Cooler Master NotePal P1 Notebook Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 10-06-2006
Provided by: Cooler Master

Well, what can I say about the Cooler Master NotePal P1? Let me start with the good. It's got a very attractive, stylish design that looks right at home with just about any PC-based notebook computer, although it may clash with some MAC portables. Comprised mostly of aluminum and plastic it's very light weight and easy to carry. The bottom tray allows storage of the USB cord and the stand frees up some desk space when the cooler is not in use. It's very easy to operate, so simple in fact that Cooler Master evidentially didn't think it needed an instruction manual, and when in use the fans run so quietly that it's difficult to tell that it's even turned on without raising the laptop up and checking for airflow. The rubber feet help prevent the NotePal from sliding on smooth surfaces, and the shape of the unit is comfortable enough to use on your lap.

Unfortunately this Cooler Master cooler isn't any better at cooling a laptop internally than simply using nothing at all. Regardless of the type of surface it is used on, the NotePal P1 offered no benefit to system cooling performance. In fact, the charts show that internal temperatures actually went up a degree in some cases after the NotePal was placed under the laptop. This is not to say that the NotePal actually made cooling worse, but that more than likely the maximum load temp had not quite been reached during the stock test.

What the NotePal is capable of doing however is significantly reducing the temperature of the bottom of the laptop case. To the untrained user merely feeling the bottom of the notebook, they may come to the conclusion that the cooler is actually reducing the system operating temperature simply because it is not nearly as warm. But laptops are not designed to cool internal components through the bottom of the case. Most have heatpipes and vents on the rear or sides, and also rely on some radiation up through the keyboard. If there were vents or heatsink fins extended down through the bottom then blowing air over them might be of some benefit. But being as there isn't, the most the NotePal (or any similar notebook cooler design) can do is cool down the outside temperature of the plastic case.

I wouldn't exactly call a laptop cooler completely useless however. During the lap temperature tests I did notice that the NotePal significantly reduced the external case temp enough such that it was much more comfortable to use the notebook on my lap for an extended period of time. This was a much appreciated side effect that is beneficial enough I will probably keep the NotePal around for just that purpose. The small size, light weight and ease of use makes it convenient enough to take on the go. As for price, at the time of review I was unable to find an online retailer that carried the NotePal P1, although you can still find the original NotePal for around $35. Potential buyers will have to decide how much keeping their lap happy is worth to them.


Compatible with most any laptop
Looks cool
Reduces bottom surface temp, lap friendly!


No noticeable benefit to system cooling

While I can't give the NotePal P1 any awards, it does have some limited usefulness. Thanks to Cooler Master for providing the NotePal P1 laptop cooler for review.

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