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Laptops are getting more and more powerful every year, and unfortunately that leads to one major negative for the consumer - increased heat output. Anyone who uses their laptop for intensive workstation (or gaming) purposes knowns just how prone these "mobile warriors" can be to heat related failure. Most laptops are also plagued with an amazingly low amount of avaliable USB ports, sometimes three or four is just simply not enough. As a result to satisfy the demand for cooler, more expandable laptops we've seen an absurd increase in laptop accessories correlating with the increases in mobile technology (which might as well be space heater technology). Recently, Vizo has decided to jump into the saturated world of laptop accessories and hopefully their latest product, the Vizo Mini Nija II, has just the fix hardcore portable consumers are looking for.
• 350 mm long for 7”~15.4” Widescreen Notebook PC
• Aluminum casing for excellent heat dissipation
• Dual ultra quiet cooling fans provide the maximum airflow and air pressure
• Adjustable positions for fans
• Powered by USB, 3 USB 2.0 ports for easy expansion
• Ergonomic designed angle for easy typing
• 350mm x 170mm x 40mm
• 2 70mm Fans
• 2000 RPM
Vizo's Product Page
Price $49.99 @ newegg
The packaging is simple yet detail packed (similar to other Vizo box designs). The back contains all of the basic information about the product, although fails to include one detail that I believe would greatly help sales - statistical information. Customers ordering new products off of the internet, or walking down isles of computer stores (see the hell that is Fry's) want to quickly know why a specific product is better. However, the handles are a nice touch and I always welcome Vizo's "interesting" usage of the English language as well as their copious usage of exclamation points.
Looks like Vizo is getting right to the point with this product. Inside the box we are greeted with a very elegant cooler, shaped out of milled aluminum. The Mini Ninja uses a tight mesh grill over the two 2000 RPM fans which if anything seems air-flow restrictive.
Yeah, below is exactly how empty the box looks after removing the cooler; I was pretty disappointed when I was presented with a void of cardboard. However, the included screws are extremely useful when you move the adjustable fans around as both an extra stabilizer and an insurance policy. The mini-usb cable included is a bit on the long side - unless you keep your laptop three feet away from your cooler.
One of the most interesting aspect of the cooler is the ability to adjust the fan positions. This allows the consumer to have the fans placed precisely where the laptop's heat points are (CPU, GPU vents, etc.). The previously mentioned mesh is secured into the cooler bracket and taped down. The stand's rubber feet are glued down at the bottom of the unit. I would have liked to see more attention to such small details - nobody wants the mesh to slide out or their rubber feet to lose adhesion on their laptop cooler, especially at this price. This shouldn't be much of a problem if you use this for workstation purposes, but the constant traveler should be cautious (aluminum also scratches easily). I would have to say though that the aluminum looks absolutely gorgeous and should complement any laptop nicely. It also (as pictured) does a fantastic job of giving just the right amount of tilt for workstation typing usage.
Contrary to the original Mini Ninja, the Mini Ninja II adds three highly welcomed USB 2.0 ports. I am somewhat confused about the 5VDC connector on the device, I understand that it is for high power usage (HDDs), but I don't understand why they couldn't simply include an adaptor. Unfortunately the recommended Vizo 5VDC adaptor will set you back an additional $10 and can be found here.
Installation and Performance:
The device is merely plug-n-play - no explanation necessary.
HP Compaq 6510b, 14.1"
Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 2.20GHz
2.0GB DDR2 SDRAM
Notebook Hardware Controller
Targus ChillHub (Also priced at $49.99)
HP Compaq 6510b
Vizo Mini Ninja
Kingston 1GB MicroSD card -> Kingston MicroSD to USB Adaptor
While not exactly the best deal of the century, if Vizo found it in their hearts to drop the price by ten dollars and include the adaptor it absolutely would be. In it's current form however, it is still a striking laptop cooler both in looks and performance. It manged to easily best a popular (and same priced) Targus cooler and I'm sure many others would fall victim to the superior performance that Vizo offers, thanks to the slick usage of aluminum. With a couple of adjustments (replace mesh) it could be even better. However, unless you have a real need for your laptop to run three or four degrees cooler (stability issues would make me recommend this product highly) I would suggest foregoing a laptop cooler - especially considering this is essentially the cream of the crop, elegant and well performing (unlike some of the unprofessional looking laptop cooling products avaliable).
Striking aluminum design
USB pass through keeps solid speeds (with some drop-offs)
CPU usage is a bit high
I would like to see a little bit more slip protection on the top of the device
Ports should be less recessed by default
Price needs a bit of a lowering to be truly competitive
Mesh shouldn't hamper air-flow so substantially (good results could be even better)
Tape and adhesive should be used more sparingly
Thanks again go to Vizo for the opportunity to take a look at another interesting product!