Not every notebook heats up in the same place; NZXT is aware of this fact, which is why its Cryo E40 notebook cooler lets you move its two fans so you can direct airflow to target specific hot spots. The fairly low price of $27.99 is another selling point. Read on to find out whether the E40 will keep your system comfy.
The grayish-black Cryo E40 is made of a combination of steel mesh and plastic, and held together with a series of magnets. The top part of the cooler separates completely from the bottom, providing access to two fans that can be moved and set in place by magnets of their own.
Each fan is attached to a cord that snakes out the bottom of the cooler. Unfortunately, the cords attached to each fan were slightly too short to reach the spots we were targeting. We ended up settling on two fan locations where the cord reached, rather than exactly where we wanted them.
NZXT claims that its magnets are special low-powered clasps, engineered to be safe around all electronics, and we don't doubt the company's claim. The magnets barely held the cooler together, though, and easily slid apart when we handled the device. Additionally, six of the eight magnets quickly became dislodged from the bottom shell, giving us loose magnets and even less power holding the two parts of this device together.
The Cryo E40 measures 13.75 x 10.75 x 0.5 inches and only supports notebooks up to 15 inches, making this cooler incompatible with most gaming notebooks, which are often 17 inches. At 2 pounds, it's also as heavy as the Cooler Master Notepal X3, which supports 17-inch systems.
To test the Cryo E40, we played "Batman: Arkham City" on a Dell Inspiron 15R SE for 15 minutes, with and without the cooler. At the end of our test, the Inspiron 15R SE's average temperature was 86.6 degrees, compared with 88 degrees without the cooler. This is hotter than the Rosewill RLCP-11002 (84.3 degrees), the Targus Chill Mat Plus+ (85.5 degrees) and the Cooler Master X3 (84.1 degrees).
The lower left on the bottom of the notebook saw the biggest temperature decrease, at 85 degrees versus 94 degrees without the cooler. The upper middle of the bottom also saw a significant change, from 94 degrees without the cooler to 84 degrees with the E40. The rest of the notebook remained relatively the same, despite using the notebook cooler.
The sound of the Cryo E40 can best be described as a soft hum. While it was not nearly as quiet as the Cooler Master X3 or the Rosewill RLCP-11002, the E40 was not distracting by any means. The volume of the E40 closely matched the Dell Inspiron 15R SE's own cooling fan.
The $27.99 NZXT Cryo E40 has an innovative design, but unfortunately falls flat in delivery. The magnets, while safe for electronics, are too weak to properly hold the cooler together and the fan locations are limited due to a cord that's short. This device was also the least effective in actually cooling a notebook. While the price point and flexibility of the Cryo E40 may be appealing, we would get the comparably priced and more effective Rosewill RLCP-11002 instead.