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GlacialTech launched X-Wing recently; an advanced notebook cooling pad that we have ever seen. It is not only having those features that a high end notebook cooling pad should have but it is also equipped with touchable media keys, panel control as well as temperature/fan speed LED display. Let us go through further to find out the beauty of this first notebook cooling pad from GlacialTech.
GlacialTech Inc. was established in June 2001 by a team of 8 world-class researchers (PHDs) and three factory owners. Its technological areas of expertise include specialized thermaltheory, soldering and mounting technologies, mechanism design, test and verification environment build-up and advanced conduct material development.
As a total thermal solution provider, GlacialTech is committed to using lighter weight materials, lower noise and lower manufacturing cost to deliver superior cooling solutions. All this has brought about the increased value for our customers with lighter system board loading, quiet working environment and optimal price performance. Price performance, noise performance and weight performance are our three cooling design philosophy. Having acquired ISO 9001 and 14001, GlacialTech commits itself to using green materials for its products designs and to perfecting green manufacturing processes in manufacturing its products.
Package & Contents
GlacialTech X-Wing is packed with a huge packaging box and this is the biggest packaging box that we have ever seen for a notebook cooling pad as most of the time notebook cooling pad is not really packed very well maybe due to its lower popularity and demand. Features and specifications of X-Wing are written clearly at the back of the packaging box with some diagrams.
Besides two big foams for protecting GlacialTech X-Wing, it also comes with a high quality carrying pouch for avoiding its shinning surface to be scratched especially the nice touchable panel. Not many accessories are bundled together with GlacialTech X-Wing except a carrying pouch, user's manual and a USB power cable since notebook cooling pad is a simple device.
The user's manual of GlacialTech X-Wing is a piece of A3 manual and it may look complicated due to Multilanguage but basically it is extremely simple to understand. The USB cable of GlacialTech X-Wing is quite similar with an external HDD enclosure where the cable to be connected with the system in order to power up the device. However such separated USB cable isn't really ideal and we would prefer an integrated USB cable within the notebook cooling pad which is much flexible and convenience.
A Closer Look - X Wing R1
As we mentioned previously GlacialTech X-Wing is the first attempted notebook cooling pad from GlacialTech and basically there are two versions; standard version without the touchable panel; R2 and touchable version; R1. There are total four colors available for GlacialTech X-Wing which are yellow, white, red & silver and we found that GlacialTech is going to launch couple more notebook cooling pads; X-Wing Mini and GlacialPad which are stated on GlacialTech website but not officially launched yet.
The overall dimension of GlacialTech X-Wing R1 is 378 x 350 x 50 mm (W x D x H) while the weight is around 1.2KG which is bit heavier compare with other aluminum notebook cooling pads. GlacialTech X-Wing R1 can support any 7" up to 17" notebook which should able to covers most of the netbooks and notebooks. GlacialTech X-Wing R1 is made up of SECC and plastic material for solid construction but light weight.
One of the obvious advantages for GlacialTech X-Wing R1 over other notebook cooling pads is the touchable control panel. Although touchable control panel is widely used in notebook but this is the first time we saw it on a notebook cooling pad. Touchable control panel doesn't have any physical outer button but basically there is a slim button underneath the panel and such touchable control panel not only looks high-tech but also charming and eases of use. All these keys of the touchable panel come with LED backlight which is great during dim environment.
Here are the close up photos of GlacialTech X-Wing R1's touchable control panel and this control panel can be categorized into three sections; media keys, functional buttons and LED display. The media key allows user to quick access and control the media player; start media player software, forward, play, stop, back, volume up and volume down. While the functional keys are power on/off, display fan speed/temperature, lock, auto and + - fan speed (6 steps). Besides that two 7-segment hex LED displays are included for displaying either temperature or fan speed.
The whole top panel of GlacialTech X-Wing R1 comes with black mesh with three rubber feet for holding the notebook firmly on top of it. Although the mesh is so huge which already covers the whole top panel of the GlacialTech X-Wing R1 but actually only a small 70mm blower fan is equipped with expected 40,000 hours life cycle, 1000-1600RPM fan speed and 15 to 20.5 dBA. The blower has plenty of fan blades but we hope GlacialTech can reduce the complexity of removal the mesh so that maintenance can be carried easily to clean out the dust after some time.
Here are the rear views of GlacialTech X-Wing R1. All the fresh air will be drawn from both bottom & rear sides and blow toward the notebook through the top panel. Theoretically GlacialTech X-Wing R1 should able to cool down all type of notebooks easily as the airflow is evenly flow through the whole bottom panel of the notebook except those notebooks are having rear or side intake ventilation. GlacialTech X-Wing R1's structure is able to support more than 70mm blower fan and since fan speed controller is included as well, we would like to see a larger & powerful fan to be used to maximize its cooling performance.
GlacialTech X-Wing R1 contains total three USB 2.0 ports which is great especially those notebooks with very limited USB ports. The mini USB port is for connecting to the system in order to power up the GlacialTech X-Wing R1, however as we mentioned before we prefer an integrated USB cable rather than a separated cable; problem for keeping it when it is not being used. Besides these ports, a DC connector is built in as well where DC adapter can be used straightaway without the incoming USB cable.
Four rubber feet are included for the bottom panel of the GlacialTech X-Wing R1 which is used for securing the whole notebook and the cooling pad firmly on the surface. Besides that GlacialTech X-Wing R1 has two adjustable height positions which is quite common for notebook cooling pad since it provides better comfortable for certain of postures but we found that additional one more taller tilt angle will be perfect.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Installation of GlacialTech X-Wing R1 is simple and straightforward, just connect the bundled USB cable with notebook. If the cable is connected correctly, the power button will be lighted up in red color which is standby mode. Once the GlacialTech X-Wing R1 is powered on, all the LED of the control panel key will be lighted up with blue color; active mode.
We have tested GlacialTech X-Wing R1 with Dell 17" notebook and we would say everything is working as per design; nothing is lacking or malfunction. The Media keys are quite an interesting feature as it allows quick access for opening up the video, music and other kind of multimedia files; no driver or software is required which is another advantage. The lock key is used to lock the whole control panel for avoiding accidental click while the auto key is an intelligent feature where it will automatically spin the fan to higher/lower speed accordingly to its temperature sensor result.
Notebook: Dell Inspiron E1720
Processor: Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo T7500
Memory: Kingston 4GB HyperX 666MHz DDR2
Hard Drive: 120GB 2.5" 5400RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS
Optical Drive: DVD RW
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Notebook Cooler: GlacialTech X-Wing R1
Operating System: Microsoft Window XP SP2
Benchmark Software: Prime95, 3DMark06
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
Above are the test results of GlacialTech X-Wing R1's cooling performance. As you can see, GlacialTech X-Wing R1 is able to cool down the notebook CPU/GPU temperatures although the gap between X-Wing and without X-Wing is quite close but it is still good to have few degrees lower and the result might be better for different notebooks as each of the notebook is having unique set of ventilation system. In term of the noise, we didn't hear any audible noise from GlacialTech X-Wing R1 during the whole testing which is another advantage of this notebook cooling pad as a good but noisy cooler eventually will be abandoned as such cooler is not good 24/7 usage.
If you are looking for a best looking and charming notebook cooling pad then GlacialTech X-Wing R1 should be the ideal notebook cooling pad for you as it is not only contains most of the features that other notebook cooling pads have but also some unique features. Those unique features are touchable control panel, temperature/fan speed LED display, media key and so on. We believe after GlacialTech X-Wing R1 was officially launched, other notebook cooling pad maker will start to follow its idea in order to gain back market share for high end notebook cooling pad sector. Although GlacialTech X-Wing R1 is a high end device but it is just being sold at 59USD which is quite cheap and if you think that it is out of your budget then you may consider GlacialTech X-Wing R2 version where touchable control panel is removed for lower product cost.
+ Support up to 7" till 17" notebook
+ Touchable control panel
+ Temperature/fan speed LED display
+ Media keys
+ Adjustable height
+ Built with high quality material
+ 3 USB ports
- USB cable should be integrated within the notebook cooling pad
- Mesh removal need be simplified for maintenance purpose
Thanks to GlacialTech for providing this sample for us to review.
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