Review: Belkin Coolstrip

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Short Version: This thing goes under your laptop to keep it cool. It works and it’s great for a quick back massage mid-day.

There are lots of different products meant to keep your laptop cool and Belkin makes many different varieties. There are your adjustable height platforms, sometimes with fans, that are meant for desk use, but sometimes can work on the couch as well, such as the Laptop Cooling Lounge (MSRP $50).

There are pillows that do more to keep the laptop off of your legs than to keep the laptop cool, such as the Cushtop (MSRP $35). Finally, there are products that lift the rear of the laptop and allow air to circulate on it’s own. The Coolstrip is one of the latter. This $20 strip of silicon ‘icicles’ allows for maximum airflow due to it’s minimum contact. It also holds cables in place by allowing them to be wound between its spikes. It’s a no-frills solution. No fan. No USB hub. No hard drive enclosure. No high price. No unnecessary bulk. Because it is silicon, it is flexible, durable, and it can be washed with soap and water if it gets dirty.

I use an adjustable aluminum stand at work to keep my laptop at a comfortable height. I wouldn’t replace that with the Coolstrip. For my desk, I want something that lifts the laptop to a typical monitor height. However, I found the Coolstrip exceptional for couch use. As the weather cools, the soft warmth of a processor hard at work can be quite nice. However, it’s only a matter of time before my Macbook Pro turns into the iSkillet and sautés my thighs. The Coolstrip lifts the hottest part of the laptop off of my legs, allowing them to cool down, while allowing more airflow then it appears the Cushtop would. Also, because it’s flexible, it drapes comfortably over my legs so I hardly know its there.

At around $20, it’s on the lower end of laptop cooling gadgets, and I think it’s a good combination of comfort and utility.

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