Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One Day’s Decent Use Does Not Justify The iWorld Laptop Cooling Station!

The Good: Inexpensive, Easy to use.
The Bad: Requires USB power to use, Does not sufficiently move air to keep a laptop computer cool, Dies after a day, Breaks easily.
The Basics: Having used two different IWorld Laptop Cooling Stations for about two weeks now, I am easily able to declare them a worthless product.

Not very long ago, my wife’s laptop cooling device (reviewed here!) began making a hideous noise. I mean, it started sounding like blender and that meant that something went horribly wrong with the fan in it. So, when I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness (reviewed here!) in IMAX downstate, I was momentarily thrilled to find a Five Below store (we had a few in New York and I was pretty psyched to find one here in Michigan! While there, I found a $5 replacement for our laptop cooling needs, so I picked up two iWorld Laptop Cooling Stations.

So, between the movie and the two cooling stations, I blew a lot of money on crap in one day!

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!), but that did not work out for long-term use. After a few failed products, I picked up the iWorld Laptop Cooling Stations at Five Below . . . and discovered it was one of the worst failures.

The iWorld Laptop Cooling Station, model CP-7005, is a hard plastic desk-like support for laptop computers. It is 11 7/8" wide by 8” deep and 7/8” thick, when the feet in back are folded into the bottom of the Cooling Station. The Cooling Station does not slide because the bottom features four rubber patches which act as slip-resistant strips. Unfortunately, the top of the iWorld Laptop Cooling Station features nothing similar and laptops will move around on the device fairly freely. The IWorld Laptop Cooling Station features a pair of fans in its center, on the left and right, which puts them below the center of the laptop that is placed on the stand.

The iWorld Laptop Cooling Station is powered via USB power. There is a 14” 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 iWorld Laptop Cooling Station begins blowing air up. Because the surface of the top of the IWorld Laptop Cooling Station has ridges, the air basically bounces off the warm computer bottom and is blown out the sides. When placed on a flat surface, the feet in back must be lowered to promote airflow. Actually, that is the theory behind the iWorld Laptop Cooling Station, but the execution is a bit of a flop because the fans are not strong enough to make a difference.

The first thing I noticed about the iWorld Laptop Cooling Station is that it is not at all powerful. The fans are very quiet, which is nice, but it is because they are ineffectively moving the air. To wit, when I first picked up the iWorld Laptop Cooling Station, I had to try to figure out which way the device was sucking and blowing. I was unable to. With a piece of toilet paper, I could not get a bead on which was blowing or sucking. In fact, sticking a piece of toilet paper near the fans . . . the toilet paper did not move. That is how weak this cooling device is.

And it shows. This does almost nothing to actually cool down the laptop. My wife’s crapped out within two days and it is now a piece of junk that is going to get recycled. Literally two days after buying it, the motor died (and, given that Five Below is 120 miles away, it was not even worth trying to return).

IWorld does manage to do something neat with the IWorld Laptop Cooling Station, though. The cord comes in a small channel which allows one to easily wrap the cord under the IWorld Laptop Cooling Station when it is not in use.

Sadly, though, this is not worth picking up, even at $5. I keep mine on for the psychological gain of believing I am doing SOMETHING to stop my laptop computer from overheating (rationally, I know I am not) and to provide a minimal physical barrier between my lap and my computer so I neither get burned by it nor cause it to heat more. Being a simple spacer is about all the iWorld Laptop Cooling Station is good for and it is too hard a sell even for that. As my wife noted (when I was considering rating this 1/10), “I can blow my nose and get toilet paper to move, but I’m not a laptop cooler; this can’t move toilet paper and it is supposed to be a cooler.”

For other products that can be an asset to laptop use, check out my reviews of:
HP Compaq Sps 325111-001 Dongle
Netgear WN2000RPT WiFi Range Extender
Gear Head 3 Button Optical Mouse


For other computer-related reviews, be sure to visit my Computer Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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