Let’s face it. Laptops just aren’t really laptops these days. Many laptops can get too hot to be comfortable on your lap. So to cool things down a bit, we have Antec’s Notebook Cooler and Notebook Cooler to go.
“Antec, Inc., is the leading global brand of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) markets. Founded in 1986, Antec is recognized as a pioneer in these industries and has maintained its position as a worldwide market leader and international provider of efficient, quiet, and reliable products. Antec has also achieved great success in the distribution channel, meeting the demands of quality-conscious system builders, VARs and integrators.”
First, we’ll take a look at the normal Notebook Cooler. This notebook cooling pad is powered by USB and even sports a pass-through connector so you can still use the USB port into which the notebook cooler is plugged. This is a great feature especially for those who have limited USB ports on their laptops, which is a very popular issue among laptop owners. Antec is often noted for how quiet their products are and this cooling pad is no exception, even despite it having two fans.
Antec definitely has a knack for good design and the Notebook Cooler is just another great testament to their ability to make products that are visually appealing. On top of the Notebook Cooler we find an aluminum cover featuring holes to allow for air flow all over the cooling pad. One great advantage to an aluminum surface is the ability of the aluminum to help conduct the heat away from the laptop. Also included are four rubber feet which go in holes on the corners of the notebook cooler. Unfortunately, my MacBook isn’t large enough to sit on all four feet and remain stable. I’d like to see Antec add some more holes to put the rubber feet in so the notebook cooler can be used with a larger variety of laptops.
Taking a look at the bottom of the cooler, we find the air outtake and a little compartment to hold the USB cable when the notebook cooler is not in use. On the left side is the power adapter port, a speed setting switch (high or low), and a bright blue LED which shines rather brightly when the cooling pad is on. Thankfully the LED is placed so that it can only be seen when looking under the side of the cooling pad, though it can be a pain to be half-blinded when trying to find the speed switch.
Testing and Performance
All of the tests were done using a MacBook with a 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a Dell Inspiron 640m with a 1.4 GHz Intel Centrino. During our tests on both laptops the Notebook Cooler effectively decreased the temperature by an average of 10° C. At certain times the temperature decreased up to 15° C on the high setting.
At prices as low as $20, the Antec Notebook Cooler brings a lot of bang for the the buck. Just be sure to make note of the dimensions of your laptop to make sure this cooling pad will fit correctly. This cooler is not recommended for Macbooks as they are a bit too small, though the Macbook Pro will fit perfectly. Hopefully Antec will take note of this and resolve the sizing issue in a future revision to the product. Other than the couple minor issues noted above, we found the Antec Notebook Cooler to be a very good laptop cooling pad.
Antec Notebook Cooler
Now that we’ve taken a look at Antec’s full-size cooling pad, we’ll change our focus to the Notebook Cooler to go. The Notebook Cooler to go is aimed more towards the frequent-traveling laptop user. At less than half the size of Antec’s full-blown notebook cooler, this little cooling pad is quite well at doing the same job as it’s larger counterpart.
The design of this cooling pad is somewhat lackluster when set next to Antec’s full-blown Notebook Cooler, but it is in no way mind-scarring to look at. Like it’s bigger brother, the Notebook Cooler to go has two very quiet fans and a pass-through USB connector. Unfortunately, the cable on our review unit had separated from the USB connector, exposing the wires within. This may be a sign of a weak point in the cable. Nevertheless, this issue hasn’t kept the cooling pad from working as advertised.
Instead of sitting beneath the whole laptop, the Notebook Cooler to go is somewhat wedged beneath the back of the notebook. Air is pulled down through the fans behind the laptop and pushed out over the underparts of the laptop. Ultimately, this design proves to cool as well because it also gives more space between the bottom of the laptop and the surface it’s sitting on.
Testing and Performance
For testing we used the same two laptops as the previous. On average, the Notebook Cooler to go decreased the temperature by 10° C. All in all, there isn’t much more to say performance-wise that hasn’t already been said about the Notebook Cooler.
At a price on par with it’s sibling, the Antec Notebook Cooler to go is a great cooling pad to have for frequent travelers due to it’s form factor. Unlike the Notebook Cooler, the Notebook Cooler to go will work well with Macbooks.
Antec Notebook Cooler to go