Xpad Slim

About two years ago, I reviewed the Xpad from xpad4laptop.com and gave it the TechCast Recommended Award for its simplicity and effectiveness. Since then, they’ve re-released the Xpad with a new slim version called the Xpad Slim.

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I’ve spent the last few months testing out this latest revision to the Xpad, named the Xpad Slim, and see how the new design affects performance.

If you’re often using a laptop on your lap, then I recommend you invest in some kind of laptop cooling device. Your laptop will inevitably last longer if you’re able to keep it running at lower temperatures as a result of less strain and wear on components like the CPU, GPU, HDD and fans. Not only that, there are health benefits to keeping direct heat away from your groin area as many studies have proven.

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Xpad has always been unique and a favourite of mine mainly because it doesn’t require the use of any external fans, thus less battery drain and less noise. Instead, the Xpad uses the air around your laptop to keep it cool. By raising the laptop away from direct contact from the surface, it allows air to flow freely underneath the laptop. This is essential and often the only thing that is required to keep your laptop cool. At the same time, the thickness of the actual pad absorbs and dissipates the heat away from your lap, thus shielding your lap from heat.

The new design of the Xpad Slim introduces some changes and improvements to help increase air flow and dissipate the heat away from your lap. The dimensions of the pad are 14.5-inches wide by 10.5-inches in depth and 0.5-inch thick and is designed to work with 17-inch laptops. The first major difference I noticed with the new Xpad is how slim it actually is. This makes it much more ideal for taking with you as it can now just slip inside your laptop bag.

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Four risers in the corner keeps your laptop away from the main surface of the pad itself, allowing the airflow to surround the laptop. These risers have been slightly modified since the original design. The material used for the risers provides much better grip with its rubbery texture. Slits are cut in to the risers to provide further removal of heat.

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On the reverse of the Xpad Slim, you’ll find a flat textured surface that rests on your lap. The previous generation had a soft fabric material used instead of the plastic/rubber combination that is now used in the Xpad Slim. Whilst it still does the job and actually provides extra grip to prevent the pad from slipping out of your lap, what I found after using the new Xpad Slim is how much dirt stuck to the rubbery surface.

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With the majority of the changes weighing towards the positive, I’m willing to overlook the shortcomings. I still believe that the new Xpad Slim is the best notebook cooler on the market today. It’s simple and to the point and that’s what I like about it. Get yours from xpad4laptop.com.

2009-05-07 Onwah Tsang

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