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Targus AWE55US Lap Chill Mat review: Targus AWE55US Lap Chill Mat

Targus AWE55US Lap Chill Mat

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

Laptop stands tend to either be height-adjustable plastic-and-metal folding contraptions, or fixed-height wedges with built-in fans. Both have their uses, but a USB-powered fan (or two) can help cut down on laptop heat, as well as provide a more ergonomic work surface. The $39 Targus Lap Chill Mat is an excellent example of the latter, providing twin fans, a reasonable angle, and a subtle soft-touch design.


Targus AWE55US Lap Chill Mat

The Good

Subtle, mod design; quiet cooling; nice ergonomic tilt.

The Bad

Rubber stoppers can pull out easily.

The Bottom Line

The Targus Lap Chill Mat is among the least-ugly laptop fan stands we've seen, helping it rise above the generic-looking competition.

Coated in rubbery neoprene, the Chill Matt has a dark gray look that almost disappears under your laptop (most laptop stands are off-white or beige and stand out more). Measuring 12 inches by 15 inches, it's big enough that an 18-inch laptop can sit comfortably on it (although a system this big does spill over the edges by an inch or so on each side). The front edge sits 0.75 inch above your desk, gradually raising to 2.2 inches in the rear, making for a comfortable, if not adjustable, angle for typing.

Powered by a single USB connection to your laptop, the Chill Mat has two fairly quiet fans that aim toward the back-left and back-right corners of the laptop. To improve airflow, the Chill Mat itself has an open design, with a large air channel in the middle, allowing for easy air intake.

The only problem we ran into was with the four rubber stoppers that sit on the plastic fan grate. Each is held in place by four tiny rubber nubs that plug into the circular holes in the fan grate, but they pulled up far too easily when moving our laptop around, and required some serious elbow grease to push back into place.


Targus AWE55US Lap Chill Mat

Score Breakdown

Design 9Features 8Performance 0