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Hitachi's Water-cooled Laptop 228

surfacearea writes "The Register has an article about the new Flora 270W Silent Model, a Japan-only 1.8GHz water cooled laptop. Apparently the pump and piping is all held behind the LCD in the lid. I wonder how much extra weight that consumes." But best of all, it means now laptops have a chance to spring a leak!
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Hitachi's Water-cooled Laptop

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  • This would be nice as I often tend to put my laptop in its insulated carying case before I turn it off. DOH!!
    • The water cooling won't help you at all, but likely hurt you (bring on overheating faster). Depends on the effectivenesss of the insulation in your carrying case, though.
      • Close, but not quite. The rate that heat is generated isn't a function of the cooling system; it's a function of the heat-disappating components (and, true, only a high-power processor would have a water-cooling system).

        Given an insulated enclosure and non-stopable heat generation, the second best you can do is to evenly distribute the heat among all components (actually, the best you can do is distribute more heat to components that can take the heat - i.e. heat the aluminium just to the point of melting at the same time silicon reaches its melting temperature). A water cooling system would better distribute the heat (as opposed to when I did this- my poor little fan was running, but there was no air in my bag to move).
        • The rate that heat is generated isn't a function of the cooling system;

          A system with an active cooling system (one that requires energy like this water system) will generate more heat than a system without such a cooling system. 2nd law of thermodynamics, and all.

          Depending on the insulation, your system that moves the heat to the components less effected will have to work harder and harder to do so, until the whole system, cooled components and all, will overheat.

          That's all I meant.

  • Good excuse (Score:4, Funny)

    by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:47PM (#3917411) Journal
    "Why did you take your laptop into the bathroom? Were you looking at porn?"


    "Then what's that on the front of your pants?"

    "Oh, the water cooling sprung a leak"

    This will save marriages everywhere.
  • Missing the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:48PM (#3917428)
    To me, this kind of thing strikes me as the wrong solution. I'd much rather see the emphasis on low power on low energy, rather than fixing this on the back end by coming up with a novel way of eliminating all the excess heat that is generated.

    It's like saying "We found a way to reduce the emissions from SUVs," which ignores the fact that SUVs are grossly fuel inefficient in the first place.
    • i agree
      this only introduces more potential (and serious) problems to an already *very* disaster-prone type of system
      i would imagine that since everything is packed so tightly together inside of one of these things that even a drip of water would cause catastrophic problems
      • Water cooling has already been used successfully in millions of Sega Dreamcasts and I never heard once of one springing a leak. It is nice because you can cool all the chips with one fan placed wherever you wish.
    • by 1000101 ( 584896 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:53PM (#3917484)
      The japanese company that is offering this laptop is creating a way for the end user to maximize current technology. It's up to Intel/AMD to come up with ways to reduce power consumption at 2.5 Ghz......
      • It's up to Intel/AMD to come up with ways to reduce power consumption at 2.5 Ghz

        Instead of marketing to the screaming speed crowd, it is up to the industry to realize that there is a huge market for slower machines with a longer battery life.

        If the computer industry published metrics on overall power consumption (like they do for appliances), the computer market would find a very eager crowd willing to sacrifice speed for economy.
    • There isn't much laptop makers can do to make their computer components generate less heat. That is more on the hard drive and processor manufacturers.

      Personally I think liquid cooling will slowly become standard in cooling because it is so efficient and can replace the cooling of all components of a computer. It is slowly dropping in price and the main hinterance is the inate resistance to putting liquid in a computer.

    • Maybe you have a point...But...

      From the mfgr. site it appears that they are marketing this laptop as silent and cool as well. Both plus-good in my book.
    • You'd figure that engineers would have found a good way to turn this excess heat into energy. That should extend the life of the batter by a lot.
      • The reason it's called "waste heat" is because it's really hard to do anything useful with it. Trust me. The laws of thermodynamics (particularly that entropy part) are stacked against you.

        Yes, it is possible to get energy from waste heat...the efficiencies are just so incredibly low that it's rarely worth it.
      • A way to generate eletricity from thermal energy would require a rather large amount of extra equipment in the computer/laptop adding to the price and size. For the efficiency obtainable I doubt it could be considered worth while. Also, whatever process was used would most likely require a working fluid which would not sit well with people who already don't like liquid cooling.
      • Re:Missing the point (Score:2, Informative)

        by Buck2 ( 50253 )
        Heat is usually directly absorbed by batter. This, in turn, cooks it. There is a new book out by Alton Brown, reviewed on Slashdot today, that discusses just this sort of thing at length.

        Perhaps you should check it out. I haven't read it myself, but I'm pretty sure that after a while you will come to the obvious conclusion that excess heat cannot, in any way, be used to extend the life of batter. (exotic Goldbergian contraptions which use steam to run a refrigerator excluded, of course)

        HTH, HAND.
    • by angryty ( 464324 )
      You miss the point.

      This is an effective method for dispersing heat given technology and cost constraints with performance remaining at today's standards. Want reduced power? Slow that processor down to 1990 levels and you'd get what you're asking for - but then nobody (even you) would buy it.

      Limiting the power consumption of the laptop is already a goal, but economically, this is a better (cost effective) solution. Let's say that they CAN reduce consumption significantly, you still have the problem that NEXT year you'll have faster processors and higher heat, and the need will reappear.

      The technology exists to double the fuel economy of your favorite SUV, but then nobody wants to drive a vehicle with 0-30 times measured in minutes with a top speed well below highway speeds. The technology also exists to increase performance significantly over todays models but they would get 2mpg.

      Got Abacus?
  • drip drip (Score:4, Funny)

    by vinnythenose ( 214595 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:48PM (#3917434)
    Splish splah I was making a hack,
    all on a Saturday night...
  • by Ashurnasipal ( 589537 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:49PM (#3917438)
    I still remember the DEC guys making fun of the water-pumping IBM mainframers - "I see your computer is down, have you called the plumber yet?"
  • hey! (Score:4, Funny)

    by mike77 ( 519751 ) <mraley77 AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:49PM (#3917442)
    What about a beer cooled laptop? can drink it when things get bad and just get a refill at your local pub???? :)
    oooh, imagine a beowulf cluster of those?


    • Re:hey! (Score:4, Funny)

      by edgrale ( 216858 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:31PM (#3917768)
      You Americans are funny, only you would actually drink beer that has been used to cool your 1.8GHz laptop. Its bound to be _warm_, yuck :P
      • Most Americans prefer their beer quite chilled - what the guys I know that have been in England complained about most is that otherwise great beer was served at near room temperature. ("Room temperature" in England can be much chillier than most Americans find tolerable, but it's still too warm for beer if you're used to it being chilled to about 40F = 5C or lower.) So either that guy that posted about a beer-cooled computer is an idiot, or he's no American.

        But I have heard of a British concoction called "mulled ale". If I understood this right, the ale was heated over a fire???

        Not to criticize British taste, you understand. Everyone has favorite recipes that seem utterly disgusting to the rest of the world. (Even though half my ancestors were Scots, I don't even want to think about haggis...)
    • Re:hey! (Score:3, Funny)

      by binarybum ( 468664 )
      There is Nothing funny about warm beer. You are obviously either a sadistic child molestor or a 14 yr old that just doesn't understand. No morally upright citizen talks about beer that way.
  • What about freezing? Any anti-freeze in there or strictly h20?
  • Wrong market? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by og_sh0x ( 520297 )
    Will this really sell in a purely Japanese market? The Japanese are more obsessed with small size and light weight. Seems like Americans and Europeans are more likely to add extra weight or size to get a quieter machine.
  • spring a leak? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by laserjet ( 170008 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:50PM (#3917456) Homepage
    As usual, slashdot has sensationalized water cooling, and made it seem that springing a leak can be common with a system like this.

    Water cooling has been around a long time, far pre dating computers. While it may be true that over clockers working on their own PCs in their dads' garages may spring a leak, in reality a commercial water cooling system this just doesn't happen.

    Springing a leak with this system would be about as likely as your new air conditioner sprining a coolant leak. It simpley won't happen within the normal life span, and assuming you don't run over it with a car or drop it down an elevator shaft.

    • Your air conditioner runs on freon, or perhaps r-22. It's a gas, and it's not so apparent when it springs a leak, it just doesn't work as well (or not at all) anymore.

      Cars are mostly watercooled though, and I don't think I've had a car that didn't leak antifreeze at one time or another. They are a bit more complicated though.

      That brings up another point - is there antifreeze in this laptop? That'd suck if I left it in the car by accident on one of those -56 deg C days we occasionally get. :) I imagine the tank would burst, just like a beer left in the freezer. Fun!

      But still, water cooling is pretty powerful.
      • Well, as far as cars, you're correct. They're a little more complicated.

        I was going to make the point that with an automobile, you have massive amounts of "the elements" fighting the hoses, and they're usually rubber. After a good 7 year run, though, I've not had a single problem (other than the physical pump) on my vehicle.

        I would imagine, in a sealed system, using either all metal or combination metal/plastic tubing, it could easily last a lifetime of a laptop. The only real concern I would have would be pump life, and monitoring of the "coolant flow" (not just the pump RPM, mind you, but actually measure the coolant flow through the tubes.) Some automobiles do this and actually increase the idle speed (off of the power steering pressure line).
    • 1. my car air conditioning has a leak so bad that it would cost more than the car to fix it...these things do actually happen

      2. if i understand correctly, the pump is behind the lcd. (obviously) the processor will be down under the keyboard...meaning the hose will be bending at the hinge for the screen (very often) tell me how thats not going to cause problems with the hose...
    • Yeah, it kind of reminds me of the talk about AMD chips and heat sinks falling off. If you do it right, no problem, but if you're an idiot, any system is going to fail.
    • by isorox ( 205688 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:08PM (#3917605) Homepage Journal
      ew air conditioner sprining a coolant leak.

      Wouldnt it be cool to shout [b]coolant leek! We've got a coolant leek! Everyone out, lets go go go, and dive under a closing door?
    • While it may be true that over clockers working on their own PCs in their dads' garages may spring a leak, in reality a commercial water cooling system this just doesn't happen.

      Yes, and while small watercraft may spring a leak, in reality a commercial ocean liner just can't sink.
    • Re:spring a leak? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pmz ( 462998 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:09PM (#3917623) Homepage
      ...in reality a commercial water cooling system this just doesn't happen.

      Springing a leak with this system would be about as likely as your new air conditioner sprining a coolant leak. It simpley won't happen within the normal life span,...

      ??? Air conditioners, cars, toilets, any hydraulic systems...they spring leaks all the time. Usually, the leaks are small, and people put up with them by adding antifreeze to the resevior, hiring an HVAC technician to add refrigerant each year, etc. There is no reason to believe that a laptop would be any more immune to microcracks or bad gaskets than any other hydraulic system.
      • Air conditioners, cars, toilets, any hydraulic systems...they spring leaks all the time.

        It depends on the sort of air conditioner you are talking about. I've never seen a self-contained window unit leak - nor an electric refrigerator or freezer. All the plumbing in these is metal, with welded joints, and the compressor motor is sealed in with the refrigerant, so only two wires come through the case. These just don't leak unless there is major mechanical damage. Automobile A/C, OTOH, leaks all the time because there shaft seals where the compressor is driven by a v-belt and pulley, plus rubber hoses, etc.

        So if the laptop cooling plumbing could be built like a refrigerator, it would be leakproof unless you really smashed up the computer - and then it wouldn't matter. Of course, making a water pump without shaft seals is quite a lot harder than making a leak-proof compressor. You can't have the electromagnets under water, but maybe you could have a combined rotor and impeller sealed into the pipe, with the electromagnets around it.

        Or maybe you should just fill the laptop cooling system with a refrigerant. You might not even have to have a pump in this case - the mechanical power input might be the pressure difference between the hot CPU and the cool heat dissipator. The tricky part is that this would probably have to work "upside down", that is it's likely to get tipped so the cool end is above the hot end...
    • Design and Leaks. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lionchild ( 581331 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:11PM (#3917633) Journal
      While I tend to agree, the sensationalism of a leak springing from your laptop in the midst of a high-level confrence in some plush board room with a teak wood table isn't terribly likely. However, as noted, the coolant system runs up behind the LCD. That means that somewhere between the system board and the LCD, there's some flexing happening as you open and close the LCD on your laptop. Moving parts are potential failure points.

      Let's all admit, how often have you picked up your laptop and held it by the LCD? For Joe User, it happens. Or how many times have you seen a User stacking reports and books on their laptop? More pressure on that LCD that's got the cooling system in it.

      Apple had problems with their good looking Titaniums loosing connections when their cases flexed. If engineers don't look closely a real-world instances where users are going to flex things that really weren't meant to be flexed...you're going to find the wear will cause a leak. Maybe not during your warranty period..but, say a couple months after it's over? Of course then, you'll need to go buy a new laptop, eh?

      There's a gimmick.
      • If Fluorinert were used as the coolant rather than water, it would minimize the risk of major damage being done to at least some of the components (though I still can't imagine an LCD screen would like getting wet). I believe it would also answer the question of the freezing point, as I believe the freeze point for fluorinert is somewhere substantially below 0 degree Celcius.
      • Believe me, a laptop can already spring a leak. That goop inside your LCD screen can seep out and fry your computer.

    • Springing a leak with this system would be about as likely as your new air conditioner sprining a coolant leak.

      The only complex bit would appear to be coping with the hinge for the screen.
    • The old mainframe days are full of stories about water cooled computers that they never solved the leak problem with.

      There is a reason nobody uses water cooling any more: A number of huge multi-year development efforts have failed because they couldn't make water cooling work. A single microscopic leak can ruin the entire computer!
  • ...if you were talking the larger real estate of a water-cooled desktop machine the mod people could surely fit a couple of fish in

    I'd like to see someone make a coffee perk out of it. Maybe cappacino (sp)...
  • Great.

    I've had various computers; smoke, spit sparks, and make loud clattering noises before dying.

    Now I have one that will start steaming.

    I wonder if I could sue them if I spill hot water in my lap?...
  • That's all well and good, but what do you do with
    the heavy water that results from cooling a nuclear
    reactor like the P4? =D
  • THG video (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dboyles ( 65512 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:54PM (#3917491) Homepage
    Tom's Hardware Guide [tomshardwareguide.com] has a pretty nifty video on installing a water-cooling system in a traditional, desktop system. IIRC, it not only cools the CPU, but also the GPU (graphics processing unit) as well as the motherboard's chipset.

    Said video can be found here [tomshardware.com]
  • Isnt this pretty old news? Has the /. eds forgotten such a story which appeared several months back? I still remember the bad jokes about water on your lap etc...

    bleh, I'm off to change my iTools address.. silly silly apple....

  • article. It specifically states that the water-cooling is not better at diccipating heat, but rather much quieter. Its juast a trade-off for the user, weight vs noise.

    And for those of you that think water-cooling is a fancy new techno-toy, you've obviously never seen the spray of water pumping out the back of jetskis or boats.

  • there used to be that old trick of freezing your laptop to get the battery to last longer... might want a disclaimer to NOT do that
  • I have torn a part a laptop or two. The first thing to come is is the LCD monitor. How is the maintance working if you have to tear it apart? How would the insides be accesible?

    Why is it water cooled? I have used a laptop for years and things have bumped the screen and I have tosseed it around. If I have pipes in the monitor area, most likely they would break, thos water would be going everywhere. O don't forget water on the motherboard. Well, I guess if springs a leak, I'll have to buy a new laptop. Over $2000 is washed down the drain when my laptop sprag a leak.
    • If I have pipes in the monitor area, most likely they would break, thos water would be going everywhere. O don't forget water on the motherboard. Well, I guess if springs a leak, I'll have to buy a new laptop.

      I suppose the pipes in the monitor area are of some sort of plastic which doesn't break very easily. I also guess that instead of water one would prefer to use some sort of solution that would not cause harm to any hardware components if there should be a leak.

  • by randomErr ( 172078 ) <ervin.kosch@gmail . c om> on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:01PM (#3917554) Journal
    I have to ask, what happens if you leave your laptop outside in the winter? I've have people leave their laptops in their car all the time. So what would happen this winter?
  • Here [hitachi.co.jp] is more information on this laptop. It's in japanese, but the pictures speak a thousand words.
  • is that they'll take a dump in your water cooling tank, then if the tank ever breaks, you'll be sitting pretty in some watery filth.

    What next for CPU cooling? Liquid Nitrogen! Haha.

    I thought an interesting read on cooling was this technical blackpaper from arstechnica:

    Peltier Theory [arstechnica.com]
  • My problem of having to go really badly while dealing with an overheating laptop has been solved.
  • on the articles comment about having fish in the water tubes - it made me wonder - has anyone made a sace mod featureing water and fish for there desktop - i'd imagine this wouldn't be to hard to do if you took one of the glas case mods and attached a fish bowl to the side of it -with the top being inside the system so you could see the fish from the outside - i think if i did i in my system the fish would die from heat - but just a thought.
  • I'm sure many people are going to think "270 Watts no way, that's going to drain my 5000mAh 10.8v battery in 12 minutes!"

  • Why would they use water instead of something that *wouldn't* conduct electricity?

    I know there's got to be at least one liquid that doesn't conduct electricity that would be suitable for this.. hey - materials engineers, little help?

    • Re:Water? (Score:4, Informative)

      by coreyb ( 125522 ) <coreyb@j 2 t . c j b . net> on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:19PM (#3917689)
      Pure (distilled) water is actually a very poor conductor. It's all the impurities in solution that make most "water" into a conductor.
    • Re:Water? (Score:2, Informative)

      Dude, pure, de-ionized water doesn't conduct electricity. Elec Co's use this type of water for spraying down the insulators on hi-voltage lines to clean off the accumulated grime (which does tend to conduct over time.)

      I'm not saying they'll go that far in a laptop cooling system to filter water to such an extent, but it wouldn't suprise me.

      Water is still bad for the components, but it doesn't always HAVE to conduct.

    • I think whatever liquid they use, they should dye it red. And put in a chemical that reacts with oxygen so that it slowly coagulates. That way, when your laptop does spring a leak, it looks like it's bleeding...

    • I rememer hearing about some crazy guys imersing a motherboard in something made by 3M (fluorinert or something similiar to that). The trouble was the stuff was like $500 a gallon, oh... and it tended to gel up when they cooled it with liquid nitrogen.
    • Fluorinert! (Score:2, Informative)

      I believe the above-referenced liquid N2 cooling project [octools.com] (and others) used 3M's Fluorinert as their coolant medium.

      3M has information on it here in PDF format [mmm.com].

      Just don't drink the stuff, sounds nasty...
  • Even MORE info (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yknott ( 463514 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:10PM (#3917625) Homepage Journal
    ITworld [itworld.com] has more info on the laptop. To answer those who say this laptop will spring a leak:

    "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, the statement said."

    And even if it does spring a leak:

    "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."

    Sounds good to me!

    • So the water won't ruin your electronics, it just runs around the plastic panels and into your lap. Having seen a bit more discussion of that McDonald's scalding-coffee lawsuit today, I'm wondering just how hot the water can get at the CPU? Especially the last little bit after the rest has leaked out? Are we going to have someone suing the manufacturer because they were too dumb to shut the thing off and get it out of their lap when it started leaking, and got hurt by that final blast of steam and hot water?
  • to put out battery fires in its laptops.
  • Hmmm... (Score:2, Informative)

    Okay, I can't read whatever language the informational site is in (I assume Japanese but I woldn't know the difference to be hones). However, I can look at the pretty pictures ang get an idea of what's going on. Two things occur to me:
    • 1. It looks like there's a water pump in there. If that fails I assume you're going to have a toasty system (I'm assuming system shutdown would happen in that event).
    • 2. Wouldn't there be at least a little bit of "sloshing" back and forth as the device moved around. I couldn't get a feel for how much water is in there but if there was enough I might think you would get some counter-motion there. Better bring the Dramamine for the laptop I guess.
    I figure I'm off base on these but I figured I'd bring 'em up anyway and see if the same occurred to anyone else.
  • Slashdot recently [slashdot.org] discussed [slashdot.org] alternate notebook cooling solutions.

    Looks like someone has beaten Hitachi and Sony to the punch.
  • Bah.. Lain did this better with a liquid carbon cooling system. She had to pad the floor of her room with plastic in order to keep the water from condensation from ruining her house.

    Now, everytime she needs to use her computer, she has to wade to the console.

    Now, where did she get those nifty holographic projector screens?
  • For what it's worth, the Hitachi page lists the weight as 3.75kg, or about 8 1/4 pounds. (It's on the specs page, which is the second tab). That's only a few ounces more than my Dell Inspiron 8000.

  • From a heat transfer perspective, cooling via the back of the screen is a clever idea.

    when the base of a laptop needs to be cooled, it is often self-insulated by being placed against a table-top.

    The front and back of the screen are exposed to ambient air.

    The monitor effectively increases the mass of the heat-sink.

    Area is increased.

    All things being equal, convection will be more efficient on a vertical than a horizontal surface.

    Liquid generally have a relatively high thermal capacity. The water pump will not need to run continuously - only long enough to exchange fluid - less noise.

    Potential problems:

    There is only one place I would expect to find a leak on this laptop - Near the hinge. I would pay special attention to the coolant connection here.

    Mass. I have not yet looked, but I'm assuming that the coolant passages and water-pump will increase the mass of the laptop. (big assumption)

    • Re:Clever (Score:4, Interesting)

      by brad3378 ( 155304 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @02:36PM (#3918237)
      Self Correction:
      A vertical surface will not always have more efficient convection heat transfer than a horiziontal surface. My point was that air currents are more compatible with vertical surfaces than horizontal surfaces.

      Consider this:
      What cools faster in a refrigerator?
      A can of beer on it's side or a can rightside up?
      In my heat-transfer class it was discovered that cans on their sides chill roughly 20% faster assuming air is allowed to circulate around the can. The reason being the airflow forms an inefficient plume above the vertical can.
  • How much do you wish Alienware [alienware.com] had thought of that first?
  • Is it just my ignorance or is there no H2O loss due to the heating of the water?

    And no condensation within the case due to temporal differences?

    I'm no Bill Ney the Science Guy...just recalling some sophmore science, and wondering about the issues thereof.

  • by kiwimate ( 458274 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @01:51PM (#3917894) Journal
    In the hopes of stemming the flood of purely silly questions, here's the article which will answer something like 95% of the questions I've seen posted thus far. You lazy sods, I'll bet you don't indicate when you turn a corner while driving either.

    Hitachi Ltd. 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 efficiency of a water cooling system and the air cooling system are about the same but the biggest difference is the noise the latter creates," said Masayuki Akabane, a Hitachi spokesman.

    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, the statement said.

    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 new products are slightly thicker than existing air-cooled Flora models, in order to show the tank at the back of the LCD (liquid crystal display) panel and hence differentiate the water-cooled machine, Akabane said. The tank also be hidden, he said.

    The products are equipped with a 1.8GHz mobile Intel 4 processor, 128M bytes of RAM, a 20G-byte hard disk drive and a 15-inch (37.5-centimeter) color TFT (thin film transistor) LCD (liquid crystal display), and are priced at ¥341,000 (US$2,941). The products can be customized to connect via Ethernet, a modem or an IEEE802.11b interface.

    Hitachi started taking custom orders from corporate customers at its online shopping site on Wednesday. The products are expected to be shipped on Sept. 30 in Japan, Akabane said. The company can provide the product for corporate users outside Japan on demand, he said.

    The company is still looking at market trends before deciding when to launch the product for the consumer market, he said.

    Hitachi has patents for this unique water-cooling system, and is trying to promote it as a standard throughout the industry. Several high-end product makers are in talks with Hitachi for possible adoption of the technology in servers and PDPs (plasma display panels), Akabane said.
  • I wonder what Crash Coredump thinks about this?
  • I believe it's Cray/SGI that uses an interesting liquid for cooling their "water cooled" style of systems. It's a liquid that's completely inert, and doesn't react with metals, plastics, rubber, etc. And being non-conductive, you could likely pour it over the system and see absolutely nothing adverse happen.

    Can someone share any more details on this stuff?
  • Excuse Me (Score:3, Funny)

    by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @03:43PM (#3918726)
    "Was that you?"
    "Uhhh, no. My laptop's cooler was burping again." *thump-thump* "goddamthing"
  • I wonder how much extra weight that consumes

    Just the other day I was having red wine with weight.
  • We're well on the way to combining the two essential tools of geek life - the notebook and the coffee machine (or tea kettle for anglogeeks). Seriously: a little heat and water in the right place, and my laptop can act as a portable hot water source.
    Combining laptop and espresso machine will solve so many critical workplace issues... like losing time to fetch coffee. Next stage: a dual circuit so that I can recyle my used coffee as coolant rather than having to waste time going to the toilet.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court