What is a Laptop Cooling Pad?
Gaming laptops give you the power of a desktop with the portability of a handheld, but they are incredibly susceptible to overheating. It doesn’t come to a surprise that laptops have issues with heat and cooling either, as you can’t expect a powerful CPU and GPU packed into a tight environment to stay flawlessly cool and efficient. So, you’re in love with your gaming laptop and you want to continue playing your favorites wherever you’d like; What is the solution? In short, it’s the best gaming laptop cooling pad.
If you get a laptop cooling pad you can help manage your laptop’s temperatures even while it’s under high-loads. They aren’t hard to set up and they’re fairly hassle-free; In fact, most are similar in size to laptop stands you might use in bed or on the couch.
Do You Need a Cooling Pad for Your Gaming Laptop?
The best laptop cooling pads are helpful in some situations and unnecessary in others. For example, if you make sure to use your laptop on a desk and/or generally use it in environments that handle heat well, a laptop cooling pad won’t be necessary, but it could help drive temperatures lower; You could also have a high-end laptop with an amazing cooling system already, although a cooling pad can enhance its performance. An example of a situation where you need a cooling pad is using your laptop on your lap or on your bed; These environments won’t handle the heat of the laptop well and will make components that already run hot rise to dangerous temperatures.
The best laptop cooling pads can also be a godsend if your laptop tends to run hot or has no cooling installed. Lastly, a high-quality cooling pad can help temperatures drop as much as 30 degrees, so even if it isn’t necessary you will see an increase in performance.
How Laptop Cooling Pads Work
The best gaming laptop cooling pads use active or passive methods to cool a laptop while resting beneath it. Active cooling pads will utilize fans or liquid cooling to direct heat away from the laptop; On the other hand, passive cooling relies on thermally conductive materials and/or increasing airflow to your laptop. Active coolers can work for as long as you’re using them, but a passive cooling pad only allows for six to eight hours of cooling.
Can You Use Cooling Pads on Your Lap?
You absolutely can. It makes using the laptop more comfortable and it prevents the laptop from burning your skin. This is particularly notable for gamers, where extended period on the laptop are likely. Some cooling pads are even specifically built for use on your lap. Cooling pads also prevent you from accidentally covering fan vents, so that’s another benefit.
Features To Look For
- Versatility – You want one that is suitable for use with a variety of machines, from ultra-slim macbooks to bulky gaming laptops. Preferably it will also have adjustable height settings or angle settings. Depending on how you intend to use the pad, height adjustment is important to maintain an optimal viewing angle. Particularly if you are using it in conjunction with a laptop cooling stand.
- Safety – Make sure the laptop cooling pad is rated for the length of time you need it. For instance, if you are likely to need one for 8 hours of continuous use, get on that is rated to handle that. Also, look for a chill mat that is anti-skid, or anti-slip to prevent any mishaps from unexpected movements. A good cable management system is also a handy thing to have built in.
- Connectivity – the best laptop cooling pad should improve your experience or at least ‘add’ to it. So extra USB ports, single fan or multiple integrated fans are always a plus. RGB lighting can add a nice aesthetic plus, but may drain your laptop battery, it’s all a matter of choice.
- Materials – It’s preferable to have a breathable material to keep the temp down over long periods of time. A mesh surface is good, especially if there is no built in fan in the cooling pad.
The Best Gaming Laptop Cooling Pads 2020
If you want a stylish cooling pad that adds some new functionality to your laptop, DEEPCOOL’s N80 Cooling Pad is a great choice. It features two 140mm fans, adjustable angles, two additional USB ports and can hold laptops of up to 17.3 inches; It also has some really slick RGB lighting that adds flair to your laptop.
- Dual USB hub is incredibly helpful; They’re also USB 3.0, which is another plus
- It’s pretty lightweight
- Made with metal, so the pad handles heat well
- Open-grid design ensures vital cooling is delivered to your laptop
- It’s pretty quiet for the cooling power it brings
- Sleek and interesting design
- Bigger laptops won’t fit as well and will hang off the sides
- It can only adjust to two different angles
- Although the RGB lighting is cool, it will suck up your laptop’s battery and there’s no way to turn it off
HAVIT has your cooling needs covered with a pad that features a sleek design and five LED fans. One of the fans is 110mm while the others are 85mm; It also comes with two extra USB ports. Lastly, it features two adjustable heights and an ergonomic design.
- Extra USB ports are always a plus
- Excellent bang for your buck
- Adjustable fan speeds; As an added bonus, the fans are fairly quiet
- Comfortably fits on your lap or on a desk
- Open mesh material design lets air move freely, preventing build up of hot air.
- Can’t turn off the LED lights
- Its USB ports can only handle low-power devices like mice and keyboards
Cooler Master is known for providing reliable cooling products to PC builders, but they do have some great cooling pads for laptops. One of these is their NotePal cooling pad; It features a 160mm fan, a USB pass-through system to save a USB port and two different height settings.
- Super light-weight and space-efficient design
- The pass-through system saves a USB port
- It doesn’t have LED lighting that’s unnecessarily draining your body
- Made with high-quality and durable materials that handle heat well; It has good airflow
- Comfortably fits on your lap
- It provides amazing cooling, even if it’s only using one fan
- Doesn’t provide extra USB ports or other extra features that other cooling pads offer
- Somewhat dull design
- Can’t adjust the speed of the fan
Thermaltake wanted to make a cooling pad that rivals desktop cooling systems and it seems like they did just that with their Massive cooling pad. Its main features include two 120mm fans, a temperature sensor and a control panel to change and lock fan speeds.
- Monitors your laptop’s temperature so you can avoid overheating
- Being able to control the fans is a great feature that other cooling pads lack
- Provides fairly good cooling
- Comes with a spare USB port to cover for losing one
- Excellent minimalist design
- Its design promotes airflow and uses materials that hold temperatures well
- Supports larger laptops better than most cooling pads
- Some customers have issues with its durability
- It has a loud noise level
- The auto-cooling setting doesn’t work well; You’ll have to adjust fan speeds manually
If you want a cool design and excellent performance, TopMate has you covered with their TM-3 cooling pad. It features one large fan and four smaller fans; All of them have a blue LED. It also comes with a flap to stop laptops from sliding and a control panel that can switch to six different fan speeds.
- Excellent and stylish design that looks cool while keeping your laptop cool
- Its adjustable stand lets you utilize five different heights
- The pad gives you full control of fan speed; You can even turn certain fans on or off
- Aerodynamic mesh promotes good airflow
- The flap should keep your laptop from slipping
- LEDs are always on and they will drain your battery
- Doesn’t provide extra features that other cooling pads offer
- Only fits smaller laptops of 15.6 inches or less
If you need a big cooling pad for your laptop, Thermaltake’s massive 18.5 inch cooling pad has you covered. It features stylish RGB lighting, a 200mm fan and a control panel to easily change lighting and fan speeds.
- Supports large laptops easily
- It looks beautiful and you can do a lot with the RGB lighting
- Three adjustable heights to keep you comfortable
- You can turn the lighting off so it doesn’t drain your battery
- The 200mm fan is quiet and provides excellent cooling
- It’s fairly durable and it’s made with high-quality steel mesh that handles heat well
- Requires two USB ports if you’re planning to use the RGB lighting
- Doesn’t come with extra USB ports
- USB cables are USB 2.0
Have you ever wished you could have all the functionality of the desk with the portability of a cooling pad? MAX SMART gives you just that with their portable lap desk.
- Fits most laptops
- You can easily use it on your lap
- It’s fairly light-weight for everything it offers
- Five different angles adjustments
- Also has a tablet holder
- A good lap desk but not great for cooling