Customer Reviews: Targus Chill Hub XC for Laptops 13.3 Inches to 17 Inches AWE01US2 (Black)
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on June 4, 2010
The Targus Chill Hub XC fit my 17" HP laptop well, did an excellent job of cooling and was quiet enough not to be noticed, but shortly after I bought it, the power cut off and on intermittently. After it completely died, I tore it apart and found that it had two problems--a faulty switch and a flimsy jack for the separate cord. Why they needed a switch, or a cord that could be lost I have no idea, because this product would have been perfect with a permanent cord and no switch. How hard is it to pull the plug from the USB port? It shuts off when the laptop is shut down anyway.

This product was over-engineered but has sub-par quality. Pick something else.

Update: I've since bought a Zalman ZM-NC2000Black Notebook Cooler (Black) and could not be happier with it. It's made entirely of sturdy aluminum, fits my 17" laptop perfectly, does a great job of cooling, and on low speed you can't even hear it running. The top has holes drilled over 2/3 it's surface, and blows air evenly across the bottom of the laptop. My laptop sits solidly on it without rocking or slipping. It does have a cord, but it's a male-male USB, so it's possible to find a replacement. The cooler has a USB outlet, leaving you with as many USB outlets as you had before.

The Zalman cooler has surpassed my expectations of what was available in a laptop cooler, and is really well engineered & built. A much better alternative to the Targus Chil Hub XC.
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on September 16, 2010
After literally trying 5 other notebook cooling fans and promptly returning them to the electronic's store from whence they came, I decided to spend some actual money and try THIS unit. Retail was $49 (I did recently see one on Overstock for $9 + $12s&h). Please note that the unit I'm referring to is rectangular, NOT the one which is hourglass-shaped (Targus seems to have 2 versions of this cooler with the same part #), and that this unit is the BIGGER of the two; one is for notebooks up to 13", the other (this one) is for notebooks up to 17". I tried the smaller/13" and it cooled decently but it was just too small and my laptop didn't sit well on it; the feet weren't even touching, which made the laptop rock like an uneven table when I typed, which obviously was NOT an option for the longterm.

I'd begun with the $9 fans and found that's about the quality of cooling they provided. They literally weren't helping cool the laptop. The 3-fan unit by GearHead was too small for my 15" Dell, and the fans were biased toward the front of the cooler, which is kinda dumb because in my experience it's the rear of the laptop which gets the hottest.

So I decided to try this Targus. I didn't really need the hub but decided to try it. I later realized Target sells the same cooler minus the hub for around $35, so I considered returning the Chill Hub and going for the fan-only unit from Tar-jay. But I figured a few extra USB ports couldn't hurt and decided to keep the Chill Hub. Plus, my wife and I were leaving for a 1-month vacation in Israel in the morning and I simply did not want to deal with more exchanging and whatnot. Also, a minor observation was that the non-hub version is grey, whereas the with-hub version is black. FYI.

I read reviews saying the hub didn't work. When I tried it, it worked for my camcorder but I haven't been able to get it to recognize properly my external hard drive I use as a back-up. But I do have 4 other USB ports on my laptop and wasn't buying the cooler to be used as a hub, anyway. If the Fry store had had this same unit minus the hub, I'd have gotten that one; but, like I said, a few extra USB ports can't hurt.

As far as the performance of the cooler, it is phenomenal in its cooling ability. The cooler has little feet which swing out from the rear/underside, allowing it to be propped up. This provides better cooling as well as tilting the notebook up a bit, which does make the keyboard easier to see because you're looking at it a bit more head-on. The little feet have a pair of secondary, smaller feet which swing out from inside the first set of feet, allowing the unit to be propped up even higher, about 1.5 inches. The two big fans (which are VERY quiet, by the way, something which for me was CRUCIAL because I detest noisy computers) move a lot of air. The cooler has a switch so you can turn the fans off, put them on LOW or HIGH. And with the cooler propped up to its highest, I have found over the past 2 weeks that the cooling pad cools the laptop so well that the underside of it is literally cool, as in not hot; it feels about the same as when the computer is not even on. It's that good. Without any fan at all, my Dell Inspiron 6000 (which I bought about 5 years ago) does get rather hot underneath, so for it to literally feel cool to the touch is remarkable. (Interestingly, my good buddy is a professional computer tech and he told me that these notebook cooling fans were invented after some guy allegedly burned his cojones while using his notebook on his lap. I think we know what HE was DOING, ie LOOKING AT which facilitated his computer getting close enough to the bare skin of his man-parts to, again, allegedly, actually cause a burn to his body.)

There is a nifty storage compartment on the underside of the unit where the USB cord can be stored. I personally am not using it because I have a special compartment in my backpack which I've been trained to use, but it is there and could be quite handy.

On the downside, and the only reasons I gave the fan 4 stars instead of 5, is for a couple of rather minor issues. At times the cooler does make a bit of noise, a bit of a rattling sound, like something is vibrating. Usually this happens only when I have the cooler & laptop on my lap rather than on a table. You can't really extend the little feet while the fan & laptop are sitting on your lap/legs, such as when you're sitting up in bed. So the fan rests directly on your legs(plus the fans suck in my leg hairs). With the decreased air space beneath the cooler, cooling effectiveness is reduced so the laptop internal fan kicks on periodically. It's either this or some weird angle which causes the noise. But it's seldom and can be alleviated by adjusting the position of the fan or the laptop or both, or by putting the fan on a book. On the upside with the noise issue, this unit is very well-built and sturdy, so hopefully it won't begin to bend or warp like my original fan did, an issue which causes the fan blades to begin striking the inside of the plastic case, causing NOISE.

Something else to keep in mind is not to move the fan too much while it's operating and the fans are running. The spinning fans act like gyroscopes. Spinning gyroscopes resist motion. I've found that if you move the fan around a lot while it's running, like if you're looking at the underside and flipping it upside down and stuff, the fans will twist slightly inside the case and the blades will touch the plastic slightly. This can't be good for the bearings on the fans. So apart from moving it on and off your lap, don't go swinging the thing around while it's running.

Also, if you extend the little plastic feet while the fan is on your lap, the feet dig into your skin and start to hurt after awhile. While at home and sitting on the sofa, I have a make-shift lap-desk I created using one simple piece of cheap fiberboard harvested off my cheap computer desk after the cheap fiberboard broke and the tracks for the rollers broke loose, rendering the keyboard tray useless. Or so I thought. Turns out that it's the perfect size (about 3 feet long and 14 inches in depth) to sit on my lap and hold my fan&laptop and mouse pad, with enough room left for the tv remote. You may want to find such a piece of wood.

Also, one other issue to watch out for rests with the USB power cable. The plug for the hub end is small, looks a bit like a firewire plug, or like the plug on a digital camera or camcorder. Something happened and the cord got smashed and the little metal plug is bent at an awkward angle relative to the plastic to which it's attached. It still works and seems stable despite the angle, so I'm hesitant to try and bend it back into place. I'm sure a replacement would be very inexpensive. But it's something to be careful with. I read another reviewer's review saying she had a similar issue with the little cable after her toddler got too friendly with and close to the laptop.

All in all, it's a great fan and the cooling capacity is the best I've seen, hands-down. I definitely recommend it.
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on June 30, 2012
I wish I could give this chill pad 5 stars because I really like it.

- Lightweight
- Cools well with 2 fans
- Comfortable on your lap
- Easy to use
- Affordable
- Good customer service

- Breaks too easily
- Breaks too easily
- Doesn't last long
- Get the point?

As other reviews indicated, it worked great for several months. Then there seemed to be a short in the USB cable. I would have to jiggle it to get it to work (on the chill pad end, not the USB end). I contacted Targus and they sent a new cord right away. That did not fix the problem, so it was obvious that the problem was in the unit itself. They sent a replacement chill pad at no charge, although I had to pay for the return shipping of the old one.

I do not know how long the replacement will hold up. I have only had it a few weeks. So far so good. Since the warranty is just a year, I only expect to get a year's worth of service.

The problem is, I don't know what else to get. Every chill pad has reviews that say they work for a while then die. Since my laptop has an overheating problem, I have to have one. Until I find a more reliable solution, this is the best option.

Targus was great about honoring the warranty, so at least you know you will get a year of service. Good luck.

Update Sept 8,2012
I have had my replacement pad for 3 months and it still works perfectly, and I use it a couple of hours per day. I am hoping I get a couple of years out of it. Even if I only get a year, I would probably buy again, because it really does keep my hot laptop pretty cool. If it dies in a few months, I will update this again.

Update March 2013
OK, the replacement has died with the same issue. It works less and less often, and if I jiggle the cord just right it works. Clearly a flaw in construction. I will try a different chill pad next. They should work longer than 6 or 7 months. At this point, I would lower my score to 2 stars. Too bad - when it works it is really good. I will take it apart and see if I can fix it. If not, on to another product.

Update Sept 2013
Was not able to fix it.

Bought the Cooler Master NotePal X-Slim (for less than twenty bucks) to replace it. Go buy that one! It is sturdier, it has not broken, it has a pass-thru USB (so you don't lose a usb slot) AND it cools way better than the Targus ever did (which is why you buy a chill pad). My super-hot laptop (Dell d430) stays cool all the time with it. In fact, if I put my laptop in my bad without turning it off, and take it out later burning hot, it will cool down completely in less than 5 minutes on the x-slim. I wish I had bought that one in the first place.

Targus had great customer support for a bad product.
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on April 23, 2016
A great item. Works excellent with a 15.6" laptop. The legs in the back hold the laptop up to a comfortable reading position also. I had one prior to this one, but it finally broke after many years of usage, and it worked very well. The fans work excellent to keep your laptop running cool. It's 4 USB ports in the back also improved the amount of them available on my laptop as I only had two. Excellent value for the money!
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on July 4, 2012
I would recommend this item to those looking for a semi-docking station. The usb ports are very useful. I can leave this set up on my desk with my speakers, wireless mouse, and printer plugged in to it. Then whenever I'm at my desk, I just plug in the usb from the chill hub to my laptop and now everything is hooked up without taking up all the usb ports on my laptop. Very quiet operation and keeps my 17" HP Envy cool and working well.
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on April 5, 2015
I purchased a grey one many years ago. It has gone through so much abuse with using it for personal use and college, it gathered so much dust on the fans before I realized that I can take the cover off and clean the fans, and it finally started breaking and falling apart.

I recently purchased this one based on my previous experience with the other one and it has worked well thus far.
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on October 8, 2011
I researched the options intently, to find the most effective, least noisy, and smallest profile with USB ports. Additionally, I needed a cooling board that would slip in easily next to my 17 inch HP laptop (low profile), when in my carry bag. Also one that would be suitable on a airplane, to cool and protect my legs, as well as free standing on a table top, that would elevate if desired. Many of the cooling boards I looked at were only designed for desktop use, the underneath side was open and the fans exposed. Happy to report, the Targus Chill Hub matched all my criteria, while supporting a 17 inch laptop.

I have a maxed out HP dv7tqe series, that generates some heat when the CPU is pushing all 8 cores. The cooling hubs dual fans quietly cools the laptop, keeping the surface cool to the touch. If set on a surface, the fans do generate some sound, as would be the case for most any motor reflecting off a surface, but it is negligible. Exceptionally well built, hardy plastic housing for carry and long life.

I will probably purchase Velcro tape, as to attach the laptop to the board, adding some stationary support. The fact that the board and laptop cannot be connected is a complication when carry is required or movement is incurred. A small issue, but a usage problem that no board seems to address.
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on August 24, 2015
Bought this for my sister who broke her old chill mat and her computer was getting massively hot. I know this product works to keep your laptop cool because I have bought a few for all of the laptops i have looked at. This keep my computer and my sister computer cool all day every day and we couldn't be happier. I would definitely recommend
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on February 21, 2014
I already own one of these. Works better for larger laptops (not sure about 17" widescreen laptops). Would have been 5 stars if it had come with power adapter for the price. The original one I have came with adapter. Don't know if it's Targus or seller as I bought original in office supply store. Not very good making you pay another $20 for a cheap power adapter. Fans will work off Usb but seem to spin faster will wall power. Measures 14" long and 10 1/4" wide. Has foldable legs to elevate top for comfort.
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on November 12, 2014
This item has worked as intended and faithfully without any issues or concerns which is great since my laptop is always on for a good 16 hrs daily. Also, I run a lot of graphic intense programs that can really heat things up. This item is all that I need to keep at a safe temp. It is much quieter than the built in extra fan in my laptop so I only use this Targus Chill Hub XC. The extra USB ports are a big plus. The item was packaged well, shipped promptly and I received it on time and in excellent shape. Would I buy this again? Yes. Do I recommend it? Yes! I also will return to the EQuickShip storefront for future purchases. They are a family run company that really cares about their customers.
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