Keeping Hot Laptops Cool and Running Fast
By Olin Coles
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Cooler Master.
Back in the day, before everybody started checking email on their smartwatch or shopping online with their phone, mobile users did their work on laptop computers. These days tablets and smart devices get most the attention, but notebook computers are still beating them on performance and productivity. Unfortunately, all that power generates heat, which slows down the system to maintain stability. But what if it didn’t have to? That’s where notebook coolers come in, such as the Cooler Master NotePal Ergostand III used as our example in this article about keeping hot laptops cool and running fast.
Even the latest notebook and tablet computers struggle to cope with the heat produced by their powerful processors, which in turn causes the cooling system to work its hardest to maintain a stable operating temperature. Some devices emphasize silence over performance or have no fans at all, and are hobbled by heat. Other systems will dial back performance to help tame the heat generated, but this also reduces speed and productivity.
A simple aftermarket cooler can not only help reduce operating temperatures, it could also increase performance, enhance stability, and quite possible extend the usable life of batteries or electronic components. The Cooler Master Ergostand III is primarily a laptop cooler capable of all the above, but also doubles as a docking station and port multiplier for USB devices (illustrated above and below).
Many laptop coolers feature a fan to blow air directly up at the attached notebook or tablet. Cooler Master’s Ergostand III takes a different approach, and utilizes a speed-adjustable 230 mm (9.06 inch) active cooling fan to draw in up to 72 CFM of air from directly below any device placed above it and push it away from the user work space. Erogstand III’s giant-sized fan generates only 21 dBA, making it barely audible in a silent room, and consumes a mere 1.3 watts of power so the connected device is relatively unaffected.
Ergostand III features a built-in four-port SuperSpeed USB 2.0 hub, which is ideal for attaching a mouse, keyboard, printer or scanner, and a charge cable to keep devices powered up. Some USB devices draw significant power, which in turn adds to the operating temperature of the host device. A well-designed notebook cooler prevents USB devices from generating the heat which ultimately slows down their processing performance. This is one more way to cure a hot laptop, and keep it running fast and cool.
The benefits of the large active cooling fan are obvious, but there are a few less evident benefits to the Cooler Master Ergostand III that go unnoticed. First, the stand offers six adjustable lift positions, adding a level of convenience and ergonomics to users who work from tabletop. Next, that giant fan is built with self-lubricating bearings to help it last forever… or at least 160,000 hours (18.3 years) of combined use. Finally, the screened metal surface is removable, and acts as a dust filter that can be easily cleaned.
These notebook coolers aren’t just for hot laptop computers. Tablet devices generate plenty of heat, as their display screen, battery, and processor are all located in close proximity and have no active means of cooling. The Cooler Master Ergostand III is idea for these devices, too. The adjustable anti-slip posts prolong the life on tablet devices as much as they do for notebooks, and help keep batteries from overheating and causing injury.
COMMENT QUESTION: What feature is the Cooler Master Ergostand III missing?