The other end of the cord plugs into a USB port on the laptop, which in my case is located in the rear. The cord should be long enough to reach around or under the laptop if your USB ports happen to be located on the opposite side.
The NotePal draws power for the fans through the USB interface. After pressing the power switch at first I thought the cooler wasn't working, I couldn't hear anything. But I lifted the laptop up to confirm the fans were indeed spinning, they are just very silent. There isn't a whole lot of airflow however, each fan is only rated for 9.5cfm at 21dB.
I decided to compare first how the NotePal performed on a cushioned, cloth surface, such as where the photos were taken. This should simulate using the laptop on a bed, a carpeted floor, etc. Next I would try it out on a hard flat surface, such as a tabletop or desk. And lastly I opted to place it between my notebook and lap, to see if it kept the tops of my thighs any cooler.
In each of the three environments I took system temperature measurements using SpeedFan under both idle and load conditions, and compared the temps with the cooler in place vs. without. To generate load temps I ran Folding@Home and Perfect Disk simultaneously for at least half an hour. By the time I was done testing I had nearly completed processing one protein and I had a very fragment-free drive partition.
First, the soft surface test. I tried moving the laptop forward and back on the NotePal a few times to see if the position made any difference.
No improvement to system temperatures at all. Next let's try the hard surface test.
Again, temperatures were not noticeably different. Finally the lap test.
Once again, no significant change. The internal system temp does not seem to be affected by the NotePal P1 cooler whatsoever. It was noticed during the lap test that use of the NotePal helped keep the bottom of the laptop from getting hot, in fact the temperature difference was very significant. Because of this, using the notebook computer with the NotePal on my lap was a much more pleasant experience and not so uncomfortably warm.
Conclusion just ahead.