IT GETS THE JOB DONE BUT DON’T EXPECT MIRACLES
I just want to get this out of the way before I start the review. It seems like the bulk of consumers are setting their hopes too high for laptop coolers like this. Throwing a cooling mat under your laptop and expecting to see a massive improvement of your system’s temperatures is foolish, you will be lucky if you see any improvement at all. That’s not to say that these cooling devices do absolutely nothing, something like this might actually be a good solution to aid an overheating laptop. I’m just saying that you should not expect to be able to set some crazy overclock on your system just because you are using a cooling pad like the one in this review. If the cooler makes any difference at all (varies across laptop makes and models) it’s probably going to be around 1 to 2 degrees at most (it might be more but I usually see reductions 1-2 degrees in magnitude).
The first thing that I noticed about the Vanble laptop chill mat was that its design is nearly identical to that of the 17″ Intey cooling pad that I reviewed a few weeks ago. The only difference between the two being that the Vanble mat is utilizing 2x 160mm fans for cooling while the Intey cooler uses 3x smaller fans. Starting out, this was a good thing and bad thing as I really liked the overall quality and design of the Intey unit but it had little effect on overall system temperatures.
I was pleased with the overall structural integrity and design of the Vanble cooler. Its surface is composed of an attractive metal mesh while the rest of the unit is made out of a sturdy ABS plastic. The unit is just shy of 1.5lbs making it a light and portable piece of gear. The bottom of the unit has two areas where cutouts are placed for the fans, I would consider these spots to be the weakest points on the laptop as they did bend a little when pressure was applied. At this point I also noticed something that initially worried me. The fans are so large that additional supports for the metal mesh towards the outside of the cooler had to be omitted. This means that if a large amount of pressure is applied to a single point above the fan the metal mesh makes contact with the fan creating an awful grinding sound and eventually causes the fan to come to a complete stop. After further testing I realized that this was not an issue as long as the weight of a laptop is evenly distributed across the top of the cooler.
This mat has several convenient features. The fold up legs allow you to prop your computer up at an angle or lay it down flat. Thanks to an additional USB pass-through port built into the back of the cooler you can still use the USB port that powers the mat. Rubber feet mounted on the surface and bottom of the unit keep your laptop and the pad from sliding around all over the place.
The 2x 160mm fans in this unit are dead silent, I would not have know the unit was on if I was not staring right at it. Each fan is accompanied by two blue LED’s, these are permanently on so if you are one of those who hates blue LED’s then this is not the laptop cooler for you. The fans move air but not very much of it. I was expecting a bit more from dual 160mm fans spinning at 1000RPM.
Performance was as expected. I had a very hard time distinguishing if the cooling pad was making any difference in my systems temperatures. Results from each trial looked nearly identical with a possible 1-2 degree improvement during the Prime 95 testing.
For what it’s meant to be this is a decent laptop cooler. Its overall construction is structurally sound, it is equipped with several convenient features, and it does have the ability to bump the temperatures of your laptop down by one or two degrees. Though as always, there are some improvements that could be made. The airflow out of the fans was a bit underwhelming and I would really like to see the addition of a switch to disable the LED’s in the future.
-Quality is good
-Convenient features such as a USB pass-through port and fold down feet
-On par with other laptop coolers I have tested in the past
-No way to turn off the LED’s
-I was expecting a little more as far as airflow was concerned