While Zalman is known mainly for desktop cooling solutions and power supplies, the South Korean outfit also produces other accessories, such as notebook coolers. We got our hands on their top of the line model for notebooks, the ZM-NC2000. In the following, we’ll take a look at it, and of course find out just how much cooler it really keeps your laptop.
The cooler itself isn’t exactly small, measuring in at 318(L) x 400(W) x 42.5(H) mm. However, it was designed to fit laptops up to a size of 20” (although we feel that might be a bit of a squeeze, 17” models should fit just fine), so this doesn’t come as a surprise. The top of the unit consists solely of aluminum, with a myriad (928, we’ve been told) of holes drilled into the metal to provide airflow to the bottom of the laptop. Two rubber feet, as well as a long rubber strip, prevent the laptop from sliding down (or moving at all, for that matter).
The underside of the laptop is made of plastic, and bears the Zalman logo. It also has two circular openings, through which the two fans on the inside, each measuring 6cm in diameter, suck in air. A very neat feature is that there is also a small compartment where you can stow the power cable when the cooler isn’t in use. On the right side of the cooler you will find a USB port, the on/off button, a blue LED to indicate if the cooler is on or not, as well as a small wheel for seamlessly adjusting fan speeds.
On the left side, there is another USB port. One of the two USB ports must be connected to a free USB port on the laptop with the included cable. Thankfully, the second USB port on the machine replaces the “lost” port on the laptop, and we had no problems attaching and running our peripherals over the cooler (this also works if the cooler is not on). However, charging peripheral devices does take longer, because the cooler saps some power to run.
The cooler feels very well built. There is next to no flex in the aluminum plate, and the plastic on the bottom feels very sturdy, as do the very grippy feet. The sleek, unobtrusive styling of the cooler goes well with almost every laptop out there, and in the right light, actually looks pretty nice on its own. Our only gripe is that the matte black finish on the aluminum is prone to smudges, however, this isn’t really a big issue, seeing how the cooler is underneath the laptop most of the time anyway.