NotePal ErgoStand Basic Review

Today CoolerMaster launched their newest Notebook Stand  / Cooler combo – NotePal Ergostand Basic model R9-NBS-4UBK, a product smartly designed with a dual role in mind – to cool your notebook in style, while it also positions it in the most comfortable way for those long working (or playing) hours, all in a budget friendly package currently selling for MSRP $29.99. We were fortunate enough to be provided with an advanced sample and immediately put the Ergostand through a series of tests to verify both the cooling claims and the ergonomics over an extended period. To find out our conclusions, check the rest of the CoolerMaster Ergostand Basic Review.

You might not know, but NotePal ErgoStand has a bigger brother, the NotePal ErgoStand released in 2010 and featuring 4 extra USB ports and an adjustable fan controller, product with a very good Amazon feedback. With this newer (and cheaper model) CoolerMaster takes away the extra bells and whistles and concentrates on making a basic and solid product that does two things well: cooling while providing the most comfortable angle for your notebook.

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1. NotePal ErgoStand Basic Unboxing

The box contains the following items:

  • NotePal ErgoStand Basic  – that’s it, the unit itself
  • USB cable extender (the unit gets its power directly from the notebook)
  • Rubber stands
  • Instructions
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2. NotePal ErgoStand Basic Design

NotePal ErgoStand is quite a looker and the cooling pad itself is completely made out of perforated metal for an optimal heat dissipation. The large 140mm fan is virtually silent at 21 dBA and moves about 65 CFM of air (Cubic Foot per Minute). The total input power is 1.7W (or 0.34A), well below the output of a standard USB port (o.5A) so it won’t overload it. The largest notebook supported is 17″ and you can chose one of its five height levels for an optimal position while working. There is a cable management system present as well.

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3. NotePal ErgoStand Basic Technical Specifications

Model R9-NBS-4UBK
Color Black
Material Plastic, metal mesh, rubber
Weight 0.9kg / 1.98 lbs
Dimension 370 x 265 x 33~58 mm
Fan Dimension 140 x 140 x 15 mm
Fan Speed 1400 ± 15% R.P.M.
Fan Airflow 65 CFM
Fan Noise Level (dB-A) 21 dBA
Power USB 5V DC
USB USB 2.0/1.1 x 1 (for power in)
Current (Ampere) 0.34A
Power consumption 1.7W
Compatibility Supports up to 17″ laptops
Warranty 1 year
UPC Code 884102009976

4. Testing

For testing we used a HP HDX16 notebook based on Core 2 Duo T9400, a notebook that runs quite hot in my experience, especially while playing graphic intensive games.

Instead of maxing out the CPU/GPU we decided to perform more mundane tests to see how the NotePal ErgoStand Basic behaves in the real world:  While surfing the internet / doing light office work, watching a 1080p HD movie and while playing Diablo 3 (it’s the newest game, what do you expect…). However, the notebook was plugged in and tuned on High Performance settings to extract as much speed as possible from the system.

Before measuring the actual temperature with and without the cooler stand, we turned off the notebook for four hours, ample time for it to cool down to the room temperature. Both tests were taken at the same room temperature of 74F, after about one hour of usage. We used Open Hardware Monitor, which displays the temperatures as measured by the internal sensors for CPU, GPU and hard drive.

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4.1. Cooling

As you can see from the table, during Idle or light load, the temperature difference between the notebook with cooler stand or without is not significant, maybe because the notebook itself doesn’t get that hot. The story changes completely when the notebook is actually put to heavy work and this is actually the case when you want to use the stand to cool the notebook properly. You need to bear in mind that the numbers will vary heavily depending of the notebook used, its thermal design and CPU/GPU/HDD position on inside the chassis.

From the table, you can easily that the biggest difference is when the notebook is under heavy load, as expected, and, in my case, the GPU is the most affected. The cooler’s contribution is obvious and using it will certainly extend the life of your notebook and all its components.

4.2. Ergonomics

In the Ergonomics category, there are two main aspects we need to describe: The noise level and the positioning system.

First, about the noise – these days we are constantly bombarded by noise from virtually every electronic device we have, so the last thing we need while working is yet another noise source. The good thing is that ErgoStand’s large 140mm fan is virtually silent – one of the main attractions of the product in my opinion, while at the same time moving a significant amount of air. NotePal also provides 5 different height levels so it should accommodate most people as well. Check the gallery for the full range.

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5. Conclusion

CoolerMaster proves yet again that it is the master of the cooling devices and can apply its considerable know-how in yet another successful product. With virtually silent operation, excellent airflow, 5 levels of height adjustment and good cable routing, NotePal ErgoStand Basic is a no-brainer choice among the notebook cooling stands and gets a ReviewHorizon score of 5 out of 5. Highly recommended!

5.1. Pros

  • good cooling performance
  • five adjustable height positions
  • price
  • no external power required, the cooler is powered via notebook’s USB ports. An USB pass-trough adapter is provided so you won’t need to “sacrifice” one of your notebook’s precious USB ports

5.2. Cons

  • maybe the lack of a fan controller, but the included fan is quiet enough so it is not really necessary

6. Gallery

 

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