Product Type: My-link PC Cooling / Fan
Newest Review: ... laptop on top of it, plugging it into a usb slot. It has to be on a flat surface, as the fans won't spin against your lap. It is very... more
An initially promising laptop cooler, that soon falls short of the mark
My-Link Crystal 3 USB Laptop Cooler
Member Name: Huomenna
My-Link Crystal 3 USB Laptop Cooler
Advantages: prevents laptop from overheating, fans glow when in use, attractive unit
Disadvantages: USB very rough, rubber caps slide off, feet mean it's not suitable for use on lap
My previous laptop wasn't great - it was slow, cumbersome and had overheating issues. One day I was using it when the fan suddenly emitted a horrible noise and stopped working, I took it back to PC world (it was still under warranty) who just pressed the fan button and said 'Yeah we'll have to send that off to get it fixed...' As I needed to use it for university and it was otherwise working, I said I'd bring it back in after my term ended and in the mean time I purchased a cooling pad in an attempt to keep the temperatures low.
I wasn't really sure of what I exactly needed in terms of a cooling pad so I went on amazon to look for a decently priced one (didn't want to spend too much as it wouldn't have prolonged use) that seemed like it would give good air flow. I went for this particular model because it had 3 fans spaced across the pad and was priced at £12.99. Another thing which attracted me to this model was that it is powered via a USB port rather than a plug, furthermore you don't lose the use of said USB port as the cable on the pad is double ended, which allows you to attach additional hardware to your laptop.
When it arrived on the post first impressions were split - build quality was not amazing however it seemed adequately sturdy for the cost and the fans glowed when in use which was quite attractive. The first potential problem that I noticed was that this cooling pad has 'feet' (taller at the back so the laptop leans forward at a slight angle), obviously this has been done so that sufficient airflow is retained to the fans, however the pad is intended for laptops and laptops are often used on your lap, which this design is clearly unsuitable for. I didn't have a desk to use this on, so I got around the problem by placing the cooling pad ontop of a large book to create a flat surface and then resting this on my lap - more complicated than should have been necessary, but it worked. Furthermore the double ended USB wasn't well finished and the end was very rough, easily scratcing skin.
Despite these initial issues I was happy with the temperature the cooling pad managed to keep my laptop at - it still felt slightly warmer than when able to use the built in laptop fan, however it was far from overheating so this was sufficient for me.
Unfortunately after a couple of weeks a new problem surfaced - these feet that I mentioned earlier had little rubber caps on the base (presumably to create friction and stop slipping) which were glued on, there were also corresponding ones ontop of the cooling pad where it contacts the laptop. The problem was that the warmth from the laptop seemed to melt the glue slightly and resulted in the rubber caps sliding around and leaving a sticky residue all over the place. With these gone the whole thing was alot less stable as there was no real friction keeping the laptop in position ontop of the pad.
By this point it was a real pain and not really practical to use, however I didn't have much choice as I still had an essay I needed to finish, so I persevered until I had finished it and then returned the laptop to another PC World (Great West Road, London) to solve the internal fan issue. It turned out that some stupid manufacturer sticker inside the laptop had unglued itself and become wrapped around the fan blades, thus preventing the fan from running - luckily the man at the tech desk had the sense to unscrew the laptop base and inspect the fan before sending it off for repair, thus discovering the cause of the problem. When the offending sticker was removed, the fan resumed working so I didn't have to send it off afterall. If only the man at the first PC World (Chichester) had done the same I wouldn't have had to waste money on a laptop cooling pad!
In conclusion I wouldn't recommend the my-link laptop cooler - it seems a fair price and looks nice but it's not practical from the stand point that it hasn't been designed to be used on anything but a solid surface, and after a short space of time other design faults become apparent (using glue that melts at low temperatures). I'm sure there are far better laptop cooling pads out there to spend your money on.
Summary: Starts off ok, but design faults become apparent quite quickly - not worth it