Thermapak Cooling Pad Keeps Your Legs Cool Without Draining Your Laptop’s Battery
Everyone who owns a laptop knows the unpleasant sensation of having your legs fried when working with the computer on your lap for an extended period. I’ve been considering several cooling devices to place between my lap and the laptop, but I’ve always considered it to be a disadvantage that they need batteries or the use of a USB port to power their fans, thereby seriously reducing your working time. They’re also not very portable – you’d dread taking them with you on a flight. The ThermaPAK HeatShift Laptop Cooling Pad deals with these issues, using physics instead of electricity to keep your lap cool.
As I mentioned above, most solutions like the ones from Logitech and Belkin go for a straightforward approach, adding a device with a fan between you and your lap. They do what they promise to do, but they need to be powered somehow. They also have a rigid design, making them difficult to fit in your luggage. The ThermaPAK HeatShift technology uses a flexible gel pad with some kind of crystals inside. It’s light and flexible; you can even roll it up to fit it into that last bit of available space in your baggage.
How does it work? The crystals inside are solid crystals, called a Phase Shift Material by the manufacturer. Phase Shift means that, as the crystals absorb heat, they slowly start to liquefy, and when they cool down they become solid again. It’s not really documented as such, but I suppose that it works more or less like melting ice. You might remember from your physics class that, when you start to warm up ice, it absorbs the heat, and its temperature rises until it reaches melting point. Subsequently, the heat that’s absorbed by the ice doesn’t make the temperature rise any further. The temperature remains at melting point, and the heat is used to melt the ice instead of making the temperature rise further. Only after all the ice has melted does the temperature start to rise above melting point. I assume that the ThermaPAK works in a similar way, in which the crystals start to liquefy only at a temperature above room temperature and continue to absorb your laptop’s heat without getting much warmer.
It does have good reviews if you look around on the Internet. Some users have complained that it starts to get warm after three to four hours of use. But I have a tip for them: Decades ago, there was another brilliant invention for people who wanted to work for eight hours or so – it’s called a desk. Most people work with their computer on their lap for a few hours to read their emails or to surf the Web – and the ThermaPAK cooling pad is ideal for that. I have one on my lap as I'm writing this article, and after two hours of intensive use the top of the pad still feels amazingly cool to the touch and so does the bottom of my laptop.
Here's an informative amateur video:
- ThermaPAK HeatShift laptop cooling pad keeps your laptop and your lap cool
- Extends notebook life by decreasing its operating temperature
- Doesn't need electricity, doesn't drain your battery
- Actually, it makes your battery last longer because the fan doesn't need to work overtime
- Light and flexible
- Can even be rolled up, ideal for travel
- Efficient up to about three to four hours of use.
- Versions for 13, 15 and 17” notebooks
If you want to work for longer than 3–4 hours with the computer on your lap, you might consider buying a second laptop cooling pad. When the first is warming up, you simply switch pads and off you go for another 3-hour session.
Laptop carrying bags where one side is made of the same cooling material are also available. You can then open your bag and work on your laptop without taking the computer out of the bag.
Where to buy
We found another version of the same product (using the same HeatShift technology) under the name Targus HeatDefence Panel. We've tried that one too and it works just as well, the price is about the same too.
You can buy the ThermaPAK laptop cooling pad from numerous places. Check out the Amazon.com website , search the site for different sizes and colors. Amazon.co.uk offers the same cooling pad from Targus.
There are similar products from other brands available at about half the price, you can run a search for Laptop Gel Cooling Mat. We don't know if these are as effective as the ThermaPAK, if you have some experience with those, let us know.
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