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Antec Laptop Cooler Review

skinny    -   May 18, 2006


Installation
Installation is simple. Remove the power cord from the storage area on the bottom of the cooler by pressing on the tab that is labeled "Push". Remove the cord, replace the storage area cover, and plug the DC plug into the left side of the cooler. Place the cooler on a firm, stable surface in an area where the vents on the cooler are not blocked. Place your notebook computer onto the aluminum surface of the cooler, and ensure that the rubber feet of the computer are located on the surface of the cooler. This can be difficult depending on the location of the laptops feet because of the non-rectangular shape of the cooler. Making sure that the feet of the computer are on the cooler will ensure a gap between the cooler and the computer, allowing for efficient air flow. Once you have the Laptop sitting on the cooler, plug the USB end of the power cord into an available USB jack on your laptop. Another USB device can then be plugged into the pass-through USB plug; however, due to the draw of the cooler, any additional device using this plug can not require more than 0.1 Amps of current, or 0.5 Watts of power. As soon as the computer is powered on, the fans will be running. You can then adjust the fan speed between the two settings.


Specifications

  • Size - 33 x 28.4 x 2.2 cm (13"x11.2"x0.8")
  • Weight - 720 g (1.6 lbs)
  • USB power cable length - 38.1 cm (15")
  • Voltage - 5 Volt DC
  • Current - 0.31 A / 0.45 A
  • Power Consumption - 1.55 W / 2.25 W
  • Fans - 2 x 80 mm
  • Fan Speed - 1350/1800 RPM average
  • Airflow - 8.5/13 CFM
  • Acoustic Noise - 23/27 dBA
  • Warranty - 3 years

Testing
After years of using my laptop for everything from photo-editing to gaming to watching DVD's, I have found that watching DVD movies causes the computer to run the hottest. To verify running temperatures, a Raytek infra-red temp meter was used. Temperatures were obtained by slowly scanning the entire surface area of the top (keyboard area) and bottom of the laptop, as well as the surface of the desk where the cooler was sitting. Temperatures were taken prior to turning the computer on, and then at half hour intervals until the temperatures appeared to have stabilized. A DVD movie was then started, and the half hour tests continued until temperatures stabilized, at which time the cooler was plugged in on the highest setting, and temperatures were again taken every half hour. The computer was allowed to idle for 3 hours after the DVD ended, and temperatures were again taken to see what the temperatures would stabilize at. The lowest and highest temperature readings were taken at each interval.

Testing Setup

  • Dell Inspiron 1100
  • Pentium 4 2.2 GHz
  • 15" XGA display
  • 512 MB of SDRAM
  • 30 GB Ultra ATA hard drive
  • 24x CD-RW/DVD drive

The cooler was placed onto a standard wooden desk top with no additiona; fans set anywhere. The room was at a comfortable room temperature, with no noticeable air currents to alter the cooler's efficiency.

Results

Readings were taken at half hour intervals. At the 90 minute point, the DVD was started and at the 150 minute mark, the cooler was turned on. After obtaining three hours worth of reading, I allowed the system to idle for another three hours to check what the standard idle temperature would be.

All temps are in Degrees Celsius



  Top surface temp Bottom surface temp Desk temp
Start (power off) 22.5 22.9 22.1
30 min (running, no DVD, no cooler) 28.8 28.0/34.4 26.4/28.6
60 min (running, no DVD, no cooler) 27.8/33.2 28.4/36.7 26.2/29.3
90 min (DVD started, no cooler) 27.8/33.2 26.3/41.4 25.7/32.3
120 min (DVD running, no cooler) 29.6/34.4 27.3/43.8 25.3/32.1
150 min (DVD running, cooler on) 26.6/31.8 25.7/34.4 26.4/28.4
180 min (DVD running, cooler on) 27.7/31.2 24.7/35.9 26.9/28.3
3 hours running, no DVD, cooler on 24.3/27.1 24.6/30.1 25.6/26.1













Looking at these numbers, one can see that while the cooler has limited effects on the temperature of the top surface (approximately 3-4 degrees cooler between DVD / no-DVD, and no-DVD / system idle), it has a much more significant effect on the bottom of the computer and the desk surface. The maximum temperature of the bottom surface of the computer was brought down by approximately 8 degrees while the DVD was operating, and approximately 6 degrees while the system was idling. Desk surface temperatures were reduced between 2-4 degrees in these same comparisons.




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Installation, Specifications, & Testing
  3. Conclusion
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