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Some of you will be fortunate enough to own a laptop, and those who do will more than likely already be aware that they can run hot. It doesnt take a genius to work out, that with the limited airflow inside a chassis and the modern day hot running processors and graphics cards, heat build up can prove to be a issue.


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Im not going to go into a long winded history on Vantec, their reputation for fan and cooling design is well known. They also make some very highly rated silent power supplies. Today ill be looking at their "Lapcool 2" cooling product, designed to help keep the chassis of your laptop....erm, cool.

Vantec make two models in various colours, one is a plain vanilla cooling unit and the other has a 4 port USB 2.0 (1.1 compatible) hub. There are no other differences between these units

The Lapcool is supplied with two high quality ball bearing based Vantec fans:
Outline Dimension: 300.0 x 263.0 x 45.0 mm
Rated Voltage: DC 5V
Max. Current: 2.0A
Fan Speed: 1800~2500 RPM
Airflow: 31.6CFM
Noise Level: 26 dBA
Bearing Type: Ball Bearing
USB Type: USB 2.0 Hub, USB 1.1 compatible
Adapter Cable Length: 180.0 cm
USB Wire Length: 30.0 cm
Pad Material: Aluminum & ABS
Weight: 560.0 g
Switching Power: Input 100~120V, Output 5V 2.0A
Package Includes: Notebook Cooling Pad x 1,
AC Adapter x 1,
USB Cable x 1, Rubber Pads x 4

In operation the Vantec fans range from almost silent to audible and unless you have a quiet laptop they wont be heard above the normal fan levels of a typical modern day machine, even on full output. Before testing and on paper 32cfm combined with a 26dba noise level, is a good power to noise ratio.

The image above shows the rear of the two styles of cooler sold, with the four port USB2 hub variant requiring a plugged power source (adaptor supplied) to the usb ports. This is not needed if you arent going to be using the hub so it can act just like the vanilla version if so wished.

The variable fan controller works well and if you are one of those noise hating people who have a ultra low voltage dothan powered superportable it can be lowered to silent levels. However it has to be said, unless the fans are cranked to the full setting, the cooling is very minimal indeed.

The underside of the Lapcool has study little feet at the rear which "lift" the laptop up at the back, and you also have room to store some cables with two handy little pockets on the underside. Its unfortunate Vantec didnt make these large enough to hold a few PCMCIA cards as that would have proven invaluable.

One downside to the Vantec cooling units is the material used, unfortunately they havent went for an aluminium finish like some other companies. While the finish is very attractively made, it would be a wiser move to make the material act like a heatsink.

The image above show a "noname" japanese laptop cooling unit which is made from preferable aluminium, however as you can see the underside build quality leaves alot to be desired with "naked" fans and cables lying loose. The image above right, shows one of the Vantec coolers next to the aluminium cooler.

Ill be comparing this far eastern cooler with the vantec units in the testing later. The eastern cooler has no variable fan control but has a USB 2 hub, the fans are also decent quality brushless design.

 

Next: Test Results



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