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VIZO Ninja II Laptop Cooler

Author:  Ian Garris
Date:  2008.08.26
Topic:  Cooling
Provider:  Vizo
Manufacturer:  Vizo

VIZO Ninja II Laptop Cooler

Unboxing, First Impressions, and Build Quality

The Nina II cooling pad by Vizo is a good example of what computers of yesteryear were - simple, effective but not really perfect, and a handy bludgeoning weapon in a pinch. (Try picking up an IBM Model M keyboard sometime) Examining this, I get the distinct sensation that someone is applying standard AT desktop design principles to laptop accessories - the fans are held in by four screws and connected to power cabling by two small pins; beyond that there’s nothing to stop you from sliding the fans free of their mounting bracket and slotting in your favorite 80mm fans - (ready? Place tongue firmly in cheek) except that nobody makes 80mm fans, Screaming Deltas with adapters excluded. At least, that's the impression that I get from everyone I mentioned 80mm fans to in the context of this review - the impression of them being 'nonstandard' seems to have persisted longer than the scarcity of 80mm fans. Back on topic, nothing except for two pair of little rubber feet slid over the roughly-machined edges of the mounting brackets... The good news is that these slide off easily, should you actually want to attempt that Screaming Delta mod. The bad news is that these slide off easily, and I’ve had a few terrified laptop-bag searches trying to find out if I’ve just lost one. The cool-looking silver grille through which the fans blow is held in place by much smaller screws and heavy-duty tape - the kind with lamellar nylon fibers that simply will not tear. It’s ugly, but it works - the grille doesn’t rattle, no matter what I did.

Setting a laptop on it, it is comfortably larger than a 15” Macbook Pro - they’re a little small for 15 inchers, but this pad is rated to handle up to a 17” laptop. I’m inclined to believe it, but I have some questions about just how effective it can be with the pad fans nowhere near the actual intake, but we’ll see how that pans out in testing. Also, the wedge profile of the Ninja means that typing on it isn’t much worse than typing on just the laptop, and for those of you who prefer the risers on your keyboards to be fully extended, this will produce about the same angle as most commodity keyboards.

Another nice touch, the power cable on this pad is a removable pass-thru cable about a foot long. I’ve found it to be adequate, even a little excessive, and while they didn’t use a snag-proof plug on the back, at least if you break the cable you can get a new one.



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