My laptop developed some problems late 2007 which causes it to freeze regardless if I have Linux or Windows running. I initially thought it has something to do with the installed operating systems but reinstalling various Linux distributions didn’t help. My initial suspect was a heat problem. I turned Lala upside down and proceeded to vacuum the bottom side with the help of a couple of toothpicks to help remove the lint (and two years of use can accumulate a lot of those!).

LSY709 Cooler - Courtesy of CDRKing

Last February I walked by a CDR-King shop and decided to get a laptop cooling pad. The models available are only the slider ones which I don’t want. I wanted something that I can use as a prop stand while doing portable computing in the bed. The only non-slider model they have is the LSY709 so it is the model I got after being assured that it can accommodate a 15 inch laptop. If I remember correctly this peripheral is given a 7-day warranty.

First off, the cooler pad is able to hold Lala but not by much. The laptop is protruding by almost an inch on both sides, and 1.5″ at the hinge side. I don’t think the shop contains any cooler that is bigger so this is not something that can be helped. The pad’s construction is slanted which raises the back portion higher. It also has two plastic “stands” at the top corners that elevates the placed laptop a little further and gives a little air pocket between the pad’s metal surface. Overall the pad still fits in my laptop bag quite comfortably but I am anxious on the bare edges because even if they are smooth they may still rip the padding if placed incorrectly and forcefully,

One thing that is not shown in the site is the view from below so here it is:

The wires are pretty open which can be something to worry since I want to put this in my lap. Fortunately the fans are protected by grills so there is no possibility of my leg skin getting into contact if I place it on my lap while it is in operation. But the wires is still ugly as it is something that looks like what I would have done if I constructed it myself.

This cooler, as can be seen from the image posted in the cdrking site, has three quiet fans in the middle that pulls the heat from the laptop placed on top. Unfortunately my laptop’s bottom vents are on the top portion near the hinge so they don’t really line up. Again this is something that I don’t think can be helped because I reviewed all the cooler pads in the site (at the time) and all of them has the cooler in the middle. I think it is the laptop design (a Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pro V7100) that is at fault here. I need to check the other laptops if the placement of the heat vents are in the middle. Nevertheless the air pocket between the laptop bottom and the cooler pad surface is enough to produce a swirling ventilation.

I have used the pad whenever the laptop is in use. The elevation works great especially when I am placing the laptop down on the bed. As everybody who owns a laptop should know (yes Boi, that includes you), putting laptops on top of fabric or paper is not recommendes as they are soft enough to block the vents. The cooler pad gives the laptop enought elevation that even if the fans are blocked, the laptop vents are still free to swirl the air around. I haven’t experienced any lock-ups yet.

Now the bad parts:

  • While the fans are quiet, their output must not be that strong. I can barely feel the airflow when I switch on the fans.
  • The bare metal approach is not comfortable if you put it in your lap. I get dent marks on my legs whenever I forget to put a throw pillow on the edge that touches my skin. The laptops weight (~2.5 kilos) might also have something to do with it.
  • Shabby wiring. As of today, the fans are dead. I think I can see where the wires got damaged and may be able to fix it if I get the time, tools and inclination. Right now this pad is only good for elevation. 🙁

This pad is now due for replacement. Will I get the same model? Probably not. It was a value for what I paid for it but I think there might be something better out there that provides the right balance of price and functionality.