Because of their design, they don’t dissipate heat as well as traditional tower PCs, which is especially important given the trend of cramming more powerful components into ever-smaller chassis. While these temperatures are generally within manufacturers’ acceptable ranges, as a business owner, it’s difficult to dismiss the possibility that they could cause permanent damage, or, less alarmingly, throttle performance, or result in unwelcome shutdowns and lost time.
Extra fans blowing fresh air into your laptop and heat-dissipating materials can help keep the insides of your laptop cool. To that end, in today’s product guide, we’ve compiled a list of the best of them. Third-party accessories, particularly the laptop cooling pad, are here to help mitigate all of this.
Products at a Glance
Because laptop cooling pads are a relatively niche product, there aren’t as many options as there are for other PC-related accessories. Nonetheless, if you don’t know what to look for, there’s enough variety to leave you scratching your head in bewilderment.
The most important features were cooling performance and related features such as fan count, size, airflow, and performance. Design, comfort, noise levels, connectivity, and the size of laptops that can be accommodated all played a role. Several key factors were considered when evaluating laptop cooling pads. Of course, the cost changed as well; not everyone can or wants to spend a lot of money on accessories.
Our search yielded five laptop pads that, in our opinion, provide the best bang for your buck and will keep even the most powerful laptops cool while performing the most demanding tasks. Let’s get started. Below is a brief review of each cooling pad, as well as a list of benefits and drawbacks. In order to cover as many bases as possible, we’ve chosen options from a variety of well-known brands and budgets.
Best Laptop Cooling Pad in 2021
A bit ‘plasticy’
The Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5 was by far the best laptop cooling pad we tested, with cooling performance that was unsurpassed.
For maximum laptop surface coverage, it has one large 120 mm fan in the center flanked by four 70 mm fans in the corners. That’s a lot of fans, but Kootek did a good job of designing quiet models, and we found noise levels to be within acceptable limits. LED lights are mounted on them for added visual appeal.
The metal mesh platform, as well as the sturdy but lightweight chassis, all help to dissipate heat. Temperature drops in the double digits were recorded, demonstrating how well the Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5 keeps laptops cool.
A dual USB hub is also included for connecting peripherals like a mouse and keyboard. In addition, the two-switch controls let you choose whether to run all five fans, the four peripheral fans, or the large center fan, depending on your needs. With a deck-chair style mechanism that allows six adjustable angle settings (0 to 25 degrees) and two pull-up stoppers on the front to prevent laptops measuring anywhere from 12 to 17 inches from slipping when angled high, the Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5 is well served in adjustments.
The impressive cooling performance of the Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5 comes at a very reasonable price, making it our top pick for the best laptop cooling pad. This is unusual, but we couldn’t find anything negative to say about this excellent cooling pad.
Limited angle adjustment
Cooler Master leverages its cooling know-how to deliver a product geared toward laptop users with the Cooler Master NotePal XL. With an established reputation in desktop PC components, particularly cooling accessories, Cooler Master leverages its cooling know-how to deliver a product geared toward laptop users with the Cooler Master NotePal XL.
The fan has near-silent optimized blades, an airflow rating of 89.8 CFM, a neon-blue X-shaped LED, and an RPM range of 600-1000 RPM. As a result, top-tier cooling performance is combined with whisper-quiet operation, with noise levels as low as 19 dBA, or about the same as a whisper or the sound of leaves rustling. The cooling work is done by a massive 230 mm fan, which does an excellent job of producing impressive airflow across the pad’s entire surface.
A full-metal mesh platform sits atop the fan, and a front-facing vent circulates air for additional heat dissipation. The pad can accommodate laptops up to 17 inches in size and features a USB hub with three USB 2.0 ports and a fan speed dial on the back.
Because of its limited adjustment options, the Cooler Master NotePal XL ranks slightly lower than the Kootek despite its impressive cooling performance and whisper-quiet operation. There’s no way to adjust the pad in any meaningful way, aside from two flip anti-slip feet on the back that raise the angle by a few degrees. The tilted position of the pads is ergonomically sound, but we wish there was a little more flexibility in finding the right fit.
The Cooler Master NotePal XL is a good choice for those who want quiet operation. For the cooling performance on offer, the price is very reasonable.
Compatible with 19-inch laptops
Better cooling performance found elsewhere
Gaming laptops generate a lot of heat, especially when they’re playing the most demanding games. The KLIM Ultimate RGB Laptop Cooling Pad is here to help. Despite the fact that manufacturers have made significant progress in recent years in equipping laptops with relatively efficient cooling solutions, the laptop gaming experience is still hampered.
Due to the smaller single fan setup, performance isn’t quite on par with the Kootek or Cooler Master options, but it’s more than enough to handle anything you can throw at the pad. We were impressed with how well the pad kept temperatures under control during our time with it, especially with high-end gaming laptops with dedicated GPUs. The laptop is supported by a full-metal platform that also helps with cooling. A powerful 200 mm fan with a 750 rpm motor ensures quiet operation and good airflow.
The pad has a distinct look that complements gaming setups, as well as an RGB lip with five different effects and seven different colors to choose from for the ultimate customized light show. The KLIM Ultimate RGB Laptop Cooling Pad’s cooling performance, as well as its appearance, complement gaming rigs.
It has a fan speed dial on the back and can support laptops up to 17 inches. The KLIM Ultimate RGB Laptop Cooling Pad features a lawn-chair style mechanism with four different angle settings to find the perfect ergonomic fit.
Nonetheless, given everything the KLIM Ultimate RGB Laptop Cooling Pad has to offer, we felt the extra money was justified. The higher price tag reflects the RGB customization and sturdy construction.
LED light is a little redundant
A limited budget can limit your options, particularly if you want a cooling pad from a well-known brand. Thankfully, the Thermaltake Massive V20 delivers on that front, leveraging Thermaltake’s decades of cooling expertise to deliver a pad that, despite its low price, oozes with value.
A dial on the back of the fan can be used to change the speed. The Thermaltake Massive V20, like the Cooler Master and KLIM cooling pads before it, makes use of a large 200 mm fan, hence the Massive moniker. The fan generates enough airflow (70.38 CFM) to keep the laptop cool, and it’s flanked by a roomy hexagon mesh surface for added airflow. Because of the RPM range of 600 to 800, noise levels reach 31.7 dBA, which is comparable to those found in more expensive models.
A handy USB extender, cable management, and anti-slip pads prevent the laptop from shifting and wobbling around on the mesh platform are all included in the pad. Apart from a pair of flip-up stands, the Thermaltake Massive V20 has an ergonomic design with a comfortable angle and height.
Although the Thermaltake Massive V20 has a blue LED on the fan, the light it emits isn’t particularly bright, and it’s hidden by the laptop, so it’s essentially useless.
Perfect for lap use
Cooling performance as good as others
The Targus Chill Mat is specifically designed for this purpose, serving as both a desk and a lap cooling pad. While most cooling pads are designed to be used on a desk, laptops are preferred for their portability, and most cooling pads are too bulky to be used on your lap.
The Targus Chill Mat is primarily designed for practicality, with a slimmer design than other pads and a no-frills, tilted construction free of excess, so no unwanted RGB lighting here. Two fans are in charge of cooling the laptop, pumping air up to it. Extra air circulation is provided by open sides and a ventilated grill surface.
When using a laptop casually, it effectively avoids the most common source of heat – contact with the body, pillows, and blankets. It’s worth noting that the pad is one of the loudest in our review, with a maximum volume of around 50 decibels. While the cooling performance falls short of the options above, it is adequate for watching movies on the couch or doing some tab-intensive browsing.
There are no adjustment options due to the wedge design, but because the pad is lightweight, it can easily be shifted around on the lap to find a comfortable position. We found the slight incline to be conducive to a relaxing experience. Four USB ports, anti-slip rubber pads to secure the laptop, velcro straps for cable management, and a sturdy construction round out the features.
Things To Consider
Pay close attention to the lower and upper laptop size limits for any cooling pads you might want to add to your setup, whether you’re working with a small 12-inch device or a massive 17-inch monster.
These are usually available on the manufacturer’s website. As a result, before purchasing, double-check the dimensions. A laptop that sits beyond the cooling pad’s edges will benefit from some cooling, but the benefits will pale in comparison to what you can expect from a cooling pad that covers the entire chassis. To ensure proper ventilation and avoid unwanted movement or unsteadiness while in use, double-check that your entire laptop is seated on the cooling pad.
Most only allow laptops with a screen size of up to 17 inches. If you have one, pay special attention to whether or not a laptop cooling pad can accommodate it. Laptops larger than 17 inches do exist, though they are much rarer.
Comfort and Adjustments
Anti-slip feet and front-mounted stoppers are useful additions in this regard. Laptops don’t have the same ergonomics as their desktop counterparts. To that end, laptop cooling pads with adjustment options, particularly the angle and height, are highly recommended. Slanted-profile cooling pads exacerbate the disparity by exacerbating pains and strains associated with poor ergonomic positioning.
The amount of customization available varies by model; some offer a wide range of viewing angles, while others may only offer one or two. You should look for a laptop pad that doesn’t have a preset position, as this will give you more flexibility in finding the perfect fit. These are the tools you’ll need to zero in on a more comfortable position.
Similarly, some laptop cooling pads are better for use on a desk, while others shine when used on the lap. Choose one that corresponds to the location where you’ll be using your laptop.
Fans and Noise Levels
For the most part, this shouldn’t be a problem, but for those who require a quiet working environment, whether for video calls or audio work, these can be a real pain. Fans invariably produce noise, and as a result, cooling pads can generate quite a ruckus.
Fan rotational speed (RPM), fan size, and pad build quality, particularly the chassis’ materials and heat-dissipating properties, all play a role. Similarly, the amount of heat generated by the laptop determines how hard a cooling pad must work – web browsing and gaming place drastically different demands on the device.
The noise level range you can expect from a given model, listed in decibels, is usually shared by manufacturers. For those concerned about noise, cooling pads with fan speed controls are also recommended. These enable the user to achieve the ideal balance of cooling and noise.
Overall, the Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5 provides the best cooling performance available. It’s a no-brainer for those who want the best out there, thanks to its good looks and useful features like a USB hub and adjustment options.
The Cooler Master NotePal XL is equally impressive. At a very reasonable price, whisper-quiet operation is combined with excellent cooling performance. This is the cooling pad to use if you want to be as quiet as possible.
It not only has customizable RGB lighting and a large quiet fan, but it’s also the best at handling gaming laptops’ larger footprint. We recommend the KLIM Ultimate RGB Laptop Cooling Pad for gamers.
We believe you’ll find a worthy cooling pad in the Thermaltake Massive V20, which is both efficient and straightforward. Do you have a limited budget to work with? Finally, for those who prefer to work on their laps, the Targus Chill Mat provides adequate cooling in a slim, compact package.
Hopefully, the above information aids you in selecting a pad that meets your requirements, or at the very least provides a snapshot of what’s available to supplement your research. With that, your guide to the best laptop cooling pads comes to a close. If you have any further questions, please leave them in the comments section below.