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January 22, 2004

Laptop Cooler Pad

One of the cooling fans on my PIECE OF SHIT Dell 8200 Inspiron Laptop has stopped working and the other fan is whining and constantly gets stuck. At times it sounds like an asthmatic wheezing for air! To make matters worse, when the fan stops the damn laptop will often overheat and shut down without any notice. redupset.gif

I'm anxiously waiting for Sager to release the 8790 laptop and there are lots of rumors about delays. So preparing for the worse case scenario I figured I better do something to keep the Dell working for now.

I've seen a few laptop cooling pads in various catalogs before but most didn't seem to look that rugged. I knew I didn't want one made from plastic because I've heard they bend and can even crack if picked up with the laptop on it.

picture of Laptop Cooler PadLast week I found the Aluminum Notebook Cooler, USB 2.0 4 Port Hub offered by X-tremegeek. It look to be just what I wanted so I quickly placed an order for it.

6 days and 11 unexpected shutdowns later, it finally arrived this morning and I've got a chance to take some pictures and test it out.

The aluminum body is very ridged and supports the laptop very well. Being aluminum it acts as a passive heat sync and can help cool the bottom of the laptop on its own. Rubber pads are installed on the bottom of the pad to protect your table's surface and additional rubber pads are included to install on the top of the pad if your laptop doesn't sit on the pad evenly on its own.

The fans are SUPER quiet and there is no discernible vibration, but I thought that they spinned pretty slow. To be truthful I didn't think they would even move enough air to do anything. This however is not the case, they actually do a great job! In my tests they cooled down the surface temperature of the bottom of my laptop in thirty minutes by 14 degrees Fahrenheit. For the test I played a DVD movie which usually causes my laptop to quickly overheat and shutdown unexpectedly. I've been able to play the move twice without any shutdowns. Just out of curiosity I removed the cooling pad and played the movie for a third time and without the pad in place the laptop shutdown about 25 minutes into it.

The fans can operate by being powered by a free USB port on the laptop or you can use the included AC adapter (which also powers the USB hub.)

The 4 port high speed USB Hub is very convenient and can optionally be self powered. I plugged in my Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer, Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite, and Iogear 8 led USB light. All worked as expected when powered by AC or just the port on the laptop.

The pad's fans are installed to blow air toward the bottom of the laptop. If your laptop has exhaust ports on the bottom you can easily unscrew them and flip them around to drawn the air away. You can also easily replace the fans with faster (and presumably louder) fans if you wanted since they use standard 3pin plugs.

I have no hesitation recommending this cooling pad and hub.

Posted in Product Reviews & Purchases by usrbingeek at 2004-01-22 14:01 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink


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