Most gamers agree that it’s possible to build a better PC with the price you pay for any gaming laptop. But laptops offer portability that desktop PCs just don’t have. A gaming laptop packs a case full of hardware inside a tiny chassis and saves you from carrying around a monitor, cables, and a keyboard.
The portability sounds excellent, but including a high-end graphics card, CPU, and battery inside a laptop can cause overheating. While each part of your laptop is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, you may start noticing some throttling in performance as it gets noticeably hot. Gaming laptops do this to prevent any possible damage and as a way to lower the temperature inside, but it can result in dropping important frames during an intense gaming session.
No matter how advanced a gaming laptop is in terms of cooling, it’ll always appreciate some external help to keep its temperature under control. Cooling pads will be your only solution to increase the airflow around the laptop unless you’re handy with the tools and can pull off a liquid cooling mod for your gaming laptop.
In addition to increasing the airflow and keeping your gaming laptop cool, cooling pads can also double as USB hubs, a clutch feature for laptops with not enough USB ports. Picking the perfect cooling pad for your laptop may be more challenging than it looks since the market is saturated with models that look identical to each other.
We’ve gathered some of the best options available in terms of building quality and overall comfort so you can get back to climbing the ranked ladder of your favorite game as soon as possible.
If you’re gaming on a laptop larger than 15 inches, you’ll need to match its size with your cooling pad. Overfitting is usually a great idea for most laptops since almost every model features a different cooling system. This means while some laptops overheat toward the left, others can struggle around the middle or the right side. More fans will help you cover all the possibilities and serve as a hand fan during the hot summer months.
KEYNICE’s laptop cooling pad supports laptops up to 17 inches and comes with six fans. The fans light up with a soothing tone of blue when you turn on the cooling pad, and each fan spins at speeds up to 2900 rotations per minute (RPM). You can control the top and bottom fans separately via their separate switches. KEYNICE advertises a sound level of 30 decibels (dB) when the cooling pad is running at the lowest fan level.
The two adjustable baffles around the bottom of the pad make sure your laptop doesn’t slip while gaming, and you can also find the perfect angle for your needs since there are a total of seven different height levels. The extra two USB ports both come in handy to charge devices or plug in gaming mice and keyboards.
Cooling pad dimensions: 17.24 by 11.34 by 1.57 inches
Weight: 1.85 pounds
You have to know your laptop to choose the best cooling pad. KLIM Wind’s wide wings allow it to cool laptops up to 19 inches in size, but its fan placements can cause it to miss vital spots on some models.
KLIM Wind comes with four fans that can all spin at 1200 RPM. Featuring only one extra USB port apart from the one you’ll use it to power it up, the cooling pad feels durable and can definitely handle harsh conditions. The two adjustable baffles on the bottom are present in this model as well, which are essential to prevent gliding. If your laptop’s bottom chassis has magnets installed, you’ll have no sliding issues even without the baffles since the pad’s top layer is made out of a magnetic material, most likely metal.
There is only a single height adjustment option that still gets the job done, but the main issue we ran into with this model has been the middle section which features the branding. If you have a laptop that heats up toward the middle of its chassis and doesn’t have tall feet, that middle part will be touching your laptop’s back. This essentially decreases the airflow for that area, but we could also fix this issue by using the pad in a reverse position with the KLIM facing closer to our laptop’s front end. This means you won’t be able to use the height adjusting feet since they’ll only form a ramp from your point of view now.
Despite the minor hiccups, the cooling performance of KLIM Wind is still worth it for the price, and it’s also one of the better cooling pads to use with a console.
Cooling pad dimensions: 15.79 by 10.71 by 1.22 inches
Weight: 1.58 pounds
The environment that you’ll use your laptop in will continuously change if you’re a frequent traveler. The desk you have at home can be relatively lower than what you have at work, or you may simply want to enjoy some TV shows while lying down. When that’s the case, height adjustment options can play a more significant role than the cooling performance while making a decision.
Kootek’s Chill Mat 5 comes with five wants, four of them sized at 70 millimeters, and the center fan at 120 millimeters. This five-fan setup delivers an impressive cooling performance since it looks to cover all the bases of a laptop’s bottom. Kootek recommends using laptops sized from 12 to 17 inches with this cooling pad, and you can also select which fans you’d like to turn on via the control panel.
The Chill Mat’s six different height levels increase its versatility. The ratchet mechanism comes especially handy if you prefer using your laptop on a sofa or a bed since it helps the cooling pad to adjust with you as you change the way you sit.
Cooling pad dimensions: 15.04 by 11.89 by 1.5 inches
Weight: 2.55 pounds
The cooling pads on our list so far found a way to feature that signature gamer vibe with their LED lights alongside their design. If you’d like to keep it a bit more lowkey, however, Cooler Master has you covered. Already a reputable brand in the cooling solutions industry for desktop PCs, Cooler Master aims to offer the most value for the price in each of its products.
Cooler Master Notepal XL first drew our attention with how silent it was. You could say it must be a given feature since the cooling pad only comes with a single fan, but considering most single-fan cooling pads suffer from loose fan noises, this was still impressive.
The single fan inside the cooler measures at 230 millimeters and comes with a speed controller. Though some single fan cooling pads struggle to hit the exact spot on some laptops, the powerful fan of Notepal XL circulates a great deal of air, which makes a difference even if it’s not blowing where it should be.
The tilted design is a nice-to-have feature in terms of ergonomics, but we experienced some sliding with some laptops that had worn out feet. You can adjust the height via the feet on its back, where you should also see three USB ports.
Cooling pad dimensions: 12.01 by 14.92 by 1.85 inches
Weight: 1.87 pounds
If you mostly game on a console or a gaming desktop, the chances are your laptop may have turned into a content consumption machine. None of the previous options on our list will be comfortable enough for casually watching TV shows or movies on your computer since they’re all about providing the optimal performance. Not only is Targus Chill Mat the most comfortable cooling pad on our list, it also features the most number of productivity solutions.
Rocking a slim build, the Chill Mat comes with two fans that can spit at 2500 RPM at maximum capacity. The cooling pad comes with four USB ports and has a nice bottom layer that ensures maximum comfort. It has an excellent build quality as well and definitely feels premium at hand. Chill Mat line by Targus comes in different shapes and sizes, so check out other models that can fit more to your needs.
Cooling pad dimensions: 2.2 by 15.1 by 12 inches
Weight: 0.35 pounds
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