It might not be the coolest product around (sorry), but the best laptop cooling pads can be an essential. Cooling a laptop allows the processors to push harder and perform better without crashing – something no creative wants to experience. The challenge is finding the best cooling pad for your device, which means considering size, number of fans, power, noise, portability and more.
So what variables are at play? Size is a big issue. You don't want to buy a pad that's not large enough for your laptop as it won't cool it enough to offer any real benefit. Number of fans presents a similar issue, although this is more a question of power efficiency – some single-fan units can still push out a lot of cooling power. Noise is a big factor for anybody that thinks a whirring pad is going to get on their nerves. And portability is a must for anyone using their laptop on the go. Here's our pick of the best, and if check out the best laptops for graphic design if you're in the market for a whole new setup.
The best laptop cooling pads in 2021
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The Tree New Bee TNB-K0025 (opens in new tab) cooling pad is a high-end option for those that want the best without pricing being and issue. While the mesh metallic top layer will draw away heat, the four fans circulate cooling air to the laptop that can be between 15.6 and 17-inches. There are also two anti-slip pads, dual legs to prop the laptop up, dual USB ports and fan speed controls. All that makes this ideal for designers that want to keeping pushing their laptops' limits without the worry of a crash due to overheating.
The TeckNet Quiet Laptop Cooling Pad (opens in new tab) offers a whopping five fans that work at up to 1,200 RPM yet do so very quietly. The result is a super chilled laptop that can be run to its limits, for watching or editing a 4K and HDR movie, say, all while the fans remain quiet enough to avoid affecting the experience. The dual USB allows for power while still offering space to charge a device. Also the ergonomic design allows for two angles, with grips for stability – meaning maximum viewing comfort, again, ideal for movie viewing sessions.
The Cooler Master Ergostand III (opens in new tab) is a laptop cooling pad designed for adjustability, making it ideal for designers that need to move their laptop for the best viewing angle. The super large 230mm fan is ultra silent and works in conjunction with a six-angled stand. Everything comes apart for easy cleaning to ensure maximum airflow and cooling efficiency. The four port USB hub makes charging other devices easy and everything is easily accessible, further enhancing this pad's ability to go easy on your neck and back.
The Deepcool N9 (opens in new tab) isn't the slimmest cooling pad you can buy, but it is the best slimline option for the features we think you're going to need. Not only will this support laptops up to 17-inches with its metallic and grippy two anti-slip baffle platform, but it'll cool them powerfully with its speed-adjustable 180mm fan. You can enjoy four USB ports and six angle options for ideal viewing. All that is crammed into a unit that's slim enough to take anywhere, making it ideal for pros on the move that don't want to scrimp on power or settle for anything but the perfect viewing angle.
The TopMate C5 (opens in new tab) laptop cooling pad is the best for gamers who want maximum power out of their machine and maximum cooling to keep it from crashing under the strain. Thanks to a whopping 2,500 RPM from the five fans, which somehow still remain relatively quiet, this cooling pad is ideal for high-powered gaming laptops specifically. The downside? It won't manage larger 17-inch laptops, but for up to 15.6-inch devices it offers multiple angles and kickers to hold the laptop in place. A dual USB hub allows for device charging and there's also a blue LED light so you know when that quiet fan system is active.
The Game Lab Vortex E-Sport LED Cooling Pad (opens in new tab) offers a great combination of affordability and power that makes this a top option for gamers that want to get a powerful cooling pad on a budget. You get four fans capable of an impressive 1,400 RPM, all while staying quiet, as well as LED lighting. The brightness and power of all that can be controlled using a scroll wheel. Stands allow you to prop this cooling pad up for perfect viewing angles while ABS legs hold the laptop in place on the heat dissipating metallic mesh plate. Ideal for gamers, designers and general users alike.