Antec Notebook Cooler 200 Review

Propane - 2008-11-05 17:06:29 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: Propane   
Reviewed on: November 25, 2008
Price: $59.99

Introduction:

Laptops are getting more and more popular, especially at institutions for higher learning and with business people that are on the go. As the popularity of laptops rise, so does the demand for accessories and computer companies have taken notice of this trend. One of the many popular laptop accessories are laptop coolers. These are typically designed as a pad that the laptop can then sit on top of, to provide extra airflow to the chassis. While this typically only helps the laptop cool when it is on a desk and not when it is mobile, they can still be an important accessory to lengthen the laptop's life and increase the laptop's performance.

The laptop cooler that we are going to take a look at today is the Antec Notebook Cooler 200. This cooler features a giant USB powered fan set on a slightly raised platform. Unlike most laptop coolers, it is designed in such a way that the cooling benefits can be received even when the laptop is on your lap. The look, which we will look at in depth in the next section, is very sleek and aesthetic. Enough about the generics though, let's dive in.

 

Closer Look:

 

The Antec notebook cooler comes in pretty standard packaging consisting of a cardboard box and plastic carrying handle. This combination is pretty common in the computer world and isn't the first laptop cooler I have seen packaged this way. On the front is a nice large picture of the actual cooler, giving you a feel for its size and the size of its fan. The back of the box lists the Notebook Cooler 200's specifications and features in English, Spanish, and French.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The box opens in somewhat of a clamshell format and reveals the cooler sitting protected in a foam casing. There is also a small form that Antec placed on top of the cooler.

 

Pulling the cooler out of the foam shows the device as it will be used. There is a protective plastic film over the four corners of the cooler. The four raised platforms are to support the laptop and allow airflow to move rather than stay static and offer no benefit. As an added bit of bling the platforms are reflective. The fan used in this laptop cooler is 200mm in size and is a dual speed fan. On the high setting it turns at a low 600 RPM and pushes 115 CFM, on the low setting 88CFM and 400 RPM are the fan's specifications. With such a large fan you have to wonder about the noise factor, between 23.8 and 27.1dBA, respectivey, between the high and low fan speed settings.

 

 

On the back of the cooler is the USB plug, which is hardwired to the body (a nice feature since you wont be able to lose the cable used to power the fan and LEDs) underneath the two switches. The switch on the left is used to change the fan speed between high and low settings and to turn the LEDs on or off.

 

Specifications:

Rated Voltage
DC 5V
Operating Voltage
5V ± 10%
Start Voltage
4V

Air Flow - At rated voltage zero static pressure (minimal value)

3.27 m³ / min (115.7CFM) & 2.49m³ / min (87.9CFM)
Static Pressure - At rated voltage At zero air flow
0.55 mm-H2O (0.021inch-H2O) & 0.246 mm-H2O (0.009inch-H2O)
Input Current (Max.)
0.4A & 0.3A

Speed (Max.)

600RPM±150 & 400RPM±150
Acoustical Noise
27.1 dBA & 23.8 dBA
Input Power
2W & 1.4W
Life - Continuous operating under normal temperature (25 °C or 77 °F)
50,000 hours

 

Features:

Testing:

To test the Antec Notebook Cooler 200, I simply placed my laptop on the cooler to test the cooler and used the laptop on my desk as a control. I then let the laptop do nothing but run a temperature monitor to find the temperature of both my CPU and GPU cores. This was repeated on the cooler and on the desk. To get load temperatures, I chose to run World of Warcraft, which has always made my laptop run very hot as it stresses not only the CPU, but the GPU as well. Again, this was repeated on the cooler and the desk.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Coolers:

As the results below show, the cooler did help with temperatures across the board. The first set of graphs shows the idle temperatures of the CPU and GPU. The second set of graphs shows the load temperatures of the CPU and GPU. Again, to load the CPU and GPU, I will use the popular MMO game, World of Warcraft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the above graphs, lower values are better and temperatures are reported in degrees Celsius. As you can see the temperatures have fallen when the laptop is placed on the cooler, a good thing for sure. However, there are some features of the cooler that can't be represented by numbers, such as its looks, the noise it creates, and the amount of power it pulls. These factors have produced a good lasting impression on me. The blue LEDs on the fan produce a pleasing glow that isn't overpowering and even on the high fan setting, the noise is at a bearable level. Also, the fan and LED combination pull around 400mA, a small amount that most USB buses will be able to handle.

The one disappointing feature of the Antrec Notebook Cooler 200 is the lack of a USB hub. Since USB ports are limited on many notebooks, having an extra set on the back of a cooler can prove to be very helpful. While not a deal breaker, it still is a little disappointing.

 

Conclusion:

The Antec Notebook Cooler 200 has one of the largest fans I have seen in a computer cooling device and that large fan lives up to its looks. With impressive cooling power, the Notebook Cooler 200 definitely deserves high marks. Also, between the mirror panels and the blue glow that you can turn on around the fan, the aesthetics of the cooler are also very nice. Another bonus of the large fan size is the softer and lower fan noise that the cooler makes when the fan is turned on. Even at the high setting, the amount of noise emitted by the cooler is minimal and did not annoy me at all. Additionally, the design that allows this cooler to be used either on a desk or on your lap is genius. Most laptop coolers feel very uncomfortable when they are used on your lap and having one that can be used in such a way is awesome, especially with the super hot laptops that seem to be flooding the market now. The only downside to the cooler is its lack of USB ports, which isn't a deal breaker, but would have been a nice addition to an already great product.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: