Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad Review

A premium option with largely inessential added features

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3.3

Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad

Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

What We Like
  • Good cooling with turbo engaged

  • Large surface for 17-inch laptops

  • Extra USB port

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't hold laptop in place well

  • Slight rattling sound

  • Pricey for a cooling pad

Thermaltake’s cooling pad doesn’t justify the added spend over cheaper rivals, but some users might appreciate all the perks.

3.3

Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad

Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

We purchased the Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for their full product review.

Thermaltake’s Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad is a more robust option than most notebook cooling devices. While many of its rivals are simple plug-and-play accessories, some even without power buttons to control their use, this pricier option has multiple modifier buttons, an LED display, and even temperature sensors that monitor the warmth of your laptop.

There’s a lot going on here, plus it’s two to three times the price of some alternative options. Is it worth the extra cash, or are these just frills that ultimately don’t add much to the equation? I tested Thermaltake’s device with the Razer Blade 15 (2019) gaming laptop to find out.

Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Design: Where are the stoppers?

The Massive TM has a distinctive look among notebook cooling pads, even if it functionally works much the same at its core. It’s mostly plastic, with a hearty core and durable build that looks like it can withstand wear and tear. Meanwhile, the brushed aluminum surface—which sits atop the dual 4.72-inch fans—has an attractive hexagonal pattern that’s more appealing than the simple grates of cheaper rivals like the TopMate C302 and Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad.

Your laptop may slide right off the cooling pad thanks to the lack of stoppers, as my MacBook Pro did when I fully extended the feet.

However, that’s not the only different thing about the surface your laptop sits on. It has four little nubs that stick up a couple millimeters with raised points at the top, and the nubs gently depress when your notebook is in place. These are the four temperature sensors that monitor the heat coming from your computer, and you can slide them left or right within the provided rail to best fit the size and shape of your laptop.

They also double as laptop holders for some devices, but I’m not sure if that’s intentional. Those aforementioned rival cooling pads have flip-up stoppers at the end that hold your laptop in position atop the pad, but the Massive TM has no such thing.

It’s a curious oversight, as the temperature sensors can’t hold your laptop in place as firmly as thick stoppers at the bottom. The Razer Blade 15 didn’t move around too much, but my MacBook Pro—which doesn’t have any fan openings on the bottom surface—slid around pretty easily.

The lack of stoppers was probably a design decision to accommodate the control panel at the bottom of the surface. There’s a power button, along with an auto/manual button, turbo fan button for increased airflow in manual mode, a lock button for ensuring you don’t accidentally change the cooling settings while in use, and a temperature button for manually switching between the four sensors. There’s also a button next to the screen that lets you swap between Fahrenheit and Celsius readings.

The brushed aluminum surface—which sits atop the dual 4.72-inch fans—has an attractive hexagonal pattern that’s more appealing than the simple grates of cheaper rivals.

A pair of USB-A ports sits in the back of the pad, and you’ll use one of the ports to connect the Massive TM to your laptop using the included cable. The other port can be used for another accessory for your laptop, such as a wired mouse or USB storage.

Setup Process: Just plug it in

The Massive TM simply relies on the USB connection to your computer for power, and there’s no software required to use it. All of the controls you need are right there on the pad. Note that there are optional back feet beneath the pad that not only pop out, but also have a secondary flip-out leg within for increasing the slant of your computer. The downside, however, is that your laptop may slide right off the cooling pad thanks to the lack of stoppers, as my MacBook Pro did when I fully extended the feet.

Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Performance: Use the turbo boost

The Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop I used for testing has a 9th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB RAM alongside, plus an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU. Across two games and a benchmark test, I measured the internal temperature using NZXT’s CAM software and the external temperature with an infrared thermometer—first with the laptop by itself, and then again with the cooling pad equipped in auto mode once the laptop returned to room temperature.

The Massive TM showed the greatest improvement with the Heaven graphics benchmark test, dropping the temperatures from 162 degrees Fahrenheit internally and 109 degrees externally without the cooling pad to 145 degrees internally and 101 degrees externally. That’s a steeper drop than I measured when using the rival TopMate C302 and Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad during the same test.

Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

That said, I didn’t see as much of a difference while playing Fortnite, where I measured a peak of 192 degrees internally and 118 degrees externally with the laptop alone, and 190 degrees internally and 106 degrees externally with the Massive TM equipped—although it mostly hovered in the 160 to 170-degree range. The TopMate C302 did a more consistent job of cooling the laptop's inside for that particular game.

You’re paying for the added perks of the screen, controls, and temperature sensors, but none of those translate into improved performance.

Likewise, the Massive TM pad didn’t put up as great of numbers with the built-in benchmark test of Dirt 5—at least with the auto-cooling function enabled. The Razer Blade 15 hit an internal peak of 184 degrees and external peak of 117 degrees, dropping slightly to 175 degrees internally and 116 degrees external with the cooling pad running on auto mode. However, I ran a separate test with the manual mode and turbo fan enabled, and registered temperatures of 171 degrees internally and 111 degrees externally.

In other words, you should probably just use manual mode with the turbo boost to get the best results. The fans run a little bit louder in turbo mode, but not significantly so. In either auto or manual mode, with or without the turbo equipped, the Massive TM has an additional hum to it, almost like a slight rattle. The other cooling pads I tested were quieter overall.

Price: It’s a little much

At a list price of $60 for the version with temperature sensors, the Massive TM isn’t one of the cheaper options on the market. It does a good job of cooling a hot laptop when on the manual mode with the turbo boost equipped, but the lack of stoppers to hold your laptop in place is disappointing, and it runs louder than other cooling pads I’ve tested. You’re paying for the added perks of the screen, controls, and temperature sensors, but none of those translate into improved performance.

Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Thermaltake Massive TM vs. TopMate C302

At $20, the TopMate C302 Laptop Cooling Pad is a strong budget-friendly option. It’s lightweight and feels flimsier than the Thermaltake Massive TM, and isn’t designed for larger, 17-inch laptops. However, if you have a smaller laptop and want something simple and straightforward that’ll blast cool air into your computer, it gets the job done for cheap.

Final Verdict

There are better, cheaper alternatives.

If you really like the look of the Thermaltake Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad or think you’ll benefit from temperature zone readings, it could be worth the added expense over rival cooling pads. However, for the average buyer, the extra features here don’t add anything to the overall experience. You might as well spend half the cash or less and go with the TopMate C302 or Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad instead.

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Specs

  • Product Name Massive TM Laptop Cooling Pad
  • Product Brand Thermaltake
  • MPN CL-N002-PL12BL-A
  • Price $60
  • Release Date May 2012
  • Weight 2.36 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 15.35 x 10.93 x 1.94 in.
  • Color Black/Silver
  • Ports USB-A x2
  • Waterproof N/A
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