If your notebook is putting out too much heat and you find yourself wishing for a few more USB ports, Belkin wants to help you keep your cool. The new Laptop Cooling Hub is a slight update on their classic model – a raised platform with a fan embedded to help cool down a hot laptop. It now features four USB ports to give it a little extra bang for your buck. But how does it perform under pressure?
- White plastic construction with rubber padding
- Will accommodate up to a 17” laptop
- Equipped with 4 USB 2.0 ports
- Runs on external AC adapter or laptop battery power via attached USB cable.
- MSRP: $49.99
Build and Design
The cooling hub is elevated by a flip-out stand in the back, and slip-resistant rubber pads cover the laptop contact points to keep your notebook elevated at a prime viewing angle. It’s lightweight and certainly portable, but not really suited for use on your lap.
The major update from the last model is the addition of four USB ports on the back of the stand. Instead of sacrificing one of your notebook’s valuable USB ports to keep the fan running, you’ll have three more to spare. Not a bad deal.
The cooling hub connects to a computer via the USB cable tucked under the supports. This enables the fan to run on your laptop’s battery and connects the USB hub to your system. A separate AC adapter can also be used to power the fan without using battery power.
The fan runs a bit louder than the internal fan on my Dell Latitude E6400, but not loud enough to become a distraction. Before using the cooling hub, the temperature on the bottom of my notebook averaged around 90 degrees Fahrenheit with my web browser and a couple of programs running—pretty standard stuff. After a few minutes on the cooling pad with the fan operating, the temperature dropped down around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
|Left Side Vent||Bottom Vent||Palm Rest|
|Without Cooling Hub||87 F||91 F||86 F|
|With Cooling Hub||80 F||81 F||83 F|
The cooling pad certainly brings the temperature of the laptop exterior down, but how cool does it keep the hard drive? Using HD Tune, I measured the hard drive temperature at 38 degrees Celsius without the cooling pad after about half an hour of video viewing. With the same use on the cooling pad, I measured a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius with the cooling pad in operation. Not a huge difference, but a cooler hard drive nonetheless.
|Hard Drive Temperature|
|Without Cooling Hub||38 C|
|With Cooling Hub||34 C|
I let the cooling pad run on the power of my laptop alone and I didn’t see any remarkable battery drain happening. Most users will be near a power source anyway. As with the previous model, this cooling pad isn’t really primed for use on your lap.
So is it worth the $50 price tag? If you’d like to cool your laptop down a few extra degrees when it’s parked at your desk, then the Belkin Cooling Hub is a nice option. It’s compact, efficient, and having a few extra USB ports never hurt anyone.
- Effectively cooled laptop down an average of 10 degrees
- Four USB ports
- Great design for desktop use
- Compact design travels well
- Fan is slightly louder than some on-board notebook fans
- Not suitable for use on lap
You can find more information about the Belkin Laptop Cooling Hub on the Belkin website.