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Thursday, 01 April 2010 01:00

Cooler Master's NotePal ErgoStand reviewed - 3. Closer Look

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review: Keep you notebook cool throughout the summer







NotePal ErgoStand is manufactured using a combination of metal mesh and plastic. The mesh functions as a platform whereas the plastic acts as a base for the cooling pad. 

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The fan is pretty large (140mm in diameter) and is placed in the center so that cooling is equally good for both smaller and bigger laptops. You can regulate the rpm via the wheel on the left side (top). Minimum rpm is at about 700-rpm, whereas maximum rpm hangs around 1400-rpm. Apart from rubber pucks on the mesh which keep the laptop from sliding, the two holders on the bottom will further make sure your laptop doesn’t slide off of the ErgoPad. You can set the holders so that they work for smaller laptops as well. 

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As you can see from the following picture, the device also features the On/Off key, which will work well if you don’t need the fan. As we already said, the flat and solid surface of the cooling pad is enough of a prerequisite for the laptop to cool itself. The fan, however, will really come in handy when your CPU and/or GPU, which are usually the hottest components, get more demanding tasks and start heating up more seriously.

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Fan is powered via the provided USB cable, which is 60cm long. One end of the cable goes into the laptop’s USB port and the other, mini USB connector, goes into the ErgoStand. Choiix also implemented a 4-port USB hub, and if you use all the ports at the same time, the 1A from your notebook has to be shared equally among components, so AC power connection is advised. Unfortunately, a 5V AC power adapter is not included in the packaging. Power connector is also on the left side. The same row features a LED that glows whenever the ErgoStand is connected to your laptop. The On/Off key is used only for the fan, and the LED goes off only when the power to the NotePal ErgoStand is interrupted.

Moving to the other side you will find all of your inputs; that’s where the miniUSB connection for power and 4-port USB hub are located.

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The USB is placed a bit awkwardly, but we got used to it in no time. In fact, the mechanism for setting the angle will come in pretty handy in feeling your way towards the USBs.

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Although the USB ports are pretty close to each other, the problem is not in the thickness of the stick, but rather the width. Our Kingston Data Traveler 200 could only fit in the two upper USB ports, whereas the access to the lower two is blocked by the angle mechanism. Note however that this is only a problem when the NotePal ErgoStand is not in one of the four allowed angles. This is not a big problem though, as the lower two ports can be used for USB cables, smaller sticks or similar. 

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Although NotePal ErgoStand has been designed to keep your laptop at a lower angle, the mechanism allows for much more extreme angles. This means that setting the height and angle allows for anyone’s and everyone’s preferred position, and will come in handy for those who use a real keyboard with the laptop, as the angle can easily be adjusted to suit your position.

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It’s worth noting that NotePal ErgoStand weighs in at 1kg, which makes carrying all the more difficult. Fortunately, Choiix designed the small handles on the sides which make carrying with a laptop onboard pretty easy.

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You can also use the handles for cable-management, and you’ll find additional cable holders in the back. This can come in handy if you don‘t carry your NotePal ErgoStand around much, but rather keep it on your desk as a fixed setup.
 
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Last modified on Thursday, 01 April 2010 11:55
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