The NotePal X2 Notebook Pad & Cooler: Review
It's definitely one of the cooler laptop fans around, but how well does it cool your laptop? Here is my evaluation of the Cooler Master's NotePal X2 Notebook Pad & Cooler....
What I meant by cool, of course, is this X2's design, a sleek X-shape that lights up a brilliant neon blue when the fan is turned on. Unfortuntionately, you can't be distracted by the pattern of the blue light while you're working, because your computer covers it. Is the X2 cool? Yes, but...
Does The X2 Cool?
Aside from its visual display, the NotePal X2 Notebook Pad & Cooler is still pretty neat. I bought it to use with my 10.1 inch notebook, which is on pretty much all day, and it runs hot. So for me the second coolest, but most important factor, is that the X2 NotePal does cool, and very effectively, taking air in from the bottom and the rear of the pad. My laptop's touchpad still gets warm, but not hot, and anyway, I'm using the Logitech M305 mouse, as I don't really like a warm touchpad. Do you?
The X2 is the mid-priced member of Cooler Master's 'X' designs, but it has the smallest size fan - 140 mm. Nevertheless, it does 1500 RPM, the same as the larger but lower-priced fan, the Cooler Master model X-Slim. The larger and more powerful model, the X3 - 200mm, 2000 RPM - likely provides even better cooling, not only because of its motor size and speed, but because it has more air vents. And, to boot, there is a fan that cool your fingers in the front of the X3 by, the touchpad.
But I digress... I give the X2 NotePal a 4.5 out of 5 for cooling, when size and price (around $30) are factored in.
Is The X2 Easy To Use?
It couldn't be easier! Just plug the USB cord (included) into one of two USB receptacles at the back of the X2 and the other into a USB port on your laptop. Press the on/off switch on the back of the X2 and you're set up. You can even adjust the fan speed with a knob on the right side of the X2.
I give the X2 NotePal a 5 out of 5 for ease of use.
Is The X2 Convenient To Use?
The X2 is not inconvenient, but there are a few features on the other models that would be nice to have. For example, the X-Slim has a place on the underside of the pad to tuck in your USB cable so it doesn't get in the way of other things. Also, the XSlim comes with an USB extender, not included with the X2. These are both features that should have been included in the X2, especially as it costs about $12 more than the X-Slim.
Also, though my laptop does not slide off the X2, even when I put the risers up, I would have liked a couple of rubber stoppers on the X2 pad for reassurance, as there is enough of a tilt in the pad to cause concern for the computer's stabiity.
I give the X2 NotePal a 2.5 out of 5 for convenience.
Is The X2 Comfortable To Use?
That depends. The X2 NotePal is intended to be used on a level hard surface like a desk. It is not a lap desk. So if you use it as a lap desk anyway, it is not very comfortable, as it has no cushion and no give. Additionally, a separate computer mouse does not fit on, nor does it function on, the pad, so it is really awkward to use the X2 on your lap. Additionally, as air is taken in from the bottom of the pad, you will limit the fan's ability to cool efficiently.
On a desk that is the right height for you the X2 NotePal sits at a good angle and my 10.1 inch notebook does not slide off. I also have a 17" laptop that is too heavy and too large for the X2, so if you have a laptop that large, I would look into the X3 - possibly. Cooler Master indicates that the X2 accommodates laptops up to 17", but my suggestion is to use it for 15.4" and smaller.
The NotePal is very sturdy and strong. It's compact and it's lightweight. You might not want to carry it with you to Starbucks, but it might be worth the extra two pounds to take it along on an extended trip
I'd like the NotePal to be comfortable on my lap, but it isn't intended for laps, so I won't deduct points for that; besides, I have found that lap stands and cushions are not effective computer coolers. So, I give the X2 NotePal a 4.5 out of 5 for comfort.
Overall, I've enjoyed using this gadget. I give Cooler Master's NotePal X2 Notebook Pad & Cooler a 4 out of 5, with points mainly deducted for features that could have been added for convenience.