Gadgets, Toys and Such - Page 3

By Yingzong
03/12/99
Hardware One

Introduction
Computer products sporting the i-label started by Apple Computing's iMac are on the rise. RoadTools has come up with a notebook accessory called the iCoolPad, a product that's supposed to allow better notebook heat dissipation and also acts as a swivel solution for any notebook computer.

The iCoolPad is available in translucent tangerine or blueberry and is a stylish sibling to the CoolPad, a basic black variation of the iCoolPad. The piece I received was in tangerine. Before I proceed, special mention goes to Silicon Horizon for proving the product for review.


The iCoolPad Face Up

Product Information
The iCoolPad is probably a relatively unknown product to many laptop users. Here's a brief product info before I continue :

  • Product Name : Laptop iCoolPad
  • Manufacturer : RoadTools LLC
  • Price : US$19.95
  • Platform : All Laptops
  • L x H x W : 8 " x 6 " x 3/8"
  • Materials : ABS, Rubber, Teflon
  • Weight : Approx. 8 ounces

First Looks
The iCoolPad is basically a simple device comprised of two pieces of ABS plastic connected with Teflon bearings. In my case, the surface plastic is a translucent tangerine and the bottom piece, a translucent white. The bearings allow the two pieces of plastic to rotate relative to each other. This will allow the notebook to freely swivel as if it's placed on a lazy susan.

In addition, there are six pieces of "gum" on the upper surface and another six below. The difference is that two of the pieces of "gum" on the upper surface is more rounded and larger than the rest. These two larger pieces of "gum" elevates the back of the keyboard for more comfortable typing.

Tests
I lack desktop space for my Acer TravelMate 330CT and as a result, I usually place it on my bed when its use is required. After an hour or so of use, the base of the TravelMate will become quite warm. There's almost no air flow between the bed and notebook. The possibility of heat damage to the internals of the notebook can be worrying at times, especially during extended hours of use.

Placing the TravelMate on the iCoolPad increased the layer of air space between the notebook and the bed. This allowed much better air circulation and the base of my notebook was noticeably cooler than usual.

A side effect of my using the iCoolPad was that having it on a bed meant tilting the notebook whenever pressure is applied on the notebook. In my case, hammering vigorously on the keyboard caused the notebook to jerk and move from side to side. What this means is that a solid and stable surface is necessary for a solid and stable experience.


The TravelMate Without any Support


The TraveMate Using the iCoolPad

To receive further feedback on the iCoolPad, I passed it to a close bud of mine who stays in a hostel in a local university. She usually leaves her notebook, a Toshiba Satellite 2520CDT, on most of the time. I left it with her for two weeks to gather feedback.

The Satellite 2520CDT ran much cooler than usual after using the iCoolPad. The ability to swivel the notebook can also be useful during school or office functions. The iCoolPad provides a stable enough base but my friend felt that a desktop was still very much better.

Conclusion
The iCoolPad does a good job in air circulation to create a cooler notebook experience. The ability to swivel the notebook is an added bonus. However, I can't say that getting the iCoolPad would make a significant impact in your notebook experience. The iCoolPad is essentially a refreshing product for the notebook user.

 

< Previous

Back To First Page >

 

Content