CLAIM OF PRIORITY
This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/011,101 entitled LAPTOP COOLING STAND WITH FAN, filed on Jan. 14, 2008, the teachings of which are incorporated herein by reference.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is generally related to laptop computer accessories, and more particularly to accessories providing cooling of laptop computers.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Laptop and notebook computers, which generally refer to the same device, continue to find increasing acceptance by customers with the numbers of laptop computers sold on an annual basis now exceeding that of PC's in the United States. This is due to several factors, including the price erosion of laptop computers, the increased performance of laptop computers, and the significant improvement in laptop computer displays which now rival the clarity and brightness of monitors typically used with PC's.
Laptop computers can traditionally be operated by placing upon a desk surface or user lap, or any other surface that the user desires. Laptop computers, however, when positioned on a user's lap generates noticeable heat to a user's lap due to the extreme operating temperatures of the circuit components and processors operating within the laptop computer. While some users may provide a pillow or other object between the laptop and the user's lap, such devices reduce the cooling efficiency required by these laptop computers by restricting/preventing air cooling the bottom surface of the laptop computer which is a problem when operated over longer periods of use.
There are now devices on the market that facilitate cooling of the laptop computer when utilized on the user's lap, each which has various attributes and/or limitations including comfort, convenience, bulkiness, portability, and cost.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
The present invention achieves technical advantages as a laptop computer support adapted to comfortably and conveniently rest on a user's lap, which also forms one piece of a laptop support system including a base configured to support the laptop support. The laptop support may simply rest in an inclined position on a user's lap, or alternatively rest on the associated base in a inclined position without having to physically lock the laptop support to the base portion.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a laptop support and associated base portion;
FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 depicting the arched base member and the upwardly extending cradle supporting the laptop support;
FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 depicting the outwardly curved backside of the laptop support, the arched base member, the upwardly extending cradle support, I/O connectors and the closed battery compartment of the laptop support;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with the laptop support member removed from it's associated base member by simply lifting upwardly;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the arched base member including the cradle by itself;
FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the laptop support having a pair of leg supports configured to incline the laptop support at an angle with respect to a support surface, with the rear support extended from an otherwise retracted position; and
FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of the back curved surface of the laptop support with the shorter support being fixed, and the longer support extended from the retracted position.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
Referring now to FIG. 1 there is generally shown at 10 a laptop support system seen to include two separate members, a laptop support member 12 and its associated base support member 14 configured to position the cradle support 12 in an inclined position, as shown. The laptop support 12 is seen to comprise of a generally planar member having a concave central portion 16 with a cooling fan 18 disposed therethrough and configured to blow air upon the lower surface of a laptop computer when situated thereupon. A flat laptop support surface 22 and 24 are disposed on each side of the concave portion 18 disposed therebetween, and ar configured to support and abut the lower surface of a laptop computer (not shown) when disposed thereon. The support surfaces 22 and 24 may comprise of non-slip surfaces, such as rubber, if desired such that the laptop computer does not slide with respect to the cradle support 12 when supported thereon at an angle. Also shown is a base upwardly extending member 30 configured to restrict lateral movement of the laptop computer downwardly when disposed at an angle on laptop support 12. Upwardly extending member 30 is configured to abut the keyboard end of the laptop computer when situated thereupon, and further includes an angled support portion 32 configured to extend back over the lower end of the laptop computer, and may provide a wrist rest if desired. This member 30 is selectively retractable to along the laptop computer to be upwardly removed therefrom.
Also shown in FIG. 1 is the base member 14 configured to rest upon a working surface and having an arched central portion 40 configured to face the support surface in use. Base member 14 is seen to have a first support member 42 proximate the lower portion of laptop support 12 and proximate the upwardly extending member 30, as shown. This support 42 is configured as a first cradle portion, and has a concave upper surface 44 configured to abut and support the lower back surface of laptop support 12, as shown in FIG. 2.
Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a side perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 further illustrating the lower cradle support 42 having it upper concave surface 44 receiving and supporting in a non-slip fashion the lower end of the cradle support 12 in an inclined position. Also shown is a second rear cradle support 46 having a generally U-shape proximate fan 20, and having a height greater than the support 42 such that together the cradle supports 42 and 46 securingly abut and receive the laptop support 12 in a non-slip fashion at an angle which may be 15°, with respect to the surface supporting the base member 14, or any other angle as desired. Advantageously, the distance between the support 42 and 46 provides a space therebetween allowing air to be drawn into the fan 20 from below the laptop support 12 and directed toward the bottom surface of the laptop computer disposed thereupon. In addition, the two cradle supports 42 and 46 take up very little space yet provide the angled support of the laptop support 12, and have an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Also shown is the arched portion 40 of the base member 14 seen to comprise of a generally planar member having an arched portion disposed between a lower short based support member 50 and a longer rear support member 52 which also angle the base member 14 at an angle with respect to the support surface. Together, the base member 14 being inclined with respect to the support surface, and the cradle portions 42 and 46 further inclining the laptop support 12 with respect to the incline base member, achieve a desirable inclination of the laptop support 12 with also an aesthetically pleasing effect.
Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a rear perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 further illustrating the arched base portion 40, and the upwardly extending cradle support members 42 and 46 configured to abut and support in a non-slip fashion the laptop cradle portion 12 in a rested position thereupon. As shown, the rear surface of laptop support 12 is curved outwardly and making planar engagement with the top surface of the support member 42. Fan 20 is seen to be spaced closely proximate and above the U-shaped portion 48 of the rear support 46 to provide easy air flow into the fan 20 without obstruction. Also shown is a retracted laptop support member 60 as will be discussed shortly, and I/O ports 62 which are adapted to receive USB cables or other suitable data cables, as well as input power if desired.
Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown one advantageous feature of the present invention whereby the laptop support 12 can simply be removed upwardly by a user from the upper surface of the base support 42 and 46 without the need to manipulate any mechanisms or unlocking of the laptop support from the base. The laptop support 12 may simply be removed from the base 14, with the laptop supported thereupon if desired such that a user can take the support and the laptop computer to a different location. Also shown at the rear of the support base 14 is upwardly extending arched portions 54 having a slot 56 extending therebetween and an opening 58 configured to receive and secure any cables coupled to the laptop computer, such as a power cable and/or I/O cables configured to connect to I/O connectors 62.
Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown an enlarged view of the base 14 further showing upwardly extending respective supports forming protrusions, each protrusion 64 having a shape forming a key and configured to be received into respective openings 66 on the back side of the cradle support 12, as shown in FIG. 6. These keyed protrusions 64 have a cornered rear portion and a curved front portion, as shown, which shapes are commensurate with the recesses 66 adapted to receive the respective protrusion 64 on the backside of the laptop support 12, as shown in FIG. 6.
Referring now to FIG. 6 there is shown a backside of the laptop support 12 including these recesses 66 each having a shape commensurate with protrusions 64 to securingly receive the respective protrusion 64 on each side of the fan 20. Further shown is the cover of a battery compartment 70 configured to receive batteries for powering the fan 20 without requiring external power or associated cables. However, one of the ports shown at 62 may be dedicated to receiving power to power the fan 20 if desired, or for backup power should the batteries grow weak.
Also shown in FIG. 6 is the extended support member 60, as well as the shorter stationary support member 66 at the opposing end of the laptop support 12, opposite the fan proximate the keyboard portion of the laptop computer when in use. The shorter support 66 is fixed, but could be retractable if desired. The longer support 60, however, is significantly longer than support 66 to incline the laptop support 12 when independently supported on a user's lap, or other surface when used alone without base member 14. Member 60 can be locked in this extended position or unextended position, and selectively unlocked to be retracted into its retracted position as shown in FIG. 3. These supports advantageously allow the laptop support 12 to be used independent of the base, but which do not interfere with the base 14 when supported thereupon in an inclined position.
Referring now to FIG. 7, there is shown a side perspective view of the laptop support 12 showing the laptop support 12 supported on a surface, such as a working surface including a table, or the lap of the user as desired. The laptop support 12 is configured to be angled to provide the laptop computer in an ergonomically convenient position, but also to allow air to flow underneath laptop support 12 and be drawn into the fan 20 and then towards the rear surface of the laptop computer to cool same.
Though the invention has been described with respect to a specific preferred embodiment, many variations and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the present application. It is therefore the intention that the appended claims be interpreted as broadly as possible in view of the prior art to include all such variations and modifications.