Given the importance of support for this size, the NotePal looks tidy and sturdy beneath the notebook. It's important to note that basic models have very low cooling requirements (if properly designed) and coolers like these primarily provide unobstructed air flow.
A feature missing from this device is retention along the bottom edge of the cooler. It only has a rubber foot that extends around the bottom edge. This is quite different from the recently reviewed NotePal ErgoStand that featured anti-skid holders to prevent the notebook from sliding off the bottom of the stand. While the rubber grips do provide some traction to the bottom of the notebook, it really isn't adequate for holding the computer securely.
Next we have a widescreen notebook with a much shorter and wider build. As you can see in the pictures the notebook's feet just fit onto the cooler but the notebook itself protrudes over the edge of the cooler a little. From a weight standpoint the cooler easily handles both systems.
The final notebook I test fit was a 17” Toshiba. This one completely engulfed the NotePal. The rubber pads in the top corner did not make contact with the bottom of the notebook. Furthermore, the notebook's uneven surface made for an unbalanced seating on the cooler and it tended to wobble a bit unless positioned off-center.
Running the fans does not significantly impact the battery life of the notebook. Battery life was only shortened by 14 minutes overall when the computer was sitting idle. It is of course possible to detach these fans and use the NotePal passively. The perforated aluminum will allow your notebook's cooling fan(s) to intake air virtually unrestricted.