Introduction, Specifications and Pricing
When it comes to laptop or notebook cooling, the offerings available usually come in the conventional style of the cooling pad, and there are a few benefits to be had with this sort of a cooler. There are things like LED lighting, large fans or a mix of a few smaller fans, extra USB ports via some sort of a hub, and tons of styles to match your personal taste or even the styling of the computer being used on top of them. While most of these coolers are only good for a degree or three, in most cases of added cooling, it does get the laptop off the table, and most are angled to allow a more ergonomic attack on the keyboard.
However, Evercool did not seem to want to keep on delivering the same old ideas since the main purpose of the laptop cooler is to cool a mobile device. That being said, when I travel around with a laptop in a backpack, the last thing I want to do is add the bulky cooling pad that sits on my desk. The reality of the situation though, is that there are not too many options to cool your laptop otherwise. In fact, the only thing that comes to mind quickly is the Thermaltake GORB II cooler we saw some time ago.
What Evercool is bringing forth today is something more like the expansion slot fans we used to see in the late 1990s and early 2000s, nothing like a typical cooling pad, or the GORB. On the most basic level, Evercool had made a box with a blower fan inside of it, which rests against the exhaust port on a notebook to help the internal fans with the eradication of heat while gaming or editing things. There is more to it than just a simple box with a fan in it, but we have to save something for the rest of the review.
If you, like us, are tired of having to lug around a cooling pad while on the go, then the Evercool CARRY NB-EC01 cooler product from Evercool may just deserve your attention and compel you to keep reading. With a couple of handy additions to a unique looking product, we have high hopes for its performance since the Evercool site shows some fifteen degrees of improvement. The time is now to get up close and personal with the CARRY, and see if it can stand up to our test system and perform anywhere near those claims on the box.
Evercool does not really provide much information on the CARRY at all. The chart does offer the 100mm length, the 88mm width, and the 33mm thickness of this device; it also mentions the size of the 75mm by 15mm blower style fan inside of it. It then goes on to state that the fan spins at a maximum RPM of 3600 when set to the highest level, and for the low setting the fan will spin at 2800 RPM. The last bit of information offered gives us the 720 gram weight of the CARRY. Unfortunately, there is a wealth of information to be missed.
How is it powered? What are the specifications of the fan (as in CFM, static pressure, and power draw)? Are there accessories to help this product work? It seems just the basics are fine with Evercool; when we visited the site to see the chart we have used here, you will most likely have all of those questions answered as you look through the images and features provided there. For those reading this review, the fan is not an easy thing to get to without destroying the case of the CARRY, so tracking a model number was not something we could do.
As far as how it works, and whether or not there are accessories -yes there are. This comes with a recoil USB 2.0 power adapter, and scoops for the intake side of the CARRY to help seal off the exhaust port and make the most out of the fan inside this device.
Even after having this bit of kit for a few weeks, finding the CARRY in the retail setting is still rather difficult. As we looked around, we did not locate them at any of the favorite sites, in fact after some digging deep into the interwebs, we found only one location offering stock at this time. What we saw there -well let's just say that we were not pleased. It is going to take near $40 U.S. dollars to buy what is essentially an unspecified fan in a box. Of course, it sounds a bit harsh to put it that way, but considering we already know how this unit performed, our assessment at this point stands now, and it will stand at the end as well.
Evercool likes to pack as much information as they can on the packaging, even if it is super distracting to look at. We see this is the smallest and lightest notebook cooler, we also see it is called the CARRY, and the packaging is cut away to allow a view of the cooler inside.
This thin side of the packaging offers the contents of the package -well some of it. It shows the fan and case at the top, and shows a pair of silicone adapters that seal the case to the laptop it is being used on, and they offer different curves and depths to accommodate various designs between the two.
On the back are the in-house testing results on an ASUS F6A, the five key features of this product, and a simple to follow installation guide. There is also a QR code at the bottom to allow a quick visit to the site, but the information on the packaging is what is given there, so there is no real need to take that time.
The last panel shows an image of the CARRY placed next to a laptop to show how this design works. It also covers the specifications, but we gave those a once over already.
Inside of the box there is an inner tray made of plastic. This not only keeps the cooler separated from the accessories, but it also adds an extra layer of protection if the box were to have something heavier set on top of it. While it won't save this product from being outright crushed, it did allow us to receive our sample in perfect condition.
Evercool CARRY NB-EC01 Notebook Cooler
Fresh out of the box, the CARRY definitely has some style. There are black plastic additions to give the otherwise blocky design a bit of angular distraction and the wavy blue paint also distracts from this being a black box.
In this image we have the intake side of the CARRY to the right, and it is wide open for unimpeded air flow into this device. Looking off to the left, down the side of it, we see that the raised sections on top have been carried over to the sides as well.
The exhaust end of the CARRY is also where you find a colorful sticker, control switch, and an LED. There are six angled slots for the air to come through at the left, and the switch at the right offers a low and high mode, as well as an off position.
As the corner wraps around to the side of the unit, we also find a small round power port to allow a way for the fan inside to rotate.
Skipping way ahead, we grabbed the accessories and set up the CARRY as it would be used on one of the laptops we have on hand. We have one of the adapters on the intake of the carry, and we also have the USB power cord attached.
When using the CARRY in the low mode, the green LED may serve as a reminder that it is still running when you go to shut things down for the night. If it is in the high mode, the LED is sort of redundant, as the noise from this cooler is reminder enough.
Here we have the pair of bright blue silicone adapter that allows for a seal of the notebook to the CARRY. The one to the left is lower, thinner than, and not quite as deep as the one to the right. This allows users to pick the right sized adapter, and because they are silicone, trimming them to fit specifically is easy enough.
For the purposes of this demonstration, we chose the smaller inlet adapter and slipped it on the section of exposed plastic edge protruding from the intake of the CARRY. The grip of the silicone to the plastic is sufficient, and it should not come off when in use.
Evercool sends this recoil system with the round power lead for the CARRY, and at the other end is a USB connection to draw power from the laptop. When fully extended, there is three feet of cable; plenty to power the unit from the opposite side it needs to be used on.
Underneath the CARRY there is a silicone mat. At first we thought this was like one of those dashboard pads that make anything stick; we found that this is actually the side that will stick to any surface we tested on.
We found the back of the grey silicon pad is completely (near edge to edge coverage), backed with 3M adhesive. This is less like the window kit stuff, and more of a very sticky, almost gummy style of adhesive.
Once the pad is applied to the bottom of the CARRY, wherever you may need to be using the Evercool CARRY, whether it is on glass, on wood, Formica, hard surface counters, or stone, it is going to stay exactly where you put it unless directly acted upon with good force. In fact, we found the laptop moved occasionally, and yet the CARRY was exactly where we originally placed it.
After a fair bit of testing against other cooling pads, and with the laptop just elevated with just the built-in cooling with and without the CARRY NB-EC01, let's just say we are really unimpressed. The idea of this device is sound, and there are gains to be had, but the near fifteen degrees of difference boasted on the packaging was nothing like the results we got on two different laptops. If you have that specific ASUS laptop, you may very well see similar results as what Evercool offers as a baseline to go from, but neither of my systems got anywhere near that.
The design of the device is well thought out, and pretty indestructible, which it needs to be to survive the rigors of traveling inside of a bag on long trips. It is also aesthetically pleasing in the sense that it is not just a flat box with a name on it, but is just done to distract the eyes from that simple fact. In low mode the CARRY is tolerable with a 28 dB noise reading. When in the high mode, the 45dB of noise coming out of the cooler is a downer, but had it been able to deliver good thermal results, it is something we would have to deal with for good results. The sad fact is: no matter how well it stayed in place, how cool it looks, or now loud it was, we only saw three degrees difference as the best results from the two laptops used. It is very hard to be impressed at this point. While it is small, and easier to take around with you, there just isn't any reason to get very excited here.
When you look at the larger picture, and the fact that the pricing of the CARRY takes you into laptop coolers like we all use anyways -why not just opt to carry something a bit more bulky that can offer ergonomics, extra USB ports, and give you a few degrees benefit like this does? And those are nowhere near as noisy as this CARRY is. It is rare that we outright call something a failure, but for our uses, the CARRY just does not impress as the packaging implies, and for what this fan in a box costs to get to your door, this Evercool product just misses the mark on its basic functionality. From what we saw, this product is only worth the investment if you have absolutely no room for another alternative (like an open window and a brick).
Honestly, had the packaging not boasted amazingly spectacular results from this cooler, and had they taken an honest average across multiple systems, we may have been a bit more lenient, but we feel somehow mislead. This is something we just cannot recommend to our readers.
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