I know that now it’s too early to talk about features request for possible new laptop models that haven’t even been announced or confirmed, but you probably are already gathering some ideas about and I’m scared to miss the right moment to suggest this, so here I am.
What am I asking for? Simply a button (maybe near the power one, or on the other side of the chassis) that when pressed it set any fan of the laptop to their maximum speed, ignoring any logic/fan curve they would have followed otherwise(and return to that logic when the button is pressed again). Most importantly, this button MUST work directly via the mobo firmware, not through the os.
Why is this something useful? I’d never thought about something like this if it wasn’t for my current laptop that has this exact feature and I love it so much. First of all, in more powerful machine it is easy that they get hot and a fan curve isn’t exactly what do you need to take care of it all the time. For example you want to move the laptop from a desk to your legs: the fan curve usually balance thermals and noise, but in this case you’re a usually willing to sacrifice silence in order to get the better possible temps in case you are running highly demanding task on the computer. Another possibile use case would be that you want to cool down the pc as soon as possible after an heavy task (maybe again because you want to move it on your lap), and the fan curve does that too slowly. In such situations the other alternative would be to manually tweak the curve fan (probably from the bios) every time, but this requires at least to reboot your machine, or to use a software that allows you to control the fan speed (but you would lose the ability to control it by a button). And this move us to the next point: why should this button works directly via firmware instead of passing through the os? The reason is that is much more reliable in this way. Don’t have to rely on the os allow you to use this feature every time you would need it: for example you are running a task that consume most of the memory available making the os very unresponsive until it completes and so you can simple press a button that instantly turn on the fans. Another use case that happed to me is while working on something at low level (like a kernel module, a bootloader or an init system on Linux) and you don’t have access to GUI or even a terminal.
Finally, let’s about this button more generally: using it for controlling the fans is how I’d use it most of the time, but this is not the only way to use it. It would be possible to assign to such a button(s) different effects directly from the bios: it could be used to turn off the screen without making the pc to sleep (I don’t think this is possible on windows without any third party program), to reset the machine, to be exposed to the os as a macro button (and then using a software on the os to configure the macro) or even as a media key. Moreover, if, as I understood, you are willing to move to an open source firmware like coreboot, this would allow anyone to code its own preferred functionality.