As more and more people choose to embrace the mobile lifestyle, the more they'll realize that it's perfectly suitable to rely on a notebook for all of their computing needs. Even hardcore gamers, coders, graphic artists, and the like have been able to enjoy the mobile lifestyle with some very powerful portable system. With power though comes heat and heat is a very real enemy to portable electronics, especially laptops, even netbooks.
I have come to rely on my laptop as my primary PC and this makes my machine very important to me. I still connect it to an external monitor, wireless keyboard, and wireless mouse while working from home, treating it like a desktop. As I place demands on it, it is important to keep the temperature down too. I've gone through more than my fair share of notebook coolers, but none of them are quite perfect.
1. It Starts with Quality, Sturdy Materials
First impressions go a long way in determining whether or not I like a particular product and a big part of this is the choice of materials. I've come across many notebook coolers that are made of cheap plastic and, well, that makes the product feel awfully cheap. A proper, well-built notebook cooler can only be constructed of two key material: Aluminum or high quality plastics.
I personally prefer the ones that use a thicker aluminum build, but there are a few coolers out there that use a high quality plastic that are perfectly suitable too. This is especially true if they have a softer, rubberized finish.
2. Adjustable Height for Added Ergonomics
Another issue that I find with some notebook coolers is that they are stuck in one specific configuration or angle. As much as I like the build quality of the NZXT Cryo S, for instance, it has one set height. As we know, not everyone is the same so this limits one's comfort. When I am typing on the notebook's keyboard, I want a lower elevation for a more comfortable typing experience. However, when I have the laptop set up with an external keyboard on a desk, I'm more inclined to use to a higher angle for a better viewing angle.
A good notebook cooler should offer no fewer than three or four adjustable height settings and it has to feel sturdy at any height. This way, it can be versatile and suit a variety of personal preferences.
3. Active Cooling Need Only Apply
You have to remember that one of the most critical functions of a notebook cooling stand is that it actually cools the notebook. It has to be effective in a very real sense, because that's what it was designed to do in the first place. Passive cooling stands or pads that simply offer venting or a cool aluminum surface can only do so much. To get any real work done, they need to have fans. The minimal power consumption is worth the added cooling performance.