Best Laptop Coolers
It is extremely ironic that it can actually cause problems when you use your laptop on your lap. This is referring to the issue of overheating, for the record, and while this guide is not going to document and unravel the truth behind the manner, it is a good setup for this guide. And, quite frankly, it is one of the primary reasons why you are here today. If you have any interest at all in a laptop cooling pad then it must mean you are sick of your computer overheating on your lap (or in general). These devices are unique in their design and they implement specific materials and integrated fans to help dissipate the heat that is being emitted from your computer. But, they are not all the same and that means you need to know exactly what to look for when you go to buy one.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 3.25 hrs of research
Sports five fans in total
The fan speed is adjustable
It is designed with a non-slip baffle
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST LAPTOP COOLERS
1. HAVIT COOLING PAD
Sports five fans in total
The fan speed is adjustable
It is designed with a non-slip baffle
The max fan speed could be higher
The top model on this list has about everything that you would ever want from a laptop cooler. This includes multiple integrated fans, extra USB ports, and multiple height and fan settings.Read more
Not only is this designed of high-quality metal mesh that will draw heat away from your laptop but this is also built with five fans (one large and four small) for circulation.
This is going to be suitable for 17-inch laptops. Of course, this also means that smaller models will also work (anywhere from 14 inches to 17 inches is recommended).
First off, you are able to adjust the height of this cooler to meet different needs. Also, the fan speed can be adjusted. Basically, the brighter the emitted light is the faster the fans will circulate.
What is nice is there are multiple USB ports built into this pad. Now, do note that one of them is reserved to power the device itself so that leaves one USB port free of use.
To effectively prevent any slipping from occurring, there is a non-slip baffle that has been integrated into this design. This will save your computer from accidental damage.
Without question, this is about as good as it gets here. Even though the maximum fan speed could be faster, this is a minor gripe when you look at the bigger picture.
2. ERGOSTAND III
Sports a large and silent 230-millimeter fan
Designed with four USB outputs
The plate is removable for easier fan maintenance
A few buyers claim that it is smaller than advertised
The NotePal series from Cooler Master is one of the more world-renewed series of cooling pads on the market. And, it just so happens that this offering right here is quite possibly the best.Read more
The combination of the 230-millimeter fan and the special integrated circuit combine for quiet and powerful performance. After all, the last thing you want is to hear the fans working.
Now, the ErgoStand III is advertised to fit 17-inch laptops. However, various users have claimed that the size is smaller than advertised. With 17-inch models, these same users note that they will hang off the edges a bit.
In total, the ErgoStand III can be adjusted to six different height settings. Of course, when fan maintenance is needed, it is also nice that the plate can be easily removed.
Not too many models implement as many USB ports as this one has (with four in total). Also, this does have a built-in cable management system.
Cooler Master ensured that you would have no concerns over your computer slipping as they designed their ErgoStand III with adjustable anti-slip holders.
This does not come at a cheap price but the quality is worth it, make no mistake about it. But, do note that the advertised size is actually a bit smaller (according to several buyers).
3. TREE NEW BEE
The fan is powerful yet silent
There are anti-skid mats built-in
Designed with an ergonomic stand
The plastic hinges come off easily
There is no venting on the sides
To say that this next option has received acclaim from previous buyers is an understatement. It is one of the most beloved options on the market and you will soon understand why.Read more
The four built-in fans create a rapid cooling effect that efficiently cools down your computer. However, because of the lack of venting on the sides, it will not work the best lying flat on your lap.
Major brand computers from Apple and Dell (just to name a few) will fit perfectly on this pad. Overall, it accepts nearly all models sized 12 to 17.3 inches.
Thanks to the built-in stand, this can be adjusted to multiple height settings. Furthermore, if the stand is being unused, it can be tucked away out of sight.
Outside of the two USB ports that have been integrated, this pad is also outfitted with a built-in USB cable storage box.
What is really nice is there are high and low shield anti-skid mats that have been integrated in the front to prevent slippage. However, the plastic hinges that actually hold the computer can easily be bumped.
You really have to appreciate the minor features of this such as the built-in storage box and the integrated anti-skid mats. In addition to everything else, it goes to show the attention to detail here.
4. Nnewvante Adjustable
It is handmade and polished
There are five angles available for the tray
Designed with a safety lock feature for enhanced stability
There is no way to hold the legs in place after folding them
There is not a location to secure the USB cord
Now, this right here is completely unique from any other option on this entire list. Yes, it is a cooling pad but it is actually an entire desk that is specially crafted of bamboo.Read more
In addition to the fact that bamboo itself is a natural heat-dissipation material, the quiet fan that is built-in allows for even better heat dissipation.
The actual desk is quite large but the portion that accepts your laptop will only accept limited sizes. A user claimed that their 15.6-inch size model had roughly one-quarter of an inch exposed on each side, for the record.
The tray top can be adjusted to five different heights. Additionally, this desk can serve for many other purposes as it has a built-in drawer and other surface areas available.
To be honest, this entire design is advanced because it is a desk. Now, with that said, it would be nice if there was a dedicated location for the fan’s USB cord.
First off, there is a piece of wood built-in that will hold your computer in place. Adding on to this is the safety lock design that enhances the overall stability of the desk.
Yes, this can still be used on your lap, for the record. All in all, it is a design that will be appealing to several of you as it adds stabilization and a feasible means of cooling your computer.
It is designed with three adjustable height settings
Sports a built-in control panel
Can fit notebooks up to 19 inches in size
Quite a few users felt the airflow could have been enhanced
Due to the integrated LED lighting and the subsequent lighting modes that have been implemented here, many of you may feel this is too flashy. That is fair but most certainly, there will be those of you who will be appealed by this design.Read more
Even though various buyers have reported that this needs a bit more airflow, it is designed with a steel mesh surface and also a 200-millimeter silent fan.
A huge incentive to buy this cooling pad is if you need a model for larger computers. It will be optimal for gaming notebooks up to 19 inches in size (which is fantastic).
The built-in control panel is one of the most advanced features of this design. It allows you to change the color mode and the fan speed effortlessly. Oh yeah, and the stand can be adjusted to three different heights.
Even though this lacks additional ports, it is designed with five different lighting modes. Those five modes include full lighted, blink, pulse, RGB spectrum and wave.
The height can be adjusted and when you do so, your laptop is not going to go anywhere accidentally.
Is this too much of flash over substance? That is up to you to decide but the lighting modes can actually be convenient in low-light conditions. And, this is also designed for larger gaming notebooks.
6. TOPMATE TM-3
Designed with a control panel
Sports blue LED lighting
There are two USB ports built-in
The fans are not the most powerful
Thanks to the integrated control panel and the built-in USB hub, the TM-3 is another fan favorite. While the supplied fan power can be limited, it gets the job done for most users.Read more
Even on the highest setting, the TM-3 has limited fan power, admittedly. But, it does sport five built-in fans in all (with four outer fans and one in the center).
Anything larger than 15.6-inch notebooks or laptops will see them hang off over the side.
The integrated control panel and various height settings make the TM-3 a very compelling design. With the control panel, you can switch between six different fan speeds.
In addition to the one USB port that is used to power this device, there is also an additional USB port integrated that allows you to utilize other peripherals.
Thanks to the hinged flap (that you can flip up whenever you desire), you can tilt your computer without worrying about it falling.
The TM-3 is not devoid of design features that much is for sure. However, some buyers have questioned its overall performance and it appears this is not ideal for hardcore users.
7. COOLER MASTER NOTEPAL X3
The front vent provides a soothing breeze for your hands
Sports a high-grade glossy UV coating
The heavy-duty profile provides a sturdy base
Weak plastic is used on the underside
The stability is flawed a bit
The X3 is another entry into the aforementioned NotePal series of laptop coolers from Cooler Master. Though there are some design flaws present, the X3 does perform very, very well.Read more
As with most NotePal cooling pads, the X3 provides efficient cooling. It does so with a mesh surface and a high-performance 200-millimeter fan (in addition to the front vent).
Granted your laptop is not greater than 17 inches in size, it will fit just fine on the X3.
While there is not an astronomical amount of height settings, you can adjust this to two different heights. Also, there is a built-in fan speed controller.
Besides the full USB hub, the X3 is also outfitted with a row of slots along the bottom back edge and this can be used for cord management.
Though the surface has raised and lowered portions for stability, these actually limit the surface area that the laptop contacts (which can allow for slippage).
The X3 is a technically proficient cooling pad through and through. In spite of this, though, the stability issues can be troublesome if you want to tilt your computer screen.
The stand can be adjusted to six different heights
The construction is lightweight
There are two integrated stoppers in the front
Too much plastic is utilized
You can’t adjust the fan speeds and the lights separately
Even in spite of the minor issues and limitations that are at play here, this remains a go-to model for many users. Still, these same flaws could end up being a deal breaker for you.Read more
While the metal mesh surface and the five built-in fans do provide efficient cooling, some buyers have noted that it can struggle to keep up with extensive use.
Due to the high variety of laptops that this is going to accept (most from 12 to 17 inches,) it is going to be a suitable choice for several of you.
The good news is that the stand can be adjusted to six different heights. Yet, the bad news is the lights and the fans are not on separate controls. This means that can’t be adjusted individually.
To allow you to connect more external devices to this pad, it was designed with a dual USB hub.
As you can see from the photos, there are two stoppers that have been integrated into the front that will prevent your laptop from falling.
Not sure why Kootek decided to make their lights and fan speeds on the same setting but overall, as mentioned, this really is a good design that performs pretty well.
It is slim, portable and very easy to carry around
Will support laptop sizes up to 16 inches
There are integrated grip pads on the bottom
The rubber strip has been criticized by some users
It is not very comfortable to have on your lap
Due to the fact that this model is designed with an underside of plastic, it is not the best for resting on your lap as it is not particularly comfortable. Still, it can cool your computer so it has that going for it.Read more
The dual intake vents and the curved shape of this cooler allow it to cool with great efficiency. Of course, the metal mesh material also helps.
With laptops from 12 to 16 inches in size, this pad is going to be perfect. This covers major models from Apple, Dell and Lenovo (just to name a few).
There is an LED indicator light at the rear and this will signify if this device is working correctly. In addition, this can be angled in multiple positions.
To account for any additional USB devices that you need to be powered, this sports an additional USB port.
In theory, there are grip pads on the bottom that prevent laptops from sliding. However, there have been a few users who have deemed these pads insufficient.
If you require a cooling pad that can be adjusted (in regard to its height) then this may not be for you due to the issues of stabilization. As is, though, this is very effective.
10. VANBLE VA-1
Backed by a 100 percent money-back guarantee
It doubles as an ergonomic stand
Made of high-quality metal mesh
There is no locking mechanism for the feet
It is a bit flimsy
Though this last design is probably not going to blow anyone away, it is well crafted with some handy features. Of course, the VA-1 is also not exactly optimized for hardcore users.Read more
The VA-1 has received complaints from various buyers due to its lack of cooling power. But, there are four built-in fans that spin at 1200 revolutions per minute.
One nice thing about the VA-1 is that it will accept laptop sizes up to 17 inches.
Yes, this does double as an ergonomic stand. However, Vanble should have implemented a locking mechanism for the feet as they can collapse very easily.
Though the USB ports that have been integrated are both placed in the back, there is a provided cable and also an extra USB port for additional devices.
The multi-directional, high-quality metal mesh provides your computer with a stable surface.
It is not as if this is a bad product, as it would not have secured a spot on this list otherwise. Yet, there are some noticeable drawbacks that prevent it from being superb.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
For some of you, cooling pads will live and die by their cooling performance.
The main reason why you are here today is that you are sick and tired of your laptop overheating, right? While there can be other reasons, this is probably the main one. Now, it goes without saying that cooling pads are not permanent fixes to your issue and if your computer overheats too often then there may be internal issues going on. With that said, though, these devices are very useful but not all of them will cool with the same efficiency. In fact, not all models will even be designed with fans. Although, it is recommended that you avoid passive cooling pads (which do not have fans).
Of course, not all fans will be designed equally and it is important for you to analyze how much air a particular fan can push (which is measured in cubic feet per minute). Some models will also be designed with multiple fans (typically one large one and several smaller ones). All in all, the cooling power you require will vastly be dictated by your usage. If you have a gaming laptop and enjoy several hour periods of use, look for high-powered pads. One last note; pay attention to the noise factor. Yes, all fans make noise of some kind but you may want the overall noise kept to a minimum.
Without question, you need to ensure that the laptop you have will fit on the pad you buy.
Alright, so this section is not too tricky but it is extremely important. However, certain models are not going to be compatible with certain brands of computers and/or certain operating systems. Instead, all you need to reference is the size of your laptop (this is going to be the size of your screen). So, if a specific laptop cooler is designed to fit laptops up to 17 inches in size, it is irrelevant what the brand of your computer is. As long as it is not over 17 inches in size, it will fit just fine. What happens if you attempt to fit a computer that is not of the intended size, though?
Well, if it is larger, then the sides of the computer are going to hang off the sides. This is not particularly ideal but, in theory, it could still work. As for smaller units, they should be just fine. Typically, sellers will indicate a range of sizes to shoot for (such as 14.5 to 17 inches). For optimal performance, ensure your current laptop falls within the range specified by the seller.
Yep, there are some specific features you will need to look for as they can be deal breakers.
Now it is time to start looking at the smaller details that can make or break your purchase. If you have found a model that sports the performance you desire and one that is compatible with your computer, then it is time to look at some design features (some of the adjustable features, in specific). For starters, nearly all models will be built with a stand. This comes in handy when you want to adjust the height of the pad. And, while the stability of your computer will be addressed later, you specifically want to look for how many height settings are allowed. Some models will allow only a few, while others several.
In addition to this, you may want to be able to adjust the fan speed and maybe even the lighting (if there is any). To do so, look for models that integrate a control panel for intuitive operation. The ability to control the fan speed, in specific, will be a deal breaker for some of you that is for sure. Oh, and you can also look for a model that is easy to disassemble when you go to clean the internal components.
Mainly, keep an eye on the design of the USB ports for this section.
While most of the important features were just documented, one more very important feature needs to be analyzed. However, it is not necessarily mandatory and qualifies as an “advanced feature”. To spill the beans, this is referring to USB ports. Cooling pads will be powered via USB so you always know that one of the ports will be reserved. Yet, some models will include more than one USB port to enhance the functionality. Because, you need to remember that unless you have an AC adapter, one of the USB ports for your computer will be required for the pad.
But, why look for just one port when you can look for several? Not all models will be designed in this manner but some will indeed double as a dock. In this sense, there may be three to four individual USB ports and these can be used to power various external devices. Again, this is not necessarily mandatory but it is something for you to think about.
If you do plan to elevate your cooling pad, you want to ensure that your computer will not slip or fall.
Even though this section is the furthest down on this list, it does not mean it is not important. In fact, it is utterly critical. But, it is only going to be vital if you plan to tilt the pad with your computer on the surface. When you do this, the pad needs to be properly designed to ensure that no slipping or falling results. In minor instances, your computer may simply land on your lap with no damage done. But, if you use the cooling pad on a desk (for example) and it is close to the edge, your computer could fall all the way to the floor if it is not properly stabilized.
So, after all of that rhetoric, how do you ensure that stability is not an issue? Well, firstly, look for models that integrate some sort of anti-slip holders. Having anti-skid mats on the surface can prevent the computer from slipping while on top. That is not enough, though, so also look for hinges or stoppers built into the front.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
The be-all and end-all of laptop coolers is going to be their ability to cool. It sounds simple, right? Well, it really is but this is going to differ from person to person. If you are a hardcore gamer that runs their laptop several hours continuously, you will need a cooling pad that can keep up. In this case, you will need a model with high-powered and large fans. For others, the power will not need to be as immense.
At the end of the day, the model you pick needs to be suitable for the current laptop that you intend to use it for. Now, for the record, this has nothing to do with the brand of the computer or the operating system. The compatibility will merely lie with the size. As long as the sizes match up (and the seller will typically specify what sizes will work for their model), you will be good to go.
Oh yes, you do need to pay attention to the features. In fact, there are two crucial features that tend to play as big of a role as any other aspects of the entire design. And, ironically, they both have to do with adjustability. The first is in reference to the height. Most models will sport built-in stands that can be adjusted to different heights. The second is the fan speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is the purpose of a laptop cooler?
To be honest, you should have a good idea of the overall purpose of this device by now. But, to wrap it up into one convenient answer, it is designed to cool your laptop when it begins to overheat. Yes, this is obvious but many of you may feel it is pointless due to the built-in cooling fans in laptops. However, during heavier use, computers may require more than just their internal cooling fan. This is where a laptop cooler comes in handy. Of course, it can also be nice if you are sitting with it on your lap.
q: How do you clean the pad itself?
From time to time, it is going to be advised to perform some cleaning on your cooling pad. No, this does not mean you should submerge the entire unit into soapy water. Never do that and, instead, all you need to do is clean the internal components. Basically, you are looking to clean the dust as dust buildup can negatively affect the overall performance. In order to do this, though, become knowledgeable on how to correctly open your pad. To remove the dust, your best bet is to use a can of compressed air.
q: How are they powered?
The good news is these types of coolers will not require charging as they will be powered via USB. Now, the typical powering method is via your laptop (with a USB cable). However, in theory, there is no reason why you can’t use an AC adapter to plug the USB cable into a home outlet. This may not necessarily improve the overall performance but it will free up a USB port on your computer, so that is nice.
q: Is portability a concern?
Yes, it most certainly can be. If you think about it, laptops are computers that are designed to be taken on the go. So, why would not a cooling pad be designed with the same intentions? This is logical so it is definitely something you can keep in mind. However, most models will not really be small (as they will be larger than the width of your laptop) meaning you will need a dedicated carrying sack or oversized bag. With that said, most models are typically designed to be light in weight and this can enhance the portability.
q: Will they work for video game consoles?
If you want to look at this question from a technical perspective then yes, cooling pads could be used for video game consoles. But, they are not exactly ideal for this use. For example, take a look at Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Both have exhaust vents on the side and on the top. Given that these pads are designed to go underneath, they would not do much good. With video game consoles, just ensure you allow the heat to escape and you should be good.
q: Do you need to worry about a weight limit?
This goes back to the question about the portability. Even though most pads will be lightweight, it does not mean that they will not be able to hold your computers. When you take into consideration the average weight of most laptops, you will not need to worry too much about the weight. However, if the computer you are intending to use is a beast, then you may want to check the quality of the build very closely (cheap plastic will not do it).