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Review: Vantec Lapcool 3
Written by Zinoberrot   
Sunday, 10 September 2006 09:54
Article Index
Review: Vantec Lapcool 3
Specifications and Features
Packaging
Product
Product (Cont.)
Conclusion
All Pages

While many people may buy a notebook which can be worth more than $2000, plus another $500 for accessories and upgrades for it, they rarely will consider purchasing something vital for a notebook which works for prolonged periods of time: cooling. Of course, the more powerful the notebook, the better effect extra cooling will have. A low range Celeron M or Centrino notebook may have little to benefit from cooling, but powerful gaming notebooks and desktop replacements may actually require it to endure many consecutive hours of working and playing. Vantec offers a very small and simple device, which is fairly well priced as well, designed to lower the temperature of your expensive notebook and expand its lifetime. Its small, thin size and minimal weight can allow it to fit easily inside your notebook’s carrying bag. The name of the product reviewed today is LapCool 3 and we will soon see what it can do for the well-being of your notebook.

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Specifications

  • Model: LPC-401
  • Fan: 80x80x10mm
  • Air Flow: 28cfm
  • Speed: 1,500RPM
  • Noise Level: 25dBA
  • Rated Voltage: DC5V
  • Power Consumption: < 0.9W
  • Rated Current: <180mA
  • Net Weight: 15ounces
  • Dimension: 300x230x13.8mm
Features
  • USB Powered
  • Ultra Silent Fans
  • Slim & Compact Design
  • Easy Installation

Packaging
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USB Cable
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The package that the LapCool 3 comes in is a simple plastic sealed package, which is all clear. While it will not offer much protection, the LapCool 3 needs very little as it is mostly a piece of lightweight plastic; nothing too fragile. The all clear packaging will help you check what you are buying up when browsing inside a store. Concerning the bundle, there is no real bundle coming with the LapCool 3 as you won’t need anything in order to use it except the USB cable which is the power source of the fans. The cable is long enough to reach almost every point of an average notebook, so it should not be a problem for most people. Despite that, those who have 17” notebooks or larger should make sure that there is a free USB port at the right side or the rear of the notebook, since we suspect that the cable may not be long enough to reach the left side of such a large notebook.


Top View
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The LapCool 3 is a simple device, which is nothing more than a seating pad for your notebook, yet a good amount of attention was given on some details. The LapCool 3 is all black and silver, colors which should match 99% of the notebooks out there. Certain Sony and LG notebooks which are white should look ok on it as well. The fans which are used are very slow but large enough to create a considerable amount of airflow and remain completely silent, so it certainly will not annoy you or other people around you.
Right Side Power Connector
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Rear View
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Something that makes the LapCool 3 special for its category is the thin size. It is made to be as thin as possible and designed to work while seated on any surface. Most notebook coolers will draw air from beneath, a design that could create problems if they are seated on something soft, such as on a bed or your lap for example. The LapCool 3 does not follow that design but it is designed to move airflow towards the rear, so you can place is almost anywhere you like and certainly on your lap. The power connector for the USB powered fans is at the right side of the cooler, but no other options are available like a speed controller or even an on/off switch. This model is meant to be as cheap as possible, so the features are limited.


 

Paired with laptop
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The LapCool 3 certainly makes a nice companion to a typical 15” notebook, being slightly smaller than the notebook. While our HP notebook seen above features an average Celeron D 1.5GHz processor which is not something that will heat up considerably, it does get warm above the keyboard at times, especially if operating for several hours. By using the LapCool 3 our notebook did not heat up at all even after 5 hours of use, remaining as cool as if it was turned off. The processor temperature went down considerably, by more than 8 Celsius degrees, but we would rather not take those results too seriously for many reasons, mostly because they are not replicable and they are greatly affected by the design and thermal output of the notebook itself.


Final words and conclusion

Vantec offers a very handy and rather small notebook cooling device, which makes a nice companion for any notebook at a very low price, although it lacks many features. Since it is very small, lightweight and easy to transport, it should become a nice accessory in your notebook’s carrying bag. At the very least it will keep your lap from getting burned and expand your notebook’s lifespan. We would like to see more features, such as a speed controller or an USB hub, but as long as the fans are silent and the price tag of the LapCool 3 is smaller than that of a coffee box, it should be ok for most users.

Pros:

      • Small and lightweight design
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Silent and effective cooler
  • Can be used on soft surfaces such as laps or beds
  • Great value
Cons:
  • Could have more features like fan control or a even a simple on/off switch
  • The paint tends to chip easily, it cannot tolerate much abuse
  • Not available in many countries 

 

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