How Hot is Your Mini-Notebook? (Literally.)

  • MORE

Mini-notebooks, such as the Eee PC 900 and the HP Mini-Note, could be the hottest things around since those nude pictures of Lindsay Lohan. But how about the real temperature of these little guys? Do they toast your legs while sitting in bed? Do your fingertips get warm while typing on the keyboard?

After some heated time with the HP Mini-Note, I took it upon myself to do some scientific testing of the small systems. Using a Raytek Mini Temp Non-Contact Thermometer Gun—our new favorite toy in the officeI've been testing the heat on four of the most popular mini-notebook models: the Eee PC 900, the Eee PC 701, the Everex CloudBook, and the HP Mini-Note. I also threw in a normal Dell Latitude D630 notebook as a standard laptop variable.

Since laptops have a few different heat-sensitive regions, I took readings on the the underside of the notebook, on the keyboard between the G and H key, and on the touchpad. Each of the readings on the system were taken after the same usage pattern. Our extended usage patterns consisted of three different tasks with the system running on battery power: transferring of 2GB of files from an external USB drive, surfing the Web and playing the same House episode on, and making a Skype video call.

The Hottest Underside?

During my testing of the HP Mini-Note, I noticed that the bottom of the machine, particularly near the back battery, got abnormally hot. The Mini-Note's underside repeatedly came up with a 114-degree Fahrenheit temperature reading near the battery back (in other regions on the bottom it came in at 108 degrees). The Eee PC 4G and 900 came in at 102 and 101 degrees, respectively. The CloudBook returned a 102-degree reading and our non–mini-notebook, the Latitude D630, returned a lower 94 degrees.

We aren't the only ones to notice how hot the bottom the Mini-Note gets. We suggest using a notebook cooling pad, such as the Belkin Cooling Stand, under any of these mini-notebooks if you are wearing a skirt or pair of shorts.

The Hottest Keyboard and Touchpad

The HP Mini-Note's touchpad and keyboard didn't get as hot as its underside. The system's keyboard does warm your fingers but repeatedly read in the 99-degree range. Its touchpad was 95 degrees. However, the Eee PC's small keyboard gets the hottest. Both the Eee PC 4G and the Eee PC 900 (both running Linux) had the hottest keyboards of all the others, hitting 100 degrees every time.

We found similar results with the touchpad. The Eee PC had the hottest touchpad.

Others have agreed with us in saying that, compared with the other models, the Eee PCs keyboard and touchpad get the toastiest. We have noticed this over time but were hoping the Eee PC 900 would have some updated thermals.


So would you base your mini-notebook purchase partly on how hot the system gets? Considering that the Dell Latitude consistently had the lowest temperatures, it's safe to say that any mini-notebook is going to get hotter than a typical notebook. If heat bothers you, you might want to avoid the current generation of mini-notebooks altogether and go for a larger system.

Among mini-notebooks, we can definitively say is that if you don't enjoy having a warm lap, the Eee PC might be more up your alley, but if you're trying to keep your fingers cool, the HP Mini Note is a solid choice. And let's be honest, the CloudBook was never cool in any sense of the word.

Add a comment
  • shell Says:

    I have had the HP mini for a few months now. It does get really hot on the underside. I notice after awhile that it does run slower, but doesn't really cause any issues as of yet. I am wondering if I want to take it in and have it sent in. Ho early a netbook shouldn't be getting this hot. I feel that there will only be a matter of time before it really starts acting up. What does everyone else think?

  • K. T. Bradford Says:

    @Rocky, check out our <a href="" rel="nofollow">Laptop Heat Survival Guide</a>, as the answer you're looking for can be found there. Particularly <a href="" rel="nofollow">this article</a>.

  • Rocky Says:


    I am planning to buy HP Mini 210 series after going through many Notebooks from different brands. But this series got on issue i.e HEAT.

    My doubts are Does this heat effects the Performance of the Notebook?
    Does this Heat creates problems for hardware in future?

    Thank you

  • Nilo Says:

    After upgrading my HP Mini to Windows 7, I found a HUGE difference in heat, I can barely touch the bottom of the netbook!

    Have anyone else noticed this in Windows 7 ??

  • dell mini notebook skins Says:

    Isn't there any software which will control the cpu speed and monitors temperature also ??

  • Too Says:

    Hi Henry Hill,
    There is no way to reduce heat for HP Mini but you can use notebook cooler to help. It is best to use in the air con room only actually.

  • Henry Hill Says:

    Please suggest how to reduce such heat for HP Mini. I am fed up using it for more then 30 minute on my lap. Pretty hot. Thanks.

  • diddle Says:

    sorry, already done, just bumped into the Targus Chill Mat laptop cooling pad which runs off usb!

  • diddle Says:

    i'm suprised, never considered that the top could get that hot! this eee900linux is pretty chilled, a bit of a shock from the bottom sometimes but only when the vent's been covered! the keypad or touchpad have never gotten hot enough to mention, maybe it was just a particularly hot episode...

    still, don't know why there's not many contributors to these comments here, is nobody concerned about burnout? i was hoping there would be a market for cooling bases to put laptops on for prolonged home or office use, "coolpads"?

  • Harry Says:

    i have an MSI wind.
    no heat problems for me.
    I have never heard the fan start up.

  • gordon Says:

    meant to say though the bottom does not get as hot as many other laptops i have used, but it is warm.

  • gordon Says:

    I have an eee pc 900 i have windows xp installed and crammed ith apps (Visual studio 2005, office 2007 etc) it works great but you really notice the heat. they keyboard is fine as your fingers dont spend so long in cotact with the keys and they dont consuct too much. the track pad is annoying though, it conducts heat better than the rest of the case and you have your fingers in contact with it for long times (rubbing across the surface too!). i dont think its going to burn me but it is uncomfortable and feels way to close to physically damaging temperatures for this part of a consumer product. It is so hot that recentlly when i had a small cut on my first finger i could not use it as it was just too sore! - seems petty but it ws really annoying.

    have to say though it is an amazing machine and i would not give it up for that! I cant beleive how well it runs! - just make sure you have a mouse with you whenever possible!

  • chris Says:

    I have an old Dell x300. Love the size, but you could fry an egg on the bottom some times. I wonder if all that heat can be damaging the inside motherboard/cpu?

  • Noncomformist Says:

    the macbooks get really hot too. I have a macbook pro and the thing is hotter than the eee 4g or my 4 yr old toshiba. I appreciate the design, I think its a beautiful machine, but its not build to dissipate heat.

  • Smashworth Says:

    You can sit in a hot tub around 103 or 104 degrees for a long time and you won't suffer any ill effects. So I don't think any of the contact temperatures are a problem except for the Mini-Note, which will hurn your bare skin at 114 and be very unconfortable on your pants or skirt.

    It's amazing to me that the Mini-Note gets so hot with its truly terrible and underpowered processor.

  • Mike Cane Says:

    Not having used any of these for an extended period of time, I'm wondering if anyone is experiencing any actual burning sensations on their fingertips, or even blistering. Repeated and long contact like that can't be good!

  • Josh Says:

    How about internal temps? That would be interesting to see as well.

  • jkkmobile Says:

    Eee PC XP owners should install eeectl software.
    It can control the cpu, screen brightness and cooling better than Asus's own software. hot keyboards here ;)

Back to top