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Cooler Master Notepal D1 Notebook Cooler

December 6th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
4 Stars- techdad
I got the Cooler Master NotePal D1 mainly to improve ergonomics while using my 14″ Dell laptop.  Cooling for my laptop was not a concern whatsoever, but a nice feature when I felt it was necessary.  Was it worth the nominal investment?

PROS
  • Good construction
  • Improves ergonomics
  • Small size ideal for use traveling
  • Inexpensive
  • Improves airflow
CONS
  • Primarily made of plastic
  • Minimal cooling ability
  • Fixed angle

I had been using a d-ring binder to raise my laptop a few degrees in order to improve my viewing angle.  I’d thought about buying a notebook workstation kit with a laptop riser, wireless keyboard and mouse but decided against it because then it would have made the limited space I had too hectic.

CONSTRUCTION
From the pictures, the D1 appears to be made of all aluminum but alas, it is just the top that’s made of aluminum.  The rest of the unit is made of plastic.  This diminishes the durability but improves portability by keeping it light.  There are rubber feet to keep it stationary and the top has additional rubber pads to keep the laptop in place.  The USB cable is well hidden and stored underneath the unit when not in use.

ERGONOMICS
The D1 raises my laptop by several degrees so that the viewing angle is improved.  It is easier on my neck during extended sessions on my laptop.  I only wish it had at least one additional angle to choose from.  I looked at riser only products but they were either very cheap in construction or unnecessarily large.

COOLING
I understand that most people will consider the D1 as a cooler, rather than a riser.  And as a cooler, it is just okay.  It did drop my CPU temperature by a few degrees but since only the back half of my laptop rests on it, it won’t do a whole lot for my hard disk, which is under the palm rests.  Still, since the whole laptop is now at an angle, it does provide open space underneath which allows some airflow for the hard disk.  For hardcore users, I would not recommend the D1.  If you’ve got a gaming machine, you’d be better off with something that places the entire laptop on top of the cooler.

MISC
The USB plug on the D1 has a passthru so that you don’t lose a USB port, which is convenient.  The D1 is intended for use on laptop sizes of 12″-15″.  My 14″ Dell completely covers the D1 when it is placed on top.  As another reviewer mentioned, the 17-21dBa rated fans are not quite silent.  Normally, that noise rating in a desktop case fan is pretty quiet, but since laptops are typically much closer to the user than a desktop, it’s more noticeable.  However, with any kind of background noise, it is not that noticeable and it does NOT make my laptop or desk vibrate.

SUMMARY
The Cooler Master NotePal D1 is a minimalist’s notebook cooler that has good ergonomics and conveniences.  I love it because my viewing angle has improved greatly and the passive cooling(unplugged) is enough to keep my CPU cooler than without.  If you require significant cooling characteristics, I recommend you look at the Zalman ZM-NC2000.
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