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Basic product specs (as copied from Amazon)
220mm fan for maximum cooling
Compatible with notebooks up to 17inch
Fan speed controller
Dimensions - 365(L) x 400(W) x 60(H) mm
Weight - 1.2kg
Accessories - USB cable, User manual
USB Ports - 3 powered
I brought this fan to use with my HP Pavilion dv7 entertainment laptop. Despite being one of the best laptops I've ever owned, I did notice that it was prone to blowing out lots of hot air. Having visions of my laptop exploding from over heating, I googled laptop cooling systems which would work with a notebook as big as mine. That's when I came across the Zalman ZM-NC3000S.
What does it do?
Issues with overheating can cause serious problems for laptop users, including crashing and serious hard drive failures. Most laptop manufactures resort to small fans placed inside the machine to keep the components cool. However, these fans sometimes struggle to cope with the task and can easily break. So, Zalman have now designed cooling products such as the ZM-NC3000S/U ultra-quiet notebook cooler specifically for laptop users. The idea is to improve the long-term reliability of the machine by cooling the temperature which the laptop runs at.
What does it look like?
The product is flat and rectangular shaped, like a tray. It has a USB cable which is used to connect the cooler to the laptop. Once turned on and connected to the computer via the USB cable, the fan will start.
The idea is to rest the laptop on top of the cooler, which has several holes in the surface, with the fan positioned on the underside of the cooler. The cool air generated by the fan filters through the holes to the underside of the laptop, thus helping to keep all the important computer components cool. It also comes with a little dial that can be used to adjust the strength of the fan. I usually have it on low power when just doing simple tasks like browsing the internet and high power when playing some of my more resource hungry computer games (like The Sims 3).
Thankfully, it does come with an instruction manual which explains all this in a far less conplicated manner than I just have!
Easy to use
Yes, it's basically just plug and play. Rest the laptop on the cooler, turn the cooler on and connect it using the USB cable and that is it. I've never owned any kind of cooler before so when buying this I was worried that I'd have no idea how to use it. But I was really impressed with how simple to use this was.
Who would I recommend it to?
I'd recommend this product to anybody who plays a lot of video games, which can often cause overheating and graphic card issues. I myself play games like The Sims 3 and Grand Theft Auto 4 which are notorious for being particularly resource and graphics hungry. So I like to think that the Zalman significantly reduces the heat which my laptop generates when running these advanced programmes.
I'd also recommend it anyone who owns the same laptop as me (HP Pavilion dv7) because this is one of the few coolers that I found which was actually big enough to accommodate the width of this laptop.
The biggest advantage of this product for me is the piece of mind it brings knowing that my laptop (probably!) isn't about to blow up at any minute! I've had bad luck with laptops in the past and really cant afford to shell out yet another £600 for a new one. So, the £35 price tag on this seems relatively reasonable when you take that into account.
Also, it's silent (so no annoying whirring noises here), easy to use and the fan has an adjustable power level which allows you to power the fan at the level best suited to your needs.
Finally, the slight elevation which the cooler offers makes it easier to type as well as apparently reducing the risk of wrist strain.
It's hard for me to assess just how well this works because obviously, the results aren't actually visible. I mean yes, my notebook hasn't crashed or overheated yet but I cant be sure if that is down to the cooler or just the fact that my laptop is good?!
Also, having never previously brought a laptop cooler before, I was surprised to find this one costing £35 which seemed a bit steep to me. But like I've already mentioned, £35 is a lot cheaper than buying yourself a new laptop.
Where to buy?
I brought this from Amazon last year and it set me back £35, which pretty much seems to be the standard price for this cooler.
The cheapest I could find it listed was at £29.94 at Aud-it.co.uk ( http://www.awd-it.co.uk/scripts/prodview.asp?idproduct=8690).
An easy to use and quiet laptop cooler with an adjustable fan. A must for those who are concerned about overheating issues.