Review: nKliq Cooling Pad Transforms Your Netbook Into A Home Workstation

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The nKliq netbook cooling station stands as more of a cosmetic touch to the home office set up for a netbook – a convenient placemat for your netbook while you aren’t out and about – than an essential computing tool. It’s not often that you need to cool an overworked mini-laptop, but this netbook-specific station throws in enough add-ons to make it a worthy buy.

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Made for 12 inch netbooks, it’s a small station but will still accommodate some of the thicker netbooks around. The USB bus-powered stand can either be run through USB or via a separate 5V cable.

When powering the unit directly from the laptop, you’ll need two USB ports handy, preferably on the right side of the netbook where the connections on the cooling pad sit. It’s a big sacrifice for a small unit, but this is common with other cooling pads and the station is fitted with four USB slots of its own anyway.

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Having an extra barrage of USB slots available is easily one of the top perks of this device, with the added USBs functioning as if they were native to the attached netbook.

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The dual fans sit at 60x60x10mm and have adjustable speeds, though nKliq’s ‘silent fan’ promise is somewhat misleading. At slow speeds it runs unnoticeably, but when pushed closer to max speed, the fans get fairly loud.

 

When coupled with the removable ‘cooling knobs’, the fans work well enough at dissipating heat and allowing air flow under a netbook. Compared to using the netbook we used for testing on a flat desk, the station reduced the heat by around half or slightly more, though the impact on performance isn’t quite as noticeable as when running a high performance notebook.

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The earlier mentioned cooling knobs are two screw-on rubber stubs that can be placed into four separate notches on the pad to lift up the netbook and increase air flow. This did indeed help air flow, but made balancing an HP Mini 210 netbook slightly more precarious depending on how open the lid was and where the weight was centred. Adjustable tilt would be a nice additive, but otherwise a bit of trial and error in positioning at times will have to suffice.

The aluminium station also has a discrete, pop-out draw for storing thin extras like pens, thumb drives, Post-Its and the like. The cylindrical tube clicks in and out from the back underside of the unit, and stows away easily. It’s not a game-changer, but handy nonetheless.

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The nKliq netbook cooling pad is not the most necessary tool for netbook users, but for those who are attached to their miniature PC and want a convenient spot for it while they’re at home or in the office, this device throws in enough handy extras to make it worth the low price.

The RRP for the cooling pad sites at around $40 dollars, but the units can be found closer to $30 from resellers. The full-sized notebook version is yet to be launched.

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