Xbox One Essentials of 2015

In terms of next gen gaming and consoles, we are well into the Xbox One’s lifecycle. By that I mean if you don’t have an Xbox One by now, this holiday season is the perfect time to buy one. The bundles are fantastic and persistent enough to convince you the Xbox…

Continue reading

LG Lancet Review from Verizon Wireless

First Impressions  I heard Verizon was getting a new Windows Phone, so naturally I was interested. At that point, Verizon had removed just about every Windows Phone that was on their network. In their defense, most of those phones are out of date or very old devices so who could…

Continue reading

Antec X-1 Cooler Review

WP_20150518_22_30_49_Pro

 

If you know Antec the way I do and you own an Xbox One, this product may peak your interest.

Is there a burning need for an external third party cooler for the Xbox One in the same way as there was for the Xbox 360? If you were to ask me this, oh let’s say a month ago, I would have flat-out said no. But Antec makes a simple yet compelling case as to why you might actually want or need such a device.

Now, the way I know Antec is through my modest desktop gaming rig built from the ground up with the parts I wanted, not what the manufacturers insisted I have. Not saying that I am more intelligent than an engineer from a computer company, but maybe I like to micro manage my devices in such a way that gives me full responsibility and knowledge into what goes with or in any of my devices. Isn’t that what most of us tech savvy fellas do all the time? To get more back to the point, I bought Antec’s self contained CPU water cooler. I was desperate for a water cooled system and Antec answered my needs.

Much like the Water cooler for a PC enthusiast, this kind of delivers the same piece of mind.

We all know heat is the number one enemy in electronics followed closely by dust. Together they are a time bomb for your precious investment. The Antec X-1 Cooler actually helps to address both of these issues, even if it doesn’t know it.

The X-1 sits right over the huge 200mm fan of the Xbox One and matches quite nicely I might add. Also, with it sitting right over the fan makes it less susceptible to dust just settling right inside the device when it is off. Now this is not fool proof, but I would say it would help a great deal. Since the fan is covered up and the exhaust port is located on the back, this gives you more room if you need it being as the console is pretty large. That is why Antec included a rubberized pad on top. That way you can place your keys so you don’t forget them or your phone while it is charging.

Speaking of charging and power, the X-1 is plugged into one of the many USB ports in the back of the Xbox one so you don’t take up another outlet on your already crowded power strip. Once it is plugged it you never have to worry about turning it on because it is set to come on automatically at 86F/30C. You will know when it comes on as a nice cool blue LED lights up on the front display letting you know your console is keeping cool now.

The simple yet effective display is located to the right of the blue cooling LED indicator. This gives you information on the ambient air going in and the exhaust air going out. As a big tech nerd, this is the point where the X-1 gives you that piece of mind. You know exactly what temperature your Xbox is running at.

Even the LED’s on the display are aesthetically pleasing as they match the pale white LED’s in the Xbox logo. A very nice touch I might add.

But does it actually work? Well in short, yes. I gave it a good five hour session of gaming and the temperature hovered eloquently at 100F-101F (38C). That is fantastic for a fan based cooling system. In comparison, my Antec Water cooled system keeps my Full blown Intel i5 Gaming PC running right around 86F/30C. Not too shabby.

One thing I did notice that was kind of cool to incorporate that I did not have a chance to check out was the USB out port in the back. Now I don’t think this carries data but effectively you could still use that port as a charging port for the phone instance we talked about earlier. Antec didn’t have to include that for this to be a pretty cool device but that little attention to detail is very nice to see.

 

 

The list of bad things are almost non existent other than two minor concerns I had with it. One was after it kicked on, it seemed to vibrate or rattle on top of the Xbox making a slight yet indistinguishable sound of movement. I’m sure this could be corrected in a simple way that I just have not thought of. The other thing that I won’t harp on too bad is the price ($30).

I feel it could have been a few bucks cheaper but I’m not a marketing expert. Considering all it has to offer, it might be right in that sweet spot. I also now recognize that the coolers we, as consumers, may have bought for our Xbox 360’s were cheaper because lets face it, that was ten years ago. And they were not nearly as sleek as this one.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised with this particular cooling device for the Xbox One. The X-1 makes a strong case of keeping your console 30% cooler than the stock cooling fan built in by Microsoft. Is it absolutely proven that third party cooling solutions for consoles effectively prolong the life of your device? Well, maybe there has not been an official study, but we do know that heat can shorten their lifespans. If you are even remotely worried about your console getting too hot I would strongly consider this little device. $30 is a heck of a lot cheaper than replacing your console at $300 plus.

WP_20150517_14_10_35_Pro WP_20150517_14_11_00_Pro WP_20150517_14_11_14_Pro WP_20150517_14_11_31_Pro

WP_20150517_14_11_46_Pro WP_20150517_13_58_21_Pro