Being a freelance writer, I love my laptop dearly. It’s like a second child. I can take it almost anywhere, even though I did opt for a pretty heavy laptop. I wanted a 17-inch screen and a keyboard complete with a numeric keypad. I also have a thing for playing computer games and running multiple applications.
With all that power comes heat, and I burned through one laptop (thank goodness it was still under warranty).
Lesson learned. I now own a cooling pad for the laptop, one of my essential can’t-live-without-it laptop accessories.
Cooling pads come in several types. Some have one or more moving fans that serve to suck the heat away from the computer. This is the kind I have. Other fan systems blow air onto the laptop. Fan-based cooling pads generally use USB cords, from the laptop, for their power source.
Other kinds of cooling pads are passive. They use chemicals that turn to gel when heated, which moves the heat to the pad and away from the laptop. Other passive pads are angled so that natural airflow is maximized.
Whatever kind of cooling pad you get, make sure you get one. It extends the life of your laptop and saves precious information. While I did get a replacement laptop, I lost all my files and documents.
Another really important accessory is a laptop sleeve. Obviously, this isn’t essential if you keep your laptop solely at home, but if you take it anywhere, your laptop needs some protection.
You can always get a regular laptop case, which has some type of handle for carrying. A laptop sleeve, however, is valuable because you can omit the (usually) bulky case. Sleeves have padding, but they aren’t suitable if you think you’re going to drop your laptop a lot (is that in anyone’s plans?)
A snug-fitting sleeve adds little weight to your laptop, so you can carry it in a regular bag with other things. Or you may just want to carry it in your arms while still getting some protection from scratches or light drops.
I haven’t gotten a sleeve yet, but that’s because I’m happy with just carrying a case. I’m not lugging around books for school, and I have to have a shoulder strap to keep my hands free.
What are your must-have laptop accessories? Which ones can you do without?