Thermal Design: User Acceptance of Your Product - Part 2
In an earlier blog post, we discuss the importance of user product acceptance. We examined another gaming laptop product review that focused heavily on the thermal management solution and its shortcomings. The high performance laptop heated up in uncomfortable areas for the user and generated a distracting amount of noise with its fans. This article was an example of how you don't want your thermal design to take the spotlight of your product review.
A Great Thermal Design Product Review
Recently, we found another review to compare to the first one we analyzed. The Wired Review of the HP Omen 15 gaming laptop is the perfect example of how your thermal management solution should be discussed in a product review. Instead of the thermal management solution taking the headline, there is only a short paragraph discussing the thermal design:
The Thermal Design Product Review
"The 2017 model brings plenty of updates under the hood, the bulk of which are thermal in design. A dual fan system, relocated vents, and more heat pipes bring a 22 percent increase in airflow inside the system, which indeed does a great job at keeping things cool. The system never really heats up under load, and the fans don’t even seem to have to work as hard as they do on competing systems. Say what you want about the way it looks, but the Omen 15 isn’t going to melt down."
Not only does the author indicate that HP has done "a great job at keeping things cool", they go on to focus back on the aesthetic design of the laptop. What is most important to gaming laptops is the performance. Hotter computers have a nasty habit of slowing processing down and lagging. While the look of a gaming laptop matters, a gamer is still going to curse at a machine that lags and destroys stats they've been working so hard to achieve.
Judging a (Note)Book on its Cover
The actual appearance of your laptop can be a matter of opinion, which you may find some users like and others don't. The HP Omen 15 looks like it combined the color scheme of the SR-71 Blackbird and with the body design of an F-22 Raptor. Both aircraft are highly engineered, high performance machines. Maybe HP wants to convey the same level of performance and excellence with the design of the Omen 15. Either way, if your biggest problem is how your product looks like it was taken from a sci-fi film in the 1980s, we would say your thermal design is successful.
Thermal Design Success
What can you do to ensure great thermal design? Start early in your design cycle. Heat sink design tools like Aavid Genie can assist you during feasibility studies. The sooner you start considering how your hot components will be cooled, the better chances you are to have a thermal design product review as good as this.