Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler Review

Wesstron - 2013-09-29 16:59:34 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: Wesstron   
Reviewed on: November 5, 2013
Price: $33.99

Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler Introduction:

The moment I put my eyes on the box holding the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler, I thought "Well, someone out there is thinking outside of the box!" The cooler per say is nothing new, an aluminum body with two integrated low speed fans and a couple USB ports. It’s the usual setup that can be found in the legion of laptop coolers out there. What makes this Evercool product unique is that it combines the standard approach with a side blower module. The idea of the side blower is not really a novelty, you can find cheap units on Ebay that function pretty much the same way. In this review, I will show you Evercool's first take at modular laptop cooling and its clever implementation of the side blower module.

For the history lovers, Evercool is a Taiwanese Corporation that was established in 1992. Mostly known for it's fans, laptop coolers, and thermal compound products. In terms of philosophy, the company focuses on innovation, quality, and affordability. Let's see what the folks from the R&D team at Evercool brought to the market. Will the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler live up to the cool name that Evercool boasts or is it more hype than heat dissipation?

 

Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler Closer Look:

The Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler comes in a pretty colorful, slender, and sturdy box. The white background and the blue highlights make for a nice color theme, by contrasting with the blue and black look of the unit. On the front are located the Evercool logo, a picture of the cooler with the side blower module attached, and the name of the unit on the bottom right corner. The back of the box has more meat to it and actually doubles as an installation manual. On the left side we find a performance comparison chart, showing the superiority of the AIOLUS against a stock setup. The features of the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler are listed on the right side with thumbnail style illustrations. The bottom section is the actual installation manual, that will walk the user through setting up the side blower module.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the box there isn't much in terms of padding. A double layer of cardboard on the bottom and a single layer on top are all what stands between the AIOLUS and any possible damage. To the right are located the blower unit and the accessories bundle, which consists of two USB cables and two rubber adapters for the blower. The blue rubber adapters feel quite durable and nicely made. These huge grommets will serve as a seal between the blower and the side vents on the laptop for optimal performance and airflow. The side that clips into the blower is thicker and even though soft, it will bounce back to shape after being folded or squished. The thinner section intended to form the seal, might be more prone to damage and I would advise against letting pets put their paws on it. My cat showed quite the interest on one of the adapters and I would only imagine the damage if it ended up being her playtime partner!

 

 

The blower unit is rectangular shaped and measuring 4" x 3.25" x 1". The external side is equipped with an exhaust vent, fan speed control with three options (OFF, High, and Low), and a green power led light. The top and sides have some detail to enhance the look of the unit and provide a better grip. The side facing the laptop vent is completely exposed which allows us peak at the blower-style fan installed inside the enclosure. The bottom side contains a spring mechanism, which makes a tight fit against the laptop vents possible. The whole blower unit will spring back against the laptop side, which helps the rubber adapter seal function.

 

 

 

I really have high hopes for this modular approach from EVERCOOL. Let's take a look at the actual cooler, then jump into the testing!

Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler Closer Look:

The Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler seems to get its name from Aeolus, ruler of the winds in Greek mythology. There is already quite the confusion amongst mythographers about who Aeolus really is and Evercool adds its own twist by spelling the name differently, while stating that the product is inspired by the Ancient Greece myth. 

The unit is made of aluminum, feels very sturdy, and is light weight at only 720g (1.6 lbs.). Measuring 324 x 260 x 30 mm, the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler supports only laptops smaller than 15inch. While test fitting with my Ultrabook that's 14inch in size, it appears to me that optimal functionality will be achieved with systems that are smaller than 14inch. I ended up testing the unit with a Toshiba NB200, which is only 10.1 inches diagonally, since the AVATAR Ultrabook I had at hand wasn't equipped with a side vent and the 15.6inch Acer laptop I had access to was too big for the unit.

The Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler is equipped with two 70mm fans rated at 1800 ± 15% RPM. Listed as the EC7015XL05E model, these fans sport Evercool's EL (Ever Lubricate) Bearing. The design of the unit prevents from changing the fans positions and there isn't a fan speed control either. The top of the cooler is adorned with a blue design that in my opinion, could've been more subtle for a better look. The user facing side has a beveled edge to keep your laptop from sliding, even though the fixed angle of the AIOLUS will not cause any sliding. Also located here is the Evercool brand name with its "Design for COOL" value proposition. The right side contains the fans ON/OFF switch and two USB 2.0 ports. One of these ports will be used to power the fans up and the second port is there to compensate for the loss. More USB ports could've been installed, for better connectivity and an upgrade to USB 3.0 would be more than welcome in this day and age.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The back of the unit is pretty plain and serves the lone purpose of giving a slight angle for better typing experience. There is no dedicated cable management, but if needed the extra length of cables can be tucked in under the cooler for a neater look. Located on the bottom side is the fan assembly, which is made of the same thick aluminum material. Those of you with keen eyes will notice that the fans are oriented to blow air towards the desk surface and away from the bottom of the laptop. Quite confusing, since looking at the graphic on the back of the box it shows that the fans are supposed to suck air from underneath the cooler and funnel it towards the bottom of the laptop. It could be that the unit that I received is an early prototype and the fans are positioned the wrong way. The Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler is also equipped with two small round rubber feet on the back, to avoid unwanted movement of the unit and the laptop placed on top of it.

 

 

 

On each side of the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler is a locking mechanism that slides on a four inch rail. Following the instructions on the back of the box is a straight forward process, at the end of which your laptop side vents should be aligned with the blower intake. First step is to pull the locking plate out which will lock it in place. Then adjust the slider on the cooler to roughly align with the center of the vents on the laptop. Next, the blower is positioned and the screws are tightened, which will lock the slider in place and prevent accidental misalignment. All that is left to do, is install the rubber adapter then release the lock underneath the blower by pulling slightly back. The unit will then push against the side of the laptop and form a tight enough seal for optimal airflow. The USB cable intended for powering the blower module provided with the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler is not very long. In case there aren't any USB ports available on the side that the vents are located in, it might be mandatory to use an extension or a USB hub.

 

 

 

 

The following picture shows the Toshiba NB200 installed on the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler with the blower module in place.

Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler Specifications:

Overall Dimension
425 x 260 x 65 mm
Notebook Pad Size
324 x 260 x 30 mm
DC Fan Size
70 x 70 x 15 mm
DC Fan Speed
1800 ± 15% RPM
Blower Fan Size
Φ75 x 15 mm
Blower Fan Rated Speed
Max : 3600 ± 10% RPM Min : 2800 ± 10% RPM
Weight
720g

 

Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler Features:

 

All information courtesy of Evercool @ http://www.evercool.com.tw/categories/global/cooler/notebookcooler/npb-101/aiolus.php

Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler Testing:

If any of you remembers my rant in the conclusion of the CM Storm SF-17 review, you will understand why I'm so eager to put this unit through some testing. I always was, and still am, very skeptical about the performance of the standard laptop coolers. They all work the same and not so great if you ask me, even when some manufacturers get "creative" with variable fan speeds, movable fan positions, and fancy light shows. The external fans will cool the surface of the laptop efficiently in most scenarios. Internal cooling, on the other hand is pretty much left to the performance of the system's integrated fans. No matter how much cool air we blow towards a laptop, high temps and loud fans are unavoidable, if the stock cooling setup can't keep up with the load. For an external cooling module to be efficient, it has to somehow actively move air through the internals of the laptop. This is where Evercool's AIOLUS might just make a difference. The unit brings all the basics of laptop cooling such as an aluminum body, dual fan setup, and USB ports. Then innovates, with the integration of a variable speed blower module that can be mounted with a certain degree of flexibility on each side of the cooler.

Today's review is starring the Toshiba NB200 10.1inch netbook. Some might consider it outdated, but this little portable computer was the only system I had access to which was smaller than 15inch and sported side vents. First, let's put one thing out of the way, anything larger than 14inch will look out of place on top of the AIOLUS. It simply doesn't have the bulk for it and my failed attempt to fit an Acer 15.6inch laptop on top of this cooler with the blower installed, made the smaller system an obvious choice.

Test Setup:

 

 

Results in ºC, lower is better.

 

Results in ºC, lower is better.

 

I was expecting a boost in performance from the blower module and the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler delivered it. I was BLOWN away by the fifteen degrees temp drop under load. With the blower module installed, the AIOLUS is on a whole different level of cooling prowess compared to the standard coolers. The air is actively sucked out through the internal cooling system which seems to create negative pressure leading to a faster fresh air supply than usual. This impressive performance boost comes at the price of loud operation unfortunately, and some users might consider it a deal breaker. The hardcore gamers with noise-cancelling headsets or users operating in an already loud environment could ignore the jet engine like noise to a certain extent. Otherwise, for any standard situation, the blower fan's low speed setting is very noisy and the high speed setting is the stuff of nightmares. If you have ever heard a noisy blower-style GPU fan running at max RPM, add a few levels of discomfort to that feeling, and you get what I had to go through during the testing phase.

The two 1500 RPM fans integrated in the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler do not seem to make a whole lot of difference in terms of cooling performance. On the bright side, they are extremely silent for their size. I even fired up the cooler, without the blower module, very late at night when the ambient noise is virtually pure silence and was very pleased to hear only a very faint breeze like sound.

Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler Conclusion:

The Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler left me with a serious case of mixed feelings. I really like the ideas that Evercool implemented in this product, but it left me wanting more. The AIOLUS is well built, light weight, and has great cooling performance through its unique modular design. The blower module offers unprecedented temp values, and leaves one of the big names of the laptop cooling arena in the dust by delivering a staggering 15°C improvement over the stock cooling under load. The flexibility when setting up the blower module is an added benefit since it can be installed on either side of the cooler, and also offers Y-axis adjustability to get as flush of a fit as possible against the exhaust vents on your laptop. The one size fits all typing angle was comfortable enough for extended browsing and typing sessions, gamers shouldn't experience any issues either. Worst case scenario, your dedicated gaming peripherals will be your best friends once again.

The Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler is a product with great potential that could dominate the portable computer cooling market in the sub 15inch category. It is however not perfect. The first disappointment was the limited fan speed control on the blower module. Only three settings are available: off, low, and high. Both high and low settings are very noisy, and in my opinion the acoustics of the blower module can only be tolerated in an already noisy environment. A better fan and a dial-style RPM control could help mitigate the damage and provide users with more flexibility, depending on specific system loads. Limited connectivity was also a source of disappointment. Only two USB 2.0 ports are available on the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler's right side, which translates into a one port loss in the laptop and one port left on the cooler. An even situation, if there wasn't the blower USB power cable to take in consideration. I see lots of space on each side of the AIOLUS to accommodate at least four USB ports. This is a design flaw, since users should be able to connect the blower module on each side of the cooler with equal flexibility. Also, there isn't an external power supply port available, which would be great for home users that need to connect multiple peripherals. The lack of USB 3.0 could also be a deal breaker for any owner of an external drive supporting the technology.

Overall, we have a great concept that actually works and works very well! Even with the two 70mm fans that seem to be installed backwards on the test unit. Unfortunately the Evercool AIOLUS Notebook Cooler is plagued with a severe connectivity limitation. Also, the noise generated by the blower module is a major issue for any user looking for a cooler that is remotely silent. Nonetheless, Evercool is onto something very interesting with this modular concept and I hope that a better thought out product will follow very soon.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: