Xclio Hovercraft Notebook Cooler Review

Propane - 2010-04-10 09:56:16 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: Propane   
Reviewed on: June 23, 2010
Price: $49.99

Introduction:

As laptops get more and more advanced and start heading towards the desktop replacement for some people, they also produce more and more heat. This problem is made even more apparent for people who play games or do other intensive tasks, like folding@home, on their laptops. To combat this trend, many manufacturers are coming out with new laptop coolers to raise and increase airflow around the bottom of the laptop. One company that has been making laptop coolers for some time, however, is Xclio, and today I am looking at their Hovercraft cooler, an offering that looks pretty heavy duty.

 

Closer Look:

The packaging that the Hovercraft comes in is pretty standard, having the "cardboard latch" keeping it closed and the hinged opening. On the front of the box is just a graphic of the device as well as the company's name and product title. The back of the box has Specifications, Features, and several more product images. Opening the box reveals that the Hovercraft is encased in foam to ensure its safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Few items come with the Hovercraft, but this is fine as not many are needed for a simple device such as a notebook cooler. What is included is a direction sheet and a USB to mini USB to power the fans.

 

Closer Look:

The Xclio Hovercraft's design is fairly standard as far as notebook coolers go. From the top, the two main colors are visible, black and silver. There are vents on the front and back, and the vents under the laptop have a set of slats directing the airflow while the intake vents have a mesh covering to prevent anything from getting sucked in through the fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A slanted surface is provided to place your laptop on with vents on the bottom to allow air to be pulled under the notebook by the fans on the back. The bottom has a felt feeling to it which should help keep it from slipping on desk surfaces.

 

 

Also, there is a mini-USB connector on each side to allow for multiple laptop designs where there might only be one set of USB ports on one side.

 

With the laptop on the cooler, it looks pretty much as expected. The cooler is long enough for a much larger laptop than my 15" MacBook Pro and tilts the laptop up a considerable amount.

 

Specifications:

Dimension:
446 x 128 x 39mm (W/D/H)
Weight:
510g
Fan Dimension:
40 x 40 x 10mm (W/D/H)
Fan Bearing Type:
Sleeve bearing
Fan Speed:
3600± 10% RPM
Fan Airflow:
11.62CFM
Fan Noise Level:
25.0Dba (Max)
Rated Voltage:
0.28A
Power:
USB 5V
Connector:
USB 2.0/1.1
Material:
ABS plastic and metal meshed grill

 

Features:

 

Product Specifications & Features taken from back of packaging materials, April 17, 2010.

Testing:

To test the Xclio Hovercraft Notebook Cooler, I used it in conjunction with my Macbook Pro. For a control I am using the laptop sitting on my desk, then, I am letting the laptop run in an idle state while running a temperature monitoring application (iStat Pro) to get both my CPU and GPU temperatures. This was repeated with the cooler and the control. To get load temperatures, I chose to run World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, which stresses the hardware of my Macbook Pro, generating heat. Again, this was repeated on the cooler and on the desk. The results from this testing will be specific to a Macbook Pro, but other laptops should provide similar results.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Coolers:

 

The results below show that the Xclio Hovercraft does a very nice job at cooling off my MacBook Pro.

 

 

Lower numbers are better.

The Hovercraft is one of the better performing coolers of the group, especially at idle where there is more temperature variation.

Conclusion:

The Xclio Hovercraft is a pretty solid notebook cooler, providing strong cooling benefits as well as ergonomic benefits. The six fans allow for a good deal of airflow through the cooler and under the laptop. The Hovercraft can be powered through a USB port on either side of the cooler but cannot function as a USB HUB. While operating, the fans in the Hovercraft have a blue glow that is not very noticeable. The fans are a single color and cannot be changed to any other color. The largest drawback is also one of its strengths. The Hovercraft has a large footprint that allows the cooler to easily outperform the no cooler at all results and deliver temperatures that are in the middle of the pack. The large size delivers the added bonus of angling the keyboard to both raise the screen height and improve the ergonomics to help prevent prevent eye and back strain when slouching over the laptop. If you are limited in terms of desk space, the Hovercraft is probably not the right choice for you. Overall, this is a very nice cooler, and as long as you don't mind blue LEDs or the functionality of a large cooler, it would be a nice choice as a laptop cooler.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: