We are all used to the Antec name and the products we have all had in our own rigs over the years. I remember buying a Neo Power PSU, 500W if I remember correctly. Long story short, the PSU let the magic smoke escape, but Antec handled the situation quickly and within a few days I had a brand new power supply. When it came to choosing a chassis shortly after, I again went back to Antec; finding a version 2 Antec 900 at my local Best Buy. Since those times we have seen many samples come through our doors with many, many, improvements in their chassis and now some new coolers to offer soon.
Last year, due to excessive heat in the upstairs where my desktop PCs are, I bit the bullet and bought myself a laptop. It's nothing special; I really only needed it for Outlook and to be able to find a cooler spot to write my reviews in the summer. With that in mind, I found that I tended to get a hot lap when using the notebook even when the ambient temps were low. That drove me to locating a foam product that would get the laptop off my lap and solve one of the issues. While it got the heat off my legs, It did very little for ridding the laptop of its own heat produced. In this laptop, the hard drive poses the biggest heat issue as it can almost burn the palm of my hand when typing.
This led me in the quest for the total solution to my needs. With a few emails to Cameron to get the go ahead, I sent out some requests and Antec answered my call. They have taken the leap as have many others into providing an ergonomically engineered cooling solution for notebook computers. Today I am going to take a look at the Antec Notebook Cooler Designer and see just what this cooler has to offer laptop users.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The designer is made from all plastic on the outside. The top is silver and has venting to allow the blower type fan inside to draw air from the bottom of the laptop and push the air out the back of the bottom of the cooler. Think stock GPU fan on a larger scale. The Designer is powered by a USB connection and draws minimum voltage to operate the 110mm fan while providing minimal impact on your laptop battery. The unit measures 13' x 11" at the corners and the back rises 1.7" to add slope to the keyboard. The reason I mentioned that that is a corner measurement is because the Designer is an "X" shaped notebook cooler.
The fan incorporated in the Designer has pretty low specs. 4.5 CFM of air is very little when it comes to cooling, even if it is a 110mm fan. However, with that CFM rating, the fan does produce pretty good static pressure to keep the draw pulling through the unit. With a maximum speed of 800 RPM, the noise levels are at an ear pleasing 23 dBA. This cooler offers up to 20,000 hours of run time for the fan and is listed to be used with any Mac or PC notebook with a 15" screen or less.
The Designer is already on shelves almost anywhere you look. Looking at Google shopping confirms this as all of the major e-tailers and a lot of those that aren't have them for sale. Pricing does vary; I see the Designer listed for between $20 and $30. Right smack in the middle of the price listings I see the Designer is listed at Newegg for $24.99. With that there is a $4.99 shipping charge, so even here the total is just below $30 to get the Designer.
Let's be realistic here. There isn't much you can do to improve performance and ergonomics for your laptop that I have seen much below $30. Even the foam concept I bought was near that price at the box store. In reality, the price of $30 is almost irrelevant as long as it can do what is expected of it.