Page 2 - A Closer Look, Usage
According to Deepcool, the M6’s design is Need for Speed inspired, and it actually does have that racing car feel. The front triangular shape and lean edges simulate the aerodynamic style as found on many sport cars. The side red windows almost feel like turning indicators, if not brake lights. It is a pity though, since there are not actually any LED lights behind them to make them glow. It would be pretty cool if the next iteration of the M6 included LEDs that could be turned on and off. I know it sounds a bit tacky, but might as well go the whole way, right?
In terms of the actual name, I would say that the laptop cooler feels more Audi R8 with some Lamborghini edges rather than a BMW M6. Of course, calling this the Deepcool R8 would be rather confusing, since they have another product called the Multicore X8, which I will be reviewing in the weeks to come. On top is a large black mesh, where the fan and the subwoofer is located. This mesh allows for maximum airflow over the bottom of the laptop, while dissipating heat out from the bottom of the cooler. The side of the top also has some plastic slots, which allude to the sport car feel, and is meant more for design than function. The single 140 mm fan is located directly in the center. The fan speed can be adjusted by the user in a range of 700 rpm to 1100 rpm.
The overall construction of the Deepcool M6 is basic and sturdy. While I will not call this product cheap, the majority of the material used for the M6 is plastic, and it feels somewhat lacking in comparison to other computer equipment. Taking into consideration the actual cost of this product, this is to be expected, but I definitely think aluminum or some metal would suit this much better. The cooler weighs in at 1.5 kg, and does not feel too hefty. However, it makes up in bulkiness; measuring in at 456 x 358 x 75mm. This cooler was designed to fit up to 17” laptops, and I do not see it failing in that regard. Just do not expect to use this laptop cooler on your lap; instead, leave it on the desk. The cooler also lifts the laptop off its feet and angles it on an eight degree incline. Due to my setup, I rather like the cooler at a higher elevation, since it places the screen closer to eye level. As well, this tilt reduces strain from the wrists and the fingers while typing.
Looking at the backside of the cooler, the main adjustment area is located on the right-hand side. Going from left to right, there is a 5V micro-USB input, auxiliary jack, USB 2.0 input, and fan speed adjustment knob. The 5V micro-USB allows the cooler to power higher current consumption USB devices, such as smartphones. According to Deepcool, the extra power from the micro-USB also enhances the built-in 2.1 speakers. During our tests, the micro-USB did not enhance the 2.1 speakers very much, or in any noticeable way.
Deepcool does not provide any external power supply, as it is optional, and if needed, can be found with mainstream smartphones. The auxiliary jack is a 3.5mm audio jack that can plug into the laptop’s audio out port, with the cable provided (Or any other 3.5 mm stereo cable). The USB 2.0 input port is meant to power the laptop cooler, and plugs into any one of the laptop’s USB ports. Finally, the fan speed adjustment controller changes the RPM of the fan, and can also be turned off altogether. I think it would be better if this whole section is actually moved to the side. While this may require a design change to keep the cooler looking sleek, it does mean that users would not need to go fishing around the back to find the knob, or fold flat their laptop, just to change the fan speed. As well, most of these items, such as a headphone jack or a USB port are located on the sides of laptops more so than on the back, so it would make more sense to keep this section close to where they are located on the laptop.
On the left-hand side of the back are the four USB 2.0 outputs. In essence, the Deepcool M6 also acts as a four port USB 2.0 hub. The four USB ports work well, as they were just spread out enough to fit my mechanical keyboard, Logitech Nano Receiver, and a couple USB keys to boot. Everything worked fine with my Lenovo IdeaPad Y470, and performance was the same as any other USB port on my laptop. It would be nice to see USB 3.0 make a splash here, since many of the latest laptops have USB 3.0 built in. As well, it would be nice to spread out the USB ports more, because some items are bulkier than others, and require more space. Since there is the real estate to spread apart the ports, it should be done. Finally, I would also move this area to the side to make USB ports more accessible, without needing the user to maneuver around their own laptop just to put a thumb drive into their computer.
Assuming you have read the spec sheet, or the features list, you would know by now that this product includes a 2.1 built in speaker. Pictured above is the 57 mm subwoofer. The two 52 mm tweeters are located on the sides of the cooler, behind the red mesh. This is probably the main selling point for the M6. Most laptop coolers do the exact same thing as each other; they all dissipate heat and cool the laptop down. This is not to mention laptop speakers in general are not great. They are often too tinny, too flat in sound, and too soft. So Deepcool decided the M6 would encompass a 2.1 speaker system. Deepcool’s slogan for this product was “Marvelous Sound”, meaning it would combine the racing looks with the loud engine sound. These speakers actually deliver on two of the three problems with laptop speakers, but more on this later. However, it is nice to see something like this, as it is rarely put in laptop coolers.
Flipping the cooler over, we see the same basic design on the bottom. Plastic covered with four rubber feet on the bottom to provide grip on the table, while reducing resonance from any moving parts due to sound output. In the middle is a grille to allow heat to escape. This grille is lifted off the table, so the heat can exit through it, and out the back, rather than going into the table.
Pulling out a Phillips screwdriver, I began to pry this open. After removing six screws on the bottom, plus an additional four screws near the back of the cooler, I would think this would easily come right off. Only after a few minutes of struggling to pry it open did I realize that I also had to remove the rubber feet, and take out the screws underneath them. Finally, cracking this case open revealed everything I expected. In the middle is the fan, at the top is the subwoofer, and on the sides are the two tweeters. On the top left is the control area for the fan speeds and inputs, while located on the right are the four USB output ports. There is a large casing where the speakers sit, as to provide a deep cavity for the speakers, to dampen the high pitch from the tweeters. Deepcool mentions it removes the resonance effect too. These inner-magnetic speakers are also said to avoid interference with notebook components, but I will expand more on this later during testing.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Usage
3. Testing and Conclusion