There was a time when if you were talking about gaming you were talking about a desktop system. There was no other option really. To get the performance and power you needed you had to have a desktop system. Then a few years ago GPU and CPU manufacturers found a way to put a lot more power into their mobile products and real mobile gaming was born. However, with that came more power draw and more heat. There have been and more than a few solutions to keep these mobile power houses cool, but not all of them have worked. Cooler Master has had a string of these products that have been fairly capable. We have one of these in the lab, a new one, called Cooler Master Notepal Infinite EVO. It is a dual fan aluminum surface cooler with a 4-port USB hub built in. Let’s see what it can do.
The Box and Goodies -
The Infinite EVO comes in a “suitcase” style box with the typical handle. The front has an excellent image of the EVO so you know exactly what you are getting. You also get a visual aid of how the air flow works on the EVO. Up in the top right corner there is a logo that lets you know that this product will support up to a 17-inch laptop.
The back has more pictures including a large one that shows you how the vent in the back works. The five images below are really more of the same. By now, if you have picked this box up and turned the box around then you are already interested. What is back here is just more icing on the cake.
The Notepal Infinite EVO -
The Notepal Infinite EVO is a wedge shaped cooling pad like most of the others on the market. They need to have this to elevate the hotter parts of the laptop and allow for cool air to circulate underneath. Cooler Master has used a “sandblasted” aluminum surface that is shaped like a U for the top. In this they put four rubber feet. Between the two they help make the top non-slip. This covers a plastic middle housing that contains the dual fans. These fans vent up into the center right under where the hottest part of a laptop is. The vents here are disbursed enough that you should get very even airflow and the angle of the depression is enough that this hot air will vent out the back instead of stagnating under the book.
When we look at the Infinite EVO from the side we see that the top surface sits a little higher than the main body. This lets you run cords around the edges instead draping them over the top or on the desk.
On the left-hand side of the Infinite we find the controls. Here Cooler Master have given us a power button, a Micro USB in, a fan speed control knob and interestingly enough a 5v DC in port. However, if you want to use this you will have to buy one of those on your own. The micro USB in is also for the three USB 2.0 ports that are on the right side of the Infinite EVO.
Cooler Master was not lying when they said it was big enough for a 17-inch laptop. As you can see from the images below a 15.4 inch laptop looks small on the Infinite.
In this last image we can see exactly how much exhaust area there is for the warm air that pools under the average laptop. We also get our first view of the intake vents on the bottom. It is from here that the Infinite EVO pulls in the cool air to keep temps down. One other item we want to point out here. If you look closely you will see that the surface does not sit down directly on top of the rest of the EVO. Instead it sits just above allowing cool air to flow under there. From what we see it looks like Cooler Master built the Infinite EVO very well indeed.
So we have seen that Cooler Master built the Infinite EVO right, but does all of this actually do anything to keep your laptop cool? To test this we ran three runs of the full PCMark 7 suite on our test laptop (a 15.4 Lenovo ThinkPad Edge with a Core i5 CPU 4GB of memory and a typical 500GB drive) sitting on a wooden countertop. After each was done I measured the temperature on the bezel under the screen (just above the keyboard). Then we tested with the laptop just sitting on the Infinite EVO, the final two tests were with the Infinite on low and then on high. We took the mean (the middle) temperature from each of the runs. This is what you see below;
As you can see very plainly the temps were impressive. Even running with the fan off made a big difference in the ability of the laptop to keep cool. I was more than a little surprised to be honest. I will say that the Lenovo is not a high-end gaming system, but it still does show that the Infinite EVO can handle the temperatures.
Beside the cooling the Infinite EVO also is angled for comfort. The lower front end is low enough that it does not put a strain on your wrist. The USB ports are also a nice touch. I would not put anything too power hungry in one of them, but it will do for a mouse, keyboard or something like that.
Value is another very subjective topic. What is expensive to some might be a deal to others. You can look at this topic in multiple ways. One is raw price and the other is what you get for the money. Each is accurate and both are correct ways to look at price/value. We tend to look at features, performance and real-property when we discuss value. However, we also take into account the raw cash cost of the item.
The Cooler Master Infinite EVO will cost you around $45. Now I do not know about you, but let’s look at it realistically. If you buy even a fairly reasonable gaming laptop you are going to pay between $600-700. If you overheat this you are looking at owning a very expensive paperweight. Sure you can send it back and forth for RMA but you will still end up spending more than $45. So $45 is a very small amount to pay to keep things running smoothly.
I am impressed with the Infinite EVO as a cooler. It more than met up to the expectations from a laptop cooler. The construction is good and the ventilation is excellent. I was also more than happy with the noise level. This is now the third Cooler Master Notepal that I have had in the lab and all of them have been impressive in more ways than one. Even the pricing on this line up is great. In all honesty, if you are looking for a cooler to keep your expensive laptop going then picking up the Cooler Master Infinite EVO would not be a bad idea at all.
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