The room was hot and stifling. And the laptop, a Viliv S10 netbook with a bottom that measured over 110 degrees while streaming video from hulu.com, made my hands clammy and sticky. Watching Jamie Oliver bake pizza in America's unhealthiest city did not help the situation.
Then we tested the Cryo S laptop cooling pad made by NZXT. With a quiet hum, the Cryo's 120mm fans kicked into high gear and a gentle breeze soothingly wafted through the metal grid. Soon the netbook's bottom had dropped to the 80s. It was a relief at last.
Made of sturdy black brushed aluminum, the Cryo S acts as a laptop stand as it elevates your laptop at a gentle angle while efficiently cooling it. The speed of the two fans can be adjusted by turning a dial in the back of the device. Rubber finish on both the top and bottom of the cooling pad prevent your laptop and the entire system from sliding. The Cryo can be powered by an AC adapter or receive its power from the laptop via a USB cable. The Cryo also features two USB ports that the you can use for data when you connect it to your laptop.
As the Cryo fits laptops up to 15 inches in size, we tested the 15 inch Toshiba Satellite E205 in addition to the Viliv S10. Both are known to reach temperatures well over 105 degrees on the bottom. Surprisingly, powering the laptops and the cooling pad with separate adapters generated more heat than powering both units with the laptop battery. On the high fan setting with the adapter, the Viliv measured 102 degrees on the bottom. On the other hand, the bottom of the Viliv measured five degrees less (97) when using bus-power.
|AC Adapter Cooling - High fans||88||85||102|
|AC Adapter Cooling - Low fans||87||86||103|
|Bus-powered cooling - High fans||85||80||97|
|Bus-powered cooling - Low fans||86||82||105|
|AC Adapter Cooling - High fans||96||98||97|
|AC Adapter Cooling - Low fans||97||98||100|
|Bus-powered cooling - High fans||93||96||95|
|Bus-powered cooling - Low fans||93||94||94|
Putting the Cryo's fans on the highest setting generated more sound, albeit white noise, while the lowest fan setting was barely audible. The difference in temperature caused by the two settings averaged about 5 degrees; take your pick between noise and coolness.
Although the Cryo is rather large and heavy, we felt that it could be used on one's lap without much difficulty. We would, however, like to see a power switch for the cooling pad as currently the only way to turn it on and off is by plugging and unplugging it.
If you use your laptop for high-energy tasks such as gaming or media development, the Cryo S may fit your needs. It is available from Amazon.com for $44.99.