I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution and that’s what we have with the Xpad. So what’s the problem? The problem is, most notebooks on the market today, despite boasting ever more power efficient processor chips and ultra-compact form factors, these devices are running at increasingly harsh temperatures. So it has led to the invention of laptop coolers designed to cool both your lap and your notebook, so that you may one day perhaps be able to have children.

Using nothing but passive cooling the Xpad has a unique cooling system that ventilates your notebook and protects one of the most important parts of your body. There are no tricks, gimmicks involved and it doesn’t require batteries or a power adapter for it to work.

The Xpad is designed for providing you with a comfortable surface to place your notebook on when in use on your lap. Now I’m a MacBook Pro owner and I’m very well aware of the heat issues that arise when I use it on my lap and let me tell you, it isn’t pleasant.

At first you might think it’s a bit silly, but if you actually own a notebook and you often want to use it on your lap then you will definitely appreciate this because there’s not many notebook models out there that don’t get uncomfortably hot after using it for a while.

The Xpad is made of three layers of insulation to divert and transfer the heat that your notebook gives of in to the air rather than on to your private bits. It works with 4 risers at each corner of this rectangular shaped pad and each of these risers have anti-skid pads on them so your laptop doesn’t slip or move about.

These risers are then attached to the main pad itself that is made of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), a plastic that is both lightweight and rigid and found in cars, head gear and even Lego bricks. This gives the Xpad a strong structure that doesn’t flex or bend with heat. The third and final part of the Xpad is the EVA insulation material, which is the part that actually comes in to contact with your lap whilst in use.

With a combined weight of less than half a kilo, it doesn’t add any noticeable weight to your lap with the notebook on it and just feels like an extension to the notebook itself. The actual dimensions of the Xpad are 13-inches by 10.5-inches and is just 0.66-inches thick at its thickest point, so there’s not that much to it. It also means that it will fit pretty much any 15-inch widescreen notebook or less, however Xpad does boast that it will fit 17-inch laptops too. Without a 17-inch laptop to test it with we’ll have to take their word for it.

The slim profile design isn’t as discreet as I would like it to be and it would be nice to have a few more millimetres shaved off it to make it more slimmer and more ideal for travelling with. Saying that, most bags and cases will easily accommodate this alongside your notebook.

One of the best ways to keep anything cool is to allow it to the object to have full 360-degree direct exposure to the air. Typically when using your notebook on the lap, it’s going to be in contact with your thighs or the clothing you’re wearing on your thighs. This creates a natural barrier to heat transfer making it a more difficult for ventilation, this in turn makes the fans inside your notebook work harder and your battery die quicker.

The Xpad has been designed with four risers, one in each corner so that when your notebook sits on top of it, it is actually raised by a few millimetres from the main surface of the pad itself. This allows for air to pass through the underneath of your notebook to cool more effectively.

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that heat and your private bits don’t go together very well and keeping your crotch cool at all times is perhaps a no-brainer anyway. The Xpad works so well at keeping the heat away from my private bits that I dubbed it in the last video podcast I recorded, “the crotch cooler”. Catchy name, huh? To be honest, it’s the first laptop ‘lap’ cooler I’ve tested and it definitely works so all I can say is forget the ones with the fans because this doesn’t have any fans and it works fine. As always, the low-tech, no nonsense solution works the best and the guys behind the Xpad have proven this to be the right philosophy to follow.

The price of $25 works out to be about £13 and that’s nothing in comparison to the hurt and pain for when you find out that you can’t have kids because you didn’t shell out the £13 for a laptop cooler. Get this now, it’s essential for anyone who uses their notebook on their lap on a frequent basis.

2007-05-02 Onwah Tsang

1 comment - why not add yours

Post your comment