Vantec LapCool 5 Review

by Reads (22,752)

The Vantec LapCool 5 is a small cooler designed to keep a constant draft flowing underneath your laptop to decrease temperatures under mild or heavy computer use. This type of cooler is usually targeted towards more performance oriented laptop users, or perhaps an older mobile P4 based system that gets excruciatingly hot. For this review I put it head to head with my T60’s docking station that raises the back of the laptop off the desk surface (this alone reduces internal temperatures), to see if any improvements could be found.


The inconspicuous Vantec LapCool 5 under a T60. (view large image)

Specifications:

  • Model: LPC-501-BK (BLACK), LPC-501-BL (BLUE), LPC-501-RD (RED)
  • Rated Voltage: DC +5V
  • Rated Current: DC 0.1A-0.22A
  • Rated Speed: 900-1600RPM
  • Air Flow: 6.67-12.28CFM
  • Noise level: 15dBA
  • Durability: 30,000 hours up
  • Dimensions: 100mm x 328mm X 20mm

First Thoughts:

After I had torn apart the plastic casing the cooler was packaged inside of, I plugged it in with the supplied USB adapter to see how much air this thing could push. I was quite surprised by not only how quiet it was, but also by how little air it moved. While the specifications had listed 12CFM at the max, I was still expecting more airflow from the 2 fans mounted underneath the grill of the cooler. From how little air it moved, I was pretty skeptical if it would improve upon anything from just raising the back of the laptop of the table.


Top view … what happened to one of the rubber feet? (view large image)


Bottom view. (view large image)


Left side view with fan speed control. (view large image)


Right side view with USB ports and DC jack. (view large image)

Performance:

To test this active cooler against my passive elevated T60 docking station, I first warmed up the machine with three 3dMark05 benchmarks. After the keyboard had gained some warmth, I turned on Prime95 to stress the CPU, and Rthdribl to stress the GPU. With the laptop installed on top of the docking station, I stressed the system for 10 minutes while closely watching the internal temp readings. At the 10 minute mark I took note of all the temp readings, turned off the stressing programs, and let the machine cool down. After another 10 minutes I took note of the laptops temperatures again to see how much it had been able to cool down. For the Vantec LapCool 5, I repeated this same procedure to find out if it had made any difference. Below are my results…

Temperature under load for 10 minutes

Item Temp Laptop elevated in mini-dock Laptop with cooler
CPU 81 75
APS 41 41
PCM 39 38
GPU 86 82
BAT 50 50
BAT 32 34
BUS 47 45
PCI 56 55
PWR 58 55

 

Temperature after 10 minutes cooling down

Item Temp Laptop elevated in mini-dock Laptop with cooler
CPU 46 45
APS 39 38
PCM 38 37
GPU 62 61
BAT 50 50
BAT 32 34
BUS 42 42
PCI 47 46
PWR 45 43

As you can clearly see, most of the tempuratures across the board had come down as a result of using the cooler. It wasn’t a dramatic difference, but it did help out. Since the T60 already had a good cooling system I was not expecting much to change, you may see larger drops from laptops not as gifted, or older systems that were undercooled (mobile P4 systems). 

Conclusion:

The LapCool 5 lived up to its name by successfully reducing the tempurature of my laptop under load, and even at idle. The cooler is compact enough to fit inside your backpack for travel, and doesn’t even require external power sources outside of your laptops USB port. Users will also like its integrated USB hub which helps to replace some of the USB ports consumed on the laptop to power the cooler. Overall its not a bad compainion for your laptop if you feel its running a bit hot.

Pros:

  • Very small size
  • Builtin USB hub to replace the ports by the cooler

Cons:

  • Wish the fans could go twice as fast
  • One of the rubber pads on top vanished during the review



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