As far as notebook coolers go, I am shocked a bit that such a simple idea seems to have put the Allways Control at the top of my list. Simply adding some louvers to the top of a notebook cooler is a simple idea, but with that allows you to adjust the direction, contain more of the airflow from the fans, and ultimately gives you unseen control of the air that is delivered to cool your notebook. Most coolers that I test are only good for a degree or two of temperature drop to my Lenovo. What I saw with the Allways Control under the Lenovo was that when running Prime95, I was able to reduce the CPU temperatures by a full five degrees.
Since it is essentially using mostly normal components that aren't special as far as their specifications go, something has to be helping. This is where my theory is proven that controlling the air flow out of the fan is sometimes better than adding more CFM and noise at it and hoping for the best results. In fact, even at idle, I do not hear the CPU fan cycling on and off as I used to all the time, and the fan on the cooler is more silent than what the Lenovo system offers, so I also reduced an annoyance that other coolers have allowed to happen in the past.
As hard as I try to pick this design apart, I am only left with one bit of advice for their next design. I would definitely look into adding rubber to the extendable feet in the back. Since the Allways Control is relatively light, and I used mine on a wooden desk, I found it does wander away from you in extended usage. If you allow it to lay flat without these feet, I couldn't get it to wander in normal conditions, even when sitting on glass. At this point, I am just left with the fact that from every side, with the large rubber rail at the front to keep the laptop in place, the fan controls and connectivity on the left, the louvers in the back, and the four port USB hub on the right, the Always Control has you covered from all sides with useful and handy features.
There is only one part missing from this equation. We know the Allways Control is very good with the performance levels, and we know it offers everything you will need to benefit from owning it. It is just the fact that Thermaltake has yet to set an actual price point for this cooler yet. As I said earlier though, looking at the other notebook coolers from the Allways series, if past pricing is any indication, I would expect these to hit the market with a rough MSRP of $24.99 or $29.99, and for that range of pricing this is an amazing deal.
To be honest, I would even pay more for this cooler, considering it offers better performance for my specific system, and beats out most of the other shinier, fancier, more blingy models that come at sometimes double this cost and even more. Even though it is smaller than most, lighter than most, and it won't break the bank to own one, it will be a long time before I replace mine, as it simply outperforms the others that much.
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- Thermaltake responded, confirming the price will be $29.99 in the US.