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Lifewire / Andrew Hayward
Good cooling power
Solidly quiet fans
USB pass-through port
Feels pretty flimsy
Not for larger laptops
The TopMate C302 is an ideal budget pick for a simple and straightforward cooling pad, although it may not withstand extensive wear and tear.
We purchased the TopMate C302 Laptop Cooling Pad so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for their full product review.
Although the core functionality is typically the same, laptop cooling pads come in a variety of designs and with different features. Some are robust and durable and may pack in additional perks, while some stick to the absolute basics, aiming to win out on pure bang for buck.
The TopMate C302 is a strong example of the latter. It’s affordable and solidly effective, but the plastic design feels a bit flimsy. I wouldn’t bet on it lasting for the long haul without gentle handling, but given the price, you might not worry about it too much.
The C302 measures just over 14 inches wide and is designed for laptops with screens up to 15.6 inches diagonal. It’s primarily made of lightweight plastic, with a thin metal grate on the top above the two 4.9-inch fans to help dissipate heat.
The entire pad weighs only 1.1 pounds, but the downside to it being so lightweight is that it feels a bit flimsy and rickety. It’ll do just fine holding your laptop and sitting on a desk, but I wouldn’t bet on it surviving a hard fall without some damage.
It has two little flip-up stopper nubs at the bottom to hold your laptop in place, and they can be gradually adjusted to avoid having them stick up and press into your wrists while typing. Meanwhile, a pair of feet on the bottom of the pad flip out to elevate your laptop about an inch upward to improve air circulation.
A single cable comes from the back of the pad to plug into a USB-A port on your computer, and it has a pass-through so that you can plug in another accessory, so as to not sacrifice a port simply to use the cooling pad. That’s handy.
It’ll do just fine holding your laptop and sitting on a desk, but I wouldn’t bet on it surviving a hard fall without some damage.
The C302 has a little bit of accent lighting via a pair of blue lights beneath each fan, but it doesn’t emanate a significant glow, nor is it customizable in any way.
The C302 is a purely plug-and-play accessory with no flashy perks or settings to deal with, nor any need for software on your computer. Simply place it under your laptop, adjust the feet and holding nubs as desired, and plug the USB port into your computer to power on the pad. The fans will then activate and run at the only available speed, and you can unplug it when you’re done or don’t need it anymore.
I tested the C302 using the Razer Blade 15 (2019) gaming laptop, which is equipped with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor and 16GB RAM, as well as a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU (6GB).
This lightweight and affordable pad delivered solid cooling power that helped cut down on both the internal and external temperature of the laptop while under significant stress.
Across two recent, popular games and a graphics-intensive benchmark test, I first tested the laptop on its own and recorded the internal processor temperature using the NZXT CAM app, as well as the external temperature of the laptop using an infrared thermometer. After allowing the laptop to cool down, I repeated the process with the cooling pad in use.
In Fortnite, the Razer Blade 15 recorded a peak internal temperature of 196 degrees Fahrenheit and 118 degrees externally, while the cooling pad dropped those numbers to 179 degrees internal and 115 degrees external.
In Dirt 5’s built-in benchmark test, the Razer Blade 15 hit 184 degrees internally and 117° externally, and those figures dropped to 175 degrees internally and 100 degrees externally with the cooling pad. There was no significant performance difference in the Dirt 5 benchmark when using the cooling pad: The average FPS mark was within one frame with or without the pad in use.
Lastly, UNIGINE’s Heaven Benchmark hit 162 degrees internally and 109 degrees externally on the Razer Blade 15 alone, and dropped to 154 degrees internally and 105 degrees externally when using the C302. All told, this lightweight and affordable pad delivered solid cooling power that helped cut down on both the internal and external temperature of the laptop while under significant stress.
Depending on test, the results were roughly comparable to or better than more expensive cooling pads, like the Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad and Thermaltake Massive TM, which have some added features onboard. It’s also pretty quiet in use—certainly quieter than the Razer Blade 15’s own internal fans.
At $30, this is one of the most affordable laptop cooling pads on the market right now. While results varied across multiple tests and games/apps, the C302 was pretty well in line with some of the pricier options I tested. It feels a little flimsy and doesn’t have any premium features, but the C302 is a very good entry-level option.
At $27, the Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad is a bit more robust. It gives you the ability to power the fans on and off—either the one large fan, or the group of four smaller fans around it—plus it runs a little quieter in use. The unit feels more durable overall, although the Kootek’s height adjustment system feels clunky, as you slide a hanging metal bar into plastic ridges to keep it upright. Kootek’s pad is larger and designed for laptops as large at 17 inches, but if you don’t need the extra size, the TopMate C302 gets the job done for less cash.
An ideal entry-level pick.
Durability questions aside, the TopMate C302 Laptop Cooling Pad ultimately worked about as well as the other, pricier pads I tested, helping to offset some of the heat generated by a very hot gaming laptop. If you’re concerned about long-term damage or performance degradation from an overheating laptop, the C302 is a cost-efficient way to help keep your notebook from reaching extreme heat peaks.
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