Best laptop cooling device?

I’m looking for an external device that will cool off a laptop - it’s been overheating and freezing up, the reports say.

From these I can glean three types, the bulky fan-based ones, the chemical-filled cooling pad, and those that just tilt the dern thing up. The fan-based ones are billed as quiet, but reviewed as loud, the pads are actually silent, but less effective, and the tilters just look like a rip-off.

Anyone have any experience with these cooling devices or any favorite brands?


Before you spend money on an external device, have you tried using a temperature monitoring program? I have a Dell Inspiron 5100 that had the same problems as your laptop has. I started using I8kfanGUI and it’s helped a lot. So far as I can tell, it kicks the fan to high speed at a slightly lower temperature than my laptop would on its own, which shortens the fan life, but also keeps my laptop from overheating. It also has the option for manual control of your fans, so I can go ahead and put the fans on high when I’m doing something that I know will cause my laptop to overheat, like playing a DVD (yeah, I know my laptop sucks if playing a DVD makes it overheat…). Cleaning the dust off your fans is another fairly easy and free way to prevent overheating.

I realize none of this answers your original question. I’m sorry for the hijack.

My laptop doesn’t get all that hot, so the plastic doohickey that lifts it enough to allow airflow works well for me and it has space for my trackball.
badkittypriestess has an Acer that must be responsible for some of those stories about lap-burns (why they had her laptop is another question), and a Targus fan-based unit that’s powered by a USB port is quiet and effective. I don’t have numbers to back up that claim, but she seems to feel it’s sufficient.