Cooler Master has been having a nice run lately. Their lineup has been augmented by some great cases, power supplies that are simply amazing and even a few cooling products that are gabbing attention. Their new CM Storm line has impressed quite a few people in the PC world. So when they contacted me about a new product I was eager to get it in and try it out. This new product is a universal notebook charger that can handle up to 150 Watts and can also provide charging power to a single USB device.
The SNA 95 as it is called is a slim, compact and highly functional device. I took it for a spin over a couple of weeks to see if the SNA 95 could replace my current netbook charger and was pleasantly surprised by its performance. Read on to see why.
The SNA 95 comes in a small box, but that is ok as it is a small product. The box is good at showing off the SNA95 with cut outs to show the actual product instead of using graphics on the outside of the box. This allows a potential purchaser to see what they are getting without any question. This is not to say there are no graphics on the box but simply that Cooler Master chose to keep them to a minimum.
One down side of the use of cutout is the excessive amount of plastic used to protect the SNA 95. As you can see, once you get the SNA 95 out of the box it is completely enclosed in a plastic shell. While this is great for keeping everything in it makes for a lot of waste that needs to be recycled. The box on its own is not reusable so everything is discarded. This will either go to a landfill or hopefully to different recycling plants if you have this option in your area.
Inside the plastic shell we find the reason we bought this in the first place. Cooler Master has done good job with the accessories here. They give you a total of eight different sized tips for the SNA 95 and a nice stand to keep them in. They also provide a connected cord spool for the cord that extends from the SNA to your device. The cord that runs from the SNA to a power outlet has a Velcro strap to keep it in check. On top of all this Cooler Master included a handy carrying bag to drop it all in.
Design and Features
The Cooler Master SNA 95 [SNA stands for Slim Notebook Adapter] is a nicely built and designed product. It will not win any awards for style but it is not an ugly lump like many notebook adapters.
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It measures a mere 5.7-inches [145mm] long and 0.7-inches [17mm] thick. Of course with the added cord spool you can roughly double this thickness. This spool can be removed if desired but in my opinion it reduces the convenience of the SNA 95.
On one side there is a single USB port. This is a 1 AMP 5 Volt charging port for a phone, camera, or other USB chargeable device. The SNA 95 has a single LED for indicating that it is plugged in and operational this LED will glow white when you are plugged into power and blue when it is charging a USB device.
You can use any of the eight tips provided by plugging them into the end of the PSU to laptop cable . This is "keyed" so that you cannot accidentally connect the tip in the wrong way.
For technical specs the SNA 95 is listed as a 95 Watt power supply [hence the name]. it outputs 19 volts @ 4.7 Amps. to any notebook and 5 Volts @ 1 Amp to USB devices. Despite the 95 Watt rating Cooler Master boasts that the SNA 95 is 80% efficient and can support up to 150 Watts of peak power demand. Given that majority of 15.4" notebooks come with 75W adapters, it is good to know that Cooler Master has a little bit of extra for 17" notebooks as well.
Performance testing for the SNA 95 was accomplished by substituting the regular power supply for the following portable computers.
- MSI Wind U100 [MS-N011 netbook]
- HP Pavilion tx1000 [12.1-inch tablet PC]
- Dell Latitude D930 [15-inch notebook]
I used the SNA with each of these for a total of one week and measured the SNA 95’s ability to charge, maintain power and also for convenience over the standard charger. To add an interesting extra to this test I used the SNA 95 to maintain the charge in an iPhone 3G for each week of testing. The iPhone was connected during operation [while the laptops were running] Each laptop was run on battery until it went into hibernation/standby mode. I then plugged in the system and continued to run it while allowing the SNA to charge the device. At the same time I plugged in the iPhone 3G. I also tested and compared the SNA 95 to USB charging from a PC and from the Apple provided Adapter.
As you can see the SNA 95 performs very well and in many cases out performs the stock charger that is provided with the actual device. It is good to see that the USB charger was able to charge the iPhone 3G while charging the notebook with less than one minute delay after the stock charger. But the efficiently of SNA 95 is also proven with the fact that it took a regular USB port on a high-end motherboard 14 minutes more for the same work.
The price of the SNA 95 is very good considering the cost or replacing a power supply for anyone of the laptops used. These run from $40 to $100 for the 90 Watt PSU for the Latitude D930. You can find it on the Internet for around $65.00. This is an excellent price for what you get as the SNA does more than just power/charge your laptop. You would need to buy both a replacement power supply and an AC to 5Volt DC USB adapter to cover what you get with the SNA 95.
The SNA 95 comes with a two-year warranty against manufacturing defects. This is pretty good considering the life of your usual laptop and its stock charger. If you do have a problem in that time frame you can setup an RMA through the use of an online eRMA form found on Cooler Master’s website.
The Cooler Master SNA 95 is an impressive device; it is not a world shaker but it still raises the eyebrows. The low profile, cable management, and USB charging feature make it a great companion for the road. The low price makes it a viable option for a general purchase and not just in the event you need a replacement for your original. The flexibility with the eight included charging tips means you can use this for more than one device if needed. In all we can highly recommend the Cooler Master SNA 95 for your mobile computing needs.