budget pick

Cooler Master NotePal X-Slim

laptop cooling pad
  • Very slim and portable
  • Low noise generation
  • Affordable
best overall

Cooler Master Storm SF-17

laptop coolers
  • Excellent cooling
  • Highly adjustable

One of the most common problems with gaming laptops is overheating. Naturally, you cannot cram a powerful multi-core CPU and a good gaming GPU into the compact frame of a laptop and expect flawless, noiseless cooling.

Luckily, there is a very easy and inexpensive way to lower the temperatures that your laptop is hitting when under heavy load: cooling pads.

These are neat and hassle-free accessories that not only function as a stand for your laptop but also provide extra airflow that will help bring the temperatures down.

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Top 7 Laptop Cooling Pads For 2020

In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the best laptop cooling pads currently available, both those designed for notebooks and for high-end gaming laptops.

HAVIT HV-F2056

best laptop cooling pad

About the Cooling Pad

Havit is a popular Hong Kong-based manufacturer of a variety of peripherals and accessories. Their cooling pad is one of the most popular ones around, and for a good reason.

The Havit HV-F2056 is a basic but highly reliable and affordable solution. Design-wise, it prioritizes portability – it’s slim, lightweight, and supports laptops as large as seventeen inches. It has three 110mm fans, performs very well, and comes with neat blue LED lighting.

When it comes to functionality, it offers pretty much everything that you could want out of a cooling pad. Apart from its primary purpose, it also comes with an extra USB port, allowing for convenient connecting and charging of other devices, be it a wireless peripheral, a phone, or anything in between.

Our Thoughts

The cooling pad’s primary purpose is fairly self-explanatory. Cooling a laptop is easy, but doing it efficiently and without excessive noise is the goal that most cooling pads strive to achieve.

And while the Havit HV-F2056 does this quite well for the average gaming laptop, it is hardly an adequate fit for any power-users who need a more serious cooling boost.

With that said, we recommend this product to casual users who simply need a cooling pad that is light, portable, and capable of bringing their laptop’s temperature down a few degrees. If you own a high-end gaming laptop, then best read on for some more profound solutions.

The Pros:

  • Slim and lightweight
  • Solid build
  • Affordable

The Cons:

  • Underwhelming performance

Cooler Master NotePal X-Slim

laptop cooling pad

About the Cooling Pad

Next up is a name that everyone needs to be familiar with – Cooler Master. Just knowing that it comes from one of the most renowned manufacturers of versatile cooling solutions, you can rest assured that this is a cooling pad that adheres to the highest quality standards.

The cooling pad itself is quite thin and comes with only one 160mm fan bereft of any LED lighting. As the name suggests, the NotePal X-Slim is made with notebook laptops in mind, although it does support larger models as well.

Our Thoughts

The NotePal X-Slim is quite similar to the above model from Havit in terms of design and which customer base it targets. It manages to pack decent performance into a remarkably slim frame, but it is, once again, not meant for any hardcore users.

Its low weight and general portability are its primary strength, but it also tends to perform a tad better than the Havit and, most of all, it is near-silent. Other than that, it has a very convenient cable management system, but no LEDs nor any notable features to speak of.

The Pros:

  • Very slim and easy to transport
  • Low noise

The Cons:

  • No remarkable features

Tree New Bee TNB-K0025

best cooling pad

About the Cooling Pad

Next up, we have a rather unusually-named company – Tree New Bee.

It does not look much different than the above product from Havit (or from many other budget cooling pads, for that matter), but the key difference is in the fact that it comes with a total of four 120mm fans – at the same price tag, no less.

Because of this change in priorities, this Tree New Bee cooling pad does suffer from a minor loss in build quality, although this is not a major issue if all you’re looking for is a combination of affordability and performance.

Our Thoughts

This may not be the best-looking nor the best-built cooling pad, but it gets the job done – the four well-positioned 120mm fans see to that. The fan speed can easily be adjusted with the help of the dials placed on the back of the cooling pad.

The obvious downsides are both the flimsy build and the bulk of the cooling pad itself. Even when it is laid flat on a surface, the laptop ends up being quite high, so it might be uncomfortable for some users. But the bottom line is, it gets the cooling part of the job done at quite a low price, so if that’s your priority, this just might be the right product for you.

The Pros:

  • Decent performance
  • Good value

The Cons:

  • Flimsy plastic build
  • Bulky

TopMate Cooling Pad

best laptop coolers

About the Cooling Pad

Four fans not enough? Well, how about five then? TopMate has just the thing! Their laptop cooling pad is yet another affordable but performance-focused cooling pad, and it has a few tricks up the sleeve that put it a notch above the offer from Tree New Bee.

The cooling pad is designed in a way that makes it look good but also highly functional. The indents on the front serve not only to give it that particular “gaming” look but also to keep the laptop in place by gripping its feet, which is an elegant way to prevent a laptop from slipping.

Furthermore, while most cooling pads can simply be propped up to a single angle, TopMate’s cooling pad is much more adjustable, supporting four different angles in total.

As a cherry on top, the cooling pad even has a small control panel with a blue LCD display on the front. It is used to adjust fan speed and switch between different modes, as well as power the cooling pad on or off.

Our Thoughts

All in all, there’s no denying that this TopMate product is an excellent way to boost your laptop’s cooling efficiency. It looks good and is well-built, but most importantly, it presents excellent value.

We have no objections to this particular cooling pad other than the fact that it only supports laptops up to 15.6 inches in size. While it can certainly also be used for larger laptops, they will undoubtedly not be as good a fit as the smaller ones.

The Pros:

  • Good build quality and performance
  • Adjustable height
  • Good value

The Cons:

  • Laptops larger than 15.6 inches don’t fit as well

Cooler Master NotePal X3

best laptop cooling pad 2018

About the Cooling Pad

Here, we have another Cooler Master product from the NotePal series – the NotePal X3.

At first glance, it might not look much different from the NotePal X-Slim, but it does differ in the fact that it is a more serious, performance-oriented cooling pad – and don’t underestimate it just because it has one fan!

It is designed for maximum airflow, and the single 200mm more than gets the job done. It also doesn’t employ any gaudy lighting, although it does have four separate LEDs positioned around the fan, giving it a bit of that gaming flair.

Furthermore, the cooling pad is actually powered through a mini USB port rather than a regular one, and it also has one extra regular USB port, as most cooling pads do. Apart from that, it also has separate power buttons for the fans and the LEDs, as well as a wheel used to control fan speeds.

Our Thoughts

The NotePal X3 is definitely easy and convenient to use. It’s fairly adjustable and has convenient cable management hooks on the underside. Cooling-wise, it is entirely capable of handling the regular 15.6-inch gaming laptop, although anything larger would just be an awkward fit.

While the cooling efficiency is quite satisfactory, one can’t help but notice that there is a bit of noise coming from the massive 200mm fan when it reaches its maximum speed, although this is an understandable drawback to any large, fast-spinning fan.

But other than that, the NotePal X3 is well-built and is a great solution for any serious gamer with a medium-sized gaming laptop.

The Pros:

  • Good cooling
  • Solid build quality

The Cons:

  • Fan can get noisy

Thermaltake Massive 20

best laptop cooling pads

About the Cooling Pad

Thermaltake is right up there with Cooler Master when you’re thinking about reliable cooling solutions, and their Massive 20 RGB cooling pad doesn’t disappoint.

The most standout feature is, of course, the RGB. The cooling pad has a beautiful RGB strip running along the edge, and the main body is remarkably slim as well. But don’t think it’s all fluff – as with the NotePal X3, it employs a single 200mm fan and is more than capable of managing gaming laptops, even though it is primarily marketed as a notebook cooling pad.

Our Thoughts

The Thermaltake Massive 20 is a jack of all trades but a master of none. However, it manages to find a good balance between portability, cooling efficiency, looks, and pricing.

Granted, the cooling pad performs quite well considering its frame, but the RGB does bring its price up quite a bit. Thus, it is not exactly ideal for any heavy-duty cooling, but if you prefer aesthetics and portability over raw power, then it just might be the ideal cooling pad for you.

However, if you’re looking for the best cooling at any given price tag and don’t care much for fluff, be sure to check out the next item we have prepared on the list.

The Pros:

  • Slim and portable
  • RGB looks great

The Cons:

  • Average performance for the money

Cooler Master Storm SF-17

laptop coolers

About the Cooling Pad

And finally, the heavy-duty cooling pad that some of you have probably been waiting for: the Cooler Master Storm SF-17.

At first glance, the SF-17 may look like an unsightly slab placed on top of your desk, but keep in mind that it is a cooling pad striving to offer a wide range of features and maximum cooling efficiency in place of being portable and convenient – a polar opposite of the Thermaltake Massive 20.

The cooling pad can be adjusted to four different angles and has a total of four USB ports. It also has a mini USB port and a micro USB port, both of which are used for power –  the former is for connecting directly to a laptop and the latter for plugging into a wall socket via an AC adapter.

Our Thoughts

The Storm SF-17 is function over form, that much is obvious. It may not be the most stylish or inconspicuous cooling pad around, but the sacrifices in the aesthetics department are well worth it when you consider the cooling power it offers. Best of all, the fan is remarkably quiet, despite its size.

It will accommodate laptops as large as 17 inches, thus fully supporting most modern gaming laptops. It is also the most efficient cooling pad on this list, although it is not even remotely as subtle or as light as some of the others listed here.

The Pros:

  • Excellent cooling
  • Fully supports most gaming laptops
  • Four adjustable elevation angles

The Cons:

  • Bulky and heavy

Do You Need a Laptop Cooling Pad?

laptop cooling pad reviews

As mentioned in the introduction, overheating is a common problem with laptops, mainly because of all the powerful, heat-generating hardware that’s packed closely together in a small space with limited airflow.

So, does a cooling pad actually help reduce a gaming laptop’s temperature under heavy load?

The answer is most definitely yes. However, it all depends on the quality of the cooling pad and the quality of the laptop’s own cooling system. Namely, the more fan intakes that a laptop has, the more it can benefit from the increased airflow provided by a cooling pad.

gaming laptop cooler

The general rule of thumb is that you can expect a temperature drop of around 10 degrees Celsius if we’re talking about a laptop with good cooling and a good cooling pad.

Note that dust buildup inside a laptop can severely decrease the efficiency of the cooling, with or without a cooling pad. If you intend on getting a cooling pad to deal with unusually high temperatures, it might be a good idea to clean the laptop prior to making an investment in a cooling pad.

You can see a guide on how to clean your laptop, as well as some other pointers on how to keep your laptop cool while gaming here.

The Best Cooling Pad of 2020

Striking a proper balance between pricing, portability, and performance is difficult. Pinpointing the exact cooling pad which does it best? Even more so.

As such, we have decided to give this title to Cooler Master’s Storm SF-17. It prioritizes performance above everything else, works great as a desktop stand, and it can even work as a USB hub do its many ports.

Granted, it is quite heavy and unwieldy, so if you’re looking for something more portable that can easily fit in your bag, then the NotePal X-Slim might be a better choice – or the Thermaltake Massive 20, depending on how much you RGB.

In any case, whichever of these cooling pads you choose, you can be sure that they are going to make your life easier, at least to a certain degree.

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