back to article Redditor thinks they have a solution to Surface Laptop 3's overheating issues: Elastic bands and USB fans

A Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 user has solved the premium hardware's heating issues with the aid of elastic bands, a USB fan, and $50 handed over to Amazon. A Reddit post entitled "Surface Laptop 3 - High Operating Temperature - SOLVED with $50 mechanical solution" by Palantir_Toronto went into glorious detail on both problem …

  1. Alistair

    "The Register contacted Microsoft regarding heat emissions of its hardware, but we have yet to receive a response."

    ..... publicity folks waiting for corporate surface pro to cool down enough to reply?

    1. JDPower Bronze badge

      I know Ms aren't smart, but surely smart enough not to use their own tat for work purposes

  2. nematoad Silver badge

    Form follows function; so if the form is not up to the job then it won't function.

    You would have thought that with all the money these design people ask for they might have given a thought to the fact that the thing would probably be turned on at some point. It's not just an ornament though with all the problems they seem to have maybe they should be.

  3. redpawn

    Just mount the guts

    in a laptop case and be done with it!

  4. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Do NOT buy ultra thin laptops

    Good cooling demands sufficient airflow and a decent amount of cooling surface. Ultra thin laptops do not have room for decent cooling. The fan(s) have to be very thin profile which reduces the amount of air moved for a given fan speed and there is no room for a large cooling surface to be cooled by the airflow.

    Any well engineered laptop should sustain continuous heavy use without overheating or excessive fan noise.

    Unfortunately the Microsoft Surface laptops are not well engineered.

    When you add the difficulty in replacing the battery which is a short life component, only a mug would buy a Microsoft Surface laptop.

    Icon for the M$ engineering ===============>

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Do NOT buy ultra thin laptops

      Agreed 100%. Currently using a Lenovo Ideapad T470p with i7 CPU.

      When busy, it do tend to dump a lot of heat. But the fan handles it well.

      So I can only imagine what a thin laptop with i7 will be like - lots of heat and nowhere to dump it to.

  5. jvf

    Been there done that

    What’s old is new again. Around 20 yrs. ago while working in my lab I decided my laptop was getting too hot and needed a heat sink. So, I made a stand out of 1/8” aluminum plate with 4” legs cut from a piece of ¾” delrin (plastic) rod. Worked great and you could slip paper and other stuff under the nicely warming plate. I took it home and still use it today on occasion.

  6. doublelayer Silver badge

    Or, for half the price

    People already built that into a product. Basically a USB-powered array of fans on which a laptop can be placed. They're pretty cheap. I recently gave one to a friend who insists on running unnecessarily inefficient Excel formulas that run so long that the computer gets heat warnings. Although I have to admit some of the blame goes to Dell who decided to put only one ventilation grill on the laptop and put it on the bottom surface.

    A lot of manufacturers would be well-served by investigating what happens when their computers run at full power for an hour straight. Heat management is important not only for hardware longevity but also for performance. The latter can be important to their marketing. The former may not matter too much to them but does correlate with warranty claims.

  7. Youngone Silver badge

    A very important manager in the corporate chain of command decided some of her users had to have Microsoft surface devices, nothing else would do, so the IT department purchased them and rolled them out.

    After 18 months of complaints the original users all have nice Dell latitudes again and the Microsoft surfaces are given to people who annoy the IT deptartment, as they are not a pleasant experience.

    Except that one lady in finance who loves hers. Good on you Helen.

  8. vtcodger Silver badge

    No Problem here ...

    ... that can't be solved with a bag of ice and a length of clothesline. With sufficient spare icebags in the freezer, one should be able to run the silly thing 24-7.

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: No Problem here ...

      Round here you really need to add one of the 'Joke Alert!' icons ..... otherwise someone will take you seriously and downvote you!!!

      I was actually gonna suggest adding a USB keyboard and mouse, and then submerging the whole bloody thing in a tank of non-conductive fluid!

      To keep the non-conductive fluid off me, of course! --------------->

  9. John Jennings

    I had fairly good luck with these, and ended up with 40 or so back in a previous job. SLT wanted a splash and selected the model for board and execuatives.

    Many were not overtaxed - board members generally dont try to run GCC and a 30 page PDF was more likely their toughest assignment.

    My RMAs were no higher than other devices in the same pricerange, if I recall.

    More were stolen or lost than anything else, though.

    Saying that, my youngest is still using a hand me down Lenovo thinkpad from the first transfer from IBM. We were able to get new batteries and its fine for basic web and school use. I wouldnt expect that from a surface.

    1. X5-332960073452

      "stolen or lost" - well, that's what you were told !!

      1. Mike 16 Silver badge

        Stolen or lost?

        I had the same thought. Flashed back to reading (circa 1965) about weapons of the U.S. Civil War (or "War Between the States" if south of the Mason Dixon line). One was an interesting rifle that was, to a first approximation a revolver with an extended barrel and a long-gun stock.

        A large percentage of these were (reported) "lost crossing a river", which should surprise nobody familiar with the notion of "chain fire". This is a situation where more than one chamber fires at once. It can be scary (and dangerous) enough when the shooter has all body parts behind cylinder. When one of your hands is quite close in front of the cylinder, it is a far more serious situation.

        BTW: I suspect that there is non-trivial overlap between modern tech-heads and antique weapon fans, and not just in the U.S. Of course, many will not admit it.

  10. sreynolds Silver badge

    The final solution to the overheating problem.

    The results of the meeting in Wanasee are in, at it would seem that the final solution to the overheating problem is to toss the steaming pile in the trash can.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No Apple fanboi here, but this is a joke compared with the new M1 Mac laptops.

  12. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Etch A Sketch...

    Never has these problems

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