By: Jeremy To
July 8, 2011
Looking back when I was a stubborn and arrogant little child (Some 3-4 years ago), it was almost crystal clear to me that laptop cooling pads were a waste of money. Reason? Well, at the time, it seemed ludicrous as to why and how adding additional cooling to the underside of a notebook could improve performance when; (A) Even though most notebooks can get pretty hot under load, their underside still usually remains fairly cool; (B) The fans from the cooling pad are obviously not blowing directly at the components making it quite inefficient; and (C) Cooling pads are generally bulky, loud, and very unappealing. Also, I cannot forget to mention that my brother's laptop still managed to catch on fire at the time, although there are probably more problems to that than just overheating, haha. Certainly, many of you readers are questioning the capabilities of notebook cooling pads like I did. You are unsure of whether investing in one will actually lower the temperatures of your laptop. And even if the temperatures go down by a small fraction, is it really worth your hard earned moolah? Since these fundamental questions are frequently asked, let me provide you with some insight. Simply read this review and all your questions will be answered. Hey, what did you expect? I cannot provide all the answers without you making it half way. But I can introduce you to today's review on Cooler Master's NotePal Infinite EVO. Simply put, this tame cooling solution is quite the buy (Since as the name suggests, the unit went through infinite evolutions), so let's jump right in!
Today's review unit came to our Calgary office from our neighbors down south as the first notebook cooling pad of the review series. My colleague Devin will finish off this series of NotePal reviews in the coming weeks. Like most units provided by Cooler Master, the NotePal Infinite EVO came to us in its safe and intact corrugated box thanks to UPS Standard. Of course, this is no ordinary "corrugated" box. It just so happened that Cooler Master sent the Infinite EVO to our office using an Elite 335 chassis box with the Cooler Master GX 450W, which will be reviewed by yours truly next week.
The Cooler Master NotePal Infinite EVO is not the hardcore enthusiast gamer's cooling solution like the CM Storm SF-19 Strike Force reviewed back in November of last year by my colleague Preston. Instead, by looking at the box, we can easily make the assumption that the Infinite EVO is a cooling pad targeted to those who want the comfortable ergonomic and cooling efficient feel, with the added pleasure of having a few more extra features that are usually not found on most cooling pads. The box characterizes the unit fairly well on the top, briefly stating some of features as well as the cooling technology under the hood. Cooler Master has done fairly well with the retail box design for the NotePal series, retaining a very professional look that is not overcrowded with text and information, like some products we have seen in the past. Let's briefly look over the features and specifications of the Infinite EVO, as found on the manufacturer's website:
- Aerodynamic design with unique U-shape airflow to enhance cooling performance by up to 20%.
- Two powerful yet quiet 80 mm blower fans provide superior airflow.
- Adjustable fan speed gives the best balance between silence and performance.
- Ergonomic design for best viewing/typing angle.
- Elegant sand-spray finish aluminum pad for best cooling performance.
- Side cable groove design for easy USB cable management.
- Compatible with all 17” and smaller laptops.
- Model: R9-NBC-INEV-GP
- Color: Black
- Material: Aluminum, Plastics, Rubber
- Weight: 2.65 lbs / 1.2 kg
- Dimension: 16.14" x 12.21" x 0.67"~2.40", 410 x 310 x 17~61 mm
- Fan Dimension: Two 80x80x21mm blower fans
- Fan Speed: 750 ~ 1400 R.P.M.
- Fan Speed Adjustment: Step-less speed control wheel
- Fan Airflow: 120 CFM (60 CFM each fan)
- Fan Noise Level(dB-A): 23 dBA (Max.)
- Power: USB 5V DC
- USB Port: USB 2.0/1.1 x3, Mini USB x1 (for power in)
- Power consumption: 0.26A~0.45A, 1W
- Compatibility: Support all 17" and smaller laptops
- UPC Code: 884102011184
Out of the box, you will find a small set of standard components. The owner's manual that gives detailed instructions to the setup process in several languages, a USB 2.0 to Mini USB cable to connect the EVO to your notebook's USB port, and lastly, the unit itself, protected by plastic wrapping and placed in between two sturdy Styrofoam pieces.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Usage
3. Testing and Conclusion