The ThermaPAK Heatshift Cooling Pad is a laptop cooling enigma. It has no fans and claims to be able to cool your laptop significantly using cooling crystals that cool themselves automatically, so there is no need for refrigeration. The grooved channels on the pad are there to draw heat away from your laptop and into the crystals. Also the pad is very portable – it easily folds up and can fit perfectly in a backpack or bag. It sounded like an interesting concept, and the makers had some proof in the form of a recent CNET study that showed the HeatShift pad outperformed most USB coolers, cooling laptops by an average of 10 degrees.
I was intrigued and decided to give this pad a try. The manufacturer offers several different sizes, from 10 all the way up to 17 inches. The 15” pad fit my Sony Vaio perfectly. The pad itself is interesting – when it is cold you can bend it and hear the solid crystals crunching inside. As you continue to use your laptop and heat up the pad, it gets more flexible and the crystals turn into a liquid. Very strange but at the same time very cool! Definitely a change of pace from traditional laptop coolers. I really appreciated the lack of fans when I was watching a movie using my laptop, as I could actually hear the movie instead of the fans drowning it out!
Now onto performance, how did the HeatShift actually do? Well, this pad did a great job of cooling down my notebook – even better than some USB powered coolers I’ve tried! My laptop was consistently 8 to 10 degrees cooler than its average temperature while doing activities like playing games and using Photoshop, as measured by Speedfan. Even after a 2 and a half hour movie my laptop was cool to the touch. The cooling crystals do have their drawbacks though – after around 4 hours of continuous use the crystals have liquefied and heated up some, and the pad seems to lose some of its original effectiveness. It stills cool down your laptop (just not to the same degree) and was never an issues for me as 4 hours of continuous cooling suits my needs very well.
Overall I think this is a quality laptop cooler that uses no fans and does a good job of dissipating heat and cooling down your laptop. Other than the small flaw of slightly decreased performance when used over 4 hours continuously, this pad is reasonably priced and does what it claims. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a cooler laptop but doesn’t want to deal with noisy fans or power drainers. Get a great price on the 15″ pad or 17″ pad at Amazon.com
- No fans, completely silent
- No refrigeration needed
- Doesn’t drain battery power
- Very portable
- Effective at cooling down your laptop
- Loses some effectiveness after 3 – 4 hours
- May not cool as much as high end fan coolers