Author: Carl Poirier
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, October 24th, 2011
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/cm_notepal_x-slim/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
Neoseeker has looked at a few laptop/notebook coolers in the past, and while they were nice solutions to keep system temperatures in check, all the models reviewed were priced above the $30 mark and were still pretty big, adding to the notebooks' size and weight. The question then is if there any smaller models that can be had for cheaper prices, without sacrificing the performance? If ultraportables go down to the 10" range, there is certainly a need for a smaller cooler that simply gets the job done, and for a nice price to boot. In that regard, there is certainly no need for all the bells and whistles typically designed to attract people's attention at LAN parties.
Cooler Master might have a model that fits the bill, reviewed here today. The X-Slim, part of Cooler Master's Notepal series, is much smaller and lighter than its siblings, all the while costing a few bucks less.
|Material||Plastics, Metal mesh, Rubber|
|Weight||1.54 lbs / 0.7 Kg|
|Dimensions||380 x 270 x 27.5~46 mm|
|Fan Dimension||160 x 15 mm fan|
|Fan Speed||1400 ± 15% R.P.M.|
|Fan Speed Control||Single Speed|
|Fan Airflow||70 CFM|
|Fan Noise||21 dBA|
|Power||USB 5V DC|
|USB||USB 2.0/1.1 x1 (For Power Input)|
|Power consumption||0.38A, 1.9W|
|Compatibility||Supports up to 17" laptops|
Specifications are courtesy of Cooler Master @ http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id=1667&product_id=3047
The whole surface of the X-Slim is a mesh of much finer porosity than those seen on the U3 and U Stand previously reviewed, as it cannnot be used to manually attach any fans. The X-Slim in fact uses only one fan, measuring 160mm. The whole surface of the cooler measures 38cm by 27cm, so most 15" laptops will just fit right onto it.
The unit is made out of a unique piece of plastic on which everything is affixed. Its four rubber feet keep the X-Slim from slipping on surfaces, while jacking it just high up enough to allow the fan to take air from below. At the back there are two legs that can be unfolded to give the X-Slim an even better ground clearance, and most importantly a more ergonomic position for the user. There is a USB wire coming out from above the fan that can be routed to either side of the unit, depending on where the ports are located on the laptop. When not in use, the wire can be wrapped and clipped.
That USB wire is long enough to reach the USB ports, and is not excessively in length. There is a female USB port on the other side of the connector, so the connection is not wasted.
The X-Slim did not come with any accessories, aside from a small sheet explaining what has just been shown above. Here is what it looks like installed to the test notebook:
Even though the fan placement cannot be customized as on the previous Notepal coolers, the X-Slim still shows strong cooling performance. It was able to keep the test notebook's processor every bit as cool as the much larger cooling solutions. The GPU did end up seeing higher temperatures, but it was still much better than stock. The X-Slim actually topped the charts when it cane to hard drive cooling.
The cooling performance packed into the Cooler Master Notepal X-Slim is pretty impressive. Its 160mm fan pushes a lot of air, but spread across a larger surface so the laptop was kept as cool as it was on the other configurations found in the previously tested Notepals which were equipped with two 120mm (or smaller) fans.
The X-Slim was designed to be more portable. Its plastic unibody contributes to its light weight, and at 700 grams, the X-Slim certainly isn't hefty. Its smaller size will allow it to fit 15.6" laptops very nicely. Cooler Master says the X-Slim can even accomodate up to 17" laptops, but depending on the actual notebook that claim might be stretching it a bit; the laptop used in Neoseeker's testing already covered the whole mesh, leaving only the four plastic corners apparent. That steel mesh does lend a decent look and some degree of stability. It wouldn't have looked the same with another plastic surface.
The Cooler Master Notepal X-Slim can be had for around $18, so it's definitely going to be easy on one's credit card. Overall, it's definitely a great bang-for-the-buck cooler in its category.
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