Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #113 8/3/2011

Question: Can laptops overheat?


Yes. Although laptops are designed and promoted to be used in many type situations they can have heat problems if you are not careful. We all think of just using a laptop anywhere built you need to do a few things to keep from overheating and other problems.

You need to make sure that air can circulate through your laptop. Although they are named laptops they are usually designed on air flow to sit on hard surfaces. The air in take on most is in the bottom and setting on your lap or on the couch or bed will block the air.

Likewise the vents for the air to come out are on sides usually but with thinness easily blocked by clothes or covers.

Make sure when you use them on your lap that you are allowing the air to flow thru. Also be careful as some laptops get fairly warm and could cause minor burns on you.

There are products sold as laptop coolers and they do work. I have a little flat plastic panel that is size of laptop and has two fans in it and it does draw the air thru. The fans work off a wire plugged in a USB port on the laptop.

Overheating will cause parts to fail in a laptop and to run more slowly. Think about a desktop and all the air space in it me to cool parts and then in a laptop there is hardly any space for air so keeping air moving is critical. The parts of a computer when running generate heat

I am writing this article on my laptop in a motel in Texas and using the laptop cooler has my laptop stay running fast all evening