A laptop tends to heat up pretty quickly. Who could blame them? In today’s world, laptops are used for a variety of graphics-intensive and high-performance activities requiring a high processor speed.
When laptops are used continuously for hours on end, they become very hot. With desktop PCs, the cooling fans on the CPUs can help reduce the amount of heat.
There is, however, an alternative solution for laptops, which are known as laptop cooling pads, which increase the efficiency of the machine. The cooking pads function very similarly to the cooling fans in desktop computers. Does this really work?
The following article will tell you whether or not laptop cooling pads are worth the purchase.
Table of Content
- What is a Laptop Cooling Pad?
- How Do Laptop Cooling Pads Work?
- 5 Best Cooling Pads for Laptop
- FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Laptop Cooling Pad?
Cooling pads for laptops are platforms that can be placed underneath the computer to assist in cooling it during periods of heavy use. An ideal laptop cooling pad reduces the laptop’s operating temperature. In order to provide cooling, these cooling pads either provide active cooling or passive cooling support. Passive cooling pads either passively move air away from the computer or use thermally conductive materials to passively protect the device. Typically, active cooling pads use built-in fans to provide this cooling functionality and move air away from the laptop. However, that’s not always all they offer. Other models come with built-in USB hubs, different fan speeds, and more.
How Do Laptop Cooling Pads Work?
You can place a laptop cooling pad on your desk and every time the laptop heats up, the fans in the pad begin circulating cool air. It can pass enough air to sort of calm down the laptop by regulating the cooling pad’s temperature.
When the laptop is cooled down, it actually enhances its performance and provides a better user experience. A laptop that is cooled down is able to process information faster and more conveniently than one that is overheating.
Cooling pads are like fans or air conditioners for a workplace. Let’s say that it’s hot outside and you need some cool air to function more effectively. You perform better when you are hit with that gentle breeze from the AC, don’t you think? Cooling pads and laptops perform the same way.
Do Laptop Cooling Pads Really Work?
The short answer is yes, laptop cooling pads work. To an extent, at least. It is possible to lower the temperature of a heated laptop by a few degrees by using laptop cooling pads. Using a good cooling pad leads to a 14-degree drop in temperature on average. Nevertheless, some cooling pads are able to drop the temperature by as much as 30 degrees!
The cooling pads we tested did a great job at cooling down a variety of laptops ranging from low performance, midrange laptops to powerful workstation computers with heavy graphics.
In some cases, laptop coolers only reduced the temperature by a few degrees, but in others, the drop was significant. This proves that laptop coolers are effective.
Evaluating Laptop Coolers
Our tests produced a great deal of data, but figuring out what that data meant — and how it related to our goals — was another matter. External cooling is different for each of our three laptops for different reasons. Depending on the hardware that each test was run on, we were not entirely certain how well cooling would affect results.
Ultimately, we came up with five numbers: change in CPU performance, change in external temperatures, change in internal temperatures, and two sets for gaming performance. It would seem that these numbers would provide a clear picture of which cooling pads provide what benefits, and which product provides the most benefits, but that’s not quite the case.
It is clear that there are two things. They do vary in the degree of cooling effectiveness. Our three laptops’ internal temperatures dropped by up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit after averaging multiple tests across multiple tests. Overall, laptop coolers dropped 13 degrees, but some dropped closer to 1 or 2 degrees.
Additionally, you will likely see a very slight increase in performance due to this cooling. According to our benchmark tests, all the pads we examined performed better on average. The trouble is, the improvements are extremely modest. For instance, processing speed increased by less than 2 percent. There’s no way you’ll notice an improvement like that in daily use.
The game performance also improved, but let’s be clear – a cooling pad cannot magically turn your laptop into one that can play games that it cannot. On most cooling pads we tested, what we saw was an improvement in Dirt 3 when running with integrated graphics. However, the inexpensive HP Pavilion x360 actually saw a slight decrease in frame rates (less than 1 frame per second) when we tested it with integrated graphics. Despite the improvements (up to 20 frames per second), the HP Envy 17 and MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro were already delivering smooth frame rates, so the difference will be minimal.
So Who Does Need a Cooling Pad?
Obviously, none of this means you should not buy a laptop cooler. The use of a cooling pad in certain circumstances may be just what you need, and they are an inexpensive way to deal with a few irritating issues.
You may benefit from a cooling pad if your laptop gets too hot – meaning it shuts down or reboots too frequently or becomes too hot to touch – so you can get more use out of it. However, it only solves a short-term problem. Your laptop will run so hot that you could make a grilled cheese sandwich on it, if not both, it needs either repairing or cleaning. It is likely dust is responsible for clogging the fan vents and choking the cooling system. The dust bunnies may need to be shot out of the chassis, or you may be able to clean them out with compressed air.
When you’ve pushed your system to the limit, a cooler can also come in handy. Although your Pentium-powered laptop can run the latest version of the Sims, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s well-suited to it. In these situations, a cooling pad may be helpful to prevent the laptop from getting overheated. However, our testing data makes it quite clear that a fan can only serve as a cooling device; without a magic wand, it can’t produce more frames. Rather, it can keep your laptop a little cooler.
Another consideration is the comfort of your desk. You may want to blow that hot air elsewhere if your laptop continuously belches hot air at you like steam pouring from a subway grate. You can definitely benefit from a laptop cooler in this situation. In addition to improving your posture and reducing neck pain, raising up your laptop screen from your desk and lowering the angle can also be an ergonomic benefit.
5 Best Cooling Pads for Laptop
As a general rule, laptop cooling pads ensure that good airflow is maintained within your device. The air intake on your laptop can be smothered if you place it on a pillow or blanket, but not if you use a laptop cooling pad. In addition, many laptops have fans that blow air through the internals and chassis, which can help keep them cool. In addition to helping keep your laptop cooler, it can also keep it more comfortable. As a buffer between your warm laptop and your skin, these pads can be particularly useful for keeping your legs comfortable.
There are likely a few little fans inside your laptop that are working as hard as they can to keep it cool. The fan is required only if it’s not passively cooled, in which case there would be none. On its own, you can’t significantly boost that cooling capacity for your laptop, but the Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB allows you to remove a bunch of hot air from it, ensuring that both it and your lap stay cooler as well.
The Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB’s cooling is provided by a mesh top and a single 200mm fan. While this may not sound like much compared to a cooler with tons of small fans, it does have the advantage of moving a large amount of air while spinning slower for extra quiet operation. In addition, Thermaltake allows you to adjust the speed of the fan in order to maintain maximum cooling or be as quiet as possible. Besides the stylish RGB lighting around the edge of the pad, this cooling pad also is designed with an RGB design.
Cooler Master utilizes its cooling expertise to deliver a product designed for laptop users with the Cooler Master NotePal XL. A company is known for its desktop PC components, specifically cooling accessories.
The pad’s cooling task is handled by a 230 mm fan, which produces impressive airflow over its entire surface. There are near-silent optimized blades with an airflow rating of 89.8CFM, neon-blue X-shaped LEDs, and an RPM range between 600 and 1000 RPM. With this approach, you get top-of-the-line cooling performance with whisper-quiet operation, dropping down to 19 dBA, roughly the volume of a whisper or the sound of leaves rustling.
On the back, there is a USB hub with three USB 2.0 ports as well as a fan speed dial that supports laptops up to 17 inches. On top of the fan is a mesh platform made of full metal, and an air vent circulates air through the front to help disperse heat.
Although the Cooler Master NotePal XL boasts impressive cooling performance and remarkably quiet operation, the lack of adjustable options makes it slightly inferior to the Kootek. The only way to alter the angle of the pad meaningfully is to flip the two anti-slip feet mounted on the rear a few degrees. Pads tilted at an ergonomic angle are a good feature, but we would have liked a bit more versatility in finding the right fit.
The Cooler Master NotePal XL is a good choice for those looking for quiet operation. The cooling performance here is surprisingly good at a reasonable price.
Unlike many cooling pads, laptops are preferred for their portability, so most cooling pads cannot perch on your lap. In addition to doubling as both a desk and lap cooling pad, the Targus Chill Mat was designed specifically with that purpose in mind.
Targus Chill Mat is primarily designed for practicality and features a no-frills tilted construction free from unnecessary RGB lighting, so there’s no excess lighting. The laptop is cooled by two fans, which deliver air to the computer. Featuring an open grill surface and open sides, this grill allows extra air circulation.
However, the cooling performance lags behind the options above, but it is adequate for watching movies on the couch or browsing tab-intensively. With the laptop holder, the heat is effectively eliminated from its most common source – contact with blankets, pillows, and the body. Note that this pad has a maximum volume of around 50 decibels, which places it among the loudest in our guide.
There are no adjustment options due to the wedge design, but since the pad is light, it can be easily moved around the lap to find a comfortable position. Due to its slight angle, we found the pad to be very comfortable to use. In addition to four USB ports, the pad has rubber pads that help secure the laptop, as well as velcro straps to keep cables organized.
We recommend this best-selling Kootek cooling pad if you’re looking for a cooling pad with plenty of features. There are five cooling fans on this cooling pad. In terms of convenience, you can choose to activate just the main fan, four or five fans, but unfortunately, you cannot disable the LED lights on the main fan. The bulbs can be very bright and can be eye-straining, particularly in a dark room.
Power can be obtained through a USB cable integrated into the cooling pad’s design. As with most other models, the USB port that powers the fan is generally the one with dual USB ports. This device consists of an extra port for plugging in gaming peripherals, such as a mouse, keyboard, or hard drive.
The base of the laptop stand can be adjusted in height, and two stoppers will keep your laptop from sliding off. A 17-inch laptop may be used with the stand.
AFMAT’s cooling pad would be a great choice if you feel like your laptop is running a fever all day long and are willing to pay for superior cooling technology. A “twin-turbo supercharged” blower is featured in this splurge-worthy option that reaches 4,500 revolutions per minute.
Air is forced into the vents at the bottom of the cooler by an airtight rubber seal, further enhancing the cooling effect. Two removable and washable air filters keep dust to a minimum, making it one of the few laptop cooling pads with this feature.
With one stand, you can adjust the height seven times, control the wind speed three times, and use two USB ports. It supports laptops up to 17 inches in size. This cooling pad is of course more expensive than others given its heavy feature set. The end result might just be the cooling solution you’ve been looking for since this model drops laptop temps by an astounding 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Keep Your Laptop Cool
Following the best practices for preventing overheating will make your cooling pad most effective. Take a look at some methods to decrease the likelihood that your laptop will ever overheat again.
Check & Clean Fans
Checking and cleaning fans periodically is crucial to ensure they are not clogged. Dust and debris clogging the air vents will make your laptop work harder, resulting in it overheating.
Ensure that you don’t have too many tabs open and too many applications open
Your laptop becomes more resource-intensive if you have many tabs open and many applications running. If you open a number of browsers and applications simultaneously for a period of time, your laptop may overheat. To prevent overheating, ensure that your laptop is not working harder than it needs to.
Place laptop on a flat surface
Overheating laptops is one of the most common problems caused by blocked air vents. While using their laptop, many people place their laptops on their laps to prevent overheating. This blocks vents and makes your laptop work harder and reduces performance.
Keep Your Laptop Away From Extreme Weather Conditions
Direct sun exposure or extremely cold temperatures are two other common causes of laptop overheating. If your laptop is exposed to sunlight, it will heat up even if you are not overusing it. If you are exposed to extreme cold weather conditions, batteries will run out faster.
Benefits of Laptop Cooling Pads
Using laptop cooling pads has several benefits:
Using laptop cooling pads can reduce the temperature of your computer, and reduce the likelihood of overheating (which is detrimental, if not fatal, for laptops).
Greater Physical Comfort
On our laps, we all know what it’s like to have a warm (or even a hot) laptop. Laptops can be uncomfortable to use. With a cooling pad, you can regulate the temperature of your work area regardless of whether the laptop is on your lap, on a desk, or on a table. Being more comfortable will help you be more productive as well! By providing additional height to your work setup, laptop cooling pads can also lead to greater physical comfort. With the addition of a laptop cooling pad, you can reduce neck strain and improve productivity.
Easy to use
Laptop cooling pads are easy to use as well, which is another benefit. Getting started is easy, and the pad doesn’t require any training. Simply place the pad on top of your computer, turn it on when needed, and you’re ready to go.
In addition to additional USB ports, many laptop cooling pads offer benefits such as easy connection to multiple external devices.
If You’re Going to Buy a Cooling Pad
Having read this article and looking at what you can and cannot expect from a cooling pad, if you still want to purchase one, here is some friendly advice to help you make the most out of your purchase.
First, paying a lot is unnecessary. It was not possible for us to find a correlation between price or brand with either cooling performance or overall performance. You may be able to cool your laptop just as well or even better with a $20 cooler from a brand you may not be familiar with.
There’s nothing complex about the technology behind a cooling pad – it’s just a stand for a laptop with a fan mounted on it. This design is not particularly effective in the best of circumstances, so there is no secret sauce that makes it more effective. It has not been found necessary to pay anything more than $30 for a laptop cooler unless you are paying for additional features.
The second step is to consider how you are going to use it. Consider Targus Lap Chill Mat AWE55US if you need something that you can use away from a desk; it has neoprene padding for comfort and no riser feet that will stab you in the leg. A lightweight cooler that fits in your laptop bag is ideal if you need something you can take with you. You’ll have a better experience overall if you match the design to your use.
Third, even cooling is not always as important as features. A cooling pad with a USB hub built-in is the best choice if you want to maximize your investment. You won’t notice any improvement in cooling, but at least you’ll have an extra port available.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
It’s a proven fact that laptop cooling pads work. They keep your laptop from overheating by providing the perfect environment. However, they do not prevent your laptop from overheating due to faulty practices.
If you overwork your laptop by leaving multiple tabs open for too long, playing a hardware-intensive game, or playing multiple browsers, your laptop will overheat, since this puts pressure on its resources to maintain performance. A bad laptop care schedule will cause your laptop to overwork and use additional resources that can’t be easily cooled with a laptop cooling pad. If you keep your laptop in good condition, you can keep it cool by using a cooling pad. This will keep your laptop at the correct temperature and will minimize the chances of it overheating. I hope you found this article helpful.