Arctic Cooling NC Notebook Cooler

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Product: Arctic Cooling NC Notebook Cooler
Provided By: Arctic Cooling
Price: $31.50 MSRP

 

Introduction:

Arctic Cooling is no stranger to computer cooling, but they have focused primarily on CPU and GPU cooling in the past.  Today we have a look at their first foray into notebook cooling with the Arctic NC.  This is a USB powered cooler that uses a slightly different design to accomplish its goal.  True to the design and goal of Arctic Cooling, the NC is super quite and has aggressive styling in a color palette that is distinctly unique.  Keep on reading as we'll find out if this cooler is more than a USB hub.

Arctic NC Package - Top
Arctic NC Package - Top
 Arctic NC Package - Bottom
Arctic NC Package - Bottom

 

About Arctic Cooling:

ARCTIC COOLING is a privately owned company founded in 2001 with headquarters in Switzerland, offices in Hong Kong and the USA and production facilities in Asia. The ARCTIC COOLING team consists o­f international highly educated people with business, technical and communicational skills. The attitude to work is based o­n Swiss principles of innovative spirit and high standards of workmanship for which it is recognized internationally. This striving for excellence is integrated in all processes as a matter of course. ARCTIC COOLING´s core competencies are multifarious including systematic noise reduction, copper and aluminum heatsink development, customization of thermal solutions, as well as designing quiet fans. More recently quiet and cool PC Cases and Power Supplies have been developed.

 

Arctic NC - First Look:

I'm a gadget junkie, so when Arctic Cooling asked if we wanted to look at the NC I thought it would be interesting.  More notebook coolers have fans that blow directly up onto the underside of the notebook as it sits on sort of a stand.  The Arctic NC has a slightly different design.  The notebook still sits up on the stand, but the fans positioned so that the suck in air from the top, and blow it under the laptop.  This is a slightly different approach that accomplishes the same goal - keeping your laptop cooler.  My one concern about this design is the stability of the laptop sitting on the edge of the cooler.

 NC Top

 

On the next page we'll take acloser look at the NC as well as cover the features and specifications.


 

Closer Look:

The Arctic NC has a couple of nice features that make it a decent choice for ~$30.  It is very quiet and offers a nice 4-port USB hub in addition to cooling your machine.  Arctic Cooling states that the fans are rated between 800-1,700 RPM and the design of these fans is quiet unique as you could see on the previous page.  This makes them very quiet while they still move a good amount of air for 60mm fans.  The four port USB2.0 hub is a nice treat as many coolers only offer two ports and sometimes it's nice to have a few extra.

 Fan Side
Fan Side
USB Ports & Control
USB Ports & Control

 

The fan control option is nice although most people will probably settle on the high setting as it is barely audible over other fan noise in the office.  Regardless, if you want total silence and some cooler power you can choose a setting that will fit the bill.  The airflow is completely unrestricted as the fan grills at the top are very open.  This is a blessing and a curse though as you can easily drop screws, paperclips and other objects into the fans if you're not careful.

 

Info, Features & Specs:

The following information has been pulled from the NC product page over here and re-posted for your convenience.  

Main features

  • 2 ultra quiet 60mm fans with PWM function
  • Intelligent fan speed turn from 800 to 1,700 rpm
  • USB-powered, no extra batteries / adopters are needed
  • 4-port USB hub
  • Compact, lightweight, portable, rigid
  • Compatible to all notebooks from 12"- 19"


Excellent quiet cooling stabilizes your laptop 
The ARCTIC NC is a perfect cooling device for any laptops between 12” and 19”. The two 60mm fans draw adequate cool air in and wind is blown out from the vent evenly to the bottom of the laptop. Unlike other plate-design coolers, heat can be dissipated from the sides of the laptop easily to achieve maximum cooling performance. Moreover, fan noise of the ARCTIC NC is undetectable at only 0.1 sone – even at full speed. The ARCTIC NC keeps the laptop at safe temperatures and quiet at all time – even during heavy gaming.

When the laptop temperature is low, its in-built cooling system will remain at a relatively low speed which is much quieter than running at full capacity. As a result, the ARCTIC NC does not only offer you inaudible cooling itself, it also turns the laptop to a much quieter operation.

The risk of system failure decreases when the laptop is properly cooled, and therefore, users can work / game longer hours without any hassle. Also, using the ARCTIC NC will extend the overall service life of the valuable laptop because of lower temperature.

Convenient, user-friendly, multi-functional notebook cooler
The ON/OFF switch of the ARCTIC NC is also designed for adjusting the fan speed. Thanks to the PWM controller, fan speed can be set from 800 – 1,700 rpm according to personal needs and preference. The ARCTIC NC is equipped with 4 USB ports for additional USB accessories such as flash drives, mouse, battery chargers etc. Compared with those with only one or no USB port, the ARCTIC NC is more practical, convenient and user-friendly.

A high quality low power notebook cooler
Since the ARCTIC NC is USB-powered, no extra batteries and adaptors are required. Thanks to the extremely low power USB 2.0 chipset, the high quality motors developed in Germany, and the built-in PWM fan speed controller, the ARCTIC NC is more energy efficient than other conventional notebook coolers.

Robust, light, portable, comfortable
Slightly tilted at the back, the ARCTIC NC creates a nice angle for laptop keyboard. Typing becomes easier and more comfortable than on flat surface.

Composed of high quality polycarbonate, the ARCTIC NC is nearly unbreakable. It is also as light as a feather as it weights only 250g – much lighter than the aluminum ones. With unique coating, this cooler gives users a smooth, delicate and cosy touch. Without a doubt, the ARCTIC NC is the best cooler and travel companion for your valuable laptop.

 

Specifications:

 Dimensions:
Fan:
Fan Speed:
Fan Noise:
Connector:
USB Port:
Accessory:
Weight:
Warranty:

 278 (L) x 95.8 (W) x 31 (H) mm
 60mm x 2 fans
 800 - 1700 RPM (830 - 1490 observed)
 0.1 - 0.3 Sone
 USB 2.0
 USB 2.0 x 4
 USB Cable x 1
 250g
 2 Year

 

Arctic NC Testing:

To get some baseline temperatures for the Ideapad S10e (which actually runs quite hot) we first ran the netbook on a desk under both idle and loaded with Prime95.  While many people won't consistently run their notebook at 100% CPU load, we wanted to see how the cooler performs under the most extreme circumstances.  As the Ideapad S10e is a pretty hot netbook we used this instead of our traditional Thinkpad T61 this time around.  As our test setup has changed, we don't have any comparison numbers this time around, but you can still see how it affects both CPU and hard drive temperatures below.

S10e In Use
S10e In Use

 

 Arctic NC - Chart

 

As is the case with most notebook coolers we've tested, the results are not ground breaking by all means.  The Arctic NC helps shave off 1-2°C at low speed and as much as 3°C at high speed with this laptop.  I'm sure that some laptops will benefit more from this cooler than others though, and these are merely our results on our tested machine.  

 

Final Thoughts:

The Arctic NC can handle notebooks up to 19" in size and even though the notebook sits on the edge of the unit, it still feels solid and stable.  Cooling performance isn't ground breaking though and while it does provide additional cooling, our test setup only measured a mere 3°C improvement at best.  The nice thing is that it does elevate your laptop a little bit and provide you with four extra USB 2.0 ports for added convenience.  For $30 it's not a bad buy, but I feel that the less-than-stellar cooling performance makes it an expensive (and bulky) USB hub and your money might be best spent elsewhere.

That being said, it is one of the quietest notebook coolers we've looked at and if that is your primary concern it may be a worthy investment.  Also keep in mind that different laptops respond to laptop cooling differently and we only tested the NC on one machine.

Pros:

  • Quiet operation 
  • Nice fan control
  • Four USB ports

 

Cons:

  • Mediocre cooling performance

  BCCRating

I'd like to thank Arctic Cooling for sending the NC over for us to review.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.