- Cooling pads for laptops may not be necessary for everyone and can have drawbacks such as blowing dust and noise levels.
- Performance of laptop cooling pads can vary, with some only providing a few degrees of temperature drop.
- There is an overwhelming selection of laptop cooling pads available, making it difficult to find the perfect choice.
- Alternatives to laptop cooling pads include adjustable laptop stands, lap desks, and portable laptop pads.
Cooling pads are a popular accessory for laptops, but are they necessary? They can be useful, but there are also four good reasons to avoid a new laptop cooling pad. Is your laptop on its last legs? You might be surprised by these results if your laptop runs hot and you think a cooling pad will improve performance. We’ll tell you why purchasing a cooling mat for a laptop could be a bad idea, and we’ll also touch on a few of the better alternatives for consumers today.
Reasons to Avoid a New Laptop Cooling Pad
A high-quality cooling pad may help a dying laptop that runs hot live a little longer, but it’s not something everyone needs. Unlike laptop stands which are tied to usage, a cooling pad has one purpose — cooling a laptop. If your laptop is running hot, there could be a larger issue at play. A cooling pad can relieve a few degrees of heat, but it can also cause users problems for the reasons below.
They Blow Dust
Dust is one of the biggest problems with PCs, laptops, and other types of gadgets. It’s part of why the Ingress Protection scale exists. Dust buildup can cause laptops to overheat. Dust can find its way into any laptop quickly, and it’s not easy to get out once it’s found a foothold.
Is your home or work area dusty? If so, you’ll want to reconsider a cooling pad. They can make matters worse by blowing dust around. That results in frequent cleanings of the cooling pad and the fans inside. The fans in these devices work to cool a laptop, but they will also send any dust particles in their path airborne.
That’s a problem given the design of laptops, which can suck in the dust produced by the cooling pad. It’s a tricky situation that requires cooling pad users to keep their laptop spaces tidy at all times. Dust will be an issue with cooling pads unless you’re using the laptop in a hermetically sealed environment.
Not concerned about dust? How about noise? That’s an issue with most cooling pads to some degree. Many cooling pads have speeds, and the higher the speed, the better the pad can cool a laptop. Any fan running on high produces noise, even if it’s a two-inch cooling fan inside a plastic shell.
Noise levels are measured in decibels. It’s easy to obtain a decibel rating when shopping for products like vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, or microwaves. Curious about how loud a laptop cooling pad is? Well, you’ll need to rely on consumer reviews, as you will not find many cooling pads with a decibel rating listed.
Another issue with noise comes into play with the design of some cooling pads. Over time, things that spin at high speeds have a tendency to rattle or make noise. It’s a common occurrence you may overlook until you change speeds or adjust your laptop on the stand.
Laptop cooling pads are simple by design, although companies have included a variety of features, from USB ports to lighting. Cable routing and extra ports are useful, but they distract users from another reason to avoid a new laptop cooling pad — performance.
If you expect a laptop cooling pad to bring the temperature down on a steamy laptop to zero, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s not uncommon to see a drop of 10 degrees or more with high-quality cooling pads. With others, you’re more likely to find the temperature only drops by a few degrees overall.
Performance varies, and finding benchmarks or tests for most cooling pads is challenging. That’s partly due to the budget-friendly nature of these accessories but also because of the next issue on our list.
An Overwhelming Selection
When you do a quick search on Amazon for “laptop cooler,” you’ll get nearly 1,000 results at any time. You won’t notice many familiar brands. Most of these devices are rebranded or from smaller companies, so you’ll find dozens of brands like Liangstar and KeiBn for every Thermaltake.
That’s just one online shop, so you can expect similar results from all the major online retailers. To say the selection is overwhelming is an understatement, especially when you begin to look at the variety. Do you need a cooling pad with one large fan or seven small ones?
The size of the fans, speeds, and features on laptop coolers further complicate things. While most are relatively inexpensive, it’s hard to find the perfect choice without going through some subpar options. You don’t want to spend days researching a cooler when your laptop is overheating.
Alternatives to a New Laptop Cooling Pad
The best alternative for a new laptop cooling pad depends on why you’re thinking about purchasing one in the first place. If you just need to put a few inches between your laptop and a surface to keep it cool, there are far better options available.
Best Stand: Lamical Adjustable Laptop Stand
Riser stands for laptops are a unique solution to laptop cooling pads and traditional stands. These compact devices come in various designs, and Lamicall’s minimalistic stand is perfect for laptops of any size.
This laptop stand can handle systems from 10-17.3 inches and holds plenty of weight. That’s due in part to the design, which features thick aluminum supports with solid shafts. There are no USB ports or lights on this stand, but a lot of attention was put into the base. It helps keep systems cool through the slotted design and provides stability with its wide base.
Lamical’s laptop stand may not have the same bells and whistles as other models, but it’s sturdy and performs as advertised. It can support laptops of any size and is available in five colors, including pink and gold.
Best Lap Desk: QUDODO Lap Desk
Laptops are used in various locations, not just a desk or table. That includes couches and beds, an area that causes problems with laptops. If you’re looking for something to use on your bed, this lap desk from QUDODO is an excellent choice.
The company designed this lap desk for users that need a stable platform in their bed to work from. QUDODO’s lap desk provides that with a dual cushion system and a large 21-inch base. There’s room for a mouse if you use a 15.6-inch machine and slots for a tablet and phone across the top. The heightening pad folds to help you find the perfect angle, and there’s a set of legs if you want to use it as a standing desk.
This lap desk has been well-received by consumers and has a reasonable price point considering its size and design. While it’s hefty at almost five and a half pounds, it’s comfortable and provides stability at every position and angle.
Best for Lefties: MAX SMART Laptop Pad
Lots of things in life are designed for right-handed people, including most laptop stands, cooling pads, and desks. MAX SMART bucks that trend with its portable laptop pad and an innovative design suitable for both left and right-handed people.
The MAX SMART laptop pad has a simple design. There are no fans or risers, and it doesn’t have hinges that allow users to adjust the viewing angle. You’ll need to use your lap for that, as the highlight of this portable laptop pad is its ambidextrous nature. A retractable mouse pad slides out from the left or right side, which is impressive, considering it’s only around a half-inch thick.
This laptop pad is best suited for users who want something sturdy and portable for their system. At just over two pounds, it’s light and thin enough to slip into any laptop bag and it’s comfortable to use regardless of which hand you favor.
Laptop cooling pads are a short-term solution for laptops that overheat, which makes them a temporary purchase for many people. Most are designed for use on flat surfaces, not couches or beds. If your laptop is struggling, consider an affordable option from our list of the best budget laptops.
|Reasons to Avoid a New Laptop Cooling Pad||Explanation|
|They Blow Dust||Cooling pads can blow dust around, leading to frequent cleanings of the cooling pad and the fans inside. This can be problematic as laptops can suck in the dust produced by the cooling pad.|
|Noise Levels||Many cooling pads produce noise, especially when running on high speeds. Over time, things that spin at high speed have a tendency to rattle or make noise.|
|Performance Varies||The performance of cooling pads varies greatly. While some high-quality cooling pads can reduce the temperature by 10 degrees or more, others only drop the temperature by a few degrees overall.|
|An Overwhelming Selection||There are nearly 1,000 results for “laptop cooler” on Amazon, with many unfamiliar brands. The size of the fans, speeds, and features on laptop coolers further complicate the selection process.|
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