Review: Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand

I think that when most of us think about gadgets, we imagine gee whizz things like phones and PDAs and PDAs that are phones. This is, of course, a curious hangover of the thirst for capitalistic acquisition fostered during Thatcher’s 80s and continued in New Labour’s validation of the post-societal libertarianism of the 90s. Or something.
So it’s no wonder that we occasionally overlook some of the very best gadgets because they’re not glossy, glitzy or sexy.
The trigger for this train of thought was a hot laptop. My girlfriend’s hot laptop, in fact. And, by “hot” I mean that you can fry an egg on it – not that it’s some brand new top of the range shiny thing.
I’ll name and shame, for the sake of journalistic honesty. It’s a Toshiba Satellite A120. And, blow me, if it doesn’t run hotter than Kylie’s bottom.  Of course, there are extant reasons for this. I maxed out the RAM a year ago, for example. It’s getting on a bit now – about three years on the clock. The vents in the side will have sucked in a lot of dust during that time and dust is a very good and keeping heat in.
I looked for solutions that wouldn’t involve buying a new computer and, having dismissed buying and fitting a new fan as too much faff, settled on an external laptop cooling system.
Here’s where it gets interesting. The device we plumped for was a Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand. It’s simply a plastic, contoured board big enough for your computer to sit on.  Your machine stays put thanks to two strips of rubber material, while air flows freely underneath. Finally, a small fan blows cold air onto the bottom of your notebook, powered by USB.
For such a simple device the results were astonishing. The dual core CPU had previously been running at a warm, but still safe top temperature of 46 degrees Celsius. With external cooling, that dropped to an average of 24 degrees C. Wow.
Total outlay for this striking improvement? £11.99.
So – take heed from this story. Sometimes the best gadgets aren’t the ones that empty your wallet.

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I've used this belkin cooler in the past and to be honest I didn't like it at all. The review says the computer stays put but my laptop didn't feel secure at all. I ended up using it for a few months and then switching to a pad cooler. Passive cooling is the way to go!
My Significant Other assures me that her notebook feels very secure - the rubber strips don't seem to allow any slippage at all. However, I'm willing to try out other solutions and benchmark the bejesus out of them. Know where I might get hold of a cooling pad to test? Your email address suggests an invested interest :)
Just brought one, first impressions...Excellent! I thought maybe one fan wasn't enough but it seems to be doing the trick Thanks
Having owned one of these about two years ago, I initially agreed with the 1st poster reguarding the instability of the Belkin laptop cooler. I used it to cool my pre-historic vaio which gets so hot that you can occasionally burn yourself on the underside. (Yes, I know thats pretty unsafe, but im too tight to replace it.) Eventually ,the dodgy little cable broke and I found myself resigned to buying a netbook which she whom must be obeyed keeps stealing, leaving me with the scorching laptop. I had a look round the interwebs, and found myself a replacement cooler of the same type. When it arrived, I was quite pleased to find that they had addressed the feeling of instability, and got rid of the detachable cable. It now does exactly what it says on the tin without feeling like it was made too cheaply to survive the job it is intended for.
I have problems with my CPU on my HP laptop getting too hot. Hopefully this gadget can help. At least it doesn't hurt to try since it's so cheap.