Last week we asked our self do laptop cooling pads actually work when it comes to gaming machines, where we concluded that they do improve internal temperatures by around a few degrees. This week we’re going to cover the best cooling pads for gaming laptops, where we took our overblown MSI GE76 Raider and tested it on ten different cooling pads, after which only three of them ended up on today’s list.
Which Brands of Cooling Pads are worth mentioning?
The most reputable brands of cooling pads for gaming laptops include Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Kootek, and KLIM.
Thermaltake: Thermaltake has been giving gamer’s a competitive edge for over 20 years. They sell a wide range of esports equipment, from PC cases and gaming chairs, to headsets and custom liquid cooling. Thermaltake cooling pads costs between $30 and $60. Most models feature adjustable height settings and ultra-quiet fans. What particularly sets Thermaltake apart from the rest though is that it stocks cooling pads of all different sizes – such as 17 inch and even 19 inch – meaning you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your laptop.
Cooler Master: Founded in 1992, Cooler Master sells an equally wide array of gaming products, with cooling tech being their specialty. They sell various types of cooling pads for both notebooks and laptops, and each is covered by a generous warranty. Cooler Master also offers more budget-friendly options than Thermaltake.
KLIM: KLIM is another easily recognizable brand in the esports industry. They’re renowned for creating cooling pads that honor the “gamer aesthetic” – we’re talking edgy designs, vibrant RGB lighting, and customizable lighting effects. While a KLIM laptop cooling pad didn’t make it into our top picks below, they’re still worth checking out, especially if you’re after something flashy.
Kootek: Kootek is a bit of an underdog in the laptop cooling pad industry – it isn’t a gamer-orientated brand like Cooler Master and Thermaltake. However, the brand has still managed to “wow” us (and thousands of others) with its latest high-powered laptop cooling pad. We discuss exactly how it won us over – and knocked KLIM out of the ranking – below.
The Best Cooling Pad for your Esports Gaming Laptop
Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB
The Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB can accommodate gaming laptops up to 19 inches, making it one of the biggest cooling pads on the market. It sports a powerful but ultra-silent 200 mm fan that can push out speeds between 600 and 800 RPM. The pad itself can be elevated at three different heights (up to a 13 degree angle), allowing for better air flow and a more ergonomic experience. Thanks to the built-in rubber stoppers, the laptop also stays safe and secure, no matter the cooling pad’s angle.
The rubber stoppers are particularly neat – a fair few cooling pads have clips to keep your device in place, but these clips are usually made of plastic, which can easily break or scratch your laptop’s chassis.
Like its name suggests, the Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB lets you “glow up” your gameplay. It has a 256 color RGB LED strip that spans all around the pad, and there are 5 different lighting modes to choose between – pulse, blink, wave, RGB Spectrum, and full lighted. Unlike most laptop cooling pads, it also gives you the option to switch off the lighting completely without disabling the fans.
Although powerful and jampacked with features, the Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB does lack USB pass through. However, this shouldn’t be much of a concern unless you’re in dire need of some extra ports.
The Second Best Laptop Cooling Pad
Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5
The Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5 lives up to its “chill” name: with 5 built-in fans spread across the entire cooling pad, there’s no spot on your laptop that won’t be hit with cool air flow. The fans boast an impressive 2,000 RPM – more than enough to keep temperatures low even when playing the most intense, esports titles – and the meshed metal surface keeps the pad cold to the touch.
The Kootek Chill Mat 5 can accommodate laptops up to 17 inches and also provides gamers with a handy dual USB hub. The middle fan is 120 mm and the outer fans are 70 mm each. While the Chill Mat 5 lacks the flashy RGB lighting the Thermaltake cooling pad has, each fan does have LED backlighting.
Plus, the Chill Mat 5 offers double the amount of height settings, allowing you to find the perfect viewing angle, no matter what game you’re playing or what position you’re in. Even at full tilt (around 25 degrees), your laptop still stays (and feels) safe and secure. The Chill Mat 5 also has a built-in cable storage compartment, which will let you keep your gaming desk clutter-free.
The Chill Mat 5 isn’t as silent as the Thermaltake cooling pad, and the middle fan does have some noticeable vibration when on full blast. However, the Chill Mat 5 is still impressively quiet, and you can actually switch off some of the fans if you don’t need the maximum cooling, which will definitely reduce noise levels.
A Cheaper Cooling Pad Worth The MOney
Cooler Master Notepal XL
Despite its budget-friendly price tag, the Cooler Master Notepal XL doesn’t sacrifice on power: it’s equipped with a giant 230 mm that can pump out 89.9 CFM and 1,000 RPM. It even features a front vent to allow for more air flow, and the breeze the vent lets out also helps keep your hands cool and dry (meaning no more sweaty palms). The fan is whisper quiet.
The Cooler Master Notepal XL is suitable for laptops up to 17 inches, and weighing only 1.87 lbs, it’s one of the most lightweight cooling pads out there. It has a unique but stylish X shape LED in the center, and its ergonomic typing angle provides optimal comfort. To top it all off, the Notepal XL has a built-in USB hub with three – yep, three – USB slots, making it ideal for those with limited laptop ports.
Sadly, the Notepal XL’s mesh surface is not exactly slip-resistant, and the pad also doesn’t have stoppers. Nevertheless, for the performance and features you’re getting at such a budget-friendly price? It’s a worthy tradeoff – as long as your laptop’s chassis isn’t slippery!
Choosing a Laptop Cooling Pad for Your Gaming Laptop
Not all laptop cooling pads are equal – here are the factors you need to consider when buying one.
RPM Performance: The RPM (revolutions per minute) performance is how fast the fans spin. The higher the RPM, the stronger the fans will be. For light esports such as Hearthstone, a cooling pad with an RPM around 600 RPM will suffice, but if you’re into more hardcore, graphic-intense esports like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? Opt for 1,500 RPM or higher.
Fan Size: As a rough rule of thumb, the bigger the fans, the better; bigger fans will move more air than smaller fans with the same RPM.
Fan Placement: The placement of the fans is equally important to consider. The fans should be in a position where they can easily blast cool air directly into your laptop’s vents.
Noise: After a cooling pad that won’t drain out the noise of you slashing your enemies? Then expect to fork out – budget laptop cooling pads tend to be noisy.
Weight: For those who turn their laptops into metal lapdogs, weight is an important consideration; a heavy cooling pad will be super uncomfortable on your lap.
Portability: Portability is a must if you travel a lot (spoiler alert: us gamers aren’t all “shut-ins!”). Stick to a cooling pad that’s light, non-bulky and has a USB cord.
Size: Don’t forget to order a size-appropriate cooling fan – it won’t efficiently heat your laptop otherwise.
Which Gaming Laptop Cooling Pad is Best?
We’ve chosen the “Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB” as our overall pick because of its high quality build, powerful cooling, and ergonomic height adjustability. The customizable RGB lighting strip also looks utterly awesome.
If your laptop is in dire need of USB ports though, opt for the Cooler Master Notepal XL, which brags a built-in USB hub. And for those after something ultra-powerful and a little less bulky? The Kootek Chill Mat 5 reigns superior, with its 2,000 RPM fans and smaller size.