Vantec Lapcool 2 Laptop Cooler Page: 1
Introduction

Vantec are a company who are well known for providing cooling solutions for a whole range of applications. We thought it would be good to take a look at a solution for those of you who are on the move.

The Lapcool 2 is a solid looking laptop cooler that claims to help with running temperature on your laptop. We take it for a test drive...

Packaging

Coming well packaged from Tekheads I wasn't very worried about the state of the product, but it's always nice to see how it would protect your new cooler from some less than excellent companies .

vantec lapcool 2 vantec lapcool 2


vantec lapcool 2

The packaging is pretty bright and colourful, and clearly displays the product and features. Protection isn't amazing, but it's unlikely that the product could be damaged too much so it's not really an issue.

Package

The package with the Lapcool is pretty basic, but that's to be expected of such a basic and functional product.

You get:

* Lapcool 2 laptop Cooler
* USB Power Wire

vantec lapcool 2

You get all you need to use the product so I don't see this as a downpoint for the product, I can't actually think of what else you'd want with it.

Specification (From Vantec's website)

Model:
Dimension:
Voltage:
Current:
Power:
Fan Size:
Fan Speed:
Bearing Type:
Weight
LPC-301
300 x 262 x 20 mm
5V
0.5A
2.5 Watt
70 x 70 x 10.5 mm
1800-2600 R.P.M.
Ball Bearing
650.0 g
Package Includes

Notebook Cooler
50cm USB Cable

The fans are 70mm which could mean they get a bit whiney, although the overriding noise during my testing was of the air moving over them.



Vantec Lapcool 2 Laptop Cooler Page: 2
Meet the cooler

The laptop cooler is designed in a royal blue colour with black and white trim. It's quite nice to look at and certainly fitted with my blue laptop.

vantec lapcool 2 vantec lapcool 2 rear


As you can see the cooler is fairly aesthetically pleasing. The logo isn't totally emblazoned across the cooler and all in all it looks ok.

vantec lapcool fans vabntec lapcool fan rear

The fans are Vantec's own make and have a fairly thin blade design. This causes a bit of a whoosh of air going through the fan guards. However this is soon outweighed by my laptop's loud fans, perhaps if your laptop doesn't have quite the fan noise mine does it would be audible and could concievably get annoying.

vantec lapcool 2 buttons

As you can see though, the fans can be turned down using the switch on the back of the motherboard, and the power to the unit can also be turned off totally. As we will see on the next page this is pretty effective.

vantec lapcool stand top vantec lapcool top stands out

The top of the cooler has small feet that flip up to stand the laptop slightly away from the surface of the cooler. This wasn't as much of a help on my laptop as it has stands, but would help on certain laptops that do not. There is a foam insert to stop scratching the laptop.

vantec lapcool 2 stand bottom vantec lapcool stand

The bottom has rubber stands as well as 2 flick up feet to keep the cooler at a small distance from the surface thus aiding airflow.

vantec lapcool 2 storage

The Vantec Lapcool also has two small storage areas for you to put your cables: pretty neat if you have a lot of hubs and USB devices.

Build Quality

The Lapcool is built well and is solid. It's pretty much all plastic with a metal sheet (the white bit) on the top that is nearest to the laptops "hot bits". I did a couple of subtle "drop tests" and it stuck together no problems. The cooler is nice and versatile and looks pretty neat. I think that it would be ok to haul around at 650g, but would require a laptop bag that it fitted in as it's not exactly small.

Overall the Vantec Lapcool looks pretty reasonable.


Vantec Lapcool 2 Laptop Cooler Page: 3
Test Setup

Toshiba Satellite A30
Pentium 4M 2.8GHz Northwood
2 x 512mb Corsair PC2100SODIMM

vantec lapcool 2 installed

After trying a few software monitoring programs on my trusty Toshiba Satellite I was almost stumped in that it couldn't find a thermal diode for the CPU. Undeterred I grabbed a thermal probe and put it right on the heatsink of the laptop.

I measured the temperature like this in the following situations:

Idle: Load up laptop and allow to idle for 30 seconds. Measure every 30seconds for 30minutes
Load: Load Prime95 and start taking recordings after 10minutes of blend stress test for 30minutes.

Test 1

No LaptopCool 2. I placed the laptop on a glass surface and performed the tests.

Test 2

Laptop placed on LapCool 2 with no power to the fans. Placed LapCool 2 and Laptop on glass surface as in previous test.

Test 3

Laptop placed on LapCool 2 with full power to the fans. Again placed LapCool 2 and Laptop on glass surface as in previous test.

Installation

This couldn't have been simpler. I placed the laptop on the LapCool 2 after pulling out both the top and bottom rests on the LapCool. Then I plugged the LapCool into a spare USB port. Job done.

Vantec Lapcool 2 Laptop Cooler Page: 4
Test Results

The test results were as follows (ambient 21.9-22°C):

vantec llapcool 2 results

The laptop got very hot indeed on the glass surface and indeed actually turned itself off after 40minutes of Prime95 stress test. The LapCool 2 was incredibly effective with the fans off, giving a difference in idle temperature of 4°C. At load the LapCool without fans shaved off 10.7°C.

Putting the fans on did not results in a huge decrease at load over the LapCool without the fans on: only 1.8°C. At load I was very surprised to see that the fans actually made the temperature increase over the LapCool with the fans switched on - 0.4°C higher. Perhaps the LapCools fans were disturbing the airflow under the laptop?

Certainly pretty strange results, but in all honestly having the fans off saves your ears the sound of air rushing through the fans.

Noise Levels

With the fans at maximum the LapCool certainly omits a concerted whoosh, although this was not audible above the laptop I was using.

After some adjustment I found that the best balance of airflow, cooling and noise was just above halfway on the sliding adjustment wheel. I would not say that the LapCool is very loud, although you may want to turn the fans down a bit if your own laptop is fairly quiet.

Vantec Lapcool 2 Laptop Cooler Page: 5
Conclusion

The Vantec Lapcool 2 does all that is designed to do. It effectively cools your laptop and means that you can have it on your lap and not worry about it.

The design is stylish albeit a little outdated (I believe the newer model is slightly nicer), but it looks nice and is robust, well built and functional.

At the excellent price of £19.95 @ TekHeads the cooler represents good value for money as well.

The LapCool get's an "OC3D Recommended" Award. Good job Vantec.

Recommended Award

Pro's

+ Good cooling
+ Nice looking
+ Excellent value
+ Excellent without fans running
+ Well built

Con's

- Fans not as effective as they could be
- Slightly plastic looking

Thanks to Tekheads for the review sample

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