method.

Overheating laps (4, Funny)

sjbe (173966) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367035)

My laptop is my birth control method

I think that goes without saying in this crowd...

Yes, but how do they affect heat dissipation? (4, Interesting)

bourne (539955) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

If you can't tell... (1)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366874)

that your laptop is burning your genitals, then you have bigger problems than things related to your laptop.

time for a full physical, and maybe some time away from the office.

PCBsdf

Why didn't someone think of this sooner? (2, Interesting)

F.O.Dobbs (17317) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366878)

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

Paid placement, but... (1)

Humba (112745) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366879)

Don't you just hate when an advertisement gets you? I mean, this smacks so much of a paid placement, but the product category is just what I need now that the average temp in the home office has shifted up.

--H

Plastic chopping board (1)

kangolo (95008) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366881)

I just use a plastic chopping board - it's light, the laptop sits flat, and the fans on the bottom aren't blocked.

Works a treat, cost - $1 or so

Much less expensive version (1, Funny)

ZakMcCracken (753422) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366888)

Lap heat is a problem with you? Pay less now!

Cardboard-based Italian lap thermal protectors for $10 only! Half the price of that thing! Get one with pizza inside for only $20!

Neat Invention (2, Funny)

Z4rd0Z (211373) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366902)

I've used these inventions before, they work really well. Only we used to call them pillows.

I think someone forgot to do their homework! (1)

TheSimkin (639033) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366904)

Gee, That heat has to go somewhere! It seems rather absurd to me that someone would *WANT* to keep the heat inside their computer. maybe if it was a stand with an extra fan and vents on it so that the heat would be shot out the side or something. But insulating your computer seems like a really bad idea! Why not just plug up all the fan holes in your PC to stop the noise?

Better products exist (1)

Kevin Burtch (13372) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366907)


"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!

Good Idea? (1)

bobej1977 (580278) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366916)

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.

IBM Thinkpad 760s did this around 1997 (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366919)

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.

Why has no-one thought of this? (1)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366921)

I'll tell you why: because burning hot lap tops aren't a BUG, they're a FEATURE. Tests show that the ordinary human leg (male or female) covered in a semi insulating nylon based cloth such as a trouser or skirt are incredibly efficient dissipaters of excess heat.

You can either have cool thighs, and a shorter lap top lifespan, or the status quo: a warm toasty lap and an efficient lap top.

This is only really a problem with Windows XP users anyway. Most cases of modern day spontaneous combustion were caused by confined airport passengers using Windows XP until their laptops melted, or formed new Supernovae.

Warm lap tops have saved lives too: here in Canada a wired up Bear Trapper, who was caught in a snow storm, managed to keep his head from freezing like the rest of his body by placing his lap top on top of it until rescuers arrived. He survived this experience since his intact head was grafted onto a monkey's body, although his wife divorced him shortly after. I read it on The Register a couple of weeks ago.

Women, eh??

you want the heat to escape (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366924)

I was under the impression that you wanted heat to dissipate from you computer components. By blocking the heat from going down (heating your lap), you're forcing it up through the laptop or out the sides. My inspiron 8200 has a tough enough time cooling itself when Im gaming; I dont need to be restricting cooling in any fashion.

my two cents

for iBooks (1)

ctk76 (531418) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366930)

better and cheaper solution: get a usb fan and blow it into the ventilation hole next to the headphone jack. your ibook will never feel hot and it's quieter than the internal fan that only starts when your palm and lap are already uncomfortably hot.

Get your physics straight. (4, Insightful)

CobwoyNeal (778670) | more than 9 years ago | (#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 (1, Flamebait)

nounderscores (246517) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366939)

  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?

Why didn't someone think of this sooner? (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366941)

Why, they did! It's called an "Oven Mit". You can get them at just about any 'general merchandise' store (Wal*Mart, K-Mart, Target, and many, many other places).

Geez...

Better idea.... (1)

Alan (347) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366942)

Why not make laptops that don't *require* extra equipment to prevent you from burning your family jewels off? What a concept!

Cooler processor... (1, Funny)

BLAG-blast (302533) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366962)

57 degrees (F) reduction in heat

I've removed my CPU fan and covered my CPU in that lappad stuff. I'm now looking forward to a faster, cooler, quieter computer....

What's that burning smell.....

ep!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366963)

Yes, I work for the 7ongest or = 36400 FreeBSD

Doesn't that defy the purpose of a LAPtop (2, Interesting)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Doesn't that defy the purpose of a LAPtop (2, Interesting)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367050)

Notice that some manufacturers don't call them Laptops anymore - precisely because of the heat issues. They are now called "portable computers."

Laptops get hot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366978)

I haven't used a laptop that actually gets hot since the 90's.

You guys all using outdated garbage or what? Buy a newer laptop dumbasses

OT- What about LCD screen that get cold & free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9366988)

In canada, if you forget your laptop in the car over night during winter (-20C or -4F), the LCD screen freezes. The L in LCD means Liquid!

It doesn't shatter or explode but you get a halo effect around the edges of the screen. On top of that, the whole screen goes dim and gets worse over time.

I imagine those LCD TVs for cars would be vulnerable too!

Neoprene laptop sleeve (3, Interesting)

AlphaHelix (117420) | more than 9 years ago | (#9366992)

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.

Use a pillow (1)

data64 (300466) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367004)

I use a pillow as an insulator. This is at home and in hotel rooms when I am travelling. I doubt I would be carrying more stuff with me when I travel to insulate my "lap" from my laptop.

Another alternative product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9367005)

You can also get something called "The Lapinator" [lapinator.com]. It even has little bumpers to lift the laptop off the surface a little, allowing heat to dissipate properly.

Better Idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9367007)

This isn't really necessary. All you're trying to do is reduce the heat transfer between the laptop and your thighs; what this does is insulate the system. The primary mode of heat transfer in this situation is conduction, so what we need is a way to eliminate that and still maintain a semblance of cooling.

This system eliminates conduction by insulation, which also removes convection. A better model would establish a standoff distance between the thighs and the surface of the laptop. This removes conduction, and still allows convection to cool the surface of the laptop. Something like a honeycomb would do this.

Why didn't someone think of this sooner? (4, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367009)

Because most of us wear pants when using a laptop?

I love it (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367010)

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?

why didn't *they* think of it before? (1)

willCode4Beer.com (783783) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367043)

I guess I did.... I picked up one of those "lap desks" from the book store for this very purpose. It is basically, a small plasic deck with a pillow like surface on the bottom. It fits nicely in my backback or brief case by squishing the air out of the pillow part. Very useful for using the laptop on the bus. Why didn't I think to patent "the application of the lap desk as a laptop insulator". I could be collecting some ill gotten litigation money..... oh well, maybe next time I have this idea of using clothes pins to keep bags of chips closed. Now if I were to make the clip wider... what? Doh!

I don't need them on very cold days (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367047)

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.

Why stop at just a pad? (2, Informative)

celerityfm (181760) | more than 9 years ago | (#9367051)

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]
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