Over the years I've tested more than a few notebook coolers here at OCIA.net and I can honestly say that I haven't really been impressed with any of them. Many do offer ancillary benefits such as providing a more ergonomic typing position, comfortable lap use, expanded USB or other accessory ports, and some even have cool lighting effects. But the core function of a notebook cooler should be to actually cool your notebook, or at least you would think so. However, by and large, most notebook coolers have very little effect on the operating temperatures inside a laptop computer. No laptop that I am aware of is designed with large heatsinks on the bottom, and very few have any kind of venting or air intake located there either. Yet nearly all notebook cooler designs incorporate fans that blow air straight up into the flat, featureless bottom of the laptop, where there is neither an overabundance of heat, nor effective means to dissipate it.
The one we have for review today, the Cooler Master Storm Strike Force SF-19, appears no different in basic design from most other notebook coolers. It features a generally wedge-shaped base with some venting and fans housed inside, some rubber non-slip feet and a smattering of controls on either side. The Storm series of products is geared towards gamers and the SF-19 claims compatibility with up to 19" laptops. Additionally it supports USB 3.0 and offers some variable lighting effects.
Join me as I take a closer look at the Cooler Master Storm Strike Force SF-19 notebook cooler.