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Thermaltake Massive Notebook Coolers (V20, SP, TM) Review

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Thermaltake Massive Notebook Coolers (V20, SP, TM): SP Closer Look

Upon opening the box the first thing that is, again, quite noticeable, is the lack of packing. Now, as this is officially a trend, I wonder if Thermaltake has a great deal of faith in the chosen shipping company or if it is very confident in the durability of the coolers. Anyway, the second thing I took note of is the clear plastic wrap that was missing on the V20. Clearly, Thermaltake wants this cooler to be a little bit protected. Underneath the SP is a box containing its connection cables for power and 3mm auxiliary audio cable. Then, as with the V20, there is a very basic instruction manual and a warranty information packet.

Looking very closely at the USB, one might notice that there are two USB jacks on one side of the USB cable. This is to power both the speakers and the 140mm LED fan. This is a bit of a down side because it takes two of your USB slots right up. However, if you were to use a cooler and a set of USB powered external speakers you would be in the same boat. After taking a look at the USB cable length, I was under the impression that it could reach underneath the cooler and to the other side of the computer. This was very easily the case and, just for comparison, the Belkin cooler I am comparing it to has a hard time reaching any USB ports that are not near the rear of the laptop. So, thus far in the usability category, the Thermaltake SP and V20 are better than the Belkin (of which I eventually extended the cable myself).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SP is the heaviest of the three coolers. The reason that it weighs so much compared to the V20 and the TM is that it is equipped with two 30mm stereo speakers. From either a top down or a bottom down view, these are obscured because they are left and right firing. Note that the bottom, by the way, is extremely minimalistic. Other than the fan and the four rubber grips, there is nothing at all on the bottom. This is due to the fact that Thermaltake got rid of the height changing abilities since the speakers provide sufficient height. Additionally, there is no underside cable organization, but the reasoning for this eludes me, especially since there are multiple cables running from the cooler to the laptop. The USB expansion, power plug, audio port, LED on/off, speaker on/off, and speaker itself are visible from the right side of the cooler.

With the additional USB port, the two slot requirement is alleviated a small bit. The LED light button is just like the one on the V20. Here is the fun part: see that shiny speaker grill? That is the speaker power switch! It looks slick, moves slick, and is overall very slick. The other side only has another speaker, but unlike this one, the grill on the other controls the fan speed! Essentially a user has full control over their experience with this cooler and I think that is awesome.

 

 

 

 

An important note to make here is that the speakers can't be adjusted on the cooler itself. Some people would see this as a down side; I see it as convenient. I hate trying to balance two separate volume controls and this gets rid of that problem for me. To wrap up my physical description of the SP, it has hexagonal honey comb mesh just like the V20, but the underside fan enclosure has much better air intake, and the LED is dimmer because the fan is only a 140mm fan thus reducing the optical spread of the light through the LED and causing it to cover less area.

 

 

 

Thermaltake Massive Notebook Coolers (V20, SP, TM): TM Closer Look

The big brother. The Temperature Monitor Massive. Though it is rated at less CFM than the V20, the air pressure is more than triple. In closed spaces or up against objects, high pressure can be more important than high CFM. However, the tests will tell all later. The TM is also wrapped in clear plastic, but it also has a small bit of packing on the lid of the box to protect the little knobs jutting out of the cooler's surface. This is, again, indicative of the price point (at least a little bit) as the TM is the most expensive of the three coolers at ~$36. Otherwise the packaging and contents are very similar to the others: warranty information, instruction manual, USB cable, and cooler. Once removed from the packaging, the TM is very broad. It covers the most surface area and, all around, is the thickest of the three. (I think the thickness is due to the fact that the fans are not low profile like the fans in the other two coolers; it would be an explanation for the higher pressure rating.)

 

 

 

Now we get to see all of the bells and whistles. Up front, on the bottom edge, are the controls. There is a power button, an automatic/manual button, turbo button, lock button, temp button, and Fahrenheit/Celsius button. I believe the cooler works by activating the fan and then locking down a temperature with the lock button; this would be manual mode. Automatic mode can be activated simply by pushing the A/M button. The turbo button runs the fans at the maximum speed of 1300RPM, while the temp button lets you look at a particular sensor (the little jutting pistons on the surface of the cooler have IR sensors in them to read temperatures). The last button lets you choose how you want your temps displayed in the temp window. This makes the cooler very versatile, but a little bit limited in the absolute user controls. The display, and all of the buttons, (except the lock, which is red) are blue or have blue indicators, which is a nice aesthetic touch.

 

 

 

 

The underside is (like the SP) fairly unadorned. It has no cable management (but less reason for it, unlike the SP). The enclosure appears to have very breathable air intakes. However, the same can't be said of the odd aluminum base that composes the topside. It seems very obstructing and I will want to see how this affects its cooling capabilities. The TM has the most usable rubber grips at one time - five. Three are on the front and two large ones on the back. Speaking of the back, there are two expandable legs that have two locking positions, as well as the base flat configuration, giving the cooler three different heights to choose from. On the top edge there are two USB slots that are for providing power to the cooler and an expansion for other devices. The cable for this cooler is very short in my opinion; however, I had no trouble getting it to reach my USB ports on either side of my laptop. This, I think, is due to the centered nature of the slots that provide power.

That wraps up my physical descriptions of the coolers; now we shall move on to the testing!

 

 

 

 




  1. Thermaltake Massive Notebook Coolers (V20, SP, TM) : Introduction
  2. Thermaltake Massive Notebook Coolers (V20, SP, TM) : Closer Look Continued
  3. Thermaltake Massive Notebook Coolers (V20, SP, TM) : Specifications & Features
  4. Thermaltake Massive Notebook Coolers (V20, SP, TM): Testing
  5. Thermaltake Massive Notebook Coolers (V20, SP, TM): Conclusion
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