Gaming notebooks are becoming more common in recent times with global demand for on-the-go gaming increasing. In correlation to their popularity, notebook manufacturers are integrating ever more powerful hardware with RAID arrayed hard drives and even SLI GPU configurations into their notebooks – pushing known boundaries of notebooks to a level that was once thought as ridiculous. A few good examples of such notebooks would be the recent Dell XPS M2010 and Toshiba Qosmio G30 that seem to be more of a small form factor desktop then a notebook of any kind.
With all this in mind, it isn't hard to foresee these premium gaming notebooks emitting a whole lot more heat – and who else better to come up with a cooling solution then Cooler Master?
Although the idea of a sloping notebook cooler for the laptop to lean upon is not new, the Cooler Master NotePal P1 takes on the concept with a fresh perspective; the cooler's side profile resembles a metallic teardrop with its sleek arc and is unlike anything we have ever seen. Complementing its distinctive look is Cooler Master's signature aluminum surface that is brushed to perfection, meticulously polished and filed down; leaving no sharp edges or kinks in the cooler's slick look.
Measuring only 330 x 160.5 x 42mm, the cooler can still prop up a notebook to a very comfortable height, where the upper regions of the display screen matches eye level - the most ideal ergonomic position to work in! Aside from that, its compact measurements also make the P1 one of the most compact active-notebook cooling solutions we have seen to date and can easily slip out of sight when not in use – although it would be a shame to hide something so aesthetically appealing. Fortunately, Cooler Master provides an optional base rest that props the cooler vertically upwards when not in use – saving space and is perfect for the P1 to double as stylistic showpiece!
By now, some of you might be skeptical about how a notebook is going to sit on the cooler without sliding off its smooth surface, and the answer to this all lies within two slim rubber rings that circumnavigate the outlet vents found on the cooler; composing of transparent rubber, the rubber rings clings on to the bottom of the notebook like clamps thanks to its innate non-slip properties, steadying the platform while you bang away at the keyboard. Also, to ensure that users don't run out of USB ports with one being used to power the cooler, the P1 includes an additional USB port, though integrating a USB hub would have been ideal.
Pushing an elegant button that is integrated seamlessly into its design, two 0.24amp 70mm fans embedded within the P1 spins to life, promptly sucking in air from generous inlet vents found below the cooler and pushing it upwards through two circular outlets. This airflow creates a gushing torrent that forces hot air trapped beneath and around the notebook to circulate outwards, freeing the notebook to considerably intake more cool air for a more efficient cooling process. Throughout our testing process, noise wasn’t an issue with the P1 which is rated to operate at 21dBA, although a slight whooshing sound can be heard if you listen for it.
Although the Cooler Master NotePal P1 notebook cooler sets itself apart from the pack with a distinct look, it isn't just a pretty pedestal for your notebook to masquerade on. It has the capacity to cool down notebooks considerably as well as prop them up into a very ergonomic position - alleviating potential backache from hunching over the laptop. After a barrage of gaming and desktop publishing tests for a week using numerous notebooks, we felt that the Cooler Master NotePal P1 is definitely one notebook cooler worthy of protecting the integrity of your precious data and keeping your notebook running cool.