When I first started to write for Associated Content I used two notebook computers and had my own solutions for keeping my portable computers cool and happy. Now I bring you some low cost solutions from Antec, EverCool and Thermaltake that not only keep your computer cool and happy but are inexpensive.
I test four products that are quite portable and easy to use from Antec, EverCool and Thaermaltake. To test the cooling prowess of these three notebook coolers I let the notebook sit on the device and watched a movie while recording the temperatures using Speedfan. The ambient room temperature in all these tests stayed the same so I had consistent results for all the testing.
EverCool likes to name things and in that same style they bring you Magic. A notebook cooling solution that is very portable and easily fits into a notebook bag or backpack. The Magic is a small fan that clips onto most any notebook exhaust area to provided extra air movement out of the notebook heat sink area.
Inside your notebook on one side will be a heat sink and fan that conducts heat away from your CPU and blows that hot air out of your notebook. On the side of your note book will be the exhaust area that usually has small bars spaced evenly in a row. EverCool has thought up an ingenious way to help blow this hot air away form the inside of your computer that hooks onto these small bars.
The EverCool Magic uses two small hooks that clip onto the small bars and holds on using spring tension. There is also a wheel to adjust the hooks in and out so that it snugs the Magic fan against the side of the notebook. I found the more modern notebooks to have the correct bar spacing that hooks the Magic fan on correctly. I have an older notebook that this would not connect onto correctly but I still could get it to work by hooking on one side and snugging the fan down with the tightening knob.
The Magic fan has two speeds for less noise or better cooling and connects to your USB connector. The cord has a small cord keeper that retracts the cord onto the spool so you don’t have the cord in your way while working. You do have to make sure your notebook is compatible with the Magic fan as some exhaust fan setups will not work with the Magic.
I ran my notebook computer for over a half hour using the Magic and received two to three degrees of lower temperatures. I tried this on two notebook computers and still found only a couple of degrees of cooling benefits. This may not be a great solution but for a small fan that can fit into a small pouch that comes with and carry along with your notebook it does help some.
Antec manufactures notebook and computer cooling solutions as well as computer cases and power supplies. Two notebook cooling items that work very well are the Antec Notebook cooler and Notebook Cooler S. The Notebook Cooler is a notebook pad that has two fans inside the cooler that blows air from the bottom of the notebook and forces it out the bottom of the cooler. This means that there are two fans inside the Notebook Cooler that need to be properly positioned below the hot spots of your notebook for the cooler to work properly.
If you look at the bottom of your notebook and the top of the cooler and match the spot on your notebook with the vents to one of the fans you get the maximum cooling effect. I found out that positioning is important when using the Antec Notebook Cooler. The Notebook Cooler plugs into your USB connection and the little blue LED shows its working. There is a high and low setting on the side of the cooler by the LED and plug in to control the amount of cooling.
In using the Notebook Cooler I found that positioning made all the difference and this cooler was pretty good. While watching a movie, I love my job, I saw a five to six degree lower temperature difference. This is very much dependant on the fact that you position the notebook correctly on the cooler and that the cooler is on a flat and sturdy surface like a desk. You should not use your lap or a bed as they material and uneven surface may block the fan slots on the sides and bottom of the cooler.
The Antec Notebook Cooler S is a smaller cooler then the Notebook Cooler but has two fans just like its larger cousin. The Notebook Cooler S connects to your notebook using a USB cable and also has an LED light and a high low setting. The Notebook Cooler S has two rubber pads that you rest your notebook on and have the cooler positioned under the front side of your computer where the lid hinges on the base. This allows a space under your notebook that the cooler pushes cool room air into to help cool your notebooks bottom.
The Notebook Cooler S is a great and even more portable solution to help keep your notebook cooler and does not take as great care for positioning. I found that the Notebook Cooler S kept my notebook 4 to 5 degrees cooler than just sitting on my desk. The Notebook Cooler S is a great and handy way to keep your notebook cool when your away from home or the office. Just whip it out, plug in the USB cable and set your notebook on the two rubber pads.
Overall I was not very impressed with the Magic from EverCool, one or two degrees of cooling is just not enough to help much. The Magic does limit the type of notebook you can use it on but it is a very portable solution.
The Antec Notebook Cooler is a great cooling pad and does cool a notebook computer down sufficiently. It does take some positioning when you set your portable computer on it to make sure you have the maximum benefits of the cooler.
I also got to test a completely different notebook computer cooling solution from Thermaltake. The iXoft Notebook Pad is a great idea and takes your notebook back to the days when they were called laptops. The iXoft is a fabric pad with a Sodium Sulfate Decahydrate crystal inside that pulls heat away from your notebbok. The crystals have a low melting point, around 33 degrees celsius, so they melt when your laptop sits on it. They are inside the pad so they will not make a mess but the melting action pulls heat away from the top of the pad and transfers it away from your notebook.
This is extremely useful for using your notebook computer on your lap as the pad is very confortable with a corduroy fabric on the bottom and a nice tight woven material on the top. Your notebook sits directly on the top with no worry about space between the vents and the pad surface. The pad will absorb heat even if it blocks the vents. I sat the pad and notebook on my lap and watched a movie for a half hour with no discomfort what so ever.
The Thermaltake iXoft notebook cooling pad is a great way to cool your notebook and a convenient easy to store solution for portable cooling. I saw a three to four degree cooling when using the Thermaltake iXoft on both my lap as well as sitting the pad and notebook on my desk and bed. The iXoft works equally well on uneven surfaces such as a bed or couch and would be ideal for traveling such as on a train or plane.
The Thermaltake iXoft is the best cooler of this testing as it was easy to use with no positioning and saw almost the same cooling benefits as the others. The notebooks I used fit nicely on it and I tried three different types and sizes of notebook with the same cooling benefits.
I highly recommend the Thermaltake iXoft, Antec Notebook Cooler and Notebook Cooler S as great cooling solutions each with their own unique design and convenience. I cannot really recommend the EverCool Magic as it just did not do the job I thought it might.