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Appeared on: Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Thermaltake Ixoft Pad


1. Introduction

Thermaltake has a long tradition in producing cooling solutions for almost all types of computers. With laptop users becoming more prevalent, they too are facing the serious problem of heat. As a laptop user, my Asus A6JA gets really hot when the CPU and GPU are working under full load (as in the case of games). When working in the office, this isn't such a problem although, anything that can reduce the heat produced will almost certainly prolong computer lifetime. Road warriors have an even greater problem though. Where to place their laptop and most importantly, how not to get burned from the heat produced. Thermaltake has the answer, the iXoft cooling pad.

- Thermaltake iXoft cooling pad

Thermaltake Technology, the world’s leading brand in high-end computer chassis, power supply and thermal solutions, is launching its latest passive notebook cooling product.  Leveraging on its expertise in thermal management, as well as innovative product design capability, Thermaltake engineered a completely fanless, ultra-portable cooling device with the launch of iXoft Fanless Notebook Cooling pad.

The most innovative thermal design feature is found in its patented Heat Shift Technology, which consists of phase change material that exhibits cold and solid property when not in use then transforms into liquid form when dissipating heat away from the heat source.

Upon contact with a heat source such as a computer notebook, iXoft quickly absorbs heat away from the source and accelerates thermal dissipation by distributing heat across all available surfaces on the iXoft pad and into the environment through natural convection.

All this is done without any moving parts which guarantees iXoft will operate continuously, without consuming any precious battery from the notebook and without producing any noise.

Portability played an equally important part in the design of iXoft, which weighs in at only 650g (22 ounces), making it the world’s lightest notebook cooler available today.  In addition to its light weight property, iXoft can also be folded for easy transportation and storage.

- Features

- Specifications

P/N
Black
R15ON01
White
R15ON02
Weight
640g
Dimension
353x305x12mm
Material
Sodium Sulfate Decahydrate Na2SO4.10H2O
Noise Level
0 dBA

2. Retail package

Thermaltake provided us with the R15ON01 retail package (black colour). Users can buy it at the retail price of ~$29 (+shipping). The product is covered by a hard plastic shell that needs to be cut in order to get to the pad.

The pad should comfortably cover the footprint of a 15.4" laptop. Thermaltake claims that 17" laptops are covered, and that should be the case:

The surface is smooth and consists of small undulations, while the edges are stitched with a heavy-weight, woven tape. The finish looks very good.

Underneath, the surface is flat, so you can place it comfortably on your lap.

The iXoft pad can be easily bent for easy transportation.

While heat dissipates through the entire surface area.


3. Tests and Conclusion

- Tests/Conclusion

Before testing the product, I was rather skeptical as to how exactly this product could help cool my Asus A6JA. It's only 15.4" laptop, but it gets very hot, especially after I replaced the original Fujitsu 4200rpm HDD with a Seagate 5400rpm HDD in order to get better performance. The testing process was simple and included getting the laptop to rise to maximum temperatures (using 3D Mark06) and measure the laptop temperatures (with Everest Ultimate Edition). The results are shown below:

Without any kind of external cooling, the Asus A6JA gets really hot, and the CPU reaches around 82° C when running 3D Mark06. The laptop is borderline with temperatures, since 3D Mark06 loads to the maximum the VGA and CPU components.

Let's now see how effective the Thermaltake iXoft pad is. The testing procedure is the same, we placed the iXoft pad under the laptop and fired up 3D Mark 06.

Looking at the test results we see some differences, on the positive side. First of all, we see a 3° C temperature drop in the average motherboard temperature. Average CPU temperatures are not affected by as much, only 1° C. What is affected is the HDD temperature. A drop from 53° C average down to 46° C! That's a major improvement.

Concluding this review, I found the Thermaltake iXoft Pad to be a pleasant surprise in helping cool my laptop. It should help cool down all laptop parts to some degree. Of course, air cooling could be more effective, but we believe passive cooling has its own merits. Overall a good product. Perhaps the only drawback, the price could be a little lower.



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