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Review Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700

Redaktion, 07/20/2010

Lap-Blaster. The N700 notebook cooler with built-in loudspeakers, which can even improve the sound of many a DTR notebook and allows a comfortable use on the lap.

Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700 - Notebook cooler/ lap cushioning
Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700 - Notebook cooler/ lap cushioning

Along side the Portable Lapdesk N300 and the Notebook Riser N110, the Speaker Lapdesk N700 is the current lapdesk/ cool-pad top model which offers four main features:

  • integrated stereo loudspeakers
  • soft fabric padding with heat shielding for lap use.
  • integrated ventilator for cooling the laptop
  • ergonomic elevation of the notebook

Design and Build

The Lapdesk N700 from Logitech is kept completely white with individual green accents.  Round forms dominate the notebook cooler which give it a weighty appearance.  But we like the design very much and it  fits in very well  among visually appealing laptops.

There is nothing to complain about in terms of build quality and the choice of materials is also quite good.  Small details like the integrated loudspeaker keys or the stowable cable give a high-quality impression.

Practical Experience

Loudspeakers in the Windows 7 control panel
Loudspeakers in the Windows 7 control panel
Loudspeakers in the Mac OS x system settings
Loudspeakers in the Mac OS x system settings
White noise from 15cm: Lapdesk (black), MacBook Pro 17 2010 (turquis), MacBook 2010 (red)
White noise from 15cm: Lapdesk (black), MacBook Pro 17 2010 (turquis), MacBook 2010 (red)
Lapdesk frequency response white noise
Lapdesk frequency response white noise

Installation

Hooking up the Speaker Lapdesk is extremely easy.  A free USB port on the laptop is all that is needed to activate the loudspeakers. The USB cable is just long enough to cover the ports on the side.  Using Windows 7, XP and Mac OS x 10.6, the loudspeakers were recognized automatically in testing and only needed to be activated as a new standard device in the control panel (see screenshot).  The loudspeaker buttons were also immediately ready for operation on all the laptops we tested.  Thanks to the red LED, one sees right away when the speakers are muted (and also when one changes this in the operating system).

Loudspeakers

Compared to the loudspeakers usually found in laptops, the Speaker Lapdesk N700 offers very good audio playback. Even basses are projected well making the system very suited for most applications like music, games or videos.

With 91 dB (white noise) measured from the 15cm of speaker, it is also acceptably loud (1/3 higher volume in Sone than for example the small speakers of the MacBook White 2010).

In testing, it easily beat the speakers of the MacBook Pro 13, 15, 17, Asus UL50VF and Clevo D901F notebooks in terms of sound quality.

Comfort

As the name already implies, the main use of the Speaker Lapdesk is on the lap.  The soft padding enables one to comfortably use even heavier machines over a longer period of time.  With the Lapdesk, even the 17" heavyweight Clevo D901F (GTX 480M Review) could be used on the lap for a longer period of the time (normally, one can only tolerate the weight and the support feet of the D901F for a few minutes). Though the Lapdesk is specified for notebooks with a max. of 16", the 17" Clevo barebone still found just enough space (with a slight loudspeaker overlap).

The honeycomb on the padding effectively minimizes sweating on the thighs and the integrated fan could also add to the cooling effect.  With that, tester laptops could be operated a lot longer on the sunny balcony than otherwise possible without the Lapdesk N700.

Still, it is important that the particular laptop has display with a sufficiently wide opening angle.  Due to the ergonomically advantageous tilted position of the notebook, the display must be opened a bit more.  For instance, the maximum 135° of our UL50VF Optimus test sample was just enough.

Notebook Cooler

In addition to the great speakers, a centrally positioned ventilator is also built in to  the Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700.  This should suck the air from behind and underneath and thereby cool the underside of the laptop.  The cooling capabilities are somewhat limited due to the relatively small dimensions.  With a measured 37.6dB from the 15cm distance, it whooshes to a clearly audible level, but the noise characteristics are nevertheless very pleasant and therefore not annoying.  The ventilator on the Lapdesk can also be deactivated at any time via a switch, but we didn't at any time find it bothersome.  However, we do miss a manual regulation option for adjusting the emissions and cooling performance to the particular demands.

Verdict

Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700 - highly recommended!

The Logitech Lapdesk N700 is a good combination of notebook cooler, under-padding and USB loudspeaker.  It has a high-quality construction and a well thought out design that is visually appealing.  The fan cools the notebook and lap well enough and it maintains a low acoustic profile.  The build-in speakers offer an obvious added value to the usual notebook fare and was very impressive in the test.

The only things we might wish for in terms of improvements would be an adjustable (and perhaps larger) ventilator and perhaps a USB hub.

For those who frequently use their notebooks on their laps, the Lapdesk N700 is without a doubt a great recommendation.

 

+ Pleasant to use on ones lap, even for heavy and hot-running notebooks
+ Functions under Windows and Mac OS X without driver
+ Good sound quality
+ Look/feel and build
+ only a small external power source needed (USB is enough)
+ User panel for volume and fan control
- relatively heavy
- cannot replace a mouse pad
- no USB hub
- No manual rotational speed control for the fan

 

The design of the lapdesk is very attractive.
The design of the lapdesk is very attractive.
Powering the Lapdesk N700 is achieved via only a single USB port.
Powering the Lapdesk N700 is achieved via only a single USB port.
But we still find an undocumented power outlet on the other side?
But we still find an undocumented power outlet on the other side?
On smaller notebooks, the Lapdesk seems very weighty.
On smaller notebooks, the Lapdesk seems very weighty.
The MBP13 seems almost lost.
The MBP13 seems almost lost.
Quite contrary to the huge 17" D901F.
Quite contrary to the huge 17" D901F.
The Lapdesk is actually only specified for notebooks up to 16".
The Lapdesk is actually only specified for notebooks up to 16".
That's why the Clevo monster hangs over a bit.
That's why the Clevo monster hangs over a bit.
The Lapdesk nonetheless enables one to use D901F on her or her lap.
The Lapdesk nonetheless enables one to use D901F on her or her lap.
The rubber stoppers fold out and prevent the laptop from sliding forward.
The rubber stoppers fold out and prevent the laptop from sliding forward.
They raise the notebook more, like on the 13" MBP.
They raise the notebook more, like on the 13" MBP.
Loudspeaker control via 3 buttons
Loudspeaker control via 3 buttons
The fan can also be deactivated
The fan can also be deactivated
With an 8cm diameter, it is relatively small.
With an 8cm diameter, it is relatively small.
On the back...
On the back...
... and on the underside, air is sucked in by the fan.
... and on the underside, air is sucked in by the fan.
The special webbing on the padded underside minimizes sweating.
The special webbing on the padded underside minimizes sweating.
On the back, the loudspeakers have a "bass opening".
On the back, the loudspeakers have a "bass opening".
The loudspeaker overhangs are removable for simple cleaning.
The loudspeaker overhangs are removable for simple cleaning.
The rubber feet can be set in 2 positions, for small and large notebooks.
The rubber feet can be set in 2 positions, for small and large notebooks.
 
 
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Author: Redaktion, 2010-07-20 (Update: 2013-06- 6)