Cooler Master Notepal X3 Notebook Cooler
(3.0 star rating)
The Cooler Master NotePal X3 attempts to combine a sleek look, efficient cooling performance and quiet operation into a laptop cooling pad. It features a large 200mm fan with a blue LED for some added visual appeal. Let's see how it performs and whether it is worth the $40 USD price tag.
Design and Usage
The NotePal X3 is a sleek looking laptop stand and cooler, and it features a 200mm fan - quite large for a notebook cooler. The major benefits to the larger fans is that they can run quieter and provide the same level of cooling. This is definitely the case with the NotePal. The fan runs whisper quiet. In fact twice during testing we found ourselves removing the laptop to make sure it was running. The quiet operation is definitely a bonus in an office environment where noise levels need to be at a minimum.
The X3 is equipped with four bright blue LED lights. These lights sit on the top of the unit, and point inwards towards the fan. When there’s no laptop on the unit, the LEDs look nice, but with a laptop on the unit you can’t see them. There are also retractable feet to enhance the height for better ergonomics.
The device is powered via USB, and is equipped with an additional port which passes through to the laptop. This allows you to plug another device into the NotePal so you don’t lose a port by using the cooler. The controls allow you to turn the LEDs and fan on and off separately, and there’s also a fan control knob which allows you to adjust the speed of the fan directly.
|Notepal X3 Box||Overhead view|
- Product Model: R9-NBC-NPX3-GP
- Number of Fans: 1
- Fan Speed: 850 rpm
- Fan speed adjustment: fan speed dial
- Fan noise level (dB-A): 16 ~ 23 dBA
- Fan dimension: 200 x 200 x 20mm fan
- Air Flow: 76.5 CFM
- Built-in Devices: USB Hub
- Material: Metal Plastic Rubber
- Height: 2.8"
- Width: 15.7"
- Depth: 12.2"
- Weight: 1.98 lb
- Compatibility: Support up to 17" laptops
|Bottom view||Side view|
Performance TestingThree different units were used to test the cooling performance. All tests were on the highest fan setting. A 15” Dell Precision 6520 Core i7, a Macbook Pro Core 2 Duo, and a Macbook Air i5 series notebook. To get the CPU temperature measurements, I used a desktop gadget in windows, and a dashboard widget in OS X. Both take numbers from the CPU temp sensor. After completing the testing, the cooling on all three units was less than I expected.
The Dell unit fit well on the NotePal. The size was just right, and as a laptop stand it worked well together. When I started four long running processes, the processors heated up to a paltry 66 degrees Celsius on the CPU. At this point the system fans were running and keeping it at a level temperature. I turned on the cooler and gave it a couple of minutes to make an effect, yet there was no noticeable change in temperature. The system fans did slow slightly, and I think this has to do with the design of the system. The 6520 has air intake vents on the bottom of the unit, and expels hot air out the left side. With the large fan on the NotePal underneath, it is possible that the 6520 simply turned it’s system fans down when the extra air was present. The system fans did not turn off, but the temperature did not change when using the NotePal unit.
The Macbook Air 11” system with the i5 CPU had similar results. Four long running processes only brought the temp up to 63 degrees Celsius which is still rather nominal for a notebook. The addition of the NotePal did not lower the temperature on this unit at all. The fit for the Air was also less than optimal. Either the Air was sitting up too high which made typing uncomfortable, or it was lower on the stand and would slide off the front.
Out of all three units, the Macbook Pro 15” system worked the best with this cooler. The fit was just right with good air-flow room underneath the system. From a cooling standpoint, there was a drop of three degrees from 71 to 68 Celsius with maxed out processors. This is the only measurable change in temperature that we were able to record with this unit. We believe the temperature decrease is because of the following two reasons. First, the unit reached temperatures in excess of 67 degrees Celsius this is the only unit that peaked over these temperatures. The Macbook Pro is a two year old unit, and simply doesn’t have as efficient processors as the two later model laptops. Secondly, the airflow in the Macbook Pro vents in the back, and out the top. the bottom of the unit is simply aluminum, and doesn’t have any noticeable airflow. This let the system fans work as normal, and the NotePal was able to add to the cooling by keeping the bottom of the unit cooler.
Cooler Master Notepal X3 Notebook Cooler
At around $40 USD online, this is not the least expensive notebook cooler on the market. But if you are looking for a nice looking laptop cooler to use with an older laptop with heating issues, this unit may just be the ticket. For later model systems with Intel i-series or similar CPUs, this unit might not provide any substantial cooling benefit. Visually the NotePal X3 is a very appealing, but based on our testing the functionality leaves some to be desired.
Pros: Looks good; Functions well as a stand; Quiet.
Cons: Cooling performance is so-so.
Rating: 3.0 out of 5