I’ve always wondered if a reason that I’ve gone through 3 laptops in the past five years might be because they’re running too hot. For the most part I use a laptop as a desktop replacement and rarely take it on the road. It either sits on the kitchen counter or on a desk in my home office and there’s no stand or other device to augment airflow. Now that I have a chance to check out the NotePal Infinite EVO, maybe it will help minimize the failures.
The EVO device is the latest in a line of laptop coolers from CoolerMaster. This is the first time I’ve used an accessory like this, so I won’t have any experiences to compare against.
– Aerodynamic design with unique U-shape airflow to enhance cooling performance by up to 20%.
– Two powerful yet quiet 80 mm blower fans provide superior airflow.
– Adjustable fan speed gives the best balance between silence and performance.
– Ergonomic design for best viewing/typing angle.
– Elegant sand-spray finish aluminum pad for best cooling performance.
– Side cable groove design for easy USB cable management
– Compatible with all 17” and smaller laptops.
|Material||Aluminum, Plastics, Rubber|
|Dimension (W / H / D)||410 x 310 x 17~61 mm|
|Fan Dimension (W / H / D)||Two 80x80x21mm blower fans|
|Fan Speed||750 ~ 1400 R.P.M.|
|Fan Speed Adjustment||Stepless speed control wheel|
|Fan Airflow||120 CFM (60 CFM each fan)|
|Fan Noise Level (dB-A)||23 dBA (Max.)|
|Power||USB 5V DC|
|USB Port||USB 2.0/1.1 x3, Mini USB x1 (for power in)|
|Power consumption||0.26A~0.45A, 1W|
|Compatibility||Support all 17” and smaller laptops|
Upon opening the box I found the EVO cooler, a USB cable and an instruction guide.. That’s all there is to it. The cooler seemed solid enough and was pleasing to the eye.
On the left side of the device are several connections and beginning from the left is the mini USB port in which you plug the supplied cable and then plug the other end into available USB port on your laptop. This provides power to the device and passes the USB signals to the built in USB hub. Next there is a power on/off switch which turns the blower on/off. Moving to the right there is a blue LED power status light and then a thumb-wheel which varies the speed of the blower motors. Lastly there is a 5v jack which accepts a power supply (not included) if the laptop USB ports don’t supply enough current.
On the right side of the cooler are 3 USB ports. Because one of the ports in the laptop is used to power the device, you effectively gain 2 additional ports.
So, to check this out, I enlisted the services of my Dell 15″ laptop. My wife uses the Dell on the counter in the kitchen, so it sees its share of abuse. Using the EVO elevates the laptop which minimizes the amount of detritus that gets sucked into the case. It also angles the keyboard for a more comfortable typing position.
Here I’ve hooked up the EVO to a USB port on the laptop. Also I ran the power cord for the laptop in a recessed grove in the EVO to get it out of the way.
Now on the right side I have 3 USB ports that allow me to plug in my devices which are all located to the right of the laptop.
One of the first things I noticed after using the EVO was that it was more comfortable to type. The wedge shape of the device provides, what to me, appears as a better angle of the keyboard.
I have been running the fan non-stop since I received the EVO and although I can’t objectively confirm that my laptop runs cooler, it would seem logical that the increased airflow on the laptop bottom should be an asset. I did come to the conclusion that the fan speed control was more of a volume control. With the fan set to high speed, the noise was noticeable in a quiet room, but could be mitigated by turning the speed down. The sound wasn’t distracting at all when used at the lowest speed or when used in a higher ambient noise location at high speed. Something to consider when using this device is that it draws its power from the laptop. If you’re on battery power this would mean you are going to get less power up time. This shouldn’t be an issue because the device is not designed for portable use, so you should be plugged into the wall.
It was good to have an additional 3 USB ports and although the instructions warned that I might not have enough power for a scanner, mine worked fine. The on/off switch for the fans seems a little superfluous, as does the indicator light, however, they are nice touches.
After using the EVO for the better part of a week, I’ve been struggling with how to wrap up the review. On the one hand the NotePal EVO is a quality product with several useful features. On the other hand, is it really necessary? I’ve polled some of my friends and asked them about their use of supplemental coolers for laptops and not one saw any need to get one. If you’re using a laptop that overheats, perhaps you should check with the vendor and see what the problem might be. As for the other features such as elevated keyboard and USB hub, these can be purchased for a lot less than $50.
So, if you believe you need a laptop cooler and have $50 to spare, you can’t go wrong with the NotePal Infinite EVO.