February 15th, 2011

Gigabyte G-Pad

Gigabyte G-Pad

Introduction

After meeting up with the nice guys at Gigabyte, we were kindly shipped one of their laptop coolers. Designed to be completely silent, and easy to use, the G-Pad shows promise. Coupled with a storage bag, it should be your laptops new best friend.

About Gigabyte

Gigabyte, one of the most well-known IT brands in the industry, starts as a motherboard technology research laboratory with the passion of a few young engineers two decades ago. With the vision and insights to the market, Gigabyte has become one of the world’s largest motherboard manufactures. On top of motherboards and graphics accelerators, Gigabyte has further expanded its product portfolio to include notebook and desktop PCs, digital home entertainment appliances, networking servers, communications, mobile and handheld devices. Gigabyte has risen from an eight-man office to a world-class enterprise in the IT industry.

Specifications

  • GIGABYTE patent pending
  • Slim and stylish design
  • Invisible design, no need to change posture when using G-PAD
  • Silent 0 dB( no fan- no power supply require)
  • Light , foldable, easy to carry
  • All aluminium structure for better cooling performance
  • Provide more air inlet to notebook to enhance the cooling performance
  • Comes with high quality protection carry bag

The Product

Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge
Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge

Packaged in the worst kind of box, the G-Pad is in a hea- sealed clamshell. It’s the kind of plastic that shatters when you are trying to cut it and makes an unnecessary mess.

Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge

After clearing up the glass-like shards of plastic, I was left with the cooler itself and it’s carry bag.

Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge
Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge

The carry bag is made of nylon with lots of packaging preventing the cooler from damaging your laptop when you carry it around. The front of the bag has a white Gigabyte logo that looks quite stylish.

Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge
Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge
Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge

Speaking of stylish, the product itself isn’t the usual metal plate with some blower fans. Instead, it’s an extruded piece of aluminium with two parts. These two parts fold together – like a book – so that it’s easily transported and stored. The top of the cooler is flat allowing for optimum contact with your laptops base, while the other side features the usual heatsink style blades.

Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge

Not only does the body absorb heat and provide a larger area for it to escape from, but raises your laptop every so slightly to allow air to pass easily into the underside fans. To make sure that the laptop isn’t heightened by a large amount affecting posture when typing etc. the cooler is a mere 5.6mm high.

I have the 12/13” version although Gigabyte has released two others in this range for 10/11” (320g) and 14/15” (580g) laptops. The pads can come in either black or virgin aluminium silver.

Gigabyte G-Pad
Click to enlarge

The weight of the cooler is far from excessive, and comes in at just over half a kilo (520g), which should mean carrying it won’t be too arduous. When you fold the cooler together, the height is only 7.8mm and it’s about the size of an A5 piece of paper (at least this; the 12/13” version). The cooler is held together with magnets which seems like a silly plan when this cooler is going to right next to your magnetic storage (read: HDD).

Testing

To test this cooler, I’ll be using a rather ancient Sony Vaio 2.8Ghz Pentium 4 Celeron processor backed up with PC2700 DDR 512mb.

This laptop runs quite hot usually, and Sony in their infinite wisdom, have designed a CPU cooler that uses two fans; one small, one big. When the laptop is first turned on, no fans are spinning, as the processor isn’t hot. As soon as the temperatures exceed 30C then the smaller fan starts which’s makes a whole lot of noise. Normally this fan will stay on for the time you have the laptop running for. If the temperature increases further, then the second bigger fan kicks in.

Hopefully the G-Pad will stop the whiny little 40mm fan from being on all the time.

This laptop is sat in the office just playing songs, meaning that it never does anything processor intensive. If the laptop can idle with no fans running, I’ll be happy.

To test, I shoved a temperature probe into the CPU heatsink as the built in sensor is wildly inaccurate. While this temperature is unlikely to be 100% correct, it’ll allow for comparison between load and idle temperatures showing how good the G-Pad is.

To get idle results, I just left the laptop on my desk with nothing running for 30 minutes and took the average temperature. Load testing consisting of starting StressPrime and letting that run for 30 minutes and taking the final temperature.

The ambient temperature was a rather frosty 19C throughout.

Gigabyte G-Pad

As you can see from the results, the G-Pad isn’t fantastic. As there are so many different laptops out there, your experience may vary. For example, if your laptop has a very flat bottom then there will be more contact with the heatsink and hence lower temperature. I’m sure that some laptops will be perfect for this cooler, while others – like this Viao – show little improvement. As with anything, your mileage will vary.

The G-Pad failed to stop the smaller fan from being used, but the laptop now rarely uses the additional larger fan. The temperatures aren’t the best way to analyse the cooler as nearly every laptop gauges the fan speed depending on internal temperatures. Whilst the temperatures didn’t drop by a monumental degree, the laptop is quieter as the fans are now more efficient when they are being used.

As there are no instructions included as to which way to use the pad (heatsink side up or the flat side), I tested both. The heatsink side was marginally better leaning towards 40 instead of 41C during load. The difference is around half a degree. It’s a good idea to test which side performs best with your laptop brand.

Conclusion

It makes no noise, its light-weight, requires no power, looks great, stores well and easy to carry, the only downside is lacklustre performance.

If you are looking for a laptop cooler, the G-Pad isn’t a bad shout.

Pros Cons
Stylish Performance
Easy to carry and use
Completely silent

I’d like to thank Gigabyte for providing us with the cooler.

Discuss this review in our forums

Coolers