Cooler Master NotePal P1
- Portable, small and light, Minimal noise
- Isn't designed to dramatically cool processor or graphics temperatures
The CoolerMaster NotePal P1 is pretty effective at its chosen task. It's not a miracle cure for severely overheated laptops, but it should help prevent trousers being grafted on to your lap.
Price$ 50.00 (AUD)
As anyone who has spent time with a notebook on their lap will know, these things get unnervingly warm - which can't be good for their life expectancy. Enter the CoolerMaster NotePal P1 portable laptop cooler, an intriguing device that looks more like a speaker upgrade than a cooling device.
This wedge-shaped product is designed to sit underneath a notebook, raising the rear and shifting it to a more ergonomic angle. Sunken into the upper brushed-aluminium surface are a pair of small (70mm) fans, which spin at 1,500rpm (revolutions per minute). Drawing power from the laptop itself via the supplied USB cable, they blow air upwards on to the bottom of the laptop.
The NotePal is pleasingly portable. The device is small and light enough to be squeezed into the average laptop bag and lugged around without difficulty. The increase in noise is marginal, with the fans spinning away virtually unnoticed and only a slight rumble indicating actual activity.
To test the NotePal we hooked it up to a feisty Acer laptop fitted with a 2GHz dual-core AMD Turion processor and ATI mobility X1600 graphics. It's worth noting at this point that the NotePal isn't designed to dramatically cool processor or graphics temperatures - it's merely meant to reduce chassis heat to reduce the workload for small, noisy laptop fans. The CoolerMaster did a pretty good job of this, with typical internal idling and load temperatures dropping by an average of 2 to 3 degrees.
However, the extent to which the fans were actually contributing to the cooling process is up for debate. We suspect that raising the laptop's back end and allowing a bit of airflow was the main factor in making things slightly less toasty - and our suspicions were given added weight when we achieved similar drops in temperature by simply placing a reasonably sized paperback underneath the notebook.
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For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
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