Review of Tacens Fero notebook cooler

Summary: The Tacens Fero is aiming to become one of the best laptop coolers in the market and it is really doing a good job. With its four 60mm fans it produces a strong air flow without emitting too much noise.


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Heat emissions have always been an issue with laptops and the constant race towards higher CPU and GPU performance hasn’t made much contribution to solving the problem. Even the name “Lap-top” suggests we are talking about a product suitable for your lap. But everyone who has tried some serious gaming while resting the laptop in their lap, knows what kind of heat we are talking about (and what it does to your nuts). So the last couple of years, while the laptop sales have peaked, we have seen a lot of new products on the market, aiming to solve this problem. A couple of weeks back we reviewed the “Nexus TDD-9000 Laptop Cooling Pad” and today we will be taking a look a more advanced laptop cooler, the Tacens Fero.

 



INTRODUCTION

As I said above, we recently tested another laptop cooling pad from Nexus, based on a gel. However interesting the gel solution might be for the future, most manufacturers still rely on the classic rotating fan as the cooling component for their laptop coolers.



Tacens’ earlier laptop coolers are all quite satisfacting to use and with the Fero, Tacens have tried to remove all the small “defects” and annoyances of the previous models. The result is a nice looking, efficient and sturdy portable laptop cooler, suitable both for the lap and on your desk. Let’s take a look at the specifications:


Tacens Fero

Dimensions

320 x 280 x 39 mm

Material

ABS

Dimensions of the fans

60 x 60 x 10 mm

RPM of the fans

1500 rpm-2500 rpm

Noise level

9-16 dBA

Voltage of operation

5V

Type of connector

5 USB DC V/Adapter DC (optional)

Specifications of the adapter

Entrance: AC 100-240V, 50-60HZ
Exit: +5V 2A

Application

Valid for notebooks of all the sizes


The packaging of the Tacens Fero has a similar design as the rest of  Tacens’ products. Inside the box we found the Tacens Fero protected by bubble plastic. We also found a small manual which explains how to setup and operate the unit in several languages.

 

 

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IN DETAIL: TACENS FERO


The Tacens Fero is made completely in black ABS plastic. ABS plastic is characterized by its ruggedness and is very resistant to impacts. This gives the Fero an advantage to laptop coolers constructed in metal. The matte black finish also gives it a nice futuristic look which in any case appeals to me.

 

 

 

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One of the first things you notice about the Tacens Fero is the grills placed in front of the four Tacens “Dawn Pro” 60mm fans. Below the fans you can see the retractable notebook holder. Give it a push, and it comes out to keep the notebook in place when the cooler is used a notebooks stand on your desk. Indeed a smart solution.

 

 

 

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On the backside of the product, you will find six rubber circles which helps to keep the Tacens Fero in place when placed on your desk. You will also find the leverage function which has four positions and of course controls the angle of you laptop. This is great because it means you can adjust the height of your laptop screen to fit your other screen (if you use two). Also, when placed on the highest support level, it leaves a lot of room on your desk which can be used to place an ergonomic keyboard while keeping the laptop screen fairly close to your eyes. Finally, in the back of the Tacens Fero you will find a cover which holds the USB cable included with the Fero.



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On the left side of the Tacens Fero you will find a hub of 3 USB ports, one miniUSB2, a switch with three positions which allows you to deactivate all the fans or to only use two or all four fans, a LED which indicates the number of fans currently in use and finally, a potentiometer that regulates the speed of operation of the fans.

 

 

 

 

The Tacens Fero have some unique details compared to other laptop coolers on the market. First of all, the use of four fans is not very common and should allow a better cooling performance. Naturally using four fans rather than one or two should make the overall air flow stronger which thus provides a better cooling experience. Secondly, beacuse the cooling fans are placed over a bigger surface it should be effective with most laptops on the market, as you know, not all laptops have the heat generating parts in the same place. We also feel the Tacens Fero takes some extra points for it diversity of use, both as a laptop stand on your desk and as a laptop cooler on you lap.  Thirdly, the 3 port USB hub improves the connectivity of your laptop and allows you to add more devices and compensates the loss of the two USB ports needed to connect the Tacens Fero to your laptop.

 

We have really tried to think of any defects in the design or construction of the Tacens Fero, but we haven’t come up with much to mention.




INSTALLATION AND TESTS

The installation of the cooler is very simple, just place the laptop on the cooler and connect the USB cable to your laptop. Note that the Fero requires the power from two USB ports to run. The other end of the cable of course connects to the cooler itself and also activates the USB hub.

 

 

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To realize the testing part of this review we used a laptop with the following specifications:

 

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 (2x2Ghz)
  • Chipset Intel GM965 (Intel X3100)
  • Hard disk Toshiba MK1637GSX (160GB, 5400rpm, 8MB cache)
  • Kingston HyperX 5300 CL4 (2x1GB, 4-5-5)


In order to realize the temperature measurements, we used a software called “Everest 3.5″. The measurements were made in diverse conditions; idle and full load. Both conditions were maintained during 20 minutes. For the “full load” scenario we used Cinebench 9.5. In both cases we used Windows XP as operating system and we set the energy setting to max yield.


The results are the shown in the following graph. It is also necessary to clarify that we set the laptop cooler to always operate all four of the fans. In addition, we tested both the minimum and maximum settings in terms of rotating speed of the fans.

 

 

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As you can see the Tacens Fero did not produce any spectacular values when it comes to cooling our laptop. The effect first becomes noticable in the full load scenario, which really was what we were looking for. The air flow is as we suspected better than with other notebook coolers we have tried so we suspect that the more or less poor cooling performance is not due to any defects or faulty construction of the Fero, but rather to that the laptop we used for our tests simply wasn’t possible to cool any further. However, even if our results wasn’t very impressive, we found that the Fero did do alot of difference when gaming with the notebook in our lap.

 

 

Initially, we feared that the fact that the Tacens Fero uses four fans would be negative for the noise level. However, when we first connected the Fero we were amazed by the ultra low noise emissions from it, the Dawn Pro 60mm fans really are quiet and the noise level measured was between 9-16 dB.

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS


We are very impressed by the Fero’s design, its sturdyness and smart details. Tacens really have produced a good product, with many interesting features and yet it looks good. We think the Tacens Fero sets the standard for what you should expect with a notebook cooler. However we are not as impressed with the cooling performance, but because of the strong air flow we noted with it, we suspect that few other notebook coolers would have produced better results. We also give it a plus for its connectivity and another strong point is its price point at around $40 which is not much when you think of the diversity of this product.




Strong points Weak points

Finished of great quality

Not too impressive heat dissapation

Great connectivity, hub USB of 3 ports

High productivity thanks to the 4 ventilators

 

Extremely quiet

Compatible yet type of equipment


Packing

0,5/0,5

Accessories

1/1

Quality and finished

1,5/1,5

Yield

2,5/3

Loudness

3/3

Price

0,7/1

Total

9,2/10


 

 

The final score is 92.5 out of 100 owls, and we give the “Genius EasyPen i405” our Editor’s Choice Award.

 

 

TestSeek Labs Editor's Choice 2009 Award

 

 

Author: Manuel González Fernández

Translator: Vince Emiloz Sanderson


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