The best laptop cooling pad
If you spend hours at your laptop, chances are it heats up from prolonged use -- it's a common occurrence with electronics. To prevent overheating, laptop cooling pads are a smart investment.
Laptop cooling pads are equipped with fans that are placed beneath your laptop to increase airflow to internal components. More air circulation means your laptop has the opportunity to breathe and cool down. Cooling lets the temperature of the laptop stay within a safe range to maintain optimal performance.
While cooling pads shoulder a big task, they're easy to integrate into your overall laptop setup as thin ergonomic accessories. Take a look at our shopping guide for laptop cooling pads. We include our favorite models as well as our top pick, the Havit Five-Fans Laptop Cooling Pad, which delivers the ultimate cooling experience for continuous laptop use.
Considerations when choosing laptop cooling pads
Type of laptop use
Casual user: If you only use your laptop for bills, online shopping, and email, you don't need a high-level cooling pad. Units with one or two fans do the job as you're only using your laptop for isolated periods.
Student or professional user: If you're a student or professional, you may spend hours at a time working on papers and projects. Opt for laptop cooling pads that have multiple fans and some adjustability settings to create a comfortable workspace.
Gamer: If you're a gamer, you likely spend time exploring dungeons or running campaigns -- and chances are, it's on a regular basis. You're best served with laptop cooling pads geared toward several hours of use at a time, which have up to six fans, multiple fan-speed settings, and extreme durability.
One thing to think about when purchasing a laptop cooling pad is the added noise. Fans in some models are noticeably louder than others. For library use or if you're in a co-working space, consider whether it may affect those around you.
Portability is a given when it comes to laptops, though it's not as simple when it comes to cooling pads. Some are fragile and are best left on your regular desk or workspace. Others are designed for easy transport and are more durable to be carried in a bag along with your laptop.
Power source: Some laptop cooling pads have external power sources like AC adapters, where others come with USB hubs that plug directly into your laptop.
Viewing angle: Considered a superior adjustability feature, units with height options can make your laptop viewing experience more comfortable.
Ventilation: To achieve maximum cooling from your laptop cooling pad, opt for units with a sophisticated combination of multiple fans and vents.
Airflow: If you want to compare the cooling pad's quality of ventilation and airflow, look for the CFM rating. This number indicates how much air flows through the fans per minute -- as you can imagine, the higher the number, the more intense the cooling.
Smart controls: Advanced laptop cooling pads have smart controls in which you can adjust fan speed settings and even view them on the unit or on your screen.
Anti-slip pads: Certain laptop cooling pads feature anti-slip pads to secure your laptop while it's in use. Some use rubberized nubs, whereas others have entire strips of anti-slip at the edges.
Laptop cooling pad prices
Laptop cooling pads cost between $25 and $100. Less expensive units only have a couple fans that offer decent cooling. High-end units are built with multiple fans, vents, and adjustability features to accommodate intense users like gamers.
Q. How can I keep my laptop cooling pad clean?
A. Bursts of compressed air are perfect for dislodging dust and debris from the fans and surface area. Alcohol wipes are helpful to disinfect the flat surfaces of the cooling pad, though it's important to let it dry thoroughly before using it again.
Q. Can I pick up my laptop and its cooling pad while they're both on and operating?
A. While your laptop may be fine, moving the cooling pad during operation could corrupt internal components, especially fans. Laptop cooling pads are designed to work on flat surfaces and movement or a steep angle can affect performance.
Laptop cooling pads we recommend
Best of the best: Havit Five-Fans Laptop Cooling Pad
Our take: Intense cooling power geared toward frequent laptop users like gamers, professionals, and students.
What we like: As powerful as the cooling fans are, this unit has near-soundless operation. Plenty of adjustability to seamlessly integrate into your computer setup.
What we dislike: No means to gauge temperature, which is a concern for users who want to track it.
Best bang for your buck: TeckNet Laptop Cooling Pad
Our take: Ergonomically designed and budget-priced for a comfortable and affordable cooling experience.
What we like: Comfort features located at the wrist area as well as non-slip grips to keep it in place during operation.
What we dislike: Limited compatibility as it only fits smaller laptops.
Our take: Impressive slimline design is especially popular with Mac users.
What we like: Quality construction that is well suited for prolonged use and travel. Ideal for cooling video game systems, Blu-ray players, and computers.
What we dislike: There can be some issues with wiring and unit malfunction.
Karen Ridder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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