Best Laptop Cooling Pad for 2018 | The Ultimate Cooling Guide

Need a  Cooling Pad for Laptop?

You’re at the right place. Today, we will check out some of the best Cooling Pads that will bring out the best performance of your system.

Overheating and Performance Throttling are some of the most common issues that laptop users face. And this problem is inevitable in summers. If you’re a gamer, overheating can cause random FPS drops even on the most high-end machines.

When it comes to PC, it is easier to clean the system or simply buy a better CPU cooler and thermal paste. However, for Laptops, we will have to go with a different approach.

Sometimes, these issues can simply be fixed by a simple Anti-Virus scan or by closing some background processes. But most of the times, you’ll require a Cooling Pad to keep the temperatures low.

If you’re not sure whether your Laptop is overheating or if the temperature is in the normal range, check out our list of Optimal CPU Temperature.

In this guide, we will first have a look at the issues that can cause overheating. Next, I’ll explain why a cooling pad is necessary with some real-world test data. Then we will check out 6 best laptop cooling pads that you can get for every budget. At last, I’ll give some additional tips to lower down the thermals of your notebook.

    Causes of Laptop Overheating

Let’s first try to debunk the actual cause of overheating. If the room temperature is high and you’re running tasks that require heavy processing (Gaming/Video Editing/3D Modelling) then it is bound to happen.

If your laptop only heats during heavy processing then most likely it is not faulty.

But If you’re not a heavy user and the ambient temperature is cool too then it is most likely then either there is some fault with the Laptop or some background task is consuming all the power. It is also possible that your Laptop has gotten too old and/or the exhaust fan is not working fully.

This background process can also be a virus or a bitcoin miner. To check the CPU Consumption, simply press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and open the Task Manager.

Task Manager CPU Consumption

You can clearly see the CPU usage and the process which is utilizing it the most. If you find any unfamiliar App or Process that is consuming a lot of power, it is better to look upon it on Google. And if it is not legit, better run an Anti-Virus scan and Uninstall any malicious programs.

Some of the viruses have a Bitcoin Miner attached to them that will use your computer resources to mine bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Many of the torrent sites like The Pirate Bay and other illegal sites use a Javascript based Bitcoin Miner that will utilize your CPU when you browse them. It is better to stay away from such sites.

If no heavy tasks are running in the background and yet you’re facing this issue, then you need to get the laptop exhaust fan cleaned. Also, visit the service center so that they can figure out the exact problem.

So, what is the harm if a Laptop overheats?

Firstly, it will not be able to perform at its full potential. If you’re a gamer, be ready to face frame drops at the most crucial and intensive moments.

Extended overheating can cause damage to the Internal Components can reduce the Laptop’s life. Lastly, it is not at all comfortable to work with and hinders your productivity.

    Why a Cooling Pad is Necessary?

A cooling pad is quite useful when you run heavy tasks such as Gaming. If you own a Gaming Laptop, then it is highly recommended.

Another scenario when it is very useful when the surrounding temperature is too high. But if your room temperature is something like 20 °C or lower, then a cooling pad won’t be too useful. Trust me, turning on the room’s Air Conditioner will do a far better job than a Cooling Pad.

A Cooling Pad is Highly Effective When:

  • Ambient Temperature or the Room Temperature is High
  • You Perform Heavy Tasks or Play Games most of the Time
  • Laptop’s Air Vents align with the location of the Fan on Cooling Pad
  • You Use an External Display and Keep the Lid Off

To see if a Cooling Pad actually works or not, let’s perform some tests.

So, shall we go for a Stress Test? Nope. I believe in real-world tests and that’s what we are going to do.

General Usage Test

This test is applicable during summer when you’re casually using your Laptop. In this scenario, the temperature of your system should be normal but let’s see if using a Cooling Pad will lead to any improvements. In South East Asia, the temperature during the day in summer usually stays around 35-45 °C that seems like the best time to perform this test.

Note that the Air Conditioner is off while performing this test. I’m using the Havit HV-F2056 Cooling Pad.

Test Criteria

  • 4 Chrome Tabs are currently opened
  • One File is being Downloaded with Internet Download Manager
  • One large file is being copied from one drive to another
  • An Youtube Video is being Played in Chrome
  • Adobe Lightroom is also Running
  • Cooling Pad used for this test is Havit HV-F2056
  • Ambient Temperature is 39°C/102.2°F
  • HWMonitor is used to note the temperature

So, after 5 minutes of usage with the following apps opened, we note the temperatures.

After 2 minutes we put the Laptop on Cooling Pad and wait another 5 minutes before taking the readings. Here are the results of this test.

As you can see in the graph, we managed to bring down the CPU Temperature down by 7 degrees. So, in just a matter of 5 minutes, the cooling pad did its job quite well.

Gaming Test

Let’s do some gaming with and without a Laptop Cooler. We will also get to look at the temperature of the Graphics Card in this test. So, I selected 4 different gamers: Crysis 3, Far Cry 5, Fortnite, and the Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Test Criteria

  • MSI Afterburner is running for the statistics
  • No other Program is running
  • Ambient Temperature is 37°C/98.6°F
  • Cooling Pad used for this test is Havit HV-F2056

Without Cooling Pad

Crysis 3 without Cooling Pad

For this test, I played each game for 5 minutes with and without the cooling pad and noted down the thermal performance in each case,

I also took a 5-minute break after each gameplay session so that the components can get back to their normal temperatures.

With Cooling Pad

Crysis 3 with Cooling Pad

After that 5-minute break. I kept the laptop on the cooling pad and started the game back again. There was a minor difference in the GPU Temperature but the CPU Temperature was down by 11 °C. I later tested some other games as well. Here are the results of all the Games.

Final Results

GameWithout Cooling PadWith Cooling Pad
Crysis 3CPU Temperature90°C  (194°F)79°C (174.2°F)
GPU Temperature76°C (168.8°F)73°C (163.2°F)
Far Cry 5CPU Temperature92°C (197.6°F)82°C (179.6°F)
GPU Temperature79°C (174.2°F)73°C (163.2°F)
Rise of the Tomb RaiderCPU Temperature93°C (199.4°F)86°C (186.8°F)
GPU Temperature81°C (177.8°F)78°C (172.4°F)
FortniteCPU Temperature93°C (199.4°F)84°C (183.2°F)
GPU Temperature84°C (183.2°F)75°C (167°F)

There was a decent improvement in all the games I tested. And guess what? The Cooling Pad that I used for this test wasn’t the best one either. There are many other coolers that can do a much better job. We will check out all of them very soon.

    Cooling Pad Buying Guide

There are a few things that you should know before you buy a cooling pad.

One of the important factors is the size. Make sure that it is big enough for your Laptop.

There are many other factors as well which may or may not be important to you.

Size

It will be a good choice to get the one that supports higher size than your Laptop’s size. It gives plenty of room and you can adjust the Laptop so that the air vents or the important components are directly above the Fan.

Noise

Although most of them are silent, some can be slightly noisy. If you prefer working in a silent environment, prefer the ones which don’t cause any noise.

For gaming, it wouldn’t matter because you’ll be on your headphones most of the time.

USB Ports

Most of the laptop Cooling Pads come with extra USB ports to compensate for the port that you lost for plugging in the power supply.

Guess what? Some Cooling Pads come up with a lot of Extra USB and you can actually use it as a USB Hub.

Height Settings

It’s not just the fan that contributes to the cooling, but the elevation of the cooling pad allows proper air ventilation from the exhaust fan. Also, multiple height choices allow you to keep the laptop at different angles.

Number & Location of Fans

A higher number of fans is usually preferred as it can cool all the components of the Laptop. However, a few large fans with higher speed will do a far better job.

Also, the location of the fans with respect to your components matters as well. A fan directly below the Air Vents or the Processor will give better results.

The Cooler Master NotePal U2 Plus addresses this issue by allowing you to move its fans.

    Top Laptop Cooling Pads

Here is a list of Top 6 Cooling Pads that you can get. All of them have different configurations and a different price.

NameSupported Laptop Screen SizeNo. of FansFan SpeedExtra USB PortsAdjustable MountOur Ratings
Cooler Master Storm SF-17Up to 19 inches1 (180mm)1200 RPM/700 RPM (Configurable)4Yes, 4 Height Settings4.7/5
HAVIT HV-F205615.6-17 inches3 (110mm each)1100 RPM1Yes, 2 Height Settings4.5/5
Tree New Bee Cooling Pad15.6-17 inches4 (120mm each)1200 RPM (Configurable)1Yes, 2 Height Settings4.6/5
Cooler Master NotePal U2 PlusUp to 17 inches2 (80mm each) & Movable2000 RPM0Yes, 2 Height Settings4.8/5
Thermaltake Massive 20 RGBUp to 19 inches1 (200mm)600 – 800 RPM (Configurable)0Yes, 3 Height Settings4.5/5
Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad12-17 inches5 (4x 70mm + 1x 120mm)1000/2000 RPM1Yes, 6 Height Settings4.7/5

We have rated these products not only in terms of their specifications but also on the basis of how effectively they do their job and what features do they offer.

Now, here are our individual reviews of each one of these. This should help you decide the one that’s best for you.


Cooler Master Storm SF-17

Cooler Master Storm SF-17
Image Source: coolermaster.com

The Cooler Master Storm SF-17 is one of the best laptop coolers out there with excellent build quality. It is specially built for high-end gaming Laptops but can work with MacBooks as well.

It is feature packed and offers 4 additional USB Ports. So, if you were falling short of USB Ports, this one will do the trick for you.  It is extremely large in size and can accumulate any Laptop of size under 19″.

Pros
  • Great Build Quality
  • 4 Height Settings
  • 4 Additional USB Ports
  • Adjustable Fan Speed
  • Decent Cooling
  • LED Lighting Stripe
  • Built-in Cable Management
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not Portable

It has a single fan but it is a large one (180mm). The fan can go up to a maximum speed of 1200 RPM. You can use the fan speed dial to adjust the speed.

The CM Storm SF-17 also has a LED Lighting Stripe that looks stunning. It also provides decent cable management with its grooved sides. There are 4 different height adjustments that can be helpful as well. It weighs 4.2 pounds and is not easy to carry around.

Now let’s talk about the most important aspect and that’s cooling. It is not the best one out there but does the job pretty well and due to its premium quality, I’ll highly recommend it for high-end Laptops. The pricing is slightly on a higher side but that is acceptable considering it has a lot to offer.

Our Ratings: 4.7/5

Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

HAVIT HV-F2056

Havit HV-F2056 Laptop Cooling Pad

I personally use the HAVIT HV-F2056 due to its light weight and quiet fans. The build quality is decent but the plastic base is a downside. It can support Laptops between the size of 15.6 and 17 inches. You can either lay it flat or use the height adjustment. The height adjustment stands feel sturdy.

Pros
  • Budget Friendly
  • Easy to Carry
  • Quiet
  • Decent Cooling
Cons
  • Lights are distracting

All the three fans are of the same size and that is 110mm and they move at 1100 RPM. The fans have blue light and unfortunately there’s no option to turn them off. There’s another LED for the Power On indicator and I find it quite distracting. Nevertheless, HAVIT HV-F2056 offers really good cooling and that’s what we are after, right?

It only weighs 1.5 pounds and is easy to carry. It also offers one additional USB port to compensate for the one it is using for its power supply. There’s no way to individually turn each fan on/off or to adjust their speeds. If you have a low budget, the Havit HV-F2056 is a great deal.

Our Ratings: 4.5/5

Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

Tree New Bee Cooling Pad

Tree New Bee Laptop Cooling Pad

This one comes in a weird shape, doesn’t it?

But trust me, it will do a really great job in cooling down your laptop. The Tree New Bee Cooling Pad supports Laptops of the screen size 15.6 to 17 inches. It has 4 powerful 120mm Fans that offer a maximum speed of 1200 RPM.

Its base is similar to the Havit HV-F2056 and the height adjustments stands are well built.

Pros
  • Quiet
  • Good at Cooling
  • Adjustable Fan Speed
  • Budget Friendly
Cons
  • Average Build Quality

It has one extra USB slot and the fan speed can be adjusted as well. In fact, there are two seperate fan speed controllers. The Tree New Bee too has a blue LED light in each one of the fans.

Considering its price, its a great deal and I’ll prefer it over the Havit HV-F2056.

Our Ratings: 4.6/5

Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

Cooler Master NotePal U2 Plus

Cooler Master NotePal U2 Plus
Image Source: coolermaster.com

This one comes with a simple yet unique design. It is one of my favourite cooling pads of all time due to the fact that we can move the fans. This allows you to put them just under your Laptop’s Processor and Air Vents to allow maximum cooling.

The Cooler Master NotePal U2 Plus support laptops with a screen size up to 17 inches. The build quality is great as well.

Pros
  • Movable Fans
  • Efficient Cooling
  • Portable
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Can work as a Laptop Carry Case
  • Built-in Cable Management
Cons
  • No Extra USB Port

There is a strap included which can be to make this cooler work as Laptop carry case. Just like the CM Storm SF-17, the cable management makes everything look cleaner. Cooler Master NotePal U2 Plus has two high-speed 80mm fans that move at 2000 RPM!

However, there’s no extra USB slot and the fan speed cannot be controlled either.

If you’re looking for a similar cooling Pad with a built-in speed controller or the one that can support even larger laptops, then check out the NotePal U3 PLUS.

The Notepal U2 Plus is highly recommended from my side for every type of user. It works great with all kinds of Laptops and that includes the gaming ones and the Macbooks.

Our Ratings: 4.8/5

Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB Steel Mesh

Thermal Massive 20 RGB Steel Mesh
Image Source: thermaltake.com

Every best product list is incomplete if we forget that one product with RGB Lightning.

The Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB Steel Mesh looks glorious and premium. It has a single fan but this one is quite large (200mm).

You can use it with a Laptop of maximum size 19 inches. It has 3 differnt height settigns at an inclination of 3, 9 and 13 degrees.

Pros
  • Looks Dope
  • Decent Cooling
  • Adjustable Fan Speed
  • Decent Build Quality
  • Lights can be turned On/Off
  • Low Noise
Cons
  • Slightly Expensive
  • No Extra USB Port

The fan’s speed can be adjusted and it offers a maximum speed of 800 RPM.  The fans dont’t create much noise either.

The cooling is decent but there are many better options out there.

It has multiple Light and Color Modes and luckily this time, the lights can be turned off. But why would anyone do that?

If you need a Cooling Pad with RGB Lightning, it is one of the best you can get. But only for cooling purpose, it is not recommended.

Our Ratings: 4.5/5

Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad

Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad
Image Source: ikootek.com

3 fans? 4 fans? Now what?

Here we have the Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad with 5 fans. The larger fan is of 120mm while the smaller ones are of 70mm in size. The 4 smaller fans have a speed of 2000 RPM while the bigger one has a speed of 1000 RPM. Trust me, these 4 little fans do most of the work. The Kotek Cooling Pad supports laptops between the size of 12 to 17 inches.

Pros
  • 6 Height Adjustments
  • 3 Working Modes
  • Good at Cooling
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Average Build Quality

Its height can also be adjusted in 6 ways. That’s cool, right?

It has one extra USB port and even with those 5 fans, it hardly makes any noise.

It has three different working modes and here’s what each one does:

Mode 1: Only the 4 smaller fans work

Mode 2: Only the 1 large fan works

Mode3: All the 5 fans work at the same time

Although it does a very good job in cooling, I’m not very impressed by its build quality. Nevertheless, it has a great many features that make it a great deal. Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad is also highly recommended from my side.

Our Ratings: 4.7/5

Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

    How to Use a Laptop Cooling Pad Effectively

In my experience, there are a certain things that you can do to get the best out of a cooling pad.

1) Keep it on a Flat Surface

I agree that nothing feels comfortable than using the Laptop on a bed or a couch. But trust me, keeping it on a Flat Surface can make a significant difference as it allows heat to escape efficiently.

Make sure that the cooling pad is on a Desk or any other Hard Surface such that there is enough room for air ventilation.

2) Disable LED Lights

If your cooling pad has the option to disable LED Lights, it’s better to get rid of them as their only job is to consume power from your Laptop.

3) Open the Laptop’s Lid slightly if using an External Display 

I usually connect my Laptop with an external Monitor via HDMI Port. So, most of the times, my Laptop’s lid is closed.

But I noticed that if I open the lid slightly during gaming, the temperature is lower than usual. This happens simply because the closed lid traps the heat inside.

4) Adjusting the Fan Speed

For general usage, keep the cooling pad’s speeds on low but while performing heavy tasks like gaming, keep it on high.

5) Connect to some other Power Source

So, if you don’t want to lose a USB port, you can also power up the Cooling Pad with a Smartphone Power Bank. You can use a mobile charger as well.

    How to Check Temperature While Gaming

The MSI Afterburner is one of the best tools out there to check the temperature of your Laptop while gaming.

Once you install the MSI AfterBurner and the Riva Tuner Statistics Server, Open it up and Go to the Settings (Gear icon in the middle).

MSI Afterburner

Now go to the Monitoring Tab and Tick all the components that you want to monitor.

To enable them On-Screen, select the “Show in On-Screen Display”

MSI Afterburner Temperature Settings

This should enable the selected property after you start a game. Make sure that you don’t close MSI Afterburner before starting a game.

    Some Other Ways To Cool Down Your Laptop

Sometimes you don’t actually need a cooling pad as the cause of overheating is different. And even when you have a cooling pad, there are a few things that you should try to lower down the temperature even further.

Here are some tips and most of them are can easily be implemented.

Clean the Dust & Laptop Fan

You won’t believe but cleaning the Laptop can make a huge difference.

I’ll highly recommend taking the Laptop to a Computer Repair Store for the removal of dust.

You can do it at the home as well. Simply get a Compressed Air Can and/or an Air Blower and use it from the Notebook’s Air Vents.

But opening the Laptop and then cleaning it will yield a better result. Make sure to follow a good guide for safely cleaning a Laptop.

Keep it on a Flat Surface 

If you’re not using a Cooling Pad, don’t put the Laptop on a surface which will block its Air Vents.

This is one of the most common reasons behind overheating.

Work in a Cool Environment

As I have already mentioned before, working in a cool room will be the most effective way and it will do a far better job than a cooling pad itself.

Clear Background Processes

Background Processes that are consuming heavy resources are also a big reason behind overheating.

Scan for Viruses

Cryptocurrency Miners and other malicious programs can eat up all the processing power of your system and this will result in poor performance and thermal throttling. And in the longer run, this is likely to damage the components. If you feel that you’re facing any such issues, make sure to get a good Anti-Virus program.

Disable High-Performance Mode

Most Laptops have different Power Modes such as Battery Saver, Balanced, and High-Performance Mode. For basic usage, most Laptops can get the job done even at Battery Saver mode. Use the High-Performance modes only while performing CPU & GPU intensive tasks.

Reapply the Thermal Paste

Reapplying a new and better Thermal paste can do wonders for your Laptop’s performance. Even though you can do it yourself, I’ll highly recommend visiting a computer repair shop.

Out of all the types of Thermal Compounds out there, Liquid Metal gives the best performance. However, it is a bit risky to use it and you can found out the reason below in this video by Linus. It is also very likely that your Heat Sink won’t be compatible with the Liquid Metal.

    Final Suggestions

I do hope that this guide helps you to cool down your system. If you’re still confused about deciding the right cooling pad, I’ll recommend either the Cooler Master NotePal U2 Plus or the Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad. Even though the extent of cooling is not very remarkable in most cooling pads out there, they do help a bit and also provide some nice features for the laptop.

The height adjustments can also be very useful to many. Also, if you’re going carrying it often, get a lightweight one.  The NotePal U2 Plus can also double up as a Laptop Carry Case. If you need any help or suggestions, do share your query in the comments below.

Looking for a Gaming Mouse Pad? Check out: 7 Best Gaming Mouse Pads.

Rate This Post

Sending
User Review
5 (4 votes)



Kashish Kumawat is a Computer Engineer and a Product Reviewer. He is the Founder and Editor at Tech Centurion. He reviews Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, and Gaming Components. Kashish Kumawat has an experience of over 3 years in this field and likes to be up to date with the latest technology trends and new product launches. He believes in writing unbiased reviews that ultimately benefit the consumers. To contact Kashish, visit the Contact Page.

Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares