informa
/
2 min read
Commentary

Microsoft Releases Notebook Hardware Patch

High-powered notebook PCs can get really hot, to the point where resting it on your lap can be hazardous to your health. Dangerous notebook heat is not only poor design, it's a hazard that system makers fix quickly because they care about their customer's safety. Hah! Had you there for a minute, didn't I?
High-powered notebook PCs can get really hot, to the point where resting it on your lap can be hazardous to your health. Dangerous notebook heat is not only poor design, it's a hazard that system makers fix quickly because they care about their customer's safety. Hah! Had you there for a minute, didn't I?Though the trend toward netbooks has made the low end of the market cooler and more lap-friendly than ever, high-end "desktop replacement" notebooks still pull a lot of power and generate plenty of heat. Microsoft, however, realized that one company's physically hazardous hardware design is another company's product opportunity. So, it has come out with a Notebook Cooling Base.

I'm not quite sure why Microsoft thought that now was the right time to come out with a product like this. As cooling bases go, this $30 item is definitely one of the best. The USB-powered fan adds some extra cooling, although it's not something you'd dare use when off AC power. Similar products have been around for years.

Does anyone use products like these while on the road? I like to travel with as little junk as possible, and this would be one more thing to drag along in a carry-on bag. Instead of lugging a full-sized notebook, a spare battery, AC adapter, and a Notebook Cooling Base, I'd prefer to take something like an Asus Eee PC netbook. Not only is it cooler than the average notebook, but it can get four or five hours off a charge. At home the equation is a bit different, it's easy to keep a gizmo like this handy on a desk or next to the couch. I use a simple lap desk when at home to keep my legs scorch-free; the bean-bag bottom is comfortable -- and the $12 price wasn't bad, either.

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Greg Douglass, Global Lead for Technology Strategy & Advisory, Accenture
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter