Since Covid-19 made us all work from home on a Laptop and in some cases in makeshift home offices. One thing you will notice after long periods of use my laptop feels as hot as the sun. So what can we do to keep our mobile workstations cool?
Well, let me introduce the Targus Chill Mat which is designed to keep anything from an Ultrabook, Macbook or alternative laptops cool but is it really any good?
The Targus Chill Mat states it comes in a one size fits all but that is not exactly true as I expect some gaming laptops might struggle to fit on this device. However, as I only used my laptop with the chill mat when working it actually tick the boxes I needed it for.
The chill mat has an all-plastic design that comes with some plastic grating and block foam accents. Look under that plastic grating and you have dual 75mm fans positioned in the centre of the chill mat to allow air to flow.
The base is made of a smooth plastic that will sit on your desk or even your lap as let’s face it, we still have Netflix on when WFH. The chill mat is designed with an Ergonomic tilt that does not allow you to adjust which is the only slight downside. On the right side of the chill mat just inside is a USB cable which is needed to power the fans. When not in use there is a small clip that holds the USB cable in place.
My main concern when I look at the design is if something was to happen to the USB cable the device simply would not work and then becomes a very expensive laptop stand. Another issue I did find was the fact the fan goes at one speed and does not let you change the airflow depending on the type of laptop you are using. I feel this very much contradicts Targus one size fits all approach.
However, the overall use is simple to use and the device is very portable meaning it can be used anywhere.
Set-Up/ Daily use
The Targus chill mat has to be the simplest device I have ever set up. Simply plug the USB cable into your laptop and bingo that will power up the fans but it does reduce the number of USB’s available on your laptop. Now if you did not want to use the fan and just elevate your laptop you could do that as well but it kinda kills the point of this gadget if you just do that.
You will notice on the plastic grating you also get 4 rubber feet and they are positioned to keep your laptop safe and without the risk of it sliding off.
I have been using this chill mate HP Chromebook and my work laptop a 14 inch Asus Zenbook and the chill mat works well for both. I did notice my HP Chromebook was a slight bit big but it did still fit and the fans did line up with the vents at the bottom of my laptop.
Tip: Check the size of your laptop before buying the chill mat.
Now when using this laptop chill mat first impressions are it did not make much of a difference. However, after long periods of use, it kept my laptop cool and kept thermal limits in a safe place. I can see this being a real benefit for someone with a gaming laptop and for what I used it for I had no complaints.
If you like me have been working from home for what feels like forever now and that 3rd bedroom is now an office. Then you will like the Targus chill mat as not only is it lightweight, portable and offers a level of tilt which makes typing and team calls much easier to do. It does actually work and the fans are so silent you will never hear it in action.
However, it’s not perfect. You don’t have fan control which will prevent some users from considering this an option. The USB cable although it has a nice place to hide it when not in use the non-detachable USB if it breaks then this device, is not deemed useless.
Would I buy this?
Well considering the cost currently (£25 from Amazon for Prime members)it is worth the purchase especially for those with a smaller laptop such as a Macbook or something like my Zenbook as they can suffer airflow issues due to their size.
The fact it’s also portable means you can even bring this into the office if you currently need to go into the office a couple of days a week or simply just want a change of scenery like a coffee shop or even when we can fly again without needing tests and want to work in the airport or on the plane.
So if your demands are a little more simple you will be really happy with the Targus chill mat.
Overall Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
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