NZXT Cryo LX Notebook Cooler

Print

Product: NZXT Cryo LX Notebook Cooler
Provided By: NZXT
Price: $69.99 - Check Latest Price Here


Introduction:

In the not too distant past, laptops ran much cooler than they do now.  Consumers were quite content for their mobile computer to be slower than their desktop computer.  People didn't care if they couldn't process large amounts of data in a split second while on the road.  Times have changed.  Today we expect lightning fast performance from a laptop and the performance line between desktop and laptop PC has all but merged.

Dual-core laptops have become the standard, and while they claim some major energy consumption improvements, they still get darn hot when under full load.  Today we are taking a look at a product from NZXT that helps provide better cooling for your portable PC while you're at home or the office.  We've got the NZXT Cryo LX on our bench and will find out if this large actively cooled product from NZXT has big performance or just big fans.

CryoLX - Cables
Cryo LX - Cables

 

About NZXT:

NZXT, a company built upon gamers, dreams, hopes to create products that put consumers first. With the objective of designing unique products catered for hardware enthusiasts and gamers, NZXT has grown into a globally renowned brand recognized for dedication towards creating the next great gaming product. NZXT has won numerous awards from media and publications from across the globe with a product line spanning from gaming chassis, power, and gaming input devices. As a corporation formed by gamers, NZXT continues to expand into new horizons and push the limits further with each product unveiling.

Our dedicated sales and customer service team will also work diligently to earn your trust and loyalty. All our products are built with high quality material and engineered in the best conditions.

 

Cryo LX - First Look:

When NZXT contacted us to see if we wanted to take a look at the Cryo LX, I said that we'd be happy to.  When I receive notice that I'm receiving a new product, I try not to find out too much about the product before it arrives so I can have an unbiased first impression.  When I opened the package - I was impressed by the size of this monster.

 Cryo LX - Profile
Cryo LX - Profile
Cryo LX - Setup
Cryo LX - Setup

 

Although it's hard to get an idea of the size of this laptop cooler, it can handle up to a 19" notebook and there is in fact three 120mm fans that cool this unit.

Cryo LX - Bottom
Cryo LX - Bottom

 

On the next page we'll take a closer look at the Cryo LX and take a look at the features and specifications.

 

Closer Look:

The Cryo LX has some nice features that make it worth a second look when you're choosing from one of the 2,003 different units available on the market.   Many feature an extra USB port or two so that the USB powered requirement doesn't leave you short.  The Cryo LX has a total of four extra USB ports that are available if you choose to plug your laptop into the built-in hub.  The beauty of this hub is that it is USB2.0 and works very well.  The Cryo LX is designed to take USB power from a special cable, and then if you want to use the hub, you have to use another laptop USB port to plug into this.  I tried plugging the main data USB into the hub, and then pull power from one of the Cryo LX's USB ports and it worked fine.  In fact it worked fine without having to plug into the power port at all - the device gleans enough power from my laptop through the USB hub that the power connector is not required - this may not be true for all laptops however.

Cryo LX - Ports & Power
Cryo LX - Ports & Power

 

The three 120mm fans are hooked to a main power distribution center that is speed controlled on the right side of the Cryo LX.  The fan speed was measured with a laser tachometer and reports slow fan speed at ~1000rpm with high fan speed topping out at ~1350rpm.  Even on low speed the fans are audible over my T61 and on high they are almost annoying when you're used to a virtually silent laptop.

 

 Cryo LX - Fan Power
Cryo LX - Fan Power
Cryo LX - Fan Speed
Cryo LX - Fan Speed

 

To help avoid vibration with the three fans on a metal notebook stand, NZXT has used plenty of foam anti-vibration pads on the fans as well as other hardware that may have a tendency to vibrate.  This eliminates all vibration noises and the only noise coming from the Cryo LX is the fans - mostly air movement noise.

Cryo LX - Pads
Cryo LX - Pads

 

Info & Features:

The following information has been pulled from the product page for your convenience.  Take a look and see what NZXT has to say about the Cryo LX.

The days of burning hot notebooks are finally over. Introducing the newest addition to the NZXT's family of products, the NZXT Cryo LX. The Cryo LX features the first notebook cooler to feature triple 120mm adjustable fans and a full 3mm aluminum frame. Designed for transport, the Cryo LX can be folded and stored easily at any time. Four USB ports are in the rear for more accessibility. Designed to host the hottest and most high performing notebooks, the Cryo LX fits a 17" widescreen notebook perfectly and supports a 15" widescreen notebook with room to spare. The NZXT Cryo is perfect for popular notebooks such as the Apple 17-inch MacBook Pro or Dell XPS Series.

 

  • Built with thick aluminum with sturdy construction
  • Brushed Aluminum finish
  • Rubber finish lifts the notebook up to allow less heat pockets and better airflow
  • Cools your notebook with three adjustable large 120mm fans
  • Four USB ports for your media, storage, and input devices
  • Folding design for easy storage and transportation
  • Support for power notebooks with 15", 17" and 19" wide screens
  • Dimensions (W x D): 16.6" x 11.6"

 

On the lat page we'll take a look and see how the NZXT Cryo LX performs.


 

It's Cool - Not Quite Cryo:

T61 on Cryo LX To get some baseline temperatures for the laptop we first ran it on our lap doing a couple of instances of Prime95 to get things heated up.  While many may say that this is not a typical situation for a laptop to be ran at 100% load, many people today use their laptops for 3D Modeling and light workstation rendering.  This puts the laptop under huge amounts of stress and things heat up quickly.  CPU and HDD temperatures were recorded with SpeedFan and were logged to record the maximum temperature reached.  The full-load was applied for 1 hour and then all applications were closed for 20 minutes to gain an idle temperature.  This load/idle situation was repeated with the computer on a desk and then placed on the Cryo LX with the fan on low, and then finally with the fan on high.  The results are displayed below.

 

I don't have any comparison numbers as I have a different laptop than I did with previous laptop cooler reviews I've posted.  The results will be compared with other coolers as time progresses.

 

 Cryo LX - Temps

 

The Lenovo Thinkpad 14.1" laptop runs pretty cool for a T8400 laptop, but the Cryo LX from NZXT helps bring it down a few notches.  CPU temps drop as much as 7C at full load when running the fan at high speed.  With the fans at low speed we gain 4C-5C when compared to no cooler at all.  The higher fan speed doesn't yield a dramatic improvement in temperatures and is probably not worth the additional noise.

 

Final Thoughts:

The NZXT Cryo LX does exactly what it's supposed to do - cool down your laptop.  Even with a well-designed T61 Thinkpad, the Cryo LX helps shave off some degrees and keeps the notebook nice and cool - even when running full load.  The laptop is kept in place thanks to the "grippy" rubber details on the top, and the adjustable fan speed is certainly nice.  The inclusion of a 4-port USB2.0 hub is also a nice touch.  The big question remains, "Is the NZXT Cryo LX worth $70?"  That's something that you'll have to decide for yourself, but the quality construction, thick aluminum, and three 120mm fans don't make this cheap - or inexpensive for that matter.

If you've got a toasty hot laptop, this cooler will probably perform better than many other coolers on the market, but you have to give up some silence in exchange.  It makes a bit of noise - not loud by all means but you can definitely hear it.  Overall, this is how we feel it breaks down:

Pros:

  • Solid, High-Quality aluminum construction
  • Rubber accents on top keep laptop raised for better cooling and provide non-slip surface
  • 4-port USB2.0 hub
  • Adjustable fan speed 
  • Airflow!!! 3x 120mm fans

Cons:

  • A bit loud for a notebook cooler
  • Tends toward the expensive side
 

The reality is that the NZXT Cryo LX is the "Airflow King" of laptop coolers - much like the NZXT Tempest is for PC cases.  In both instances, these products generate noise, but provide excellent cooling.

BCCRating

I'd like to thank NZXT for firing over this cooler.  It was interesting to see what this kind of airflow can do for a laptop.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them at the "Comments" link below.