Review: RoadTools Podium CoolPad
As portable computers get cheaper, smaller, thinner, and more powerful, something else increases – heat. So much so, in fact, that many portables, including Apple’s PowerBooks, are too hot to use on your lap for long periods of time. If they’re this hot on your lap, how hot do they get on your desk?
PowerBooks get quite hot, especially in regions around the hard drive and processor. iBooks don’t get nearly as hot, but may still get over the 100-degree mark. Obviously, this doesn’t seem good for hardware, and with many people using notebooks as their primary computers, a few solutions have been developed.
We reviewed a RoadTools Podium CoolPad, sold online and under the Targus brand name at major electronics retailers. The PodiumPad, an iBook-white version of the Podium CoolPad, is sold at Apple retail stores. The design of these is similar to the Traveler CoolPad we reviewed back in September, with some minor changes to improve ergonomics and function. This simple, trapezoidal plastic stand fits under a portable computer and increases airflow. The difference between this and the Traveler model is that you can adjust the angle at which your laptop sits, by adding or removing spacer blocks (see photo below).
The CoolPads’ ability to pivot allows easier access to ports and PC Card slots without having to pick up the laptop. It also allows you to show off the screen contents to others simply by turning the computer. The rubber feet on the bottom and the feet that touch the computer grip and grip well. Also, unlike the NoteRiser, the Podium CoolPad will not block the front-loading optical drive on many PowerBooks.
The Podium CoolPad feels very solid and makes having a hot iBook a lot easier to live with. Podium CoolPads are well-backed, too — a lifetime warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The Podium CoolPad works exactly as advertised, and its low price and lifetime warranty make it a great value.