Believe it or not, cooling pads are truly an investment, rather than a notebook accessory. Besides giving the station a surrounding coolness air and a professional look, it protects the internal components by lowering the temperature with several degrees. Depending on the quality of the pad and also, of the company who built it, this station can sometimes make the difference between a slow, or even faulty component, when heat is the main threat for certain situations.
That’s why today we are going to explore a collection of the best laptop cooling pads which you can get your hands on, at an affordable price. Choosing the perfect netbook cooling pad is not an easy job. Although in most cases the price of a component is a strong indicator that the product is worth the money, cooling docks are a bit more tedious. One most look for the perfect size (either of the pad itself, either of the cooler), the material from which the pad is fabricated and of course, for the design.
The best 10 cooling pads for laptops
The items listed below are ordered basing on the estimative price – the cost one has to pay for purchasing these products, without including delivery or, availability (some products may not be available worldwide). A score has also been attributed based on factors like quality, ingenuity, and of course, the cooling mark (when supplied by either vendor, or customer).
Speaking of coolness, the most frequent mistake made when choosing a cooling station is the size/number of coolers, without even taking a look at the materials and the design of the dock. Some models that come without any fans at all can supply a better performance than a regular cooling station, basing on its inclination factor and on the fact that the material used carries much heat. With that in mind, here are our ten competitors:
10. Titan TTC-G4TZ
The Titan TTC-G4TZ is a simple, aluminum made cooling pad which offers the best of performances for laptops measuring 17 inch in width. It has no less than four ventilators, each being 7-cm wide and outing noise at 22.2 dbA – very silent for this small size. Although its 4 fans cooling scheme may prove worthy in some systems, because of its flexibility, the product has been deemed not worthy of its price.
|Score: 71||Max Size: 17 inch||Price: $60 on Amazon UK|
9. ZALMAN ZM-NC1000 Black
The ZM-NC1000 is an ultra-quiet notebook cooler which comes with a sleek design made fully out of aluminum treated with a new surface processing system, while adding a rubber grip strip on the front-facing side to prevent the laptop from sliding. The ZALMAN product comes with two centrifugal fans of small size, meaning that to properly ventilate the system the rotation speed will be far higher than on a bigger fan, meaning more noise.
The product also comes with 679 ventilation holes which help the heat dissipate properly and an ergonomic figure to help reduce joint stress when holding the product on your lap.
|Score: 72||Max Size: 15 inch||Price: $40 on NewEgg|
8. Gear Head Dual-Cool NBC2200BLK
The Gear Head NBC2200BLK aims to satisfy the small segment of netbooks, being compliant only with 11.4-inch wide laptops, at most. It comes with a really silent fan, built using the Whisper Quiet technology, and a lightweight slim design. The whole product is powered using the USB cord and besides dropping a few degrees in hot summers, it can also be used as a lap support. Users have described the product to be so efficient, that when removing the cooling dock the laptop remains cold at touch. We give it a modest score for its performance, looks and also price, but a minus when it comes to compatibility.
|Score: 77||Max Size: 11.4 inch||Price: $10 on Amazon|
7. Antec Unbeatable 200
The Unbeatable 200 from Antec comes with a great design, in both manners of looks and robustness, while delivering an efficient way of cooling the laptop. Antec has embedded a 20-cm wide fan with blue LED lights (which can be switched off) and a setting for adjusting the speed. It has been marketed as ideal for gaming use, because it offers silent performance and has an innovative look. As for downsides, besides being made out of plastic to lose some weight, the Unbeatable 200 is rather expensive for our taste.
|Score: 79||Max Size: 17 inch||Price: $55 on Amazon|
6. DeepCool N2000 IV
The N2000 IV from DeeCool is made completely out of aluminum and steel, has two 14-cm wide fans and a noise standard of just 25.1 dBa, slightly above a whisper. Its great design offers different elevation angles and the possibility of using it as a plain laptop stand. Supporting laptop models up to 15.4-inch wide, the N2000 IV weights around 1 kg, mostly due to the materials composing the product.
|Score: 81||Max Size: 15.4 inch||Price: $20 on Amazon|
5. Cooler Master NotePal X2
Another Cooler Master product, the NotePal X2 is the flashy version of a renowned family. The X2 comes with a nice design, a huge silent cooling fan with blue Led shines, elevation and fan speed control which can suite any notebook with a maximum 17-inch diagonal. Various users claim that even on the most rapid speed, the noise made by the product is no louder than the one made by the laptop itself, so it passes our silent test. Unfortunately, the product is made out of plastic, lowering its overall thermal reducing score.
|Score: 82||Max Size: 17 inch||Price: $25 on Amazon|
4. Thermaltake Massive23 LX
The Massive23 LX cooling pad from Thermaltake is all about size. Coming with a huge 23cm wide cooling fan, said to be silent, it pushes a great amount of air towards the notebook, after cooling it at a respectable temperature. What we love about this product, besides the big cooler and catchy design, is that the embedded blue LED can be switched ON/OFF – a setting often missed on other products. As a plus, the Massive23 LX can also be used in bed because of its friendly shaped form. Sadly, it’s also made out of plastic.
|Score: 83||Max Size: 19 inch||Price: $26 on Amazon|
3. Thermaltake Massive23 GT 17
The Massive23 GT 17 is Thermaltake’s answer to plastic and mesh metallic cooling pads, offering a hybrid between the two with good performances, and a fairly modest weight for its size. As Thermaltake has accustomed its clients, this product also comes with a huge 20-cm wide silent fan rotating at a maximum of 800 rpm, a red or blue LED this time and a speed controlling setting. Besides all of these goodies, the cooling pad has five angles for height adjustment and two bonus USB ports.
|Score: 85||Max Size: 17 inch||Price: $35 on Amazon|
2. Cooler Master NotePal Ergostand
The NotePal Ergostand from the same Cooler Master is designed to offer great elevation angles, coming with no less than five different height settings for reducing the strain on your neck and wrist. Besides the adjustable angle, Ergostand comes with a modest 14-cm wide fan, speed control and silent performance. As a plus, the material used for building such a device was metal, adding a bit into the thermal conduction property. Moreover, the Ergostand has 4 USB ports, 2 rear cable clips and side handles.
|Score: 87||Max Size: 17 inch||Price: $37 on Amazon|
1. Cooler Master NotePal U2
Cooler Master is a company renown for making quality products, at an affordable price. This model for instance, the NotePal U2, is designed to offer a slight elevation to notebooks, allowing the natural cooler to work in proper conditions. Moreover, the aluminum used to build the stand rapidly dissipates heat and the holes through the dock allow for proper ventilation. Also, those wishing to extend its use to another level can attach two optional coolers (which are included in the selling price) and improve the overall performance.
The NotePal U2 can be accounted in the light weight category and has been proven to offer good results, sometimes exceeding those priced double. The product is very silent, customizable (the fans can be moved into the desire position) and has good adherence.
|Score: 92||Max Size: 19 inch||Price: $16-30 on Amazon|