Thermaltake has been offering a lot of new products directed towards gamers as of late with the Element series of cases and Tt e-sports products. With that in mind, I sort of think this product should have fallen into the gamers section versus its intended purpose.
Thermaltake introduces the Mobile Fan 12 with the idea of adding a fair bit of cooling to laptop owners.
While the Mobile Fan 12 has a use in the laptop environment if you are at a table, with a laptop on the go adding this fan will certainly drain the battery faster, but will offer a fair bit of cooling where there may be none at all.
I think a better use for the Mobile Fan 12 would be in a LAN event or maybe on your desk to blow at your face while your overclocked computer is heating the room. The simple and safe design of this 66.55 CFM fan sandwiched between two guards to keep your fingers safe; Thermaltake offers us a USB powered, controllable fan on a stand to offer you cooling in instances where you have none at all.
Inside a puzzle box of cardboard, you will find the fan system comes completely assembled aside from the power connection. The fan, stand and guards are kept separate from the retractable five foot of power cord. The instructions are also shipped along with some warranty information all folded up and slid down the side. Honestly, here are your instructions. First, take the Mobile Fan 12 out of the box, plug in the 2-pin plug and plug in the USB connection. The fan will take right off!
Now that the basics are out of the way, let's get a good look at what you get for your money. Since we are on the subject, I was able to find it in stock at Newegg.com for $18.20 with free shipping currently. $20 isn't that bad of a price for the Mobile Fan 12! - Considering the fan, two guards, fan controller and the fact it is USB powered and can go anywhere makes it a viable solution whether on the go or on your table at a LAN event.
This is what the $20 investment delivers. A 120mm, 66.55CFM fan that will add a bit of noise with the 33.5 dBA sound rating. The seven orange blades are covered on both sides with guards that will even keep out the kitty paws that end up around your desk. A wire stand offers great support, and it is still thin enough to adjust the angle of the fan if you need to.
I was able to use this pair on my desk for some time now, and I find that in long gaming sessions I can keep one blowing on me to keep me cool and the other blowing across my keyboard and mouse area to keep the sweaty palms at bay. While it did add a bit of noise into my work area, with the hot months we just had, the Mobile Fan 12 took a sweltering room and made it possible to actually work in and even enjoyable.
When left at the full 66 CFM there is a good hum that is easily audible. Thermaltake addressed this with a very simple solution. With a bit of creative engineering they were able to place a very easy to use and access dial fan controller. When in the lowest setting, there is barely any noise to be heard, but you do need to keep the fan within six inches of what you want to cool, whereas on high speed the air flow can be felt at over two foot away.
Stretching the cable to its stopping point, I ended up with just over five foot of cable. The design of the power cord works much like a tape measure with a ratchet system to lock it in place as it is extended. As you pull the cable a very audible click is heard several times during the "full pull" which are the various stopping points. Once you are happy with the length you plug it in as seen in the previous images. To put it away, you simply flatten out the cabling a bit and push the black button in the middle of the plastic case. This will release the ratchet lock so you can pack it up and get on the move.
Considering the compact size of the entire unit and the fact that they can plug in anywhere, for the $18.20 Newegg.com is asking it is simply worth having one as a just in case item. As I mentioned, they came in handy in the hotter months, and do offer cooling from your PC without hard wiring to your power supply or having to mod a USB cable to power a fan you have around the house.
Given the fact that you are likely going to spend close to this to make one yourself, if not more, plus the fact that we all know that it isn't going to look this good when you are done, why bother? - Thermaltake has made an affordable solution for added cooling around the laptop, or in my thinking, cooling anywhere that you have a USB connection. Around the house, around the yard, or even today in the car; as long as you can find a USB port, you have a way to keep cool.