Mini Upgrades

So, I bought the Mini 9, still about 3 weeks before it comes, but I knew I’d want to upgrade it. So I recently purchased:
Super Talent 32GB SSD and 2GB ram module to replace the 512MB ram module.
8 cell 77WHr battery, to replace the built-in 32WHr 4 cell battery.

I expect both of these to come before the mini, but that’s alright…

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Antec Notebook Cooler revisited

In 2005, I reviewed the Antec Notebook Cooler. It broke in early 2007 as a result of connecting a VGA cable to my Dell Inspiron 700m, when there pretty obviously really wasn’t room for it to fit. Eventually the thin wire that connects the USB cable to the USB plug was separated, making the device useless. It looks like a definite weak spot of the device. A year’s use for ~$10 is nothing to complain about, though.

So after some time using an inferior cheap replacement, I decided I needed to set out and find another Antec Notebook Cooler. Man you never know what you’re missing until it’s gone. So I bought another one used for ~$10.

So if I had to revisit the 9.5/10 score, I’d now give it a 9.0/10, due to its critical weakpoint. Now that I know what can go wrong, I can prevent it from happening again.

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Antec Notebook Cooler Review

I recently received the Antec Notebook Cooler from CompUSA for $10 after rebate. It was tested with my Dell Inspiron 700m 12″ Laptop.

While the 12″ laptop is comprised of a Centrino processor, it will still heat up for long use or cpu intensive activities; i.e. gaming or compiling.

If you’re a man using a notebook, and you wish to someday have kids, it’s very important that the lap is kept cooled. I won’t go into more detail, but you can google why if you wish :P.

Technical Specifications:

  • USB-powered cooler
  • USB pass-through connector so USB port is replicated
  • Low power consumption
  • No battery or power adapter required
  • Two double ball-bearing fans
  • Very quiet, 25.9 dB(A)
  • AQ3 Antec Quality three-year warranty

Heat is drawn away from the laptop with the fans and the aluminum surface of the notebook cooler, than exhausted out of the sides of the cooler.

My Impressions:
Pros: The first thing I noticed about the cooler was the design. It looks sleek, styling and blends in almost perfectly with my notebook. It’s lightweight, easy to use and very comfortable. It didn’t come with a manual, but it really did not need it. It took me about 1 minute to find the power cable (in a small compartment on the device), once it was found it was literally plug and play.

The extended corners would appear to fit any notebooks from 9″ to 19″ displays. I have a 12″ which is on the lowest end of the current spectrum, and it doesn’t feel like the cooler is too big for the notebook.

Cons: The cooler comes with a very short usb power cable to connect to the notebook. The power connector is on the side. This looks to be somewhat poor planning to me. If the notebook has only usb ports on the opposite side, it looks like the cooler would be be fully functional when rotated 180 degrees. However, what if the notebook has no side usb ports, only on the back? This was the case with my last laptop. I guess one would just get an usb extension cable?

There is a blue LED that shines rather brightly out of the side of the unit. I would think this is cool if it didn’t shine directly into the eyes of the person next to me.

The Test:
I setup the system to play Warcraft 3 for 1 hour. After the hour was completed, my lap was still as cool as room temperature. The laptop had done it’s job; it reverted the heat from the lap to elsewhere. This device proposes to cool down the notebook, which is something I don’t care about as much as keeping me cool while I use the notebook. As far as I am concerned, it thoroughly succeeded.

There are a few minor issues with the cooler, but overall it does a great job and looks great doing it. It looks to be very versatile as far what is supported, and extremely easy to install and use. The price was great for me, and I am very glad that I have this product.

Overall: 9.5/10

See my pictures of the Antec Notebook Cooler.

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New Notebook Cooler Pad

I either lost or misplaced my last notebook cooler pad, but I think that overall it didn’t work too well. It was awkward to use, a pain to plugin, and it didn’t really fit right.

I’m getting another one for my birthday (thanks Robin); the Antec Notebook Cooler. I’ll post a review once I get it and try it out a little bit. I’ll hopefully compare and contrast it to the SVC brand one I have (somewhere).

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Shinza ZeroShock Notebook Sleeve

Thanks to a tip, I purchased a Shinza ZeroShock 12-Inch Notebook Sleeve for my Dell Inspiron 700m.

I bought it on ebay for $31 shipped, and it came a few days later. I was pretty excited to get rid of my enourmous current briefcase-converted-case and try this form fitting case.

At first I was worried, because it looks like it doesn’t fit, but a little force gets the laptop to fit snugly inside the notebook sleeve. The material of which it is composed is very impressive. It can supposedly withstand an iron ball dropping on it, but I wouldn’t test it :P.

I took some pictures.

Not a bad price for a notebook case
Seems to amply protect the device
Very small, only slightly larger than the notebook

Snug fit, have to apply some force
Often hard to get the zipper all the way around
Stains the laptop?

Overall I would rate the Shinza ZeroShock Notebook Sleeve an 8 thumbs up. (out of 10? Of course you realize that my ratings are completely arbitrary and have no real meaning…)

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