titleFor the past few years Cooler Master has really been pushing their Notepal notebook cooling product line. They have introduced a wide variety of coolers with various cooling designs, different sizes, and for different uses. Even so, of their product line there has been one line specifically that I have been especially fond of. I have been using my Notepal U3 on my 18.4 inch notebook every time I travel. This is both because of its portability and also it’s cooling capabilities.  Cooler Master is now introducing a new version of its U2, the Notepal U2 Plus. I’m not sure what they can improve on the original, but I’m excited to find out.

Product Name: Cooler Master Notepal U2 Plus

Review Sample Provided by: Cooler Master

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes


Specifications

Color

Black / Silver

Material

Aluminum, metal mesh, plastic, rubber

Weight

0.65 kg (1.43 lbs)

Dimension (W / H / D)

346 x 282 x 60mm (13.6 X 11.1 x 2.4 inch)

Fan Dimension (W / H / D)

80 x 80 x 10mm (3.2 x 3.2 x 0.4 inch)

Fan Speed

2000 ± 10% RPM

Fan Airflow

31 CFM (each fan)

Fan Noise Level (dB-A)

21 dBA

Power

USB 5V DC

USB

USB 2.0/1.1 x 1 (for power input)

Power consumption

0.36A, 1.8W

Compatibility

Supports up to 17" laptops         



Packaging

The packaging for the Notepal U2 Plus is similar to what we have seen from Cooler Master in the past but this time they included a small window on the side as well that gives you just a peak at what is inside. The rest of the box does have that purple and white theme that Cooler Master typically uses and the front of the box even has a few photos of the U2 Plus. Around back there are more photos of the U2 Plus being used as well as small pictures that show all of its features.

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Inside, along with the cooler, there is a box with its two fans, notebook hold down strap, and an instruction book.

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Features and Performance

For those of you who haven’t seen the original U2 Cooler Master covered the entire top of the US and the US2 plus with holes. These holes work well for cooling all on their own but they also double as mounts for the U2’s two cooling fans. Keeping things simple, they put rubber on a few areas of the cooler to keep it from sliding as well as protects your laptop when you place it inside.

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That right, on top of putting your notebook on top of the U2 Plus it is also designed for you to be able to put your laptop inside of it. This is for traveling, it means the U2 will take up hardly any more space than your laptop while still giving you a cooler to use when you get where you are going. To go along with this Cooler Master includes an elastic strap to hold your laptop in place when it is inside of the cooler.

I mentioned before the aluminum cooler has all of the holes for fan placement but it is the fan design that makes it all work. As you can see below the fans have a button on the side that slides the pins over and allows the fan to slide in and lock into the holes. This means you can move the fans around to blow into a vent on the bottom of your laptop.  One of the things that Cooler Master changed with the U2 Plus is the grills on the cans. Before the fan grills were chrome wire grill covers but the new fan covers are a black mesh that covers the fans a little better, take up a little less room, and look better.

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For power the fans hook up via USB with a pass through connection. That means if you have limited USB ports on your laptop you don’t lose a valuable connection.

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The other main change with the U2 Plus is actually right on the rubber “feet” on the end of the U2 Plus. Cooler Master added an area on the end of each side where you can wrap your extra cords to keep the wiring on your desk clean.

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Unfortunately my larger gaming laptop wouldn’t fit the U2 but I did have an old laptop laying around that I could test it with. For the most part the U2’s functionality didn’t change when going to the U2 Plus. I was still able to place the fans under the vents on my laptop to blow air directly into your laptop for additional cooling. The amount of cooling you will see is highly dependent on your notebook and what you are using your notebook for. For me with my U3 I basically have to have a cooler any time I am gaming or playing videos. This is what makes the U series great, being able to have a cooler that you can take with you means you aren’t limited when traveling.

What you do is put your laptop inside of the cooler and then slide it right into your carrying case or backpack. I’ve found that it actually does a great job of protecting your laptop as well because of its all metal design. Basically your laptop now has the equivalent of a bullet proof vest on, but for the bumps and bruises you might run into when carrying your notebook around.

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Overall and Final Verdict

It’s rare that I find a product that I use all of the time and just have no interested in switching. A combination of having access to just about anything I might need tech wise and my constant urge to change things up typically means my hardware setup is ever changing. That is why it is so interesting that one of the only things that stuck around over the past few years has been my Notepal U3. I really haven’t found anything that does a better job. The U2 Plus is going to be the same for a lot of people. The original was very popular and although there are only a few changes the U2 Plus has only improved on what made the original great.

This is one of those rare situations where just had no complaints at all with the device. I love the U2 Plus’s cooling design that lets me put the fans where they are needed most. Being able to put my laptop inside of it both protects my laptop and also means it takes up very little space when traveling.  On top of all of that I feel that at $29.99 you are going to get more than your money’s worth out of the U2 Plus, not to mention I’m sure you will be able to find it even cheaper soon after its launch. All of it adds up to a Top Honors award from us and what will no doubt be the laptop cooler I recommend to everyone for a long time in the future. 

fv3tophonors

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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