It wasn't too long ago that we had in our hands the Cooler Master NotePal P1 notebook base. It was sleek, classy and most of all a competent cooler for your notebook. However, before the dust has even settled around the NotePal P1, in comes yet another notebook base from Cooler Master; and it's not hard to see why Cooler Master is bold enough to introduce yet another notebook base so quickly without cannibalizing its own market share. The NotePal S is a totally different breed altogether.
The NotePal S features a sleek contoured aluminum base in a signature brushed finish that looks extremely good aesthetically. From its side profile, it is easy to see that the entire aluminum base is created through a single extrusion process, producing a base that is extremely tough and durable. Ventilation grills provide added cooling for the base and Cooler Master even inserts some rubber rests along the grills to prevent any superficial damage or scratches your notebook may suffer form. However, the joints at the bottom that makes up an elevation mechanism for the base are made wholly out of plastic. At first glance, they look rather flimsy against the base itself and does not feel strong enough to withstand the continual pressure of larger notebooks.
Sweeping our worries of the fragile looking plastic components under the carpet, we bravely placed a few notebooks ranging from 14-inch portables to massive 17-inch titans on the base. Fortunately, the base held firm and reassuringly didn't wobble one bit. This somewhat dissolved our fears of a weak base. That aside, the NotePal S surprisingly hits the right spot - well actually six right spots, whichever you prefer. Made with ergonomics in mind, the NotePal S has six degrees of elevation, which can be adjusted as necessary for a more comfortable use of your notebook.
The highest position however, is probably recommended only when you are using your notebook as a multimedia display device to watch movies and so on with a wireless keyboard and mouse as we don’t see how anyone would need to use the keyboard and touchpad at that elevation level.
Although the NotePal S doesn't feature any fancy cooling fans or apparatus, Cooler Master surely never forgot its roots and ensured that they have their bases covered in its design. The the use of full aluminum, its contoured base and ventilation grills ensure that the NotePal S is able to function as a passive notebook cooler as well as a stand with adequate space for air to circulate. Where the base comes in contact with the notebook, the aluminum is perforated with rows of vents.
Additionally, Cooler Master kept in mind the bottom gutter where notebooks cling on and kept it as low as possible so as not to interfere with users that still rely on the notebook’s keyboard; this attention to detail plus and all the plus factors covered earlier contributed to an extended notebook experience that was overall quite good.
The Cooler Master NotePal S stands out from its brethren with its passive cooling system, ergonomic adjustable height stand and beautifully crafted aluminum body. While we cannot fault the passive cooling system's contoured base on any counts, we were slightly skeptical about placing the entire weight of a notebook on its plastic joints, especially when you have to apply pressure while using and typing on the notebook. Nevertheless, the NotePal S found its sweet spot amongst 15-inch notebooks and was a joy to have around. Gone are the days where you have to hunch over your notebook with the Cooler Master NotePal S.