In this product review, I’m going to give you a quick look at a simple, yet effective product that makes using your laptop on the road a little easier (and cooler).
The Notebook Buddy is a 13.5″x9.5″ mat designed to place under your laptop. The mat is about half an inch thick, and is comprised of what I can only describe as thousands of little plastic springs.
On the top of the mat is a fabric mesh and by creating this open design, you can put your laptop on the mat, and heat will be transported away from it without blocking the vents.
If you have ever used your computer on your lap for any period of time, you’ll know that after about 30 minutes the heat can become unbearable. In the past, I’ve used all kinds of active cooling pads with little fans, but the major disadvantage of those, is that they drain your battery really fast and that they are a nuisance to carry around, The Notebook Buddy weighs just 3.2 ounces, and slips right into your laptop bag.The product is about as simple as it can get; you don’t need to plug it in, it does not require much space and it is ready to use right away. Another added advantage is that the padding makes it a comfortable product to use on your lap.
I put the product to the test by letting my laptop run for 30 minutes without a cooling pad, and measured the temperature. When it was directly on my lap, the temperature of the bottom of the machine was 114F.
After letting the machine cool down for 2 hours, I tested it again, using the Notebook Buddy. In this test I could not measure any rise in temperature on my lap, even after the laptop had been powered on for 30 minutes.
Naturally, the half inch gap between my lap and the notebook helps insulate things, but the special material used in the product helps circulate air from under the computer. If you have ever placed your computer on a bed, you’ll know that the bottom of the machine is where most of the vents (and heat) can be found.
The Notebook Buddy retails for $18.95 and can be purchased directly from their web site. Shipping is with UPS Ground, and is just $5. With Christmas slowly approaching, you might also be interested to know that the company behind the Notebook Buddy can customize the product with your logo, turning it into a nice corporate gift.
There are other cooling products out there, but this is by far the lightest, easiest and cheapest product I’ve found. The design of the Notebook Buddy really follows the “keep it simple” principle, no moving parts and nothing to bend or break. The price may seem a little steep for what you get, but when you consider that overheating on your laptop can cause the entire machine to become unusable, it’s a pretty justifiable investment.