First, thank you to those who commented on my last post! OMG my first comments!! So exciting.
My job revolves around resolving computer and device problems. I have seen many devices fail due to poor case design, using a device while in its case, or leaving a device on while it is put away.
Heat can be a problem with any mobile device. It can cause harddrive failures and processor/motherboard malfunctions. These can cause loss of data or even total device failure- an expensive proposition for a new device! Most warranties do not cover heat related damage.
The configuration of most laptops limits air flow through the body of the computer, resulting in an average internal running temperature of 98-115 degrees; many models run even hotter! Most laptop case designers keep this in mind while engineering laptop cases. But did you know that your tablet or phone can produce a similar amount of heat? Check out CNet's article about iPad 3's external temperature: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57401047-37/confirmed-new-ipads-heat-a-non-issue/ . In this article, they look at the external temperature of the iPad 3 and a few laptop models, confirming that in general, the iPad does not run "too hot". But with an external running temp of between 80-90 degrees, an iPad can get toasty really fast. Often, cases can make the problem even worse! When making a case for your mobile device, here are some tips to keep running temperatures at a minimum.
Things to Avoid When Making a Mobile Device Carrier
1. Extra Padding
We want to protect our devices, but padding can trap heat against the body of your device. Skip the quilt batting for Insul-Bright or similar batting, making sure the silvery part is facing away from the device. This adds a bit of support to the case but also reflects additional heat.
2. Mobile Device "Bags"
Sleeves, wallets, and socks do not allow sufficient airflow for your mobile device to cool off during use or in a hot area. Avoid this design unless you will be turning your device off (not hibernate) whenever it is stored.
3. Covering Ventilation
Do not under any circumstance cover ventilation holes with your case- most ventilation is both air intake and output. Ventilation is most often found around the edges of a mobile device.
I want to emphasize that the prettiest pattern when crafting your case may look awesome, but may damage your (very expensive) hardware. Keep these things in mind when designing your cool new case!