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 Post subject: Antec Designer Notebook Cooler
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1803
Location: Northern New Jersey
Antec page: http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjIxMQ==

It's pretty standard, it does elevate the laptop well, however I'm afraid it may be outperformed by my $25 Targus one.

Because of the Apple design, my Powerbook G4 essentially uses the bottom case shell as the heatsink, as the 1.67GHz Motorola CPU is on the bottom of the PCB, along with the ATI Radeon 9600 128MB. These two chips on the bottom COOK!

Nearly every laptop cooler I have seen has the fan blowing air away from the laptop cooler. This wasn't something I was initially concerned with, I just needed something to tame the flame of my Powerbook, and for many users not hopping onto the i5 and i7 laptops, laptop coolers need to be taken seriously.

1) Have the cooler blow air towards the bottom of the laptop. I'm not sure how else that can be said. Look at standard CPU heatsinks. How do they work? They blow air down towards the heat source, not try to pull that away. Granted, this is changed with tower heatsinks, it's still important to note that the principal isn't that different with laptops.

2) Angle is everything. My cheap Targus notebook cooler has about a 15 degree angle, using simple rubber feet to prop up the laptop in the back. This is a very effective, no-slip design. The Antec doesn't have this, and for most laptops that have large rubber feet on the bottom, it's not a problem, but the Apple ones have these little obnoxious feet on them, and while this does not seem to slip at all, the thought still remains. A non-slip finish would have made this cooler 1000x better.

3) Noise. I'll be honest, this is a forum for silent computing. Even though laptops have fans, laptop coolers can help reduce the noise by keeping your laptop at a constant operating temperature which will minimize fan utilization which could be loud. Compared to the Targus cooler I have, this one seems to perform somewhat poorly. If my laptop is screaming hot, I can put the Targus cooler under it, and in 5 minutes or less, my laptop IS cool again. This Antec Designer, not so much. It has a constant, smooth, low tone, which isn't obtrusive, but still present over a laptop, however the airflow that seems to kick out the back is poorly focused, and while many laptop manufacturers use different designs, this central fan idea doesn't seem to work out that well. Unfortunately, for the PPC based Mac, there is no temperature monitoring tool I can use, I can just go by what feels hot, warm or cool. Putting this hot laptop on the cooler resulted in a long cool down time, of 10+ minutes. After having the cooler under my laptop for about 2.5 hours, it seems to be keeping things steadily cool however, so maybe it's just a blind fact I'm stating without intense testing.

Overall, the cooler looks stunning. It's "first-day" performance is somewhat lacking, but in all honesty, I did leave my aluminum laptop in the car for 7 hours, and it was 85 degrees and muggy outside where I am today. It felt like it was on fire after watching a movie and browsing the internet, however the cooler does seem to be breaking in I suppose.

It could have a USB hub and I would be happy also, as my Powerbook has only 2 USB ports, one on each side. I don't use an external mouse or keyboard or monitor, so I suppose it could be worse though.

The best thing about this laptop cooler though, is how the USB hub tucks into it's bottom. This hopefully means I wont have to deal with a bad USB cable ever, and while it's in transit anywhere, it's one less cable flying around that will inevitably get tangled with everything else.

To sum things up:

I have a bag designated for all of my laptop gear. In it, I have the following:
-USB Mouse (for emergency situations only, I'm fine with a trackpad)
-Ethernet cable
-USB cable for my phone
-DVI to VGA adapter
-Mag-Safe adapters for the Apple Power brick to be either wall-wart or 6' grounded cable
-Flash drive (also for emergency situations, only 512mb)
-Antec Designer Notebook Cooler

Yes, I will be including this with my laptop wherever I go from now on. It seems to not drain the battery any more than having the screen brightness turned up, it's manageable (although it does look a bit large, being for 15" laptops) and most of all, it's tough. The Targus cooler fell short on this one. Several of the rubber feet on the bottom have disappeared already, making it something I don't want to keep on a tempered glass desk, much less a wooden table top surface.

While I can complain about many features, it's not just this laptop cooler, it's all of them. The design of this cooler is well thought out, and does a great job. The price range is a bit on the high side, $39.95 makes it seem like an Apple Product, where $500 goes into that apple logo, and the other $500 goes into the product itself, but the cooler is tough.

Would I recommend this to someone else? That's possibly the hardest question you could ask. I don't know yet. It does a decent job, but unless someone is die-hard Antec, I'm not sure this is one I would say someone should go out and buy.

*Yes, this is more of an editorial, but I think all aspects needed addressing. No, I don't have a million pictures of it, but the pictures on Antec's site are good enough. I will put up a couple of it cooling my laptop soon though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am
Posts: 2131
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
I'd pretty much agree with all of that.

It works perfectly with my wife's old Dell Latitude D610, but my Latitude E6500 widescreen is too wide for this cooler to work well without slipping off the cooler. The feet on my laptop are on the outside edges and with the cupped design of the cooler and the smaller dimensions of the cooler make it not the best fit.

My wife loves it though...

Even with the poor fit, it does a pretty respectable job. My laptop only really heats up when plugged in and evacuating the heat building up on the bottom does work well. Also, not worrying about blocking any intakes is great.

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