Having a notebook on your lap can be uncomfortable. The heat from the bottom of the notebook can make your lap warm and it isn't healthy either. Also, using a notebook on your lap isn't the most ergonomic either. For those who might wonder why you might need a notebook cooler when you don't have one to begin with, consider this...heat is one of the primary factors of notebook degradation and failure. No matter if you have a compact, mainstream, or a heavy gaming notebook, heat is an issue and the bottom of the notebook is bound to get warm or sometimes even hot. Today, we will be reviewing one of CoolerMaster's latest notebook coolers, the Notepal U Stand. With an aluminum frame, and moveable fans, we have flexible product that helps to get the most in cooling your notebook.
The notebook cooler itself is made of aluminum with some plastic parts. The front has a grill look with holes. This is the area where your notebook will be placed on top. There is a light gray rubber strip towards the top to help keep a larger notebook in place. The product is distintly labeled with 'Cooler Master' at the bottom.
Towards the bottom, there are two plastic pieces that can be folded out so the notebook doesn't slide down the cooler. The bottom edge of your notebook will sit on these two pieces. There is a rubber lining on the pieces that will help your notebook stay in place as well.
On the right side, There are a variety of USB ports. Starting from left to right, there is a power LED, a power button, an AC adapter plug, 1 mini-USB port, and three standard-sized USB 2.0 ports. There are definitely plenty of USB ports on the side. Given that USB 3.0 devices are starting to penetrate the market such as hard drives and the latest notebooks, I would have liked to see at least one USB 3.0 port on this.
There are 4 adjustable angles that this notebook cooler can stand at. To change the angle, just lift up the top portion of the notebook cooler and move to the metal support to the next notch. I think this provides a good range of angles that you can use your notebook on.
In order to place the two fans on the notebook cooler, you need to press the button on the side of the fan. Each fan has 4 plastic pins sticking out on each corner. You just insert the first 2 pins through the holes of the cooler, and then press the button on the side to be able to insert the other 2 pins to secure the fan in place. You have to be delicate when placing the fans on the notebook cooler. I managed to break off one of the plastic pins on one of the fans for being a little forceful. I would like to see the fans have metal pins instead of plastic pins since they are being placed inside the alumnium holes.
In order to make use of the USB ports on the notebook cooler, you will need to use the provided USB cable to connect it from the laptop to one of the USB ports on the cooler. You do have a wire sticking out, but most people won't mind when you need to take advantage of extra USB ports.
When turning on the fans at the push of the power button on the side, I was expecting the fans to be loud. But I was surprised at how quiet they were. They are so quiet that I could only hear my notebook fan. After using my notebook for a while, the bottom of my notebook was still cool to the touch and it was actually comfortable using this stand on my lap as well.
You can still place the notebook cooler on your lap. The bottom plastic frame of the notebook frame will end up sitting on each of your thighs.
Included with the notebook cooler is a simple user guide and a USB cable.
The Cooler Master U Stand is a good notebook cooler. In terms of cooling, it gets the job done. The fans are very quiet and barely noticeable while keeping the notebook. It will also keep your lap cool if you use it on your lap. The only potential flaws with the product are the lack of a USB 3.0 port as well as the plastic pins on the fans. If you will be moving the fans often, I can already see a user breaking a pin or two if they aren't careful. If Cooler Master makes improvements in these areas, this notebook cooler would be near perfect. This notebook cooler retails for $49.99 at Cooler Master's online store.