Hitachi releases the first water-cooled notebook PC

Hitachi releases the first water-cooled notebook PC

Hitachi has announced the commercial launch of its water-cooled notebook PC, a 1.8GHz mobile Pentium 4-based machine which uses a patented Hitachi system to aid heat dissipation.

Most notebooks are cooled by air fans, and as processors have grown more powerful and begun to generate more heat, these fans have become more numerous, larger, and have needed to spin faster.

This has also meant that fans have become noisier and might not be suitable for use in places like libraries, Hitachi said.

The new Flora 270W Silent Model uses a water-based solution tank, instead of a fan or fans for cooling down the processor. Hitachi announced a working prototype using this technology in February.

The water-based solution runs through a flexible tube that is placed over the chips and absorbs heat. The heated water solution is then sent to the display part of the notebook to be stored in a tank where it cools down.

The solution can last for more than five years, the flexible tube can circulate the solution over 20,000 times and the pump works for more than 44,000 hours.

Plastic panels separate these water-cooling elements from high-voltage areas, in case of a solution leak from the cooling system. The Tokyo company also offers a three-year guarantee service for the product.

The products are equipped with a 1.8GHz mobile Intel 4 processor, 128MB of RAM, a 20GB hard disk drive and a 15-inch (37.5-centimetre) colour TFT (thin film transistor) LCD, and are priced at $US2,941. The products can be customised to connect via Ethernet, a modem or an IEEE802.11b interface.

Hitachi has already started taking custom orders from corporate customers at its online shopping site. The products are expected to be shipped on September 30 in Japan.

Hitachi has patents for the water-cooling system, and is trying to promote it as a standard throughout the industry.

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