Notebook cooling pads serve an important function, but it can be hard to get excited about them. Often the most noticeable difference between one pad and another is the size of its fans or the angle of its incline. However, this week Zalman introduced a truly exciting new product in the NC2500 Plus, a cooler that doubles as a backup drive.
The NC2500 Plus has two powerful fans, supports notebooks up to 17 inches in size, and has three USB ports. However, what really makes it stand out from the competition is the hard drive bay that sits on its underside. After installing any 2.5-inch SATA hard drive in the bay, the NC2500 Plus doubles as a USB backup drive. Every time you connect your notebook to the cooler, it will mount as a drive you can use for any kind of storage.
Though it feels light in the hand, the NC2500 is way too large to leave your desk. So its ideal use is as a docking and backup station. Imagine leaving your giant media collection on the NC2500 Plus while you take your notebook and its lower capacity hard drive on the road. When you return to your desk, all movies will be waiting for you.
When it hits store shelves within the next couple of months, the NC2500 Plus will carry a very resonable price tag of $55 and come in a choice of black or white. If you need to buy a hard drive, that’s obviously going to be a bit more. However, the beauty of the open 2.5-inch SATA bay on the NC2500 Plus is that you can populate it with an old hard drive you pulled from your notebook or with a brand new high-capacity drive you just bought. We’re big advocates of upgrading a notebook’s hard drive to something faster, like a 7,200 rpm unit or, even better, an SSD. If you do such an upgrade, the NC2500 Plus can help you make great use of the drive you removed in the upgrade.
In addition to the NC2500 Plus, Zalman also introduced two other coolers at the Computex 2010 show, the NC3000 and the NC1500 Mini. The NC3000, also priced around $55, provides maximum cooling for high-end workstations and gaming systems; it even supports notebooks with up to 19-inch screens. For netbook users, there’s the $35 NC1500 Mini, which is actually light enough to carry around in your bag.
Check out our hands-on video with the NC2500 Plus and its siblings below.