We tested the X3's cooling power with our 17-inch Dell Alienware M17X R3 notebook. The edges of the M17X R3 cleared the X3's base, but it still sat firmly in place and didn't seem likely to slip off. This hefty gaming machine was setup to run 3D Mark 11's Extreme benchmark on a loop for one hour. We then took a laser temperature reading at the hottest point on the machine (just under the metal plate on the base).
In our air-conditioned room of roughly 22 degrees Celsius in temperature, with the M17X R3 sitting on the table, it reached 46 degrees Celsius during our continuous benchmark test run. Using the Cooler Master NotePal X3, with the fan at full power, the temperature reached a high of 35 degrees for the same test conditions. That's a full 11 degrees cooler than without a cooler. In terms of noticeable heat change, the notebook was quite hot to touch without the pad, and only warm with it.
Compared to other cooling pads, the X3 performed a tad better than the old ErgoStand (featuring a 140mm fan) but slightly worse than Thermaltake's Massive 23 LX (with its 230mm fan). Although the half degree difference fluctuated, realistically there wasn't much to separate them.
The Cooler Master NotePal X3 is a decent cooling pad that's thin and lightweight enough to carry around, but lacks anything that really sets it apart. What extra features it does have (front cooling vent, LED light, X-shape etc.) don't work that well and seem more gimmicky than useful. For those using larger sized notebooks, the X3 would seem like a better fit than paired with compact notebooks due to its overall size.