Keeping your knees and laptop cool are something of a priority if you don't want to heat your knees up or run the risk of damaging your laptop by letting it overheat (in fact research has indicated that extended use of laptops without using some form of "protection" can do more than just heat your legs up so it really is worth considering some form of laptop tray or cooler for both you and your laptop - see here).
As well as the NotePal LapAir, Cooler Master have released another notebook cooler, the Cooler Master Infinite EVO a more advanced dual fan based cooler. The Infinite EVO look a bit like a capital "D" letter with the exhaust vents of the two internal 80mm fans angled upwards towards the centre of the D so as to provide maximum cooling to the base of any laptop resting on top (Dimensions: 42 x 31 x 6.1 cm (MAX) Weight 1.2kg). The top of the laptop cooler is finished in hard wearing aluminium which give the unit a certain amount of rigidity and like the NotePal LapAir it can support laptops with up to 17" screen sizes. Both the top and bottom of the unit have large rubber pads to make sure that both itself and any laptop stay where they are needed!
In addition, the unit comes with a USB lead that connects to a free USB slot on your laptop and the mini USB slot on the cooler. Usefully though you don't just lose your free USB port as the laptop cooler also acts as a USB hub with three USB ports located on the right hand edge of the unit. If you want to keep the cable nice and tidy it can be routed inside the groove between the aluminium and plastic base. Next to the miniUSB input on the cooler is also a on/off switch, a fan speed thumbwheel, a power LED and a 5V input (should you want to run the unit from mains power, although no additional mains power cable is included).
The two installed 80mm fans can provide a massive airflow of 120CFM at maximum speed which creates a background noise level of ~23dBA. If you want much quieter operation though, the fan speeds can be scaled down from 1400 rpm to 750 rpm, using a thumbwheel on the left hand edge of the cooler, to suit your laptop (in general: more powerful - more hear, less powerful - less heat) or working environment which allows a relative reduction in fan noise. At maximum power the fans consume 0.45A and at their lowest setting 0.26A.
In use, the Infinite EVO is comfortable to use, provides a good viewing angle and although the fans are fairly audible at their highest setting, at lower speeds they are hardly audible. Even at lower speeds they still manage to kick out a large volume of air that should keep even the highest specification laptop cooler than it's used to!
The ability to actually moderate the fan speed to suit your environment/laptop requirements, as well as the Infinite EVO's inbuilt USB hub makes it ideal for any laptop or notebook user and for only £31.95 (at the time of writing) its not really a great outlay to ensure protection for both yourself and your laptop.
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