The Best 3 MacBook Pro Cooling Pads (13 Inch) for 2018

Updated on January 24, 2018
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Paul has a passion for new technology and taught digital media studies in the UK for a number of years. He now lives in Florida, USA.

Cooling pads are an excellent way to control and limit laptop temperature levels. Products such as the iLap can be effective in distributing air underneath the device, helping to maintain the efficient operation of the machine and prevent overheating
Cooling pads are an excellent way to control and limit laptop temperature levels. Products such as the iLap can be effective in distributing air underneath the device, helping to maintain the efficient operation of the machine and prevent overheating

Having owned more laptops than I care to mention in my time, including a high number of Macs, I know from experience how frustrating it can be when overheating issues interfere with the functioning, or even worse, cause the machine to shut down.

I use cooling pads because they can control any potential issues before they develop and keep the Apple notebook functioning smoothly.

Generally speaking:

  • A typical pad will generally feature a design that allows heat to escape quickly, often (but not always) using a fan to help disburse the hot air.
  • There are some new designs on the market that work without a fan nowadays. One advantage of this type being that they don't need to be connected to a power source to function. They are also very quiet.
  • As well as cooling your device, a well designed pad will often also provide a comfortable angle for viewing and typing.

My 3 Best MacBook Pro Cooling Pads

Here are my recommendations.

  • The iLap 13-inch Stand By Rain Design: Stylish and Comfortable
  • Cooler Master NotePal U3 PLUS: Versatile and Attractive

  • The HAVIT HV-F2056: Reliable and Affordable

I will discuss the reasons for my choices, including my experiences, with more details below.

The iLap by Rain Design is my favorite stand. It's well designed and well constructed. I love the look and feel of it too. What's more it actually works too, protecting your legs from heat and cooling the laptop using an aluminum sink.
The iLap by Rain Design is my favorite stand. It's well designed and well constructed. I love the look and feel of it too. What's more it actually works too, protecting your legs from heat and cooling the laptop using an aluminum sink.

The iLap Stand By Rain Design: Stylish and Comfortable

I've owned numerous cooling stands over the years, and the iLap 13-inch Stand By Rain Design is without doubt my favorite. I tend to use it around the house in my leisure time, but it could just as easily be used in a work or college situation.

Here are my pros and cons.

Pros

  • This stand is stylish and attractive.
  • Therapeutic design. I no longer get pains in my arm, neck, or back when I'm typing for a long time.
  • The removable wrist rest is very comfy, thanks to the padded velvety cushioning. When you take it away, the iLap converts to a desk stand.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around.
  • Great fit for my Mac.
  • It's excellent at both shielding my lap from heat and keeping the temperature of your notebook down. It uses lightweight aluminum to act as a heat sink and it really does work.

Cons

  • It's not the cheapest stand out there. I personally think it's worth the price, but you may not.
  • The padding at the front can become unintentionally dislodged occasionally.

How To Tell if Your Apple Notebook is Overheating

There are various symptoms that may be linked with a notebook overheating.

  • The physical temperature of the notebook itself can be a good indication. If the underside feels hot, then the machine is probably running at too high a temperature.
  • The computer's fan seems to run far more often than it used to. It also works harder.
  • The computer shuts down unexpectedly. Most machine's are designed so that they will shut down rather than potentially damage the processing chip. Shutdowns are therefore irritating but still a good thing, as they prevent the laptop from being irreversibly damaged.

The Cooler Master NotePal U3 PLUS provides a chill pad for your notebook, minimizing the chances of damage to the machine due to overheating.  With a meshed design, it uses a 80 mm removable fan that can spin above 1500 RPM (950-1800 RPM) to dissipat
The Cooler Master NotePal U3 PLUS provides a chill pad for your notebook, minimizing the chances of damage to the machine due to overheating. With a meshed design, it uses a 80 mm removable fan that can spin above 1500 RPM (950-1800 RPM) to dissipat

Cooler Master NotePal U3 PLUS: Versatile and Attractive

I have a Cooler Master NotePal U3 PLUS in my office room and I love it. It's a comfortable and sturdy stand that's also versatile.

My pros and cons.

Pros

  • The meshed design disperses the heat quickly and effectively.
  • The light-up effect when the cooler is on looks cool.
  • The fans are well built and adjustable. They are pretty quiet too. You can customize their positioning for maximum cooling effect.
  • The ergonomic design is good for my neck and back.
  • You can use the pop out legs to adjust the height of the stand.
  • The USB cord used for powering is sturdy. There are two built in USB ports, so you don't lose a port when you plug in the cord.
  • The pad can be used as a carrying case. There's an attachable strap. I've only had cause to use it this way a few times but it worked well enough.

Cons

  • Doesn't hold my laptop quite as snugly as the iLap.
  • Not the easiest stand to clean.

Overheating can inhibit the efficiency of a notebook, and in extreme circumstances, it can result in your machine shutting down, or restarting.  A good cooler with help to distribute the heat produced by the machine more effectively.
Overheating can inhibit the efficiency of a notebook, and in extreme circumstances, it can result in your machine shutting down, or restarting. A good cooler with help to distribute the heat produced by the machine more effectively. | Source

Main Causes of Laptops Overheating

There are a number of problems than can cause laptop overheating. A few of the main ones are listed below.

  • Fluff and dust gathering in the vents. This blocks up the air channels and makes life more difficult for the fan to operate effectively. The problem can be fixed sometimes by blasting the vents with compressed air from an aerosol. Failing that, you may wish to open up the laptop and physically clean the vents and fan yourself, using a lint free cloth, and being careful not to cause any static problems.
  • The machine may not be powerful enough to cope with the task(s) you have given it. This typically happens with processing/memory intense pursuits like gaming. The simplest solution is to buy a better machine, although this may not be possible. Alternatively you can try minimizing the number of tasks that the laptop is carrying out at any one time.
  • Your laptop may just be getting old and its components are no longer operating as efficiently as they used to. The fan esecialy plays a crucial role in keeping the notebook cool.
  • A poorly designed cover may block the notebook's vents, resulting in reduced air cooling. The best cases for the MacBook Pro with retina display take into account the need to keep the machine cool.

The fan especially plays a crucial role in keeping a computer cool.  Over time, dust and fluff can build up in and around the fan, as well as the computer's vents, reducing cooling.  The fan can also lose efficiency or wear out over time.
The fan especially plays a crucial role in keeping a computer cool. Over time, dust and fluff can build up in and around the fan, as well as the computer's vents, reducing cooling. The fan can also lose efficiency or wear out over time.
This is very effective at keeping the machine cool.  It is powered by USB, which means that there are no power adapters or batteries needed, and also that it is a very quiet way of keeping the notebook cool.
This is very effective at keeping the machine cool. It is powered by USB, which means that there are no power adapters or batteries needed, and also that it is a very quiet way of keeping the notebook cool.

The HAVIT HV-F2056: Reliable and Affordable

My son has a HAVIT HV-F2056. He left it at home when he went off to college, which gave me a very good opportunity to try it out. Overall I was impressed. It's quite a bit cheaper than the iLap and Cooler Master but still a great product. If I ever needed to replace one of my current pads, this would be high up on my list.

My pros and cons.

Pros

  • It takes its power from any USB port, meaning that there is no need for any batteries, power adapter, or an external power source. It uses a pass-through port so you don't have to sacrifice one.
  • It's quiet and lightweight.
  • Excellent cooling effect.
  • It's more affordable than many other cooling pads, but well made and well designed.
  • My cat loves the blue light that it emits when switched on.

Cons

  • Doesn't hold my Mac quite as steady as the iLap.
  • The LED lights don't switch off and they annoy my wife if I use it in bed.


Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Paul Goodman

    New Guestbook Comments

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      • profile image

        Anonymous 3 months ago

        I recently bought a 13 inch Macbook Pro and found that it doesn't have a USB, but rather the USB-C with Thunderbolt. Will any of these be compatible with that? Will I have to use an adaptor

      • profile image

        Charles88 6 months ago

        https://www.apple.com/in/macbook-pro/ Macbook is good but too expensive

      • profile image

        Carmen 9 months ago

        confusing for a old geek.

      • profile image

        Clay 2 years ago

        Nice article. I've tried the Notepad U1 and liked it - the elevated stand on my desk was a nice touch. I just got a Svalt D from SVALT and am looking forward to seeing how that performs.

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