Review: CoolerMaster NotePal ERGO 360 Laptop Cooler/Stand

Powerful laptops require serious cooling. And despite engineers’ best efforts, sometimes things just need a bit of a helping hand. And CoolerMaster is right there to help with their new NotePal ERGO 360.

Out of the box you’ll find a nice perforated aluminum top plate that works well at dissipating heat and is complimented by two silent 80mm fans within the ERGO’s chassis. At 1700 RPM we found the fans to indeed be pretty quiet, though, silent they were not. But chances are if your laptop is running hot enough to require additional cooling, your laptop’s fans will drown out and completely hide any sound that the ERGO 360 produces.

The overall construction of the ERGO 360 is alright. While aluminum top looks and feels high quality, there is plenty of plastic employed too, and it just doesn’t feel as nice or sturdy. Still, we have no doubt the ERGO could withstand months, if not years of abuse. That said, CoolerMaster definitely won over some bonus points by including two flip-up tabs on the bottom of the ERGO to keep laptops from sliding off. We’ve tested a few other cooling pads that didn’t feature any tabs whatsoever. Such a design decision meant laptops without rubber/grippy feet or strips along the bottom would simply slide off. With the ERGO, even if you’re using, say, a unibody MacBook Pro which doesn’t feature anything but aluminum on the bottom, you’re still safe to use the ERGO 360 without fear of it flying off.

Around back CoolerMaster built in a handy swiveling arm that makes setting your desired angle quick and easy. Anything from nearly flat to a sharp ~60-degree angle is possible. For most people who leave their laptop in place on their desk, this feature is of little use. Still, it’s nice to have. What is really impressive, though, is that CoolerMaster has made this arm removable and designed it with its own lip to double as a tablet stand. For someone who’s gotten rid of their laptop or has a secondary device like a tablet, being able to prop that up is a pretty awesome side benefit in our book.

Performance from the ERGO 360 is enough to keep us (and we assume you) happy. It isn’t a magical device that cuts the temperature of your laptop’s internal components by half. That said, it will shave off a decent 5-10 degrees (Celsius) depending on your device and how hard you’re using it. In the world of electronics, that’s a pretty big window.

The integrated USB cable stows neatly inside the base of the ERGO and is the sole means of power for the cooler. Simply plug it in and away it goes. One thing we’d like to see CoolerMaster implement is some way to tie in the ERGO’s fan control into your laptop/Windows to give more control over which fan(s) are in use and how fast they go based on your own input. That said, going full blast all the time means they will in many circumstances, allow your laptop to spin its own integrated fans (which are hard/more expensive to replace) down thereby making your actual laptop live a bit longer in the process.

More: ERGO 360 @ CoolerMaster

The Verdict

For the price ($40), versatility and performance, we think CoolerMaster’s ERGO 360 is a definitely worth a look if you’re looking to cool that hot running laptop of yours or simply prolong it’s life by letting its internal components work less hard to keep it cool. For future iterations, we’d like to see CoolerMaster improve upon the good base they’ve got going here by implementing some sort of fan controller system so that end users can have at least some control over the fans within. It also wouldn’t hurt if the ERGO 360 (and future iterations) weren’t quite so bulky.

Gadgetsteria’s Rating: 8/10