* Prices may differ from that shown
My dogs recently broke my beloved HP mini netbook, by charging to the door barking their heads off, they ran 'through' the power cable and yanked the netbook onto the floor with considerable force. So when I replaced my netbook with a laptop I decided to get a chill mat to go with it having seen my daughters high spec laptop knackered (temporarily luckily it was fixable) by overheating.
I bought both my new laptop and the chill mat from the 'Very' catalogue which has allowed me to defer payment on the laptop until next year and will give me a chance to save up, otherwise I could not have afforded to replace it so quickly. The Targus chill mat was the only one they offered so I went with it as at £19 it seemed a reasonable price.
The design is simple and light weight comprising of a softly rounded hollow plastic wedge. The area which sits against your lap (or table/desk) is covered in a soft dark grey neoprene fabric and feels very subtly cushioned. The top surface is perforated plastic which has a matt feel to it and has four little rubber 'stops' set about an inch in from each corner which grip the laptop firmly with no slip evident at all (these are movable). There are two fans to provide the cooling effect and these are activated by plugging the attached usb cable into your laptop. The whole thing is very lightweight and doesn't add much weight to the laptop which is great if you have it sitting on your lap for extended periods.
I have been quite lucky that my new laptop seems to run quite cool so far anyway but in hot weather even a cool machine can overheat because of the ambient temperature. Also as I'm sure you know if using your laptop on a soft surface including your lap the vents can get blocked and lead not only to the machine overheating but also your lap. I always had to move my old Toshiba laptop around regularly and place it so that something was underneath it to hold it up from my lap and it was a pain having to constantly adjust my typing position etc. If only I'd know about the joy of a chill mat then.
I find this product very easy and comfortable to use. My youngest daughter has a chill matt which looks slick and glossy but is quiet noisy, a little heavy and angular which can be uncomfortable if using your laptop in bed and you fall asleep with your face pressed against the chill matt... Not me honest. The Targus matt is very minimalistic there are no flashing lights or adjustable bits or even an on and off switch just the mat usb connector and the well hidden fans.
I'm not a gamer so I can't say how the mat would perform for laptops being pushed to their limit. However I do use my laptop quite heavily for entertainment and word processing often having 20 or more tabs open at one time on Google chrome, sometimes having more than one window open at a time too, Dooyooing, watching films, dipping in and out of YouTube and Spotify, i-player etc. For my use the heat insulation is superb and even after using for quite some time I feel no heat coming through the matt to my skin, in fact on a warm day I find it even cools me a little too. The fans are very quiet and the first time I used the mat I could only tell it was working by a very faint vibration if I put my hands up against it, and of course by the cool air coming out of the perforated top. Despite being very quiet and having only one speed the cooling effect is quite dramatic and if I lift my laptop and feel between it and the mat the whole area including the base of my laptop is lovely and cool. The fans are placed towards the back third of the mat and are very well protected by a plastic guard which looks a bit like a small flattened colander covering them. This is good news if you have small children (or husbands) who might be tempted to put their hands through the open sides of the mat, or if you have deranged cats who might want to 'catch' the fans.
The angle is very comfortable for writing and general use, and though I've long since adapted to touch typing on a 'flat' keyboard I find when using the mat I'm able to use the hand positions I was taught as a touch typist more easily. I've been surprised to notice that my typing is a little more accurate and faster at this inclined angle. The angle also makes for a comfortable viewing experience lifting the screen a little higher so your neck isn't constantly dipped down too much.
My laptop has a 15 inch screen and fits perfectly on the mat, my beloved defunct 10 inch netbook sits beautifully on it too (I'm hoping to be able to get it fixed as it seems to be only the screen that's knackered). The husband's 17inch work laptop also sits nicely on it even though it is about a hundred years old and weighs nearly as much as I do, the lightweight and almost delicate feeling Targus handles it well. The rubber stops can be popped out from the perforated top as they their shape includes rubber 'pegs' on the underside which can be popped out and re popped in, in a different position on the mat. However my little 10 inch(ish) netbook sat on the surface fine with only its own rubber stops to keep it in place as I didn't bother moving the ones on the mat just to try it out for size. So in my opinion this mat would work well with most laptop shapes and sizes.
I don't notice a significant drain on the battery charge through using this chill mat and the laptop still runs for about 4 hours between charges - a lot less than I'm used to with my netbook but not so bad for a heavily used laptop.
One tiny thing that could have made this product slightly more ergonomic is to have somewhere to clip or stash the attached usb cable when not in use. The fact that it is attached to the mat is a big plus for me because I do have a terrible habit of losing things. However my absent mindedness is rivalled only by my clumsiness and I don't want to wreck my new best friend by ripping out the usb cable by catching it in something when carrying it about. This is hasn't been an issue so far though as the cable is not too long and dangly. I'd say it's about the right length not so long as to get in the way and not too short as to make it difficult to stretch between mat and laptop wherever your usb ports are located (mine are on the left hand side and the cable is attached centrally at the back of the mat). You can of course improvise and shove the attachment inside the curve of the mat, but it will pop out again easily, though I have found a discretely placed blob of Blu-tack helps with that issue.
The mat is widely available online from Amazon, ebay, Targus just Google it and it's there. I'm not sure where to get it (if you can get it) on the high street because I do pretty much all my shopping online these days but it is available from PC world for one at about £16
I can't really fault this product at all and I'm hoping that the simplicity of the design will help with longevity, in fact I like is so much that I've ordered another one for my youngest so she doesn't lacerate her face on her old chill mat. The old one will be recycled to her older sister who is very together and never falls asleep face down on her lap top.
Targus Lap Chill mat
This is the second of two cooling pads that I bought from Amazon to try and solve the problem of my lap top over- heating and just deciding to switch itself off.
This lap top cool pad is a pretty solid table like plastic structure that is about the same size as a standard laptop. My smaller 13" laptop easily fits on the top with space all around. The top part of the chill mat is slightly sloping upwards towards the back. The top is slightly rubberised so the laptop doesn't slip. In the gap in between there are two fans and the bottom level is covered with a soft spongy fabric so that when it is on your lap it feels comfortable as well as cool.
The chill mat works by connecting to your laptop through a USB port. You can either put the chill mat on a table or other flat surface or put it on your lap. Position your laptop on top of the chill mat and then connect the USB cable of the chill mat to any USB port on your laptop. I leave mine permanently attached to my laptop so I don't have to go through this each time I use mine.
On the top of the mat are little rubber grips which you can move so that they fit your lap top and stop it sliding around. In the tiny little instruction booklet that came with this chill mat it does say to be aware that these little grips do come off and could be swallowed by a child so keep them away from young children.
The fans of this chill mat are well hidden in between the top and bottom layer but even so it is a good idea to ensure that no long hair or light loose clothing get near the fans as they could get caught and cause some serious damage not only to the fans but also to the person the hair or clothes are attached to.
I bought a second laptop cooling mat at the same time as this and it was total rubbish. This however was not that much more expensive but it is so amazingly much better quality. It is stronger and a better simpler design, the fans are well hidden and more to the point this one actually works.
The pad is slightly padded around the edges and underneath and when the lap top is connected I can have this on my lap and feel absolutely no warmth at all coming through. In fact it feels pretty damn cold at times. It is sturdy and doesn't rock at all so provides a desk like top to work on. It looks good too in a back matt colour with air holes all through it top and bottom. It is slightly raised at the back so slopes towards the front and as my laptop screen can be twisted and set to a position that suits my vision this works well for my hands on the keyboard.
Prior to buying this cooling mat my laptop work cut out after about an hour with no warning at all. Since I have been using this mat the laptop can be on for the entire day without any problem. The fans are pretty quiet and certainly don't offend me. I can still hear my music and watch videos without being aware of any fan noise.
There is a small hum from the fans but compared to the annoyance of having the laptop turning off when over- heating this background hum is a pleasure to hear.
As I said when I have this on my lap I can feel absolutely no heat at all coming through from the laptop. In fact it feels very cool, rather too cool after a while so that I find I cannot cope with the cooling feeling and have to use the laptop on a table. It feels like you have a cool bag on your lap which is okay when it is hot but not that pleasant when it is cold weather.
All in all I am very happy with this cool pad and it cost me around £20 I think which was a bit more that the other laptop pad I bought but this is ina different class altogether. This is strong and looks like a quality product while the other looked like a cheap bit of plastic rubbish if I am honest.
My advice is spend a bit more and buy this as I have had it around two years now with no problem so it has been well worth the money in my opinion.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
Like most people, I often use a laptop on my lap - either whilst sat on the sofa watching the TV, or whilst stopped in the car somewhere. And again like most people, I tend to suffer from the hot legs problem where you end up blocking the cooling vents of your laptop, which then causes it to heat up, creating a double problem. Initially it heats your legs up, which can become uncomfortable, but it also heats up the components in your laptop, thus shortening their life, possible meaning laptop failure and loss of your vital documents. So it kind of makes sense to try and do something about this heat issue.
Hence when I came across this Targus Lap Chill Mat on Amazon, I was quite intrigued, particularly since it mentioned the word 'chill', which I soon determined wasn't a fashion statement or some form of 'youff' speak. Previous laptop lap tables that I have used ease the heating problem a little by keeping your laptop on a hard surface, allowing some airflow underneath. But this Chill Mat has a sort of built in cooling system which in theory is far more effective. So for just under £20, I took delivery of the 17" version.
So what do you get for the money? Well at first sight, it looks just like a flat top table mounted on a wedge type affair which is hollow. Dimensions wise it is 38cm wide, by 30.5cm deep by 5cm high at the deepest point, and, being hollow, is fairly light weight overall, coming in at just over 1kg. It looks like some sort of designer artwork piece, and the wedge allows a laptop placed on the top to be tilted towards you at a slight angle, thereby creating an ergonomic position for you to comfortably type. To stop the laptop sliding down, the top has a neoprene mat mounted on to it with a rubber foot pad in each corner. So in general, it looks and seems to be just like any other laptop table that you can put on your lap.
However, the title did say 'chill', and this is the key difference which stands this item apart from other basic laptop tables. Buried in the wedge you have 2 fans, and these provide that chill element. The neoprene mat on the top has a series of holes and vents in it which sit under your laptop when it is in position. The fans themselves are powered by a usb lead which comes from the back of the wedge and plugs directly into your usb socket on your laptop. Plug in and the fans come on - no on/off switch to worry about. When powered up, the fans blow cooling air up through the neoprene mat and around under your laptop, thereby keeping your laptop cool, or 'chilled', hence ensuring that your computer components last longer.
How effective is it? In use, it seems to work very well. In the past when I had the laptop on my lap, I noticed that the fans on my laptop would come on quite frequently to try and cool things down, but with the air vents blocked, it really had to struggle, and hence things got hot. When I now use this chill mat, I find that that is now no longer the case as the fans in the chill mat keep everything cool. On its own without the fans, the mat itself does seem to keep things fairly cool because there is a nice gap left under your laptop to maintain airflow. But put the fans on, and everything cools down a stage further, which keeps your laptop running efficiently. In terms of noise, yes you are aware that the fans are running, but not in a distracting sort of way. If I had to do a comparison, I would say that the fan in my laptop (a Dell) is the louder of the 2 systems.
In summary, to me this Targus Lap Chill Mat was a good investment. At just under £20 for the 17" model, it looks good, is ergonomically designed for comfort, but above all, keeps things cool on my laptop. Hence, I easily give this a 5* recommendation.
Work nowadays for many of us (and for better or worse) is no longer a 9 - 5, or even an 8 - 6 concept. Instead it's a case of working as and when the client/customer dictates. The references to decreasing working weeks and lots of free time that were frequently made by Tomorrow's World in the 1970s now seem a quaint idea that will never come to fruition.
As part and parcel of this modern approach to work I use a laptop in front of the television, or at the dining table, during the evening. The heat coming from the base of the laptop is a bit of a problem however - on the dining table I worry about damaging the old wooden surface that my wife loves, in front of the television on my lap is fine during the winter as it keeps my legs warm but during the summer whilst wearing shorts it's a much more painful proposition.
Therefore when I saw the Targus Lap Chill Mat in Clas Ohlson's last week I thought it would be a wise investment - the fact that it was for sale at a discounted price of £19.99 (down from £24.99) definitely helped as well.
- What is a Targus Lap Chill Mat? -
The clue is in the product name, this is a mat (ok really it's more of an angled base) that cools your laptop as well as whatever it happens to be sitting on. This is done with the use of two integral fans that are powered via a USB connection (it's compatible with both USB 1.1 and 2.0). The laptop itself sits on a rubber base that has four grips to stop it moving about the base which is sized at 380mm x 300mm x 50mm.
The Lap Chill Mat also comes with a 2 year limited warranty.
- What's it like to use? -
This is one of the easiest computer associated products to use. You simply unpack it, place the laptop on top, plug in the USB cable and that's it! The fans are quiet - just a faint background hum similar to that of the laptop's internal fan. And it does exactly what it claims; I worked for 3 hours yesterday in front of the tv and not a hint of burning flesh.
- Problems? -
There are a few problems but nothing serious.
The Lap Chill Mat adds an extra 1.05kg in weight to the laptop, not excessive but it does become noticeable after a while (I'll use it as an indicator that I'm working too hard).
The instructions warn that the small rubber grips on top of the Mat "can be removed by force" and therefore to keep it out of the reach of children. In reality the rubber grips are easily removed - I used no force whatsoever. This may be a problem in households with enquiring young fingers.
- Would I recommend the Targus Lap Chill Mat? -
Definitely, anyone who uses a laptop as intended (i.e. on a lap) will benefit from this!
Like most people we have all had a burnt leg accident with your laptop. Even though laptops have cooling fans it doesn't really do the job as it blows the cold air out of the back on my laptop. I am writing this review to make sure everybody is aware of the actual seriousness of it and to inform that a cooling mat may become the most essential thing to have when using your laptop.
Using my laptop is like and everyday job and there probably isn't a day that goes by where I don't use it to check everything out and keep up to date with the world. This caused me to become slightly addicted to using my laptop to talk to friends and just general use of the internet my laptop began to become extremely hot and was known to over heat and get too hot to even touch. I thought that this was just a problem with my laptop and didn't realise the serious effects that it could have on myself. One day after using my laptop for several hours straight I could smell burning I didn't think this was a problem and it was just my laptop over heating again seen as I used it for a while so I carried on using it. Later that night I had soon learnt that it wasn't just my laptop burning up but my leg! The smell was my burning flesh. It was so hot that even went through my jeans. I went to see what the damage was and had a huge red burn on my leg. This became very painful and I had to take a trip to the doctors he prescribed me some cream because the heat that was coming off my leg was like when you have just opened an oven and you get that overwhelming sensation. My mum wasn't too pleased with this news so she warned me to keep off my laptop for a few days but as my addiction was that bad I didn't think I could do that so we had to look at other options. This is where the Targus Lap Chill Mat come in need to save me.
-Chill Mat to the rescue!-
After purchasing the mat at £24.99 from Argos I thought that this was an expensive piece of equipment but it was needed as I couldn't deal with any more burns to my legs. When I bought the chill mat it came in cardboard wrapping with cello-tape attached either side to keep the product secure. This is where I had to use my muscles to rip it open so I could begin to use it. As it had been several hours I just wanted to use my laptop again. I didn't read the instructions which didn't really affect how I use it. You just put the mat under the laptop and then plug the USB cable into the side of your laptop. This may be a problem if the USB ports are already being used but I guess you could still put it on you lap but the cooling fan wouldn't work. I use the mat all the time now to stop the burning sensation happening again.
The size of the mat is L38 cm , W30.5 cm , D5 cm this is a great size as it fits my laptop perfectly with a little extra room at the back. This is good as none of the laptop is bare and there is less chance of the laptop burning you. However seen as it is a suitable size it is an extremely heavy cooling mat but this is acceptable as it does have a built in fan which stimulates a cool air flow constantly. This is good as it doesn't decide to stop working on you and keeps your lap chilled for as long as you need it to. The board is at a slant because it makes typing much easier when it is on your lap. This means you can type for hours and hours and it will make it as smooth as possible. The product makers have thought about this well as you would be having more than a burnt leg but sore wrists, fingers and thumbs which could lead to problems later on in life. The chill mat creates comfort and smoothness while using your laptop for everyday things.
Underneath the mat there are holes made in the hard plastic where the cool air comes out of. However the mat does stop the burning leg incidents but a good thing about this is that your leg doesn't go too cold on your leg and keeps it at a normal temperature. Also at the bottom there are four grips which help stop the board from sliding however I do not tend to have this problem. The grips do tend to fall out and on mine now I only have three as my puppy ate one but he seems okay. The board has a two year guarantee. I have had this for about 6 months now and have used this everyday since I have had it and it is still working. This is a very reliable piece of equipment and you can use it any time of day however it isn't very portable so if you want to use it on the train or something then you would struggle to take it with you as it is bulk and isn't very portable but it is ideal for sitting at home using it. It is hollow in the middle to enable the fans to work properly without any problems. The top of the board is a dark grey/blue sponge-like material that makes the board look more modern and expensive.
I love using this board to stop the heat burning my leg and it means I can still carry on using my laptop. The laptop fits perfectly and fits perfectly on my lap. This is an essential product for ensuring that you aren't being harmed by the use or over use of the laptop. The Targus Lap Chill Mat is also very quiet and doesn't make much sound at all. This is great considering the fans blow cold air.
There aren't many bad things I can say when I talk about this product but there are a few. The chill mat isn't very portable meaning that you can't take it with you if you decide to go on an adventure but I have never decided to do this so it isn't really a disadvantage to me. Another is that it is very expensive and is now on sale at Argos for £30 but I think it is definitely worth that price. Another is that it can be rather heavy but you soon forget about that when you start to use your laptop.
This is a vital piece of equipment that can stop those nasty burns from the laptop. It helps cool and grip so you can use your laptop without any problems. It is a must have piece of equipment in my eyes and if you don't have one then you should get one if you own a laptop.
Anyone that really knows me, will also know that my laptop, is better known as "my life support machine" because they claim, without it I would possibly die. Therefore I will do everything I can to keep it in good working order.
Just before christmas last year I was having problems with my laptop over heating (which doesn't suprise me at all, when I think of the amount of time my laptop is on for) so I decided I needed something to keep it cool. Whilst browsing Amazon I came across this "Targus Lap chill Mat" it sounded good to me, so after reading a few positive reviews on the product, I decided to go ahead and buy it.
Packaging: The lap chill mat was packed in a plastic bag, inside the usual Amazon brown cardboard.
It arrived in perfectly good packaging, packed very well and secure.
Size: 30.5 cm x 38 cm x 5 cm
The size is perfect for my 15.4 inch display laptop, it actually sits in the middle of the lap chill mat, which is great, as the laptop isn't overhanging anywhere.
Weight: 1.05 kg
The weight, although not that heavy, once you have your laptop sitting on it and you've had it on your lap awhile, I personally find it gets a little heavy and uncomfortable, so from time to time I have to sit it on a little table I have.
Product Material and Colour: Plastic, neoprene. Grey, black.
The main overall colour is black with thin grey plastic strips sealing the edges. The majority of the lap chill mat is made from black neoprene (nice, soft and squidgy material) on the top of the mat is a black plastic rectangle 14 by 10 inch, covered with holes, to enable the cool air to circulate from the fans.
Features: Tilt adjustment, USB powered, Built-in cooling fans.
The tilt, is very handy, making the keyboard sit at a much easier angle for tying. The back of the chill mat is about 2 inches deep and as it gets towards the front it finishes off being about 1/2 inch.
USB powered is a fantastic idea to plug in your mat, as no other wires or cables are necessary. Attatched centre back of the mat is a USB cable about 27 inches in length from the back of the mat to the actual USB plug itself. This gives you plenty of wire to reach which ever USB port you need it to.
There are two fans inside the mat, you can actually see where they are situated, if you look through the mat from the side. As the mat is shaped like a hollow slab of cheese (that's the best way I can think of to describe it) attatched to the underneath top, is a grey plastic area which holds the fans, the whole inside of the mat is grey and so it makes it easier to see inside. The fans are surpisingly quiet. (unless it's just a case of, I have it on that long I become accustomed to it)
Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years
I'm sure this speaks for itself.
Price: £17.99 (from Amazon)
--My opinion and experience of the product--
I orderd the Targus lap chill mat about a week before christmas, then with all the bad weather, post was being delayed. I recieved an email from Amazon, explaining that I wouldn't recieve my item in time for christmas, to which they apologized. It didn't really matter to me as it wasn't a gift anyway. So I was really suprised when it turned up two days before christmas. (Amazon customer service is excellent).
I couldn't wait to get my laptop sitting on top of the mat, plugged in and cooling down. The fans started up almost immediately, all I could hear was a soft whirring sound. I sat the mat along with laptop onto my lap and settled back to see just how comfy it was going to be, having it on my knee. I could feel the cool air, which made a nice change from burning my legs every two minuetes. However, I found that after a while the whole thing, mat and laptop together, began to feel quite heavy on my legs, this forced me to sit the mat and laptop onto a little table I use, for when I'm using the laptop while sitting on the sofa.
I'm gald I purchased the "Targus lap chill mat", it's been great for keeping my laptop cool, from time to time I can sit with the mat on my lap but more often than not I leave both mat and laptop on the table.
I think it's worth the money I paid for it. If it means keeping my laptop in tip top shape then I will purchase another, if and when the time comes.
I give this product 4 stars because it does what I want it to, but can feel a little heavy sometimes.
Thank you for reading my review which may also appear on Ciao.
Anyone who is a regular laptop user will know that awful burning thigh sensation that you get when balancing your over heated laptop on your lap, for several hours at a time. Even though laptops are fitted with cooling fans, sometimes they just don't seem to be able to do the job well enough and thats why we decided to purchase a Targus Lap Chill Mat.
Our Targus Lap Chill Mat came simply packed in clear see through cellophane outer sleeve, with a cardboard wrap around the mid section which displayed the basics of the product. The packing was minimal and you could easily see what you were getting without having to open anything. The mat is roughly 38 cms x 30 cms in size.
We bought the laptop mat for £16, but had previously seen it on sale for around £20. The Targus Lap Chill Mat is made from reasonably light materials and is the right size for a medium sized or smaller sized laptop to sit snuggly on top of it. It may also take a larger laptop with a little bit of overhang, but this would not be ideal, although it could be done.
You are able to get a well angled typing position when using the Targus Lap Chill Mat, as the mat is angled to allow for a more comfortable and thus more ergonomic hand and wrist position. The bottom of the mat has a soft neoprene type material and this makes for an easy feel and smooth surface to rest on your legs or a work desk or table if needed.
From a side view the mat looks like a hollow wedge slice. It has a centre piece which has a series of air flow holes set into it and there are markers set onto the four corners of the mat. These are rubberized and can hold your laptop slightly proud of the mat, allowing the air to circulate underneath.
This means that the Targus Lap Chill Mat, ensures that there is a raised feel at all times and that contact with a totally solid surface all over the base of your laptop is avoided. This alone can help towards keeping your laptop cooler to a certain extent, although its obviously not a total solution.
Even if you have a laptop that doesn't suffer much from over heating the Targus Lap Chill Mat can still be a helpful item as it does offer a stable surface for you to place your laptop on.
If you want to attach the cable that is in the middle edge of the Targus Lap Chill Mat, its very quick and simple to do so. The wire connector goes straight in to a port on your laptop via a USB connector. The fans are then active and will begin to produce a steady flow of air that aim to cool your laptop a little.
When using the Targus Lap Chill Mat we don't always have the fans on and often just use it as a handy laptop support. However if the fans are switched on they do seem to cool the laptop to an extent when we have dvds in the dvd drive, which cuts down on excessive fan noise from the computer itself. Oddly enough the fans within the laptop seem louder than those on the Targus Lap Chill Mat.
In summary the Targus Lap Chill Mat has been of help, as it offers a sturdy and comfortable laptop support which can be placed on your lap, a desk or a table etc. The fans do seem to have some cooling power and are not too noisy when in use.
The USB connector is easy to use and that means the power needed for the fans is taken directly from your laptop. The cost seems average for this type of product and so we didn't find that a problem. In terms of rating the product, it ought to get 4 stars as it can be used with or without the fan and does what it should to a reasonable degree.