- Created on 05 May 2011
We have probably laboured the point that if you spend a lot of time with your laptop on your knees or on a cushion, it can start to get hot (you've probably noticed by now!). Suffice to say, it isn't great letting the laptop heat up on top of something like a cushion where you can potentially block air vents as this can end up with your laptop overheating and component damage. With this in mind a dedicated laptop cooler or laptop tray (essentially the same, but the cooler has a built in fan) are a great idea to help prevent overheating occurring and provide a little more comfort to you lap when you are using your laptop (if like mine your laptop gets pretty hot and uncomfartable to use!).
The latest laptop cooler to hit the market from Cooler Master is the Cooler Master NotePal LapAir, a dedicated notebook/laptop cooler with an inbuilt 1650 rpm single speed fan. The NotePal LapAir is finished in a matt black finish, with the bulk of the notebook cooler mande from black plastic. On the underside towards the back of the unit is a cushioned panel (behind which are housed the air intakes for the fan) that is designed to rest on your knees and at the front is a rubber strip to help prevent slippage whilst in use. The USB power connector is housed in a neat niche on the underside and the cabling can be routed through a series of predetermined grooves in the plastic that allow for easy cable management. The top of the unit is mainly taken up by a large mesh grill (the exhaust vent for the fan) that blends into the surface of the unit which has a small lip that runs around the perimeter in order to prevent the laptop sliding off the surface.
The whole laptop cooler measures 43 x 31.6 x 5.6 cm (maximum thickness), weighs 1.2kg and can accomodate laptops with up to 17" screens. Installation is incredibly easy requiring only a single USB port, and power consumption is low (1.7W / 0.34A). Since the device uses a USB port pass the USB port is still available for other device whislt in use (useful if you have only got a couple of spare USBs ports). The fan is fairly quiet (23dBa at 1650RPM - certainly audible above the general noise from the laptop, but not wholly intrusive) and can push through 65 CFM which is certainly enough to keep any laptop cool. The fan is also very easy to access (for cleaning purposes): by pulling a small tab attached to the mesh, the whole fan system becomes accessible.
In our tests, the Cooler Master NotePal LapAir providing a comfortable angle for using the laptop, certainly kicked out a lot of cool air under the base of the laptop at the cost of the slight humming noise from the fan. At a retail price of £22.95 though this has to be one of the cheapest laptop or notebook cooler we have had the chance to review and as such in our eyes is great for those on a budget!