You’ve probably noticed that all electronics, and especially notebook computers, get warm after a period of time. This is because of all the high-tech electrical components inside our everyday electronics that generate heat while they’re working, and have to get rid of it somehow. It’s completely natural for your Chromebook to feel warm while you’re using it, and nothing to be alarmed about.
As with all notebooks, there are specific ways you can cool your Chromebook down, to both raise your comfort level while you’re using it — especially if you’re using it on your lap — and potentially extend the life of the notebook.
First and foremost, the best way to keep your Chromebook or any notebook/netbook cool is with a good-quality Chromebook cooler. I have to say that I’ve personally owned several different notebook coolers over the past 10-15 years, and some are cheap, poor quality devices that barely cool at all, while others are very effective and well-built. I’ll look at some of the high-quality ones in a second, but first, here are some ways you can help keep your Chromebook’s temperature down without any add-ons.
- Cooling Tip #1: Keep Your Chromebook Raised/ Make Sure Air Vents Aren’t Blocked. The Chromebook’s air vents are located under it, facing downward. If you’re using it on your lap or a soft/uneven surface such as a couch cushion, pillow, blanket (not recommended!), etc., make sure the air vents on the bottom aren’t blocked. If you’re using your Chromebook on a desk or another hard, even surface, the small feet on the bottom of your Chromebook are designed to keep it raised just enough for the vents to circulate air (However, you can lower the temperature significantly by raising it a little more using a notebook stand/cooler — see below).
- Cooling Tip #2: If Possible, Avoid Using Your Chromebook in Direct Sun/Near Heat Sources. This tip seems like an obvious one, but many laptop users do it regardless. Computers are just as affected by outside heat as anything else — if you’ve ever felt a notebook that has been sitting in a car on a hot day, you know how hot it feels. Computers rely upon air circulation to cool down their internal components — if the air outside the computer is hot, it doesn’t work. If you’re using your Chromebook outside often, try to use it in the shade to keep the temperature down.
Ironically, even though laptops originally got their name from people using them on their laps, it’s not actually recommended to do this. Soft surfaces can block the airflow at the bottom of notebooks, where the most heat is generated, making more likely that a notebook will overheat (which can result in a burnt lap).
Using a simple lap desk will help towards keep your Chromebook cool. This Logitech Comfort Lapdesk is one of our favorites that we’ve talked about in our accessory reviews. It helps keeps heat down a little, is more comfortable than using the Chromebook directly on your lap, and is just big enough so you can use a portable mouse on your lap. Very cool.
Using a USB Chromebook Cooler
The best way to cool down a Chromebook, by far, is to use a USB-powered cooler. These are flat devices that sit under your Chromebook that not only increase airflow, but actively cool your Chromebook with small fans. There are many very well-priced ($20-30) coolers to choose from, and I’ve found that some are solid, well-built, and very effective, while the very cheap ones tend to perform poorly and stop working after a while (we won’t even mention those here — but you can typically spot them by their $5-10 price range). When it comes to Chromebook coolers, here are the best of the best:
Cooler Master has been one of the leading names in notebook coolers for years, and their NotePal Ergostand Notebook Cooler is one of the most highly-reviewed notebook coolers out today. It’s also one of the most solidly-built coolers, with a high-quality metal surface and a large central fan (about 5.5″) with fully-controllable speed. The fan, despite its size, is just about silent even at high speed settings. Unlike any other cooler I’ve used, it has 5 different height settings, so you can adjust the height and incline how it’s most comfortable for you. As an added bonus, it has 4 USB ports on the side!
My brother has this notebook cooler (he uses it on a desk with a 14″ laptop that gets pretty hot during use) and has nothing but good things to say about it. It feels very well-built — the metal mesh surface is thicker and feels higher-quality than cheaper coolers. At the same time, it’s very lightweight, and the dark aluminum, in my personal opinion, looks very sleek (it also happens to perfectly match the 12.1″ Samsung Series 5 Chromebook in Titan Silver). One thing that’s really cool about this cooler is that the fan(s) are fully and independently positionable, which allows you to target the areas on the bottom of your Chromebook that get the hottest. The Cooler Master Cooler Master NotePal U1 is smaller (about 11″) and comes with one positionable fan. The Notepal U2 is slightly larger (about 14″) and comes with two positionable fans. Either size will fit any Acer or Samsung Chromebook.
This is easily the best cooling pad out there if you want to use your Chromebook on your lap. Unlike most coolers that are metal on the bottom, the bottom of the Targus Lap Chill Mat is made of a soft, durable material. It comes with 2 fans, and is designed with some empty space in the middle to improve air flow. With the soft bottom, it’s ideal if you mostly use your Chromebook on your lap while sitting, but it will also work on a table or desk.
I hope this article has been informative! Please comment below with any tips, suggestions, or other feedback. For more tips on using your Chromebook, check out the many other articles on this site. For reviews of other items for your Chromebook, see our Chromebook Accessory Reviews.