Today’s article is aimed at answering a fundamental question for laptop users: are laptop coolers worth it? Are they any good? Does it make sense investing one’s hard-earned dollars into such a gadget? The short answer is yes, and after finishing reading today’s guide, you’ll be able to get the best laptop cooling pad available on the market for your beloved laptop.
Even if laptops already won the battle with the old-school PC, due to their mobility and the huge advances in information technology, portable computers still have some disadvantages compared to regular desktops. Back in the day, only hackers and business-men used laptops, as they were very expensive, relatively slow compared to their desktop brethren and rather bulky, as per today standards.
[amazon box=”B07CGMHP24,B07QKR6MB8,B0079T2KHG,B00J0NZYOK,B014F4SBMK,B01469DJLM,B01NACVLWM,B07WRD5542,B077974X66″ template=”table”]
Yes, laptops in 2019 are more affordable, better looking, sleeker and immensely powerful compared to what was available 10 years ago, yet the fundamental problem is still here: heat.
Why Buy a Laptop Cooler
If you’re a heavy-duty laptop user, as if you’re into gaming, video editing or things of that nature (CPU/GPU intensive tasks), you already know that most laptops will get hot under stress, and sometimes they even shut down in order to protect their hardware from overheating. That’s due to their high-end GPUs and CPUs, which are currently found inside expensive laptops. This type of hardware consumes a lot of power and thus creates a lot of heat when under stress.
Unlike PCs, laptops have an inherent issue with dissipating heat. By design, there’s not enough space for proper ventilation (big fans, big heat sinks) in a laptop, as consumers are looking for a piece of gear which is as slim and as portable as possible. Hence, a laptop’s chassis is prone to suffering from ventilation issues, when under heavy use.
The obvious solution for heavy-duty users is to purchase the best laptop cooler they can afford. The general rule of thumb is that gaming laptops, laptops for video editing and even high-end business laptops can benefit from a cooling pad, as these gadgets provide for better ventilation, which results into your machine running cooler. And yes, that further translates into better overall performance and a longer life-span for essential components, like the GPU or the processor.
How to Choose a Laptop Cooler
When it comes to ventilation, there are 2 main types of laptops: the ones that exhaust hot-air from the bottom, and the ones that pull air from the bottom and exhaust it on the sides. Hence, there are 2 types of laptop coolers to choose from, depending on what type of laptop you own: coolers that push air towards the bottom of your machine, and coolers that pull air away from the bottom.
Obviously, the laptop cooler must have a proper size and shape to match your laptop’s. Keep in mind to avoid buying the wrong type of laptop cooler for your machine, as you may end up hurting your laptop instead of helping it, i.e. choosing a cooler that pushes air towards the bottom of your laptop, while your machine exhausts hot-air from the bottom, makes for a no-no procedure.
There are many designs to choose from, and various qualities (reflected in price), but generally speaking, look for a laptop cooler with a big fan or multiple smaller fans that can be moved around to match your laptop’s air-intakes on the bottom; also, keep in mind that a cooling pad with a high CFM (cubic feet per minute) will move more air compared to smaller ones.
There are also passive laptop coolers, which don’t have any fans, and they’re basically stands that are allowing air to flow more easily. However, cooling pads with fans are more efficient compared to passive ones.
Always look for the proper size, along with portability, adaptability and ergonomics, as these features would allow you to use your laptop with maximum comfort, both at home and while on the go. There’s also the extensibility factor, as a laptop has only 2-4 USB ports available, and one of them would be occupied by the cooler (the fan of the cooler draws power via USB). The good news is that there are cooling pads that feature dual-sided USB ports.
Now, here are our top picks for the best laptop coolers available on the market today (in no particular order):
9 Best Laptop Cooling Pads And Coolers
AICHESON S035 Laptop Cooling Pad 5
A Powerful Cooling Pad And An Adjustable Stand All In One
Anyone who has been using laptops for extended periods whilst using the laptop for taxing activities will tell you that they can turn hot like an oven sometimes! This cooling pad fixes two issues in one stroke.
This pad is built to accommodate up to 17.3-inch laptops. It sports an ergonomic design and efficient energy usage of its 5 fans which produce the bare minimum of sound.
The purpose of the fan is not just to dissipate heat and keep your computer cool but to also remove one of the major causes of lower back pain which troubles about 80% of the population.
The angles can be adjusted from 7 to 21 degrees, providing the optimal levels of comfort to reduce back strain. The entire platform can hold up to 40 pounds of weight.
The entire cooling pad is powered through a USB cable. The set of 4 small fans and one larger effectively mitigates extreme heat produced during intense situations such as gaming or taxing editing. The elevation and positioning make keeping a healthy posture a reality each time you are using your computer.
- Excellent cooling power (1000 RPM and 1500 RPM fan speed)
- Metal meshed surface
- Low noise levels (just about 21 DB)
- Low power consumption (1.75 Wattz)
- Serves as a cooling pad and an adjustable surface platform
- Placing it on your legs can sometimes lead to the platform digging in painfully, especially if you are using a heavier laptop
havit RGB Laptop Cooling Pad
Perfectly Quiet Laptop Cooling Pad
Havit RGB Laptop Cooling Pad comes with 3 high-speed fans that can work very quietly, making the user experience much better.
The cooling pad is made of durable metal, making the entire mesh surface control the airflow more precise, thus being more effective, while also managing to support laptops of different sizes, from 15.6”-17”.
It also features pretty nice RGB lighting, with a set of 15 different sidelights, which will especially satisfy demanding gamers.
Along with that, the pad comes with the fully-adjustable stand, which can be adjusted on two different heights, to satisfy your needs.
With that comes a non-slip baffle, which will prevent your laptop from slipping and falling off the cooling pad itself.
This pad comes with additional USB ports, allowing you to connect more devices if needed. One thing to note is that USB cable you get in the package just USB to the USB connector.
- Very quiet performance
- Good laptop compatibility
- Comfortable design
- Pretty good RGB lighting
- Additional USB ports included
- Cooling is quite average
Cooler Master NotePal X3
Another Great Cooling Pad for Gaming
If you’re looking for an affordable yet high-performance laptop cooling pad for gaming, the Cooler Master NotePal X3 has your name on it. Even if this cooling pad has only one fan, it’s a big boy by any metrics, standing at 200 mm in diameter. Due to its fan’s dimensions, the Cooler Master NotePal X3 is very quiet, yet it gets the job done with flying colors. The design is very interesting, as it’s inspired by jet-planes, making it ideal for complementing your gaming rig.
Shaped like the letter X, the NotePal X3 comes with blue LED lights, but you can turn them off you wish. The fan speed is controlled by a special dial, located next to the power port and the USB connector. Weighing just 2 pounds, this Cooler Master is easy to carry around, making for a relatively affordable and efficient laptop cooling pad, which is suitable even for gaming.
- built quality is great
- comes with front vent for keeping your hands cool
- very silent
- stays cool, looks cool
- supports laptops up to 17’’
- tends to vibrate on hard surfaces
Thermaltake Massive Aluminum Panel CL-N002-PL12BL-A
The Best Bang for the Buck
As its name suggests, the Thermaltake Massive notebook cooler can be easily described as one of the best laptop coolers in its price range, featuring an aluminum design and two state-of-the-art temp-regulated 120 mm fans. This cooler also marks a premiere for Thermaltake, being their first product to feature an adjustable temperature sensor and temperature regulated fans. If you like tinkering with your gadgets, this cooler is capable of offering thermal statistics instantly, as it comes with a temperature display built in.
In terms of performance, the Massive’s coolers are capable of 1300 RPM/61.7 CFM in turbo mode, while keeping it relatively quiet, at 31 dBA of noise. The cooler is made of plastic and comes with an aluminum plate on top, for better heat transfer. There’s a cool looking LCD panel on the front, which provides temperature readouts.
- doesn’t get more high tech than this
- reasonably priced
- relatively quiet
- delivers adequate cooling performance
- not enough grip for your laptop at certain angles
- average build quality
TeckNet Laptop Cooling Pad
The Silent Partner
The TeckNet N5 is designed to be an ultra-quiet and highly portable piece of gear, which makes for the ideal choice if you’re looking for a stylish and highly mobile laptop cooling pad.
The N5 fits laptops between 12’’ and 16’’, so keep that in mind if you have a 17’’ or even 18’’+ gaming machine. The base of the N5 features rubber based rims, to keep your laptop firmly into place, while the AirFlow Wave design is aimed at providing a whisper quiet and comfortable work environment. The TeckNet N5 comes with twin fans and dual intake vents, led lights and a metal mesh surface for better heat transfer.
- lightweight and thin
- ergonomic design
- good value for money
- comes with an extra USB port to connect other gear
- doesn’t fit bigger machines
- fan speed is not adjustable
Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad
The Kootek laptop cooling pad is definitely our winner in today’s article with regard to airflow-power. This thing comes with no less than 5 (five, you read that right) fans, hence if the number of fans on your cooling gear is a decisive factor, Kootek is the way to go. Another benefit is that if you turn it sideways, it becomes a drone.
Joke aside, the Kootek is a cool gadget to have on your desk, featuring a minimalist design, a plastic yet sturdy construction with a metal grille on top and weighs a respectable 2.5 lbs. This is not the sleekest cooling pad out there, but it will definitely get the job done, making for a no-compromise/best bang for the buck package, if it ever was one.
- sober design in a single-tone black finish
- excellent airflow
- you can turn off both the big and the small fans independently
- great choice for 17’’/heavy laptops due to stoppers which prevent it from slipping off
- portability is sacrificed over performance
OPOLAR Laptop Fan Cooler
The Future is Here
This laptop fan cooler made by OPOLAR is one of the most advanced in the industry, as it features auto-temp detection, a rapid cooling feature and temperature display. This new model comes with 13 speeds, which dramatically assist with reducing noise and improving airflow. The OPOLAR would make for a great companion if you’re a heavy-duty user who enjoys tinkering with his gear, but it’s not recommended for extremely thin laptops, like Macbooks (anything thinner than 0.8’’ actually). Overall, considering its under $30 price-tag and the multitude of features and functions, the OPOLAR makes for a versatile and quiet laptop cooling fan.
- excellent value for money
- above average build quality, tons of features
- fast cooling, easy installation
- relatively quiet
- rather bulky
AICHESON AA3 Laptop Cooling Pad
Ideal For Late-night Use With One Big Fan
Heat, being the biggest detriment to laptop gaming, is a pain in the butt for so many people daily. ACHESON has us covered with yet another interestingly designed cooling pads that bring an entirely new design to the table.
This stylish product was designed for gamers and people who prefer a “flashy” setting when using a cooling pad but also want something more. This doubles as an adjustable laptop stand and a flashy cooling pad that will both light your room, cool your laptop, and give you an ideal position during your laptop use.
It comes with 2 USB ports and a fan speed adjuster. The compact construction allows for the placement of 14″ – 18″ laptops that will effectively be cooled down by one powerful fan throughout the day or night without stop. On top of that, the fan is really silent to the point that it will be hardly noticed during prolonged use. With just the weight of 1.86LB and low power usage, this product will allow you to breeze through hours of laptop usage without being troubled by heat or position-related issues.
- 7 stand levels
- Rubber feet at the bottom prevent your laptop from sliding down
- Both foldable and light
- LED lights can be turned on and off separately from the fan
- One strong fan might not be enough for all users
As Cool as it Gets
The Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB is the last (but not least) piece of gear reviewed in today’s article, and it’s arguably the best laptop cooling pad out there in the ~$50 range. The RGB thing describes its 256-color RGB LED-lit system, which provides 5 lighting modes. If you’re into bright shiny things, this Thermaltake notebook cooler has your name on it. Really, it looks awesome. There’s only one, yet massive (200 mm) fan on-board, featuring a speed controller for improved performance.
- ergonomic design
- supreme thermal performance
- looks awesome in the dark
- above average build quality
- supports up to 19’’ laptops (!), which is kind of rare
- max fan speed is rather sub-par (I am being picky, I know)