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Excessive heat can be lethal to a laptop, leading to problems like sudden shutdowns, and damage to the inner components — not to mention getting too hot to comfortably live up to its name and physically remain on your lap.
That’s where a laptop cooling pad can work wonders. It provides an instant increase of cool air from powerful fans to cool things down and dissipate heat inside your laptop, sometimes in just under a minute. This eliminates the need for the little fan inside your machine, preventing wear and tear on the internal parts.
What to Look For in a Good Laptop Cooling Pad
Here’s what you need to know about shopping for the best laptop cooling pad for your needs.
Airflow: When talking about laptop fans or cooling pads, air is measured in cubic feet per minute, but other factors greatly affect it just as much, like the number of fans, and their revolutions per minute (rpm).
Durability: Even if you’re not a gamer, video editor, or something that puts a significant strain on your laptop, it’s still best to go for a pad designed for heavy usage, as it can handle the intense heat.
Noise Level: Fans from a cooling pad can get noisy, which is a particular pain if you’re going to be on conference calls, Zoom meetings, or anything where loud whirring is going to be a background distraction that makes you harder to hear. Cooling pads in recent years have gotten more efficient, and quieter — 20-25db should be a level you can comfortably talk over without having to shout. Fan speed affects this too, and though a lot of it depends on build quality, a fan that runs at around 700rpm is a manageable noise level. Some pads even let you control each fan individually, occasionally with a little built-in screen.
Connections: A pad with some extra USB slots isn’t crucial, but it’s really a nice perk to plug in more devices, particularly if the cooling pad covers up your laptop’s ports or it requires its own spot for power. Same with LED/RBG lights, which can provide a cool aesthetic on the outside while fans keep your laptop’s insides cool. Keep in mind though, that a power button to control these lights is something to consider if you’d rather switch them off while working.
To keep things neat and tidy, pads also occasionally include a cable management option, making it easier to run your wires to either side and keep a clutter-free workspace.
Sizing: Be sure to check the measurements of your laptop cooling pad, and ensure that the pad will cover the entire footprint of your laptop. If it’s a couple inches short, it’ll still work, but not as well as intended, and can be wobbly and unsteady if it doesn’t support the weight.
Comfort: Ergonomics are also important. It can be tough to find a comfortable position when working on just a laptop, causing strain and pain on your neck, back, and shoulders. But another nice option with most cooling pads is the adjustable height and angle. Along with preventing overheating, these can open up new positions to work with, allowing you (and your laptop) to go longer without breaking a sweat or straining a muscle.
What Are the Best Laptop Cooling Pads?
So what makes a laptop cooling pad a top pick? It really all comes down to what you’re using your laptop for, how much stress you’re putting on its parts, and where you’ll be using it most. Some stands will be ideal for a desk setup, while others might be a better fit for those who like to stay in bed or curl up on a couch. Wherever you choose to do, whether working, watching, or gaming, these ensure your laptop will keep cool under pressure every time.
1. KLIM Ultimate + RGB Laptop Cooling Pad
At only 960 grams total, KLIM’s Ultimate is light, portable, and protected by a metal grid panel. This beast of a cooling pad is tough enough to get knocked around in transit, survive drops and falls, and still emerge strong and solid.
The 200mm, 750rpm fan provides a powerful blast of cool air to instantly calm your laptop, and is surprisingly silent even on the highest setting (only 23dBA). It’s easily adjustable with a sliding control, as are the accompanying RGB lights with buttons right nextdoor. Visually, the lighting gives off a nice vibe without being distracting, and is customizable with seven colors and five effects, including bright, breathing, and an all-out rainbow flashiness.
This connects via an 80cm USB cable (with two plugs, but only one is needed – the other can be made into an additional port with the right adapter). It’s compatible with laptops from 10″ up to 17″, but can handle a 19-inch without getting wobbly. The angle can also be simply set as well, locking in as steep or flat as you need it. This is even built to balance a PS4, making it an all-around efficient choice for your entire electronic setup.
The company is near-instantaneous to respond if there’s any issues, in multiple languages, and has a great sense of humor in their packaging notes too. There’s also some neat glossy KLIM stickers included, to slap onto your laptop while it chills atop its new breezy throne.
2. Havit HV-F2056 Laptop Cooling Pad
The fans on this Havit spin at 1000rpm, providing 65cpm of airflow, along with two adjustable height settings and plenty of tilt angles to find the most ergonomic position for all day or all-nighters.
Despite it’s minimal weight, this can still support a 15.6 to 17-inch laptop steadily, with its non-slip feet and stable build. There are also two extra USB ports on the back, which is always a plus. This model comes with on/off switchable blue LED lights, but there’s also a slightly different one with red if that’s more your style.
3. TopMate C5 Gaming Laptop Cooling Pad
With a large powerful main fan in the center surrounded by four outer fans, the TopMate sends a steady gust of chilly air to your laptop when it’s needed most. There are six wind speeds, and three fan modes, along with a small LCD screen and control panel to switch it all up.
It also provides relief to your neck and shoulders when sitting for long stretches, thanks to the adjustable heights and tilting combinations to get comfortable. The conveniently placed flap folds up for sharp angles, ensuring your laptop doesn’t slip off and come crashing down.
4. TECKNET Laptop Cooling Pad
This USB-powered unit features twin fans that are powerful enough to cool, and quiet enough to not interfere with any media that’s playing.
Whether on a couch, bed, or desk, this can adjust accordingly with no worries about venting. The anti-skid metal mesh base provides steadiness on just about any surface, and grip pads in the base are an extra safety step to lock it in place.
This fits laptops from 12-16 inches, and doesn’t add much weight when on your literal lap – only 1.76 pounds. It folds down easily so you can take it with you too, whether you’re heading to a meeting, or working on your computer from a library or cafe.