|Antec Notebook Cooler 200
Featured Reviews: Notebook | Compact PC
| Written by Dan Ferguson
|Thursday, 19 November 2009
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Antec Notebook Cooler 200 Review
Convection is when moving air transfers heat to or from a surface. This is the method used by most laptop coolers to keep your CPU, GPU and other critical components from overheating. There are three major factors to effective cooling (or heating), namely temperature difference, surface area, and air flow. Any differences in these factors will lead to differences in performance, even for the same cooler. The Benchmark Reviews team tries hard to provide you with fair and repeatable testing. The Antec Notebook Cooler 200 uses all three factors to achieve effective cooling with minimal power. Our tests show which of those factors makes the biggest difference.
Temperature Difference: A warm laptop sitting on a warm lap doesn't provide very much cooling. Most laptop coolers have equal gains simply by getting the computer off your lap. Exposing the laptop underside to cooler ambient air causes a larger difference in temperature which results in faster cooling. For comparative testing the temperature difference between laptop components and the air should be held constant. Even if the laptop cooler sits on your lap the air fed through the fan might get some pre-warming and not be as effective.
Surface Area: It should seem reasonable that the more area you cool, the better the cooling. If a fan is pointed at one small spot, well, that one spot may get cool, but the rest of the laptop is probably still hot. This is because heat "travels" slowly through most objects. As mentioned above, cooling the surface increases the speed at which heat travels. So if you only cool one spot, you are only increasing the speed at one spot. More area equals more cooling!
Air Flow: Surface area and temperature difference are relatively easy to hold constant and to measure. The differences in laptop coolers will largely be differences in air flow! Understanding air flow requires a little bit of magic and large amounts of mathematics! For starters, the air needs to get to the hot parts. Additionally, the faster the flow, the better the cooling. A turbulent air stream (pounding against the surface) cools better than a smooth air stream. There are many more aspects to air flow that we won't cover.
In our tests we'll focus on performance by keeping things constant and simple. While performance is important, function is only part of a good product. Laptops are high movement objects and take a small beating. The laptop cooler needs to take a similar barrage and look cool in the process.
Manufacturer: Antec, Inc.
Product Name: Notebook Cooler 200
Price As Tested: $57.21 (Amazon) or $59.99 (Newegg)
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Antec.