Do You Find A Chill Mat Helpful?

ChillMat.jpg You can tell that summer's rapidly approaching when accessories vendors start pushing "chill mats" — laptop stands with built-in USB-powered fans designed to help air circulate and stop your machine overheating (the pictured one is a new Mac-specific model from Targus). While overheating can definitely be an issue, I've always found chill mats more hassle than they're worth. For one thing, they put the keyboard at the wrong angle for my liking; for another, they're too bulky to throw in my laptop carry bag. So my preferred methodology has been just keeping the home office as cool as feasible, but it's entirely possible that I'm missing out. If you're a chill mat fan — or have another strategy for ensuring your laptop doesn't go into meltdown — share your experiences in the comments.


    A Stable table, cheap, definitely makes the laptop a lot cooler and much easier to use on the couch.
    Feeling a bit like you should also be covering your legs with a rug and resisting the urge to eat of it as well is a downside!

    I've got a chillpad and it's great when I'm sitting on the couch. Not only cools my machine, but it helps cool me as well. When I'm at a desk though, I've found the best recipe is to simply prop each side of my laptop up on small books. This makes a bigger gap between the machine and the desk. Not sure of the science behind it, but my machine runs heaps cooler.

    Not quite sure it counts as a Chill Mat, since it has no fan, but I use and absolutely love Rain Design's iLap ( It is not quite the cheapest option, but it is extremely comfortable and definitely keeps my laptop cooler.

    If you need a chill pad, you've got a problem computer. The most important thing is to keep airflow to and through the computer open - use a small vacuum to keep dust out of the air channels and off the fan in the computer, and don't let clothing or a soft surface block the flow into the computer. A simple hard plastic tray type contraption to hold the notebook off your clothing often does the trick.

    If it takes a chill mat - and sometimes it does - the problem in part is with a poorly designed computer. More at

    I have a laptop cooling fan that I baught for 15 dollars, although my laptop never overheats, I figure it's going to prolonge the life of the latop, esp with games.

    When I play games with the laptop.. the onboard fan goes on overdrive.

    But with the laptop mat, it seems to take a longer time for the laptop onboard fan to turn on.

    I leave the laptop mat at home where my laptop sits, and whenever I need to go somewhere with my laptop I simply disconnect it and leave it behind.

    Works for me.

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