Logitech N100 Laptop Cooler
One day my three year old Toshiba laptop started behaving most curiously and developed a rather frustrating habit of shutting itself down every 40 minutes or so. At first I thought I had a computer virus and feared the worst but I finally deduced that the laptop was suffering from what I like to call 'heat stroke'. The temperature of the laptop had got to a level deemed unsafe for continued use and so, without warning or explanation I might add, routinely shut down to save itself (caring little for my unsaved work in the process). The fan had obviously become less effective over the years and couldn't cool the laptop efficiently enough whilst it was being flogged at full usage capacity.
My first solution was a rather Heath Robinson affair which involved balancing the laptop on a stack on four or five textbooks to increase the airflow to the underside of the laptop and thus around the components which became hot. This had some success by extending the time before my laptop would shut down but didn't fully solve the problem. More crucially however, I didn't care too much for the new operating height of my laptop and developed rather serious wrist/arm strain as a result. Therefore after some research online and at a cost of £15 from Amazon, I got myself the Logitech N100 Laptop Cooler. I was eager to try it out and see if it had been £15 well spent or whether I would have been better purchasing a booster cushion for my desk chair.
=== Design ===
It comes in a snug fitting cardboard box and immediately caught my eye as being far better looking in reality than the image shown online. It measures 14.5" x 11" and is about 1.5" high at its tallest part (at the very back of the cooler). It will fit most laptop sizes but states that it's designed for a maximum 15.4" laptop. Mine is a little larger than this but still fits on perfectly though.
The whole thing is made from a smooth non-reflective plastic which feels strong enough for regular use and also makes it look quite stylish. The front/top facia is a very light grey colour and the back of mine is coloured in a slightly dark green (roughly the same colour as the green seen on the dooyoo website!). There are two matching grey rubberised grips on the top which act to hold your laptop in place and stop it slipping down the sloped angle of the cooler.
The front of the cooler has a grill which extends round the back and roughly mirrors the size of the grill on the front. Encased in this grill is the fan itself - the crucial element of the whole device. There is only one fan which looks very similar in design to a normal desk fan except that this one measures a mere 3 inches in diameter. The fan itself is powered by USB which you plug into your laptop - the cable for this USB plug fits snuggly into a groove in the underside of the cooler when not in use. When in use there are four grooves for the cable to run along and access all sides of your laptop so wherever your free USB port is, the cable will fit snuggly into the cooler and you won't have any spare wire cluttering up your desk. This is a very useful feature and allows you to use a USB port on the left/right/back left/back right of your laptop.
=== Ease of use ===
The cooler itself is sloped so that your laptop sits on top and angles slightly forwards. Imagine sticking a wad of newspapers under the back of your laptop so that the keyboard is tilted towards you. This takes a little getting used to at first but is essential to allow air to flow underneath the laptop and cool down those hot components. The alternative would be to raise the entire laptop which may suit some people but was not what I was looking for. And because the front of the cooler is very low (about half an inch) the laptop doesn't feel like it's being raised up at all. I actually find it easier to type with this new slanted angle but some people may not like it so this needs to be taken into account by the purchaser.
The rubberised grips hold the laptop firmly in place and you will struggle to slide your laptop out of position accidentally whilst in use.
The USB cable as previously stated is designed to fit into any available port - a feature which it accomplishes with considerable efficiency. There is never more than a couple of inches of excess cable protruding from the cooler and the cable itself is very rubbery and flexible so that it is easy to manipulate and twist the USB plug into place. To power the fan you simply need to run the cable through the desired groove on the underside of the cooler and plug it into your laptop whilst it is turned on. The fan then springs into action and gets to work at creating a flow of air under and around your laptop. No added software or additional set-up is needed - simply plug it in and it starts. It will work with any laptop regardless of operating system or PC specification. All you need is a free USB port.
The cooler is very light. Although it doesn't feel like it, the cooler is a kind of hollow shell with the fan in the middle so it doesn't weigh much as a result. This means that you can easily use your cooler/laptop on your lap without it causing too much additional weight. This is a very handy feature for me because I frequently use my laptop on the sofa whilst in front of the TV. The cooler is very comfortable to use in this way despite being made form hard plastic. I actually think it's more comfortable than resting the laptop itself on my lap. This is because the cooler is slightly curved and isn't completely flat like the bottom of a laptop.
Placing it on a desk is no problem either since there are four rubber grips on the underside of the cooler to stop it slipping around. These are almost identical to the grips found underneath my laptop and when the added weight of the laptop is placed on it, the cooler sits very firmly in place.
=== Performance ===
So, how well does it work? Well, remember me saying how my laptop regularly shut itself down every 40 minutes? Well this problem was completely eradicated. I could turn my laptop on in the morning, plug in the cooler and it would run unhindered until the evening without once even threatening to overheat and shut down. It was like having a whole new laptop. I was expecting the cooler to work but not necessarily expecting miracles since my laptop was getting on a bit and got so hot sometimes I think I could have fried an egg on it - it certainly had a good go at frying my lap on occasions!
Placing the laptop on the cooler the cool air flow circulates around the underside of the laptop and, because of the curved profile of the cooler, flows out around the sides of the laptop. The grill extends around the back of the cooler and continues underneath providing an ample supply of air for the fan to blow forth. This efficient flow of air is very good at reaching most of the underside of the laptop and thus provides an effective cooling force.
The fan is very quiet whilst working and the sound of the air flow is very low. I can barely hear the cooler over the normal operating sound of my laptop which in itself isn't overly loud despite its advancing years. This is probably because the fan is quite small and doesn't provide any more air flow than is necessary to be effective. A larger fan would probably cause a greater ruckus whilst at the same time being surplus to requirements.
As far as I can tell the cooler doesn't cause any significant drain on the battery life of my laptop. If there is any difference then it will be a case of a few minutes at most. I haven't experienced any noticeable drop in battery life and can't imagine that such a small fan requires a great deal of power.
I especially like that the cooler is thin and only 1½ inches thick at its thickest point. This means that it fits easily into my laptop case alongside my laptop. This will depend on your laptop case but mine has an additional pouch for CDs/booklets which I have utilised to hold the cooler. This means I can carry my laptop around with the cooler without needing a separate bag.
=== Longevity ===
I have been using this now for 2-3 years and although my newer laptop (of the past year or so) doesn't need cooling as much I still use it to support my laptop when using it on my lap or bed. I have also grown accustomed to the angled keyboard the cooler provides so use it unplugged to provide this typing angle.
The cooler is very simple in design and there is very little to go wrong. The fan is protected from accidental damage by the grill and any dust that gets in can easily be blown out. There is amply space around the fan inside the cooler so that dust won't clog up the workings should you allow it to get too dusty. The USB cable is firmly connected to the fan through the cooler's shell and doesn't look like it will come loose unless you start swinging it around above your head. I am struggling to find anything that is even slightly susceptible to damage or wear!
=== Verdict ===
So if you're in need of a laptop cooling device then the Logitech N100 Laptop cooler will definitely solve your problem. Don't waste your time and money on cheaper versions and stay well away from those found in pound shops! One of my friends opted for this cheaper option and soon regretted it. Her device was almost completely ineffective and broke after a few days. She has since purchased the Logitech N100 (on my recommendation) and hasn't reported any difficulties since.
Effective, robust and very well designed; you can't go wrong with this in my opinion and I highly recommend it. It's an added bonus that it looks as stylish as it does!
The N100 version is currently available on Amazon for £15.61 and slightly more expensive at other online stores.
Thanks for reading :)
My sister bought this fpor me for Christmas as we have the same laptop and hers is starting to overheat a bit so she bought a fan for hers and found it to really reduce the problem. I wouldn't say my laptop is madly overheating lot but I never put it on a bed or anything and it does really get hot after a while on my lap.
When I first opened the fan I was a bit dubious as I'd had a different one before and while it helped, it was very noisy, bulky and my laptop fell off it unless I used it on a desk. This one plugs in easily (I was a bit worried that the USB wire wouldn't actually reach my USB port before I realised its just nicely held in the back in a curved way which you are meant to pull out to release a longer wire. I actually really like this feature as it is a good way to re-pack the wire away leaving it less messy and easier to store without damaging it. The USB powers the fan so there is no need for batteries/anything!
Once plugged in, the fan is surprisingly silent. You can hear it going but not loads louder than you can hear a normal laptop fan working. If you look at the fan you can see it going round and it is cool to the touch (All reassuring things!). This is great because I plan to mainly use it if I watch videos which make my computer work harder and I dont get disrupted by the noise of the fan!
The fan has a curved shape on side profile which you can't really see well on the DooYoo picture. It is also thicker at the back and thinner at the front giving it a raising, angular effect. This I think is meant to make it more comfortable on your lap. I don't really find it is more compfrtable though as it is still hard plastic but that might be just my fault, the curved shape and the angle doesn't really affect how well it works sitting on a table/desk though which is good.
There are also lots og grippy bits on this both to hold your computer to the fan and to hold the fan to the desk. One of the ones on top has started to come off for me allredy but I think it will just push back on. The grips do work well to stop your laptop slipping and sliding off it which i good when using it on your lap.
Size-wise it is good, it perfectly fits my laptop which is good. It also fits in my rucksack which i brill! I'd say its like the same size as an A4 lever arch file maybe. This makes it really portable for me and is great when I need/want to take it places which I have done already!
Colourwise, the box states that there is a range of colours available however my sister (who got this from Amazon) said she didn't get a choice at all. The back of the fan is a wierd greey which is slightly acidy. I dont hate it but it's not a colour I would actively choose!
Packaging wise mine came all lovingly wrapped in shiney paper with a bow, but underneath that (and probably if you buy one for yourself) it comes well protected in a cardboard sleeve/box type thing which has a piece missing enabling you to touch and really get a feel for the cooling pad.
The fan my sister bought was the larger version of this with speakers built into it which she says is good however due to the smallness of this one and the ease of portability, she's offered to swap and has allready borrowed my one a few times already! At £15 this is a worthwhile purchase if your laptop has the tendancy to overheat!