Comparative Study of Lap-top cooling products

2003
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Comparative Study

Less is More.
[Definition of good design by architect MiesVanDerRohe.]

The following study of the range of designs of laptop cooling stands clearly shows that adding styling features to the design detracts from the cooling function.


The GBreeze features perforated metal.


However, since the high thermal conductivity characteristic of the aluminum is acting as a heat sink, reducing the amount of material results in a reduction of the cooling function.

Also the shape of this design does not lend itself to convenient portability. The KoolSink maximizes the surface area of aluminum and, in addition, the laptop may be nested within the KoolSink thus taking up the minimum of room in a brief-case or carry pack.


The iLap features pads to improve comfort when using the laptop without a table-top. While the aluminum heatsink principal emulates that of the KoolSink, the rest of the design features render it less convenient to slip into a brief-case or laptop carry case.

 


The LapTopDesk, made of Polycarbonate plastic, and the LapWorks appear to be a very similar design. While it's not clear which is the original, neither are very elegant solutions and neither they nor the LapBottom, which is made of carbon fibre, have any tilt to improve ergonomics.
LapWorks v.1.0

LapBottom
The Spartacamus PowerBook stand is made of coated steel and tilts the laptop so the screen is at eye-level. This, however, requires one to purchase an extra, external keyboard.
Spartacamus PowerBook stand
The Kamas PowerBook Stand, (also marketed in Japan as Pawasapo) is a complex piece of engineering to form a stainless steel lap-top computer stand. The cost alone makes it uncompetitive it is also far from portable. Though providing eye-level viewing of a laptop computer's screen (as their platform is adjustable to any angle and has a space for storing the keyboard beneath), the laptop computer, still requires an extra, external keyboard.

Moreover, it also only lets air circulate more freely under the laptop rather than stealing heat away as the KoolSink does. Also, the Kamas PowerBook Stand design, compared to the simple, KoolSink form, is such that it would be very clumsy to transport and the price, US$99, makes it uncompetitive.

Kamas PowerBook Stand
The " Minus 4 deg C" Cooling Support for PowerBook G4 or iBook attempts to solve the problem that the bottom of a Macintosh laptop gets so warm that it is uncomfortable to place on your lap. Its finned aluminum support lifts the rear of these Macintosh laptops by 5/8" to aid in cooling and to provide a better typing angle. However, unlike the KoolSink, it attaches permanently making the laptop less convenient to pack.

Minus 4 deg C
The Zerus is an electronic cooling stand made from brushed aluminum with a pair of electric fans to dissipate heat. It is powered by the USB port with an on/off switch. While it also raises the rear of the PowerBook for more comfortable typing and is light and portable for travel the fact that it houses two electric fans makes it liable to mechanical failure and adding fans negates the basic purpose which is to avoid the use of the laptop’s internal fan.




Zerus


The NB-600 has three fans, is made of plastic, requires an external power source and does not tilt the laptop.


The Podium CoolPad and the smaller 'Traveler' Coolpad both pivot 360 degrees. However, their appearance is not attractive and they were actually described by CNN as looking like a child’s Lego set. Neither the Coolpad nor the ErgoKomfort / ErgoComfort have any heat conduction properties, being constructed of plastic and acrylic respectively. The latter material is highly susceptible to damage and once again the KoolSink’s monocoque aluminum construction is a more robust product.


Podium CoolPad


Traveler CoolPad


ErgoComfort

The Podium CoolPad and the smaller 'Traveler' Coolpad both pivot 360 degrees. However, their appearance is not attractive and they were actually described by CNN as looking like a child’s Lego set. Neither the Coolpad nor the ErgoKomfort / ErgoComfort have any heat conduction properties, being constructed of plastic and acrylic respectively. The latter material is highly susceptible to damage and once again the KoolSink’s monocoque aluminum construction is a more robust product.

http://www.lapinator.com/lappan1.jpg
ErgoComfort

The next two products exhibit inherent failings: Tthe travelling collapsable stands: the LapStand and the InStand are both extremely light tubular supports for a lap-top but neither are likely to provide the robust, firm base needed for serious typing which the KoolSink offers.

.
.Lapstand.................................... InStand

The Lapinator Plus claims to keep your lap and your laptop cool thanks to 3M's Thinsulate?


 

The iRac is made of solid steel in one of three colors. Contact points are covered with rubber socks to provide grip and protection.


 

The last group of solutions include products like Rain and Waterfall which are not stands at all but rather soft-ware cooling solutions which claim to decrease the CPU temperature by up to 30 degrees C while at the same time optimizing the laptop’s CPU for a faster performance. They monitor the CPU usage & power consumption and even sound an alarm if something abnormal occurs such as the temperature becoming too high. So far there are no programs for the Macintosh platform and this solution does nothing to improve ergonomic positioning of the laptop.




In conclusion, the KoolSink is clearly the most affordable, elegant, portable, robust, and efficient laptop cooling and tilting stand available today.
 






 




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