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Appeared on: Thursday, February 25, 2010
Glacialtech X-Wing R1 Cooling pad


1. Features, specifications
Manufacturer
Glacialtech
Model
Price 

$50

Category
Laptop users

Today we take a look to a new cooling pad from Glacialtech. The X-Wing which promises to offer high cooling efficiency for all laptop users. The pad is made up of SECC and plastic making it solidly built and is very stable. It has two non-skid rubber domes, which prevent any slippage of the notebook. User can also adjust the height of the cooling pad with the help of the two legs of the pad.

In fact, it is one of the most attractive notebook stands/cooling pads available in the market with slim and smart design for a various notebook models. In addition, besides the obvious purpose of the device to cool your notebook down, the X-Wing R1 adds a ton of features like a set of touch-sensitive media keys, temperature and fan speed display, and a 3 port USB hub. If the cooler can actually cool our notebook as well, it would be a great product. We will see it later on.

 

The inbuilt fan placed in the middle of the bottom side of the pad helps dissipation of the heat and noise emanating from the mounted notebook on it. Therefore, the X-Wing helps reduce the load on the system fans. Powered by USB connectivity from the notebook, it comes with 3 USB 2.0 ports to help the users to extend their USB slot and HDD slot from this cooling pad conveniently.

For the convenience of the users, the pad has fan speed and temperature indicator display. It actually helps the users to study the condition of the notebooks. X-Wing has media keys on the touch panel so that the users can actually control the media from the cooling pad. From the ergonomics point of view and color point of view, X-Wing Laptop cooling pad comes in four colors – silver, white, red & yellow:

- Product features

- Specifications

Model

R1

Material

Metal Mesh and Plastic

Dimension (mm)

380 x 350 x 50 mm

Fan Dimension (W / H / D)

70 x 70 x 15 mm (blower fan)

Fan Speed 1000~1600 (six step)
Bearing Type Entering bearing
Fan Life Expectancy 40,000 hours
Fan Noise Level (dB-A) 15 ~ 20.5 dBA
USB Port USB2.0 / 1.1 x 3
Power USB DC 5V
Weight 1.2 kg
Connector USB2.0 / 1.1 (Max current: 300mA)
Compatibility (NVIDIA Platform) Supports all 7”~16” notebook as well as 17”

2. A closer look, installation

The pad can be used with laptops 17" laptops or smaller. Its weight is around 1.2kg - possibly the heavier notebook cooler we have ever tested.

The Glacialtech X-Wing R1 was packaged in the large box showed below. The retail price of the product is around $48, making it quite competitive among other cooling pads.

Let's open the package. The cooler is placed into a bag and two foam holders keep it in place so there is no case it would be damaged during transportation. Besides the main device, the package includes just a USB cable and a printed manual. The USB cable is long enough to reach the USB ports of your laptop. However it would be more handy for users if this USB cable was retractable connected to the the main body of the cooling pad.

The cooler has uses a 7x7cm fan to keep the produced heat away from your laptop. The fan's speed range is 1000~1600 R.P.M, with a six-speed scale available for you to adjust the rotation speed using the touch-sensitive keys of the device. This is probably the first time a company equips a laptop cooler with such a nice 'control panel.'

The LED-backlit buttons look great at low lighting conditions. However, there is not an option to turn the backlighting off.

Starting from the left you have back, play, stop, forward, volume up, volume down, power, fan speed, temperature, lock, auto fan speed, and the fan speed adjustment. You also have two 7-segment displays that will show the temperature as well as show the speed of the fan. The media buttons allow you to start the installed media player software, forward, play, stop, back, volume up and volume down. Note that you won't need any driver to get everything working, at least under the Windows 7 x64 operating system.

The red sides of the pad make it look cool and stylish. The X-Wing Laptop cooling pad also comes in silver, white & yellow colors:

Flipping the pad over there is a large ventilation section in the middle right under the fan.You will also notice 4 rubber feet that will help keep the X-wing in place on your desk or even when you are using it on a glass surface:

Looking closer, we can see two adjustable feet that that put the pad at an even more extreme angle, even though the X-Wing’s design puts your laptop at an angle:

Moving around back you will find the inputs: a mini USB connection for power and connectivity, and 3 USB 2.0 ports . There is also an AC power connection, although no AC power adapter was included. Also on the back is a large vent:

- Installation

Placing a laptop on the notebook cooler is easy although we had to carefully set our Sony Vaio SR19 laptop on top in order to have the maximum cooling efficiency. We plugged it into our laptop via the USB connection. As we previously mentioned, Windows 7 automatically recognized the pad and installed the necessary drivers. Then we turned the power on.

As you can see the 38x35cm pad offers enough space to set your laptop on:


3. Using the device, conclusion
- Tests

To test the notebook cooler we used the following set up:

To test the X-Wing we did our normal routine. First we measured the temperature of the laptop after running the Everest Burn-in test (CPU+Memory+HDD) and the 3DMark 06 (GPU) at the same time. In all cases, the temperatures were logged by the Everest software. Then we set the laptop on the cooler with the fan turned off, set to auto and finally at its full speed (manual set) in order to witness how each setting affects the cooling performance. The results are available in the table below. For your comparison, we have included the results we measured with another notebook cooler, the Akasa Libra:

 
X-Wing R1 cooler
Akasa Libra cooler
 
No cooler
Set on the pad, fan disabled
Set on the pad +Auto fan speed
Set on the pad+ full fan speed
CPU
63.7
63.6
63.6
62.8
63.4
Motherboard
63.7
63.6
63.6
62.8
63.4
CPU core #1
57.4
57.5
57.4
56.3
57.3
CPU core #2
59.9
59.9
59.8
58.5
59.3
GPU
56.2
55.7
55.7
54.9
55.4
HDD
35.6
35.3
35.9
34.8
35.3

As it seems, cooling down our Vaio SR19 laptop was kinda hard. Without any cooler, the laptop is already cool enough. Placing the laptop upon the cooler didn't make any significant difference.. Powering up the Glacialtech X-Wing R1 helped a little bit, with the GPU temperature to drop by almost a 1 degree C. It seems that running the X-Wing R1 product at full speed is the best option in our case.

We have noticed that due to the pad's design, small-sized notebooks (like our Sony Vaio SR19) won't be benefited much. It's size does not allow it to firmly fit on the pad's surface. As a result, the produced heat cannot be efficiently dissipated below the laptop. We believe that 14.4/15.4 or larger products would get a much performance with the specific cooler. As you can see from the above results, the Akasa Libra product was also not very efficient when we tested it with the specific notebook. On the other hand, a bigger fan in the X-Wing cooler would certainly help a lot.

- Conclusion

The Glacialtech X-Wing R1 is a laptop cooler is a different notebook cooling pad than we are used to seeing. The product has some really cool features that we have not seen on other notebook cooling pads like the multimedia keys, temperature display, and the fact that all of the keys are touch-sensitive. Glacialtech has designed a feature-rich cooler and some details such as the controllable fan speed make the difference. The pad was also very quiet for the category so you using the pad will not be disturbing at all. All of these features really set this notebook cooling pad apart from other ones out there.

On the other hand, the cooling performance of the device was very poor, at least in our tests. With the fans turned all the way up we only saw a 1 degree difference at load temperature. As we previously mentioned, this poor performance could be attributed to the fact that the pad's design does not allow laptops smaller that 14" to be firmly placed on its surface, making it difficult for the fan to dissipate the produced heat. We had also noticed a similar behavior with another cooling pad, the Akasa Libra.

We feel that the Glacialtech X-Wing R1 is a very stylish and feature-rich cooling pad for laptop users, as long as laptop is larger than 15.4 inches. If GlacialTech equip the pad with a larger more powerful fan, the X-Wing R1 could really be a great notebook cooling solution for your precious mobile computer.

 



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