Priced at £28.85 for the black model and £33.14 for the silver model at Scan.co.uk. In the US you can pick one up for $39.99, however there are some black ones included in a big sale that you can snap up for $11.39 on Amazon.com, which is incredible value for money. In the EU the cooler will set you back around EUR 44,66 from Amazon.fr. Overall I think this is quite expensive when compared with competing products in terms of performance, but you do get aluminium construction, and build quality does count towards a lot of the cost.
I understand that there is a big market for notebook coolers, which is why so many computer component manufacturers have at least one product in their range for this part of the market. It’s a common fact that notebooks run hotter and louder than your average desktop system and this is mostly down to the much smaller surface area of the internal component coolers, smaller fans that run at a much higher RPM and limited airflow. You only have to fire up a flash-based game, or any graphics / CPU intensive application on most notebooks for a short while before the fan whine is at a very audible level. Having a loud fan blaring at you while you’re trying to work can be very distracting, even more so if you’re trying to enjoy some music or watch a movie, so having a way to tame that heat and noise is no bad thing.
The Silverstone NB04 didn’t blow me away with its performance, but there certainly was a noticeable improvement in both temperatures and noise levels. However, I don’t think it went far enough in terms of performance to really justify the investment. The fan is operated at a fixed speed range of 200-800RPM and it would have been nice to be able to ramp up the fan speed higher, trading-off for more noise from the NB04, but only if it would improve my notebooks cooling performance further. If I was rendering video, or gaming with a headset on, then I wouldn’t be too fussed about the noise, but the temperatures would certainly be something I would want to bring down. The fixed speed of the fan means I have very little flexibility overall.
The noise levels did drop a little with the NB04 enabled, but really it was only enough to notice via my decibel meter rather than my own ears, of course this would vary on a per-system basis based on what temperatures your system adjusts its internal fan speed lower, and of course the noise levels it products to begin with, so you may see better results than I did overall. The simple solution is that if your system is running hot and loud, then you will see a benefit from a notebook cooler.
- Clean design
- Gorgeous aluminium construction and finish
- High quality pre-installed fan
- USB pass through connector
- Easy to install
- Quite expensive (most likely due to construction materials)
- No fan speed adjustment
“The Silverstone NB04 is a little expensive, but you do get a lot of premium build quality in return and if style is important to you then you may be tempted to pay the premium over a plastic construction model from rival brands. Performance may not be mind-blowing, but there was a noticeable improvement in temperatures that may be of benefit to your system in the long run.”
Thank you Silverstone for providing us with this sample.