The Good: Inexpensive, Easy to use, Easy to travel with.
The Bad: Requires USB power to use, Does not sufficiently move air to keep a laptop computer cool, Comparatively loud.
The Basics: The Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand is not powerful enough (and draws upon power to operate!) to successfully keep laptop computers that are in heavy use cool.
As I work my way up (finally!) to reviewing the laptop computer my wife purchased for me last year after she was gifted one, I am stalling by evaluating every possible peripheral we have around the house for them! Today, I actually reach the last one, the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand.
Given that both my wife and I use our laptop computers consistently for long periods of time – twelve to fifteen hours a day is not unheard of – one of the first accessories we purchased was a laptop cooler. I tend to be squeamish about anything that requires power, so I went with a cooling mat (reviewed here!). My wife went with the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand. Recently, I had reason to use the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand myself for a few days and it made me very happy that I do not have to keep using it now.
The Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand, model F5L055, is a hard plastic desk-like support for laptop computers. It is 11 3/4" wide by 11 3/8” deep and just under 2” tall at the back. The front is lower, which makes the latop’s keyboard raised when it is on the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand. The laptop computer does not slide, though, because the top features two rubber patches which act as slip-resistant strips for the laptop. The Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand features a fan in its center, which sits beneath the center of the laptop that is placed on the stand.
The Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand is powered via USB power. There is a foot-long cord that ends in a USB-male jack that plugs into any USB port on the laptop. As soon as the device is powered, the fan on the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand begins blowing air up. Because the surface of the top of the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand is curved, the air that is being blown up blows out both sides of the base of the laptop.
The first thing I noticed about the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand is that it is loud. In fact, the fan on the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand is nowhere near whisper-quiet. While it effectively moves some air, the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand does not move enough air to justify the amount of noise it makes. Instead, the heat that is not dispersed by the fan continues to radiate. The Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand also gets hotter the longer it runs, making it pretty ineffective over long periods of time. While the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand is not a huge energy hog, I have noticed that it cuts down my laptop battery’s life by half when it is active and my laptop is not plugged in.
Belkin does manage to do something neat with the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand, though. The cord comes in a small channel which allows one to easily wrap the cord under the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand when it is not in use.
This is, ultimately, not enough to make it possible to recommend the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand; there are better cooling products for laptop computers.
For other products that can be an asset to laptop use, check out my reviews of:
Netgear WN2000RPT WiFi Range Extender
Gear Head 3 Button Optical Mouse
Dynex 4 Port USB 2.0 Hub
For other computer-related reviews, be sure to visit my Computer Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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