The most-effective laptop cooling devices we've seen involve fans that suck warm air away from the laptop's bottom. Both the Antec Notebook Cooler and the smaller Antec Notebook Cooler S use dual fans, but the $29.99 Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand manages to offer effective cooling with only a single fan.
Measuring 11.5 inches wide by 11.25 inches deep by a little more than one inch high, the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand is best suited for 15-inch or smaller laptops. A larger desktop replacement will have to balance on top, extending over the left and right sides by several inches. Rubber pads on the top prevent slippage, but a wider cooling stand, such as the Antec Notebook Cooler, would be a bit more stable. For the aesthetically oriented, the Belkin's white, curved design is a nice change from the gray/silver industrial look of the other devices we've looked at.
A small plastic panel folds out from the bottom of the device, elevating the rear slightly for better ergonomics. The single fan, powered by a USB port on your laptop, sits in the middle of the slightly concave cooling stand, and hot air is channeled out to the left and right sides of your laptop.
Using a popular business laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad T60, we put the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand to the test by running CNET Labs' grueling Multitasking test on the system and recording the CPU temperature.
Running the test without the laptop desk, the CPU got as hot as 80.8 degrees. After a cool-down period, we ran the test again, this time with the laptop sitting on the Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand. The highest temperature recorded during the second test was 75 degrees, a solid decrease and virtually indistinguishable from our two other leading laptop coolers, the passive Xpad Laptop Desk and the dual-fan Antec Notebook Cooler.