Rarely do I go into a product review expecting certain results. But when it comes to reviewing a product by Cooler Master, there is a certain level of quality that is simply expected from their products, and the Cooler Master Notepal X3 is no exception.
Starting off with the front of the box, you can see it has the color scheme that Cooler Master uses for a lot of their products, purple and white — or as I like to label it, elegant and clean. Not only does the front of the box give you your first initial viewing of the Notepal X3 itself. It also informs you that there is “Elegant LED Lighting” as well as support for Notebooks up to 17″, which let’s be honest here, how many people actually own Notebooks larger than 17″..
Moving to the back of the box Cooler Master gives you all the details you need (and more) on the Notepal X3.
- Fan Airflow: 65-76.5 CFM
- Fan Speed: 500-850 RPM (Going up in 15% Intervals)
- Fan Noise 16-23 dBA
- And Power Consumption 1.1 – 1.4W
Honestly there is a little more info you could possibly need on the cooler itself. Besides just giving you the tech specs on the back of the box, Cooler Master also has several photos’ showing exactly what the Notepal X3 looks like from all angles. But I’ve got my own photos for all of that!
Removing the Notepal X3 from the box, you can see that it comes in a plastic bag with two pieces of flimsy Stryophome on the sides (I do not say that as an insult to the packaging quality by Cooler Master, just simply an observation.)
Underneath the Notepal X3 are the only other two things that come in the package. The User Guide, and the USB to Mini USB power cable for the Cooler. The USB Cable is roughly 2ft long. I actually had to run the cable underneath the cooler itself due to the fact that my USB’s are on the right side of my laptop and the USB power on the Notepal X3 is on the left, but the cable was long enough to reach with extra cable to spare. The User Guide is your standard black and white guide, although it does come in about 1,000 languages, but that is something you expect from Cooler Master.
Now onto the Notebook Cooler itself. Looking at it from a top-down perspective, it’s comprised of mostly plastic, with a large aluminum grill over the top of the whopping 200mm fan. There is a vent in the front that is supposedly going to keep your hands cool as you game or type or whatnot, but I really didn’t feel the airflow coming through this vent as I used the laptop with the fan on the highest setting. Here is a closeup on the large 200mm Blue Led Fan, as well as a closer look at the Cooler Master emblem, the aluminum grill, and the blue accent strips. And here is what the LED’s look like when on. They’re not overly bright, and have a nice blue hue to them (not that harsh blue color you get from cheap LED’s)
The left side of the Notepal X3 consists of all your buttons and plugs. You have a USB Out, to replace the USB used on your Laptop, (nice touch Cooler Master) as well the USB In, which is of course for the power cable, Fan Speed wheel, Fan On/Off Switch, and LED On/Off Switch. It may seem like a rather simple design choice by Cooler Master, but in reality the placement of all these functions couldn’t be more ideal, they’re all reachable and intuitive enough where I didn’t feel the need to actually look at the side when I wanted to alter either the fan speed, or turn off the Blue LED Lighting. No picture shown, but the right side is blank.
With the top and sides covered, that leaves only one angle left to inspect, the bottom. There’s not a whole lot to see on the bottom, but this is where the cooler is actually made effective. Not only are there large strips cutout of the bottom so that the fan can breath, there is also two large fold out feet that help elevate the Cooler so that is not only ergonomic for using your laptop, but also to help improve the airflow to the fan even more. There are also two rubber feet at the bottom so that the cooler will sit firmly on whatever surface you choose to place it on, and will not slide around.
Well now that we’ve gotten the cooler itself covered, that leaves only one other thing, cooling performance. Testing the Cooler Master Notepal X3 was quite simple. Take a laptop, record idle temperatures after 5 minutes at the Desktop, run some stress testing, record the new temps, and then rinse and repeat with the Cooler in place.
For the testing I used a 15″ Dell Inspiron Notebook. It may not be blazing fast, but it can churn out heat with the best of them. Running a first generation dual core processor, this baby gets warm. As you can clearly see from the graph below the laptop produces quite a bit of heat when under full load with no extra cooling. For testing I decided to use a classic. Opened up five Internet Explorer Window’s, and then turned on Prime95. I let the test run for a full 30 minutes before recording the max temperatures.
Once the test has been ran through, I shut it down and let everything cool off back to idle temperatures before getting the idle temps again with the Cooler Master Notepal X3 in place. Oddly enough the Hard Drive temperature never quite dropped back down to what it was before I began testing in the first place, but the rest of the temperatures took a nice dip in the numbers thanks to the added cooling power of the Notepal X3. Running the stress test a second time though was the true test of the cooling capabilities of the Notepal X3, and in this regard it succeeded admirably. Especially considering that the ventilation on the bottom of my laptop is almost non existent for sucking in all that cool air from the Notepal X3. The numbers may look rather weak, but the fact that it was able to cool off the laptop at all when the bottom of my laptop is 100% solid, with no ventilation, is a testament to the cooling potential of the Cooler Master Notepal X3.
I cannot overstate how well designed the fan is for the Notepal X3. I’ve owned several large (200-250mm) fans in my time as a hardware reviewer and entrepreneur, and the fan used in the Notepal X3 is absolutely brilliant. As stated earlier the LED’s are a nice gentle blue, the fan itself moves a whole heck of a lot of air when you turn it up to full speed, and the icing on the cake. It’s whisper quite when running full speed. Like with all well built fans, all you hear at full speed is the gentle hum of the fan as it whooshes the air through the top.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a Notebook Cooler, you could do much, much worse than the Cooler Master Notepal X3. From the Cooling Performance, to the quality of the cooler itself, Cooler Master has built a truly capable Notebook Cooler. They always live up to their namesake when it comes to cooling performance.
The fan is almost dead silent when going full speed. The LED’s are nice and subtle which make for good ambient lighting instead of in your face bright LED’s. (and you can turn them off also!) The cooler weighs less than 2lbs and uses USB for power which makes it just as portable as your laptop itself.
Coming in at a very manageable $39.99, I highly recommend the Notepal X3 to anybody who wants to extend the lifespan of their laptop.
- Fan Moves A Ton Of Air
- Whisper Quiet
- Extremely Light And Portable
- Excellent Design Quality
- Front “Hand” Vent Didn’t Really Keep My Hands Cool
When the Cooler Master Notepal X3 becomes available to the public, the purchase link will be here.