Laptop cooling pads are plastic pads that are placed under a laptop or netbook computer to help it run cooler.
The cooling pad is usually made of plastic and contains one or more fans. It may be a single unit or it may flip open to cover the bottom of the laptop computer. It is designed to allow more airflow thru the laptop computer.
Laptop and netbook computers have the same basic parts in them as desktop computers but in a much smaller space. This limits the amount of airflow and causes heat to build up in the laptop computer. Heat damages the parts and also makes the computer run slower. If you have ever set a laptop on your lap you know how they generate heat. Setting the laptop computer on your lap or on the bed or sofa or on a rug also cuts the air circulation as the air openings are usually on the bottom of the laptop and the clothing or carpet or spread will block these openings.
The cooling pad does two purposes. First it sets the laptop computer above the flexible surface and allows better air circulation. Air circulation is how we cool the computer. Second the cooling pads have fans that force more air to circulate thru the computer which makes the computer cooler and run better.
The fans run off the USB cable that connects the cooling pad to the computer. The energy use is very minimal, but the more efficient running of the computer uses less energy.
You can buy cooling units at any place that sells laptop computers and they generally range in price from $20 to $60. I strongly urge all laptop users to get a cooling unit.