Laptops are both thinner and more powerful than they’ve ever been. However, this comes with some problems. For starters, heat dissipation leaves a lot to be desired. A common ailment for thin-and-light laptops like Macbooks, Razor Blades, Dell XPS laptops, and others. Unfortunately, there is a bit of a catch-22 with cooling. You need a bit more space under the hood to move larger amounts of air. Thin-and-light laptops reduce that space and, therefore, the airflow. This problem is fixable with third party accessories, mostly with a simple laptop cooler. If you’re shopping, we can help! Here are the best laptop coolers for most laptop sizes.
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Do laptop coolers actually work?
The answer is yes, most of the time. Most laptops draw air from underneath the machine, send it through the machine, and exhaust the hot air in the back or on the sides. That is why you should never put laptops on blankets, carpets, or other such materials. It blocks the air flow.
Laptop coolers perform two main functions. The first is added space between the laptop and the desk surface. Even without fans, it gives the laptop access to more and cooler air than it normally would. It helps reduce temperatures.
The second main function is the obvious one and that’s to blow cooler air right at the bottom of the laptop where the intake fans are. It not only cools down the entire bottom of the laptop, but basically maximizes the cool air your intake fans have access to.
There are some laptops where a cooler doesn’t make much of a difference. Those laptops usually have such terrible airflow problems that nothing helps or fundamentally flawed build quality such as bad thermal paste or overclocked hardware. Remeber, laptop coolers are accessories and they can only do so much. If one doesn’t work, you may want to contact your laptop manufacturer and get help. Let’s take a look at some good laptop coolers!
Best 19-inch cooler: Thermaltake Massive 20
There aren’t a ton of options in the 19-inch space, mostly because there aren’t a lot of 19-inch laptops and few people buy them. However, your best option in this space is the Thermaltake Massive 20. It supports laptops up to 19 inches, although beefier 19-inch laptops may have a bit of overhang. It uses a single 200mm fan along with a simple design. The larger single fan is usually the quieter setup and it pushes more than enough air. Plus, Thermaltake boasts RGB lighting instead of your usual blue or red. The only real downside to this one is no USB ports and this one requires not one, but two USB 2.0 plugs. Another excellent option is the KLIM Wind and the VOXON Laptop Cooling Pad. Both are slightly larger, have an extra USB port, and both require only one cable to function.
Best 17-inch cooler: Havit 5-Fan Cooling Pad
There are more 17-inch laptop cooler options than 19-inch, but this is still one of the larger and less popular sizes. Thus, you still don’t have a ton of options. FOr this one, recommend the Havit 5-Fan Laptop Cooling Pad. This one ticks all of the boxes. It fits most 17-inch laptops, has enough fan power, and it also comes with two extra USB ports so you don’t lose a port. The company makes a 3-fan version of this that fits most 17-inch laptops as well.
You do have a couple of extra decent options in this space as well. The Thermaltake Massive23 cooler is the one I ended up with because it fit my desk better and the Rosewill RWNB17B (Amazon link) gives you the RGB ring glow for you RGB folks out there. However, in terms of price, performance, and availability, the Havit is probably your best first option.
Best 14 to 15.6 inch cooler: Cooler Master NotePal U3
There are a lot of laptops in this size and it’s one of the most popular screen sizes since 14-inches is the smallest size you can while still being able to equip the machine with the standard 19mm by 19mm keyboard keys. The options really open up, but we’re quite fond of the Cooler Master NotePal U3. It offers a minimal design, three fans, decent airflow, and a USB pass-through so you don’t lose the port. It comes in two colors (black and silver) and it’s fully modifiable. The fans can be removed and you can add actual PC case fans. Thus, even if the fans break, you can repair it with new fans. It’s a bit pricey, but worth it.
The other members of the Cooler Master NotePal family also work well. They are cheaper, but offer less customization and repairability. Some other excellent options in this space include the Thermaltake Massive TM and its swanky button controls, this Havit RGB laptop cooler for you color fans out there, and the IETS GT300 if you really want something over the top.
Best less than 14 inch cooler: TopMate C302
Generally speaking, all laptop coolers work with the smallest laptops as long as you don’t mind the cooler being larger than the laptop itself. However, there are some smaller coolers that aren’t so massively over-sized for smaller laptops. For this one, we recommend the TopMate C302. It works for laptops as low as 11-inches up through 15.6-inches. It’s a simple design with two 4.92-inch fans, blue LED lighting, and two little plastic holders to keep your laptop from sliding forward. It’s also relatively cheap.
There are a couple of other decent options. Coolertek has a minimal, sleek looking laptop cooler that fits down to 11 inch laptops. Meanwhile, TopMate also makes a cooler for 12-inch laptops and larger with some button controls on the front that makes it all flashy. Still, the C302 would be our first choice.