Cooler Master NotePal U2 Laptop Cooler

Posted by on Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 4:35pm

Cooler Master NotePal U2The Cooler Master NotePal U2 is a hot looking new unit designed with one thing in mind, keeping your laptop cool.  Cooler master does this with an amazing looking design.  Its frame is made out of aluminum with some rather stylish rubber mounts that combine aesthetics and usefulness.   I may have mentioned this before, but it’s worth saying again, heat is the killer of laptops, so you do whatever you can to remove heat from the equation.  After all, a laptop cooler is far cheaper than a new laptop!  And if there is one company that you can trust who has cooling running through their veins, it’s Cooler Master.  They have been around the DIY PC market for over a decade providing cases, CPU coolers, and chipset coolers.  They’re also widely respected for the wide range of power supplies they produce.  Their main goal is to provide the best thermal solutions, and they are well known for their cooling expertise.  So let’s take a look at the NotePal U2 and see if their vast experience has produced a winning product yet again.

 

 

Introduction to the Cooler Master NotePal U2

The Cooler Master NotePal U2 is a hot looking new unit designed with one thing in mind, keeping your laptop cool.  Cooler master does this with an amazing looking design.  Its frame is made out of aluminum with some rather stylish rubber mounts that combine aesthetics and usefulness.   I may have mentioned this before, but it’s worth saying again, heat is the killer of laptops, so you do whatever you can to remove heat from the equation.  After all, a laptop cooler is far cheaper than a new laptop!  And if there is one company that you can trust who has cooling running through their veins, it’s Cooler Master.  They have been around the DIY PC market for over a decade providing cases, CPU coolers, and chipset coolers.  They’re also widely respected for the wide range of power supplies they produce.  Their main goal is to provide the best thermal solutions, and they are well known for their cooling expertise.  So let’s take a look at the NotePal U2 and see if their vast experience has produced a winning product yet again.

Cooler Master’s take on the NotePal U2

NotePal U2 is a simple stand that elevates your notebook to a comfortable viewing angle and allows you to work with a better posture. The aluminum meshed design ensures that heat dissipates quickly to prevent your notebook from overheating. Its slim and lightweight feature gives you the absolute convenience to take anywhere, easy stow away, and protection. Two optional 80mm fans will allow you to cool the necessary areas generating the most heat.


 

Packaging and Contents

Cooler Master had their stuff together when they packaged the NotePal U2.  It’s in a nice compression fit clear plastic shell (yes, no scissors are needed to open) with all the pertinent data and instructions listed right on the colorful professionally designed interior. 

Specifications

Name

NotePal U2

Manufacturer

Cooler Master

Model

R9-NBC-8PBK-GP (Black)

Material

Aluminum/rubber

Size

343 x 266 x 58.6mm; 13.5” x 10.5” x 2.3”

Weight

1.30 lbs

Fan

2 x 80mm

Color

Black

Compatibility

Notebook/Netbooks up to 14-17”

Features

The NotePal U2 is not a feature packed full of extras laptop cooler.  It is an easy to use low maintenance unit that is designed for one thing, cooling your laptop.  It’s not for storage or USB hubs or anything else.  Here are a few key features you should be aware of:

  • Slim
    • Slim and light-weight design offers excellent portability.
  • Sturdy
    • Unique sturdy structure for long-term desktop use.
  • Protection & Storage
    • Great for protecting and storage.
    • Accommodates 14"-15", up to 17".
  • Ergonomic
    • Ergonomically design for comfortable viewing angle.
  • Cooling
    • Excellent convection design to prevent overheating.
  • Fans
    • 2 Removable/Movable 80mm fans.

 

Closer Look at the NotePal U2

One of the first things you notice is the mesh like design of the aluminum frame. 


This thing just looks like its cooling even when it’s sitting still.  Another key use for all those little holes though is the unique system allowing you to move the fans around. 

This gives you the ability to pinpoint the hotspots on your laptop and place the fan right below it, maximizing your cooling ability.  Be careful you don’t move the fans too far to the front or the NotePal U2 won’t sit flat.  In order to move them around all you have to do is press in on the tabs on the side of the fan; this releases the clamps freeing the fan from the cooler. 

Power for these two fans is provided by a USB plug. 

This is a pass through plug so you needn’t worry about losing another USB port on your laptop.

 I personally didn’t find the noise of the fans to be loud, but this is something most users would need to decide for themselves, and since there are no on/off switches, you are required to unplug the USB plug to turn them off.  Don’t feel like dealing with the fans?  Not to worry, just unclamp them and set them aside, while the cooling won’t be as effective, you will still see some benefits to your cooling just from the well designed surface and shape.

Of course the NotePal U2 isn’t flat; it’s designed as a wedge which allows for a more comfortable ergonomic angle for your viewing/using pleasure and a great shape for cooling, allowing cooler air to flow under and around your laptop.


The rubber mounts in the corner and along the bottom not only add to the stylish appearance, but they also assist in keeping your laptop from sliding off the wedge design and to keep everything from sliding around on your work surface. 

Another handy little feature some of you might find useful, at least those of you that take your laptop with you, is using the NotePal U2 to protect your laptop in your carrying case.  All you have to do is remove the detachable fans, slide your laptop in the bottom of the NotePal U2 and use the provided Cooler Master elastic restraint device (big, fancy elastic rubber band).  As you can see from the pictures, as long as your laptop isn’t extremely thick, your NotePal U2 provides quite a decent protector.  Of course I used mine to protect the monitor side from any inadvertent bumps it may receive.  Then just slide it in whatever carrying case you have and you’re all set.  Not only will it provide you with protection, but your laptop cooler finds a way to travel with you!


 

Testing

Testing was run using CPUID HWMonitor and Hyper PI.  CPUID was used to track the laptops processor and internal hard drive, while Hyper Pi was used to encourage the laptop to run at a heavy load which will run up the temperature.

Not much of a difference here between the temperatures with the NotePal U2 and without it.  Although there was a noticeable difference with the hard drive temperatures, it appears the stock laptop cooler is relatively effective in dealing with the heat on the CPU under no load, but doesn’t provide much support to the hard drive. 

We see some pretty significant differences under load.  CPU1 sees a drastic 7 degree drop, or almost 11% and CPU2 sees a 6 degrees drop, or a little over 11%.  The hard drive isn’t very stressed during this test, yet there was still a 4 degree drop for almost 10% cooling effect.  This is a pretty significant drop in temperatures across the board.  I am confident that with a little more time to move the fan around after locating the true hotspots on the laptop that we could have seen an even greater improvement in the already impressive cooling effect of the NotePal U2.


Conclusion

I would like to thank Cooler Master for sending us the NotePal U2 for review.  After pulling the cooler out of the package I was excited by the look and feel.  I just knew it would be effective at keeping my laptop cool, and I was right.  The NotePal U2 does its job extremely well.  With the unique feature of allowing you to move the fans around after pinpointing your hotspots, and with all the vent holes and the angled design Cooler Master nailed the performance issue in a product that costs just a little more than $20.  It’s just a small issue, but while the pass through USB plug is handy, I found myself not using this feature because you end up with a double length USB plug that sticks way too far out from your laptop.  Yes it’s sturdy and will stay in place, but while reaching for things on my desktop or when moving the laptop and cooler around I keep knocking it out of place.  All in all, this is an amazing product, the price is right and its performance and looks make this a highly recommended product!

Pro’s:

  • 2 x 80mm fans
  • Fans are movable or removable
  • Everything powered by pass through USB plug
  • Impressive Cooling Power
  • Priced right

Con’s:

  • Pass through USB plug
  • No USB hub

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