NZXT Cryo E40 review: NZXT Cryo E40

4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The NZXT Cryo E40 adds movable fans to the usually bland world of laptop cooling desks.

The Bad The smallish size means it's not good for big, hot desktop-replacement laptops. The fans need to be positioned carefully to avoid rattling.

The Bottom Line For under $30, the NZXT Cryo E40 provides efficient cooling through its movable fans, and its metal body makes it look like a more expensive accessory.

8.0 Overall

Several years ago, we would regularly review laptop coolers, lapdesks, and stands . Some would use fans, other passive cooling, and most provided a reasonable amount of heat reduction, or at least protection from the dreaded scourge of hot-lap.

Since then, not much new has happened in the world of lapdesks, and our interest waned. NZXT, however, has an interesting new idea that at least got me to fire up a high-end gaming laptop and put the $28 NZXT Cryo E40 to the test.

This understated-looking cooling desk, with a metal top panel and plastic base, containes two 40-millimeter cooling fans, powered via USB. What makes it different is that the fans are not set in a fixed position. Instead each fan has four tiny magnets, one in each corner, attaching the fan to the metal top panel. This allows you to remove that top panel (also held in place magnetically) and reposition the fans as needed.

View full gallery (6 Photos)

Depending on where your laptop's fans, hard drives, and graphics hardware are located within the chassis, an external cooling fan could be more useful in some positions than others. Being able to position the fans within the Cryo E40 lets you put them to use where they can do the most good.

The E40 is designed for laptops up to 15 inches, which is a shame, as it'll be the bigger 17-inch desktop-replacement models that could use the most extra cooling. Fortunately, I had the just-reviewed Maingear EX-L 15 on hand. With a third-generation quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia's new GeForce 675M GPU, it packs a lot of heat-generating hardware into a compact case.

Don't Miss


Discuss NZXT Cryo E40

Conversation powered by Livefyre