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Cooler Master NotePal
Despite claims to this effect in our review of the Cooler Master NotePal P1, I’m not sure everyone has heard the story of the man who burnt his penis on a notebook that was particularly warm. In fact, I’m not even sure such a story exists outside the mind of the now sadly departed – from the TrustedReviews office – Spode. In any case what he was trying to convey was that notebooks get hot and while technology continues to decrease heat production and improve heat dissipation in notebooks, even the best designed notebooks will get pretty warm when under serious stress.
If this is the sort of thing that concerns you then there are plenty of options out there, and today we have another of Cooler Master’s solutions, the NotePal. This is the slightly more expensive of the two NotePal products, with the P1 which Spode reviewed costing around £18 compared to the £23 of this version. For the extra money though you do get a rather more complete product because whereas the NotePal P1 was essentially more of a wedge than a stand, the NotePal is a fully fledged stand that’ll hold your notebook securely in place while also keeping it cool.
The cooling is provided by two 70mm fans placed toward the back of the unit, around the area on a notebook normally taken up by the battery pack. These fans prevent the warm air created by the battery and other components from being trapped under the notebook, replacing that stale hot air with cooler air drawn from underneath the stand. This helps keep the underside of a notebook noticeably cooler to the touch, which should in the long run help the longevity of your notebook and help it remain stable during extensive use. The fact that the stand is constructed from aluminium also contributes to the cooling, since it conducts heat far more effectively than anything made out of plastic.
As with the NotePal P1, the fans are powered via a USB cable which can be connected to the notebook. You don’t lose that USB port altogether it’s replicated on the back of the stand, and it’s a proper USB 2.0 standard port so there’s no compromise on transfer speeds should that be a concern. This is a very convenient solution, though it would be nice to have the option of standard mains power; especially if you intend to keep the stand permanently in one place.