Overheated laptops are a simple fact of life for many users, leading to unstable systems, performance problems, and the occasional singed hand or thigh. There are various cooling solutions on the market, but most are bulky or inconvenient, from cutting-board-size laptop desks to externally powered fan contraptions. These larger devices are useful, but if you want to carry around a minimum of extra equipment, the smallest cooling solution we've seen is BlueLounge's Cool Feet. For $13, you get a set of four rubber legs that prop up your laptop at a slight angle, allowing for more airflow under the machine. It may seem like a lot for a simple set of rubber risers, but if you're looking for an improved airflow solution that fits in your pocket and gives your laptop a more ergonomically agreeable angle, the Cool Feet aren't as ridiculous as they may seem at first glance.
The set includes four rubber feet with suction cups, a set of adhesive circles for the feet to attach to, and a small drawstring carrying bag. Two of the feet measure 1.25 inches in height, while the other two are only 0.5 inch high. By putting the bigger feet at the back of the laptop and the smaller feet at the front, you create a gentle angle for the laptop, which is a more comfortable typing position for many people.
Using a popular business laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad T60, we put the BlueLounge Cool Feet to the test by running CNET Labs' grueling Multitasking test on the system and recording the CPU temperature.
Running the test without the feet, the CPU got as hot as 80.8 degrees. After a cool-down period, we ran the test again, this time with the laptop sitting on the BlueLounge Cool Feet. The highest temperature recorded during the second test was 78 degrees, a slight decrease at best. This was nowhere near the nearly six-degree drop we got from the Xpad Laptop Desk, a bulky passive laptop cooler, or the Antec Notebook Cooler, which sucks away hot air via USB-powered fans.
However, the Cool Feet did beat the LapWorks Laptop Desk 2.0 and the LapWorks Laptop Desk UltraLite, both of which are traditional laptop desks that include extended wings for use as a mousing surface.
Balancing the four rubber legs on your lap is a challenge, so we'd only recommend the Cool Feet for tabletop use, defeating the lap-saving purpose of many laptop cooling solutions.