Several months ago, I was told by the office IT support that we should really all have notebook cooling fans as standard, after someone's laptop had a bit of an overheating issue. I really wasn't convinced, but I dutifully offered everyone the option of having one of these fans, and then ordered several, including one for myself from our office supplies company. I chose the Antec Notebook Cooler for everyone, simply because it was slightly cheaper than the alternative; the cost was around £27.
The Antec Notebook Cooler is about the width of my laptop, roughly 30 cm across, and about 3cm high. The base is black plastic, and the top surface, where the fan is, is a silver metal. It is not quite rectangular in shape, with indentations on each side. The cooling unit is very easy to set up - just set it on your desk, place your laptop on top of it, and then plug it into your laptop with a USB cable, and the laptop powers the fan.
Organising the cooling unit on my desk was a little more complicated, as I use a docking station and also have a monitor stand which my laptop sits under, but after a bit of forceful shoving I got everything into place. Once plugged in to the laptop, the cooling unit glows blue at the side, which was a bit disconcerting at first but I soon got used to it. I have the unit on the low setting, as this seems to be enough for my laptop, but you could have it on higher if necessary.
When I first switched it on I was curious to see what, if anything, it would do. Holding my hand over the edge of the unit I immediately noticed cool air coming from it, which was a good sign. At first I noticed a very slight whirring coming from the unit, but I think I only noticed it because it was new - very quickly it became indistinguishable from the whirring of my laptop.
I had set up the cooling unit, so my laptop was already warm. After the fan had been running for a while, I checked my laptop and found that it was noticeably cooler to touch than it been. I was impressed - I had half thought that these things wouldn't be very effective. With the fan running from the time I switch my laptop on in the morning, my laptop is now always cooler to touch than it used to be. The Antec Notebook Cooler is clearly doing what it is meant to do.
Although my laptop is cooler, I haven't noticed any improvement in its performance from not having to keep itself cool all the time, but I have noticed that it is quieter. The fan in the laptop used to occassionally get noisier for a few minutes at a time, but that has stopped since I've had this cooling unit, which is an indication that the laptop is not just cooler to touch, but cooler inside as well.
I'm still not convinced that I really needed this cooling unit, because although I can see that it is keeping my laptop cooler, the laptop never got that hot in the first place. But it's no bad thing that it's keeping cooler, as perhaps that will help extend its life as my work computer (I can replace it after three years, but if I keep it as my work laptop for four years I get to keep it for personal use once it is replaced). It's certainly clear to me that this Antec Cooling Unit really does work, so if you've got a laptop prone to overheating, this could be the answer.
I have been using the Antec Notebook Cooler (80 mm) for about the past three months after my previous laptop cooler died a death. This one had been recommended to me by a technician at work who had been using one also for the past six months and had overall been happy with it. It cost me £34.99 from Amazon - which included delivery. I used it to put my Macbook on as it does heat up quite quickly, especially as it's got older (it's about 4 years old now) and previous laptops I've had have gone to the little laptop heaven in the sky because of overheating where components have melted.
The Antec Notebook Cooler (80 mm) is essentially a surface which has a fan inside it which cools the laptop when it is resting on it. It is a good size to put a laptop on, measuring 2.3cm x 33cm x 28cm in dimensions and so my Macbook fits onto it perfectly. The main body of it is made of good quality rigid plastic and the top surface is made of aluminum. The coolers I have used in the past have had plastic surfaces and I have found that these plastic surfaces get very warm even with the fans going, but the aluminum surface keeps cool and actually seems to contribute to drawing heat away from the laptop - and this works very effectively. Because all surfaces are metal or plastic, you can wipe over them with a damp cloth to keep them clean and dust free. There are rubber grips on the bottom of the tray which make the overall system nonslip.
The Antec Notebook Cooler is powered via a USB lead which plugs into the USB port on my laptop. It does make the battery drain slightly quicker, but only very slightly and to the power outage is not that significant. The cables are short and so they don't get in the way and they make the overall appearance look professional and sleek. However, because the cables are short, you may struggle to plug it into to a right sided USB port, unless you have an extender cable.
Within the tray, there are two fans which are powered by the USB port. There are two settings for the fans to be driven at - high and low. I do tend to have mine run on high all of the time because I just don't find the low speed that efficient. The fans are incredibly quiet and at worst you can only hear a very faint hum - it is certainly quieter than other coolers I have used. It does cool my laptop significantly - and probably better than the Belkin one that I had before that I was quite happy with. Apparently, the way the cooler is designed is to draw the heat away from the laptop and my experience of this sees no reason to dispute this claim. For it's cooling ability when set on "high" I would have to give it 10/10.
Overall, I think this is an excellent laptop cooler and I do recommend it - although it is slightly more expensive than some of the Belkin options which are also very good.
Laptops have this hilarious habit of constantly overheating, slowing down and then, eventually crashing just as you're about to finish something you've spent the last 3 hours working on and, as a result of being so into it, forgot to save.
It became apparent that laptop users needed something to keep their laptops from overheating, after all when you're working with something small but with the power of a desktop, you can only expect ventilation to not be nearly as good.
This is where the fantastically useful notebook coolers come in and, more particularly, the one I'm going to review, the pretty funky Antec one. A few specs, first: it's about 30cm long and 20-ish tall, weighs in at I'd say one to two pounds and is pretty small altogether, meaning it fits well under your laptop without sticking out or being a nuisance. It has two ventilation fans underneath it, with a constant flow of air coming from the small one at the back, powered by USB, which can be stored inside the device. The USB cable, I must add, has a cool little feature of having an extra USB slot behind it, so that you don't end up losing any of your precious (and limited, on laptops) USB space. I must add that even not on, the multiple ventilation systems keep air flowing, meaning it does its job really well.
It has two settings, low and high, but as the high is much better, barley uses up more power and isn't in any way louder, you'll probably keep it on that anyway.
It grips to your table or desk with rubber feet and doesn't move about easily, which is good when you're typing fast, and the rubber feet on your laptop should keep it sturdy on top, too, meaning nothing's sliding about getting in the way.
All in all, it does what it says - keeps your laptop cold, and running at its best.
Antec Notebook cooler is a very handy and efficient dual-fan cooling system for your laptop.
Note that this product will only work up to 15.1 inch screens, so any larger than that and your laptop's legs will fall outside its surface, requiring you to put additional support which of course doesn't make the laptop very stable when resting your hands on it.
I bought mine back 4 years now during a hot summer off Amazon and got it delivered quickly. The moment I plugged it into my very hot-running Sony VAIO, my room transformed from a source of heat to the coolest room in the entire flat - that's how well it cooled.
Now as with any product with fans, you will need to clean it out regularly to keep it at top performance, best to do that with a vaccuum and a moist towel or an air blower.
The product while very efficient did not last too long - after nigh 10 months it didn't seem to cool at all anymore so I logged a request with Antec and they immediately replied. After sending in my old cooler, they replaced it within a week with a brand new one. That's great customer service with no fuss involved, so you are in for a safe buy.
If you are a gamer, like me, then one of these is a necessity. The reason for this is, if you have a high performance laptop, the chances are that, over time, they have a tendency of over heating. This is partially due to the amount of programs you run at once, also dust accumulating inside the computer over time.
From experience, when my laptop begins overheating it causes it to become unstable and more liable to crash. Some genius has come up with this brilliant portable solution. To begin with, i was bit sceptical, however, having tried it with my laptop, it works brilliantly.
Now, to describe it - it looks like a flat stand, made of plastic, and has two fans encased inside it. The actual fans run off the usb port, so there is no additional power source requirement. There is also a female attachment on the usb connector, which means you do not lose the use of the usb port itself.
The fans draw the hot air away from the laptop, therefore having a cooling effect on the base of the laptop. It works just like the laptops own embedded fan, but provides additional cooling if you are on the laptop for long periods of time, using multiple programs , or gaming. It only weighs 0.72kg, so is very easy to transport and handle.
It is alarmingly quiet, at only 25.9db. It is economically friendly, with very low power consumption. The plastic is very sturdy, an accidental drop will not result in breakage. However, the fans can be quite temperamental, be careful not to get anything caught in them, as they are exposed. These little contraptions are not new and there are other makes and models available on ebay/amazon, from as little as £5.20. You can also get them in various designs for you aesthetically conscious. If you are prepared to pay that bit extra you can get 3-4 fans, depending on your requirements. It fits most sized laptops, but if you have a large one (17"+), I would recommend going for 3 or 4 fans.
Getting a desktop fan would do the same job, but would in terms of practicality not be as convenient. With a fan there would be the added need for another power source, which this product takes out of the equation.
All in all it's a well thought out product and if your laptop is susceptible to overheating this could be the product for you.