Water-cooled laptop stand – $6

If you read the gadget blogs with any kind of regularity you’ve probably noticed that just about every few week there’s mention of yet another form of laptop stand. And they’re all generally overpriced or (if it’s via some lifehacker do-it-yourself article) a pain-in-the-butt to put together. So, purely as a public service to everybody out there who is as bored of reading about these as I am, let me share the secret solution for the ultimate in laptop cooling happiness:

Hot Water Bottle

Yup, buy a hot water bottle, ($6 at Amazon, for instance), fill it up with tap-water (room-temperature is fine) and insert strategically between laptop and lap. It’s comfy, acts as a nice heat-sink, and as a bonus it probably blocks a fair bit of the dangerous ‘electronic rays’ that are shooting out of the bottom of the computer straight at your important bits. Or you can set it on the table and lean the laptop on it that way – the rubber surface is grippy enough to hold it in place. Simple, cheap, elegant – what’s not to like? If you search a bit further you can find them in a variety of shapes and colors even. And yes, you could probably design something that uses the same filled-with-water concept but is more specifically targeted to the task – if someone has access to cheap offshore manufacturing to whip this up then I’ll be happy to do the design work. But it’s probably not worth the effort when this solution works just fine. I’ve been using it for about 2 years and haven’t had any problems with laptop (or with lap – all important bits are apparently functioning properly, thank you). And if it’s a cold night you can tuck it under the covers when you’re heading to bed.


25 thoughts on “Water-cooled laptop stand – $6

  1. Nice idea!

    My laptop is getting hotter these days.

    Does it really makes a huge difference in the temperature of the laptop?

    Also do you need to change the water frequently, because then it might get stale and stink?

  2. @Niranjan – it definitely seems to keep it cooler – the fans never click on while I’m using it. As for changing the water – I never do. It doesn’t get stale because it’s self-contained… at least as far as I know :-).

  3. Great idea! Will this form condensation on the outside of the water bottle? I would assume not if you use room temp water, but I figured I’d ask before frying my blazing hot Macbook.

  4. Interesting idea but the point of a water bottle is to keep the water hot for as long as possible, it is infact an insulator and thus not the best thing to use. Interesting idea though :D

  5. Water does not go bad because it is self-contained and also keeps boiling all the time killing all bad bugs… :)

  6. @Thrush – I’ve never had any condensation problems but like you said, I use tap-temperature water, nothing superchilled. I also live in L.A. (aka The Desert) :-).

  7. @whyamistilltyping – Actually you’ve got it completely backwards. The whole PURPOSE of a hot-water bottle is to TRANSFER heat, not conserve it. You shove it under the covers so that the heat transfers from the water to your chilly feet. If it was a great insulator, the heat couldn’t get from the water to your body where you want it!

  8. looks pretty good!
    i have more simpler idea….
    just put 4 or 6, (depending on your requirement) bottle caps to increase height of laptop. meaning, increase distance between surface and laptop back….
    it will allow heat to go off from laptop easily in all cases.
    my laptop is working perfectly, without heating up…. @ appx temp of 40C!!

  9. i have a hp compaq nx7400 with HDD thermometer and i noticed the temperature goes up when i cradle the laptop across my lap but not when i balance the laptop in the middle on one lap. there are vents on the bottom as well as the left side for cooling. i wonder if the hot water bottle will interfere with cooling and cause the temp to rise? otherwise a good idea

  10. The idea is nice and could work….but what about ventilation? Most laptops have a cooler mounted underneath, and the bag can cover the ventilation opening.

    The nicest idea i read about is the “Ring Binder with Hard Drive Storage”

    and i was thinking to equip it with an extra cooler, operated via usb voltage.


  11. Pingback: Une solution low-tech pour utiliser un ordinateur portable sur vos genoux - Gizmodo - Tant d'amour pour ces fabuleux nouveaux gadgets, c'est surnaturel.

  12. I ended up buying a product called the Laptop Flip at newpcgadgets. It lets you store your laptop vertical when not in use saving desktop space and it raises your laptop for better ventilation in use. I got the product last week. Great idea.

  13. it’s true that most laptops get too hot to keep on your lap! In fact, the only laptop that has enough cooling to keep it on your lap all the time is the Dell Alienware M17x – I LOVE that laptop! :)

    I think your idea is awesome, and a very good alternative, but people should be carefuil not to completely block and cover the fan port with the rubber bottle.


  14. Pingback: Prop and Cool Your Laptop with a Water Bottle | Lifehacker Australia

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