Evercool Zodiac II Review

Propane - 2010-07-18 16:58:20 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: Propane   
Reviewed on: September 13, 2010
Price: $22

Introduction:

As laptops get more and more powerful, the need for extra cooling goes up. Thankfully, companies like Evercool are making laptop coolers to help with this cooling need. There are a lot of coolers on the market now, and some sport special designs or target a certain market. The Zodiac II is one of those coolers. With constellation marks and a radiant sun design, people who love astronomy or astrology can have another way to show off something they are passionate about while still providing the cooling that is vital to today's laptops.

Closer Look:

The packaging that the Zodiac II comes in shows off part of the ring of constellation symbols through a clear plastic window while also showing a few images of the product. On the back, a list of features is on the right side while a performance graph (which I will put to the test) is on the left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The box opens from the front and the first thing seen upon opening is the top of the cooler. The only accessory that comes with the Zodiac II is a retractable USB plug which can be used to power the fan on the cooler.

 

Closer Look:

The Zodiac II cooler itself uses the sun design along with the constellation symbols as a fan grille. There are twelve symbols in total and it appears that there is enough space for air to flow through in order to cool the laptop. The top of the cooler is 2.2mm thick aluminum and measures 290 x 240 x 38.5 mm while the underside is made mostly of plastic. There is no design on the underside which makes sense since you should rarely see it. The fan used to push air through the Zodiac II is a sleeve bearing equipped 120mm piece and runs at roughly 800 RPM. The noise generated by the cooler is 25dBA at the maximum fan speed. The key is how well does this low speed fan help cool the innards of your netbook or laptop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two USB ports, a 5V DC power input, and a toggle switch are all found along the left side of the cooler. Either USB port can be used to power the device, but I was unable to test if the 5V worked since no adapter is included. The toggle switch only controls the fan. The laptop sits comfortably on top of the cooler.

 

Specifications:

Overall Dimension: 290 x 240 x 38.5 mm
Fan Speed: 800±15% RPM
Noise Level: < 25 dBA
Bearing Type: Sleeve Bearing
Weight: 850 g
Color Selection: Titanium Black (NP-311T) & White (NP-311W)

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Evercool @ http://www.evercool.com.tw/products/np-311.html

Testing:

I tested the Evercool Zodiac II in the same manner as all the other coolers I have tested (listed below). I used it in conjunction with my Macbook Pro while I let the laptop run in an idle state while running a temperature monitoring application (iStat Pro). This allowed me to get both my CPU and GPU temperatures. I then repeated the test with the cooler and with the laptop straight on my desk. To get load temperatures, I chose to run Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, which stresses the hardware of my Macbook Pro, generating heat. Again, this was repeated on the cooler and on the desk. The results from this testing will be specific to a Macbook Pro, but other laptops should provide similar results.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Coolers:

 

The results below show that the Evercool Zodiac II does a pretty decent job at cooling off my MacBook Pro.

 

 

Lower numbers are better.

The Zodiac II cooled my MacBook Pro fairly well!

Conclusion:

When I first got the Evercool Zodiac II cooler, I was worried it would be a form-before-function item that just wanted to try to get people interested in astronomy and astrology to buy it. However, my worries were unfounded when the testing proved that the cooler, in fact, does a decent job cooling. One thing I always look for on coolers is an additional USB port, or in the best case, a hub, so you don't have to give up a USB port which can be very limited on some laptops. Thankfully the Zodiac included one which is extremely helpful. The one downside I found is that there was no included AC adapter, even though the port is there to power the fan by. Overall this is a good cooler, and if you enjoy the design, one I would recommend.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: