So sure, the iXoft might look like a small quilt or over sized pot-holder to throw on your lap so you can use your notebook in comfort, but a quilt’s just going to make your notebook run hotter. At $25 to $30 retail, the iXoft Notebook Cooler from Thermaltake isn’t cheap. But it keeps your lap comfortable and your laptop cool.
SUPPLIED BY: Thermaltake
PRODUCT: Thermaltake iXoft Notebook Cooling Pad
PROD LINK: Thermaltake’s current offerings.
PRICE: $25.00 ~ $30.00
Price is at time of testing!
“It’s revolutionary….” Are you daft? It’s a MAT!
“It’s fanless….” Duh! It’s a MAT!
“It’s absolutely silent. 0dBA…” Hello? Mat?
This was my reaction to Thermaltake saying, “Yeah… we’ll send you our newest power supply. Here’s our notebook cooler too.” I opened the box and said, “This looks like the quilted blanky my daughter had when she was an infant!”
Upon opening the packaging and removing the 353MM wide, 305MM tall and 12MM thick quilted blanky mat, I noticed that in between the layers there was some sort of squishy gel. This gel is actually Sodium Sulfate Decahydrate, also known as Glauber’s Salt.
Glauber’s Salt melts at only 32.4°C. It actually changes from this semi-solid gel state to something somewhat liquidus. As the salt melts and moves away from the hot areas, it cools and solidifies in the cooler areas effectively dissipating the heat evenly across the pad. Since the layers of the pad are “sealed,” the hot liquid moving away from an area is replaced with cool gel that is then heated up and moves away again, creating a cycle of constant warming and cooling.
Let’s zoom in on the packaging a bit…
The label does state some rather obvious stuff. A simple pad is going to be fanless and require no power. I mean.. unless you managed to sew a fan in the thing. But it does show the weight at 640g and they do point out that it’s soft and portable. In fact, I think the packaging does the product a bit of an injustice. The plastic shell is so rigid, there’s no telling how soft and pliable the product is. One could easily roll the iXoft up and stick it into the small pocket of their laptop bag or backpack. You can’t do that with most other notebook coolers.
Wow! There’s a lot of fine print on the back of the package. I think we’ll touch on this more later.
So here’s the iXoft released from it’s hard plastic cocoon. On the “top” side, or the notebook side, we have a nylon quilt. The “pockets” created by the quilt allow for air flow. Yes, the Glauber’s Salt will help dissipate the heat, but your CPU fan still needs to move air and the quilting allows that to happen.
The bottom of the iXoft is a sort of corduroy material. It’s very soft to the touch and has a tenacious property (if you had “cords” when you were a kid, you know it’s a tenacious texture!) to it that prevents the pad from sliding off your lap, the table, etc.
Here’s the iXoft rolled up. As you can see, it’s a very soft and manageable material. It could probably make for a good pillow for those long flights.
Above is a close up of the back of the iXoft packaging. You can see that they measure a much lower temperature with the notebook on the iXoft than it would be on glass, wood or a book. But where was this temperature taken? The bottom of my laptop is probably represented perfectly by the thermal image shown here on the package. You have hot spots and cool spots. In the thermal image, they’re showing that most of the heat is dissipated evenly and are willing to admit that, “Hey, under load a CPU is going to run hot no matter what notebook cooler you’re using.” True. But let’s do our own experiment, shall we?