Macally TuneFan Review

Here at The Game Grader we are branching out into the tech world. Gaming is a multi-platform experience. Blackberry, iPod, Mobile and Mac gaming have all started to become a force to be reckoned with.

So.... to stay ahead of the curve, TGG is going to start reviewing computer and mobile gaming accessories, peripherals, headphones, cases and anything else you can think of.

First up is a cool product from Ontario, California company Macally. They make products for iPads, iPods and Mac computers, both laptops and desktops. Living up to their name, they are an ally to Mac fanatics. And for TGG, we use Macs and love what Macally has to offer.
OVERVIEW
The TuneFan is just that, a laptop fan that plays your tunes. And it does both very well. Simple idea of a cooling fan taken to a new level. The stand uses a large fan under the laptop to produce a good little bit of cooling relief for your hardworking laptop. Its a great
solution for two ever so common problems, one, laptops get hot and two, the built in speakers are crap.

LOOK AND DESIGN
First thing I noticed when this baby arrived was that the packaging, of all things, was eye catching and really instilled the idea of quality before I even opened the thing.

The stand has a slight incline so the laptop is lifted off the desk/table but also is propped up for better viewing and its a lot easier on your hands and fingers with continuous use.

A separate audio input is included for connection to other devices like your iPod. Another cool thing is that the power is switchable from speakers only or speakers and fan. This gives you the ability to work solely off the power provided by the laptop for fan only mode.

Another great feature is the cut out in the front is lined with rubber which serves to grip the laptop and keep it in place.

Slick and sturdy. Enough said.

DURABILITY
Its "weighty," a feature that a lot of people look for in products like this. Heavy doesn't mean better, but in this case it means sturdy and isn't that what you want in something that is hoisting your $1,200 laptop?

We obviously have not sent it through the ringer just yet. Throwing something this good looking around is a bad idea. But nothing on this thing is flimsy, its all strong plastic sleek looks.

IN ACTION

The fan is very quiet considering how large it is, and yes it does glow blue like the image.

Very easy to use, plug in the included USB cord and Mac OS X instantly recognizes the device. You may need to go to system preferences or other sound device options to switch off the internal speakers and select the USB TuneFan system.

Volume is controlled from the source device, which can connect via USB or any old headphone 1/8 inch connector. Not a lot of bass, but great stereo separation using the left and right speakers to pure perfection. Put it on you lap and the bass will do the trick on your legs. Just a little added bonus.

The TuneFan won't deplete a laptop computer's battery too quickly when used with USB power. I don't recommond using the USB power for much more than just the fan and use the provided DC power plug
when using the speakers, they just sound so much better that way.

Coldplay live was really my greatest test of the way the sound surrounds you. Chris Martin would approve. Its not going to take the place of your BOSE system or 5.1 home theater surround sound, but for a stand, that also is a fan, that also is a 10 watt 2.1 sound system, it is darn good.

FEATURES
-USB Bus Powered Speakers and Cooling fan
-AC/DC adapter included to boost the audio performance
-Line-in jack to support other audio or MP3 Players
-Compatible with any laptop computers 17” and under
-On/Off switch for cooling fan and amplifier
-Complete 2.1 audio system with superior sound quality to accentuates your favorite music
-Ultimate thermal solution to cool down your notebook
-High efficiency and high performance Class D amplifier
-High quality speaker Drive: Right/Left 2” 2W x2, Subwoofer 2 1/4” 10W
-Supports both USB 2.0 and USB 1.1

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
-Mac OS X 10.1 to 10.6 or later
-Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Windows 7
-Any laptop computers with USB port, 60MB HDD space, and 512 MB DRAM system memory available

MSRP
$99.99 (available online for $68-$75)

GRADE
The TuneFan is right on par with Logitech's Lapdesk line in terms of quality. But price sets it apart.

Compared to most laptop computer fans, the TuneFan is a little bigger and shouldn't be bashful it all of its glory. Comfort, sound, durability and style (the blue fan still excites me) make this one stand out.

Controls for speaker volume and fan speed would be nice but turning the volume up on your laptop is not the end of the world. The angle of the stand makes typing comfortable again, so much that Mavis Beacon would endorse the TuneFan.

MSRP from Macally is $99, but you will find this cheaper on sites like Amazon.com and in stores, that gives it a lift over the pricey Logitech stands.

Also if your desk is cluttered, you will value a good-sounding three piece computer speakers tucked under your laptop. Yes it has that built-in handle, but I wouldn't go taking it anywhere to far because its not very portable. It’s not too heavy but it’s more than a little large.


If you are an audiophile that likes to type in bed or on the couch and hates the smell of burning flesh on your thighs after prolonged use, give this a try. It will not disappoint, we love it.

9/10
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