Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Belkin Laptop Cooling Hub Review

I purchased a Belkin laptop cooling unit for my Acer Aspire One netbook and I like it. The fan is powered either by AC or by USB. The same thing goes for the USB hub portion of the cooling mat. I plug my cooling mat using the AC adapter since I believe that this is better for the USB hub and probably the laptop as well if you plug a lot of things into the USB hub. I plug my USB keyboard and my USB mouse into the spare USB ports on this unit.It is relatively quiet although I did find that it made enough noise to keep me awake sometimes but unless I'm exhausted, I'm a light sleeper.My only real complaint about this product is that there isn't an on-off switch. I'm not sure if the other cooling mats have on-off switches but I think that an on-off switch would be good. When the unit is plugged into the AC outlet, the fan will always work. If it isn't plugged into an AC outlet but is plugged into the laptop's USB port while the laptop is on, the fan will continue to work although based on the noise, the fan is not spinning as fast when powered by USB.

The only thing that would make this product better in my opinion is having more than 1 fan and having an on/off switch. Since I generally use the included AC adapter to power the cooling fan as well as supply power to the USB hub (instead of using the power directly from my netbook's USB port to power the cooling fan and the USB hub), having an on/off switch on the unit and being able to turn off the fan is more convenient than having to unplug the AC adapter.

The good thing about the USB hub on this cooling mat is that it is "powered" when you are using the AC adapter. There are many USB devices that draw a lot of power from the USB port and if it is plugged into an unpowered USB hub, the computer will generally display an error message about there not being enough power on the USB port of the computer to power the devices.

The USB cable on the mat conveniently tucks underneath the unit when it is not being used to power the fan and/or being used as the connector for the USB hub functionality.

For anyone that has a personal laptop or personal netbook, I strongly recommend getting a cooling mat such as this especially if he/she uses his/her laptop/netbook in bed where a laptop/netbook does not have a lot of air circulation underneath the unit.

If you have any questions/comments regarding my review of the Belkin laptop cooling hub, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section.

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