USB appliances are popping up all over. Usually they are just novelty items that don’t serve a very useful purpose. CoolIT Systems has come up with a very useful USB appliance. The USB Beverage Chiller is great because everyone has something to drink while they are working on their computer.
- 1.2 Amps/5.75 Watts to operate
- USB 1.1 and 2.0 Compatible
- Works on Computers, XBOX, XBOX 360, and Playstation
The USB Beverage Chiller is a very unique item. Most people who work on or near a computer will at some point need something to drink. With the USB Beverage Chiller you can be sure that it is always cold. The chiller is very compact so you can easily take it with you. Because it draws so little power you can easily power it with a laptop running on batteries.
The USB Beverage Chiller is very simple in design. As you can see it is mostly white with a small round blue disk. This disk is where you put your drink so that it will be cooled. If we flip over the Chiller we can see that it is held away from any surface by 4 rubber feet. This not only reduces any vibration noise that you might hear, but it also reduces the chance that air flow might be blocked. On the back of the Chiller is a small fan. Even though it is small and turning fast it is very quiet. The fan moves air over the heatsink that is attached to the chiller. This helps the chiller from overheating while in operation. The front is where the air comes out after passing by the heatsink.
I decided to take this one apart just to see how it works. I first removed the bottom and from there I could see that the USB Beverage Chiller is a rather simple device. In this picture you can see the heatsink, fan, and power cables. Next, I turned the heatsink over and removed the blue disk. The disk is attached to the Chiller by some thermal glue that I assume helps transfer the cold. On the other side of the Chiller is the heatsink. This is used to dissipate any heat the chiller might produce while creating the cold.
Testing the USB Beverage Chiller is really easy and quick. Once you plug it in you will immediately begin to feel the blue surface get cold. It takes about 20 seconds for the chiller to reach its maximum cooling temperature of 45°F. You don’t have to wait for it to get cold before you put your drink on it.
Because it cools from the bottom up it is most effective if your beverage container has full contact with the blue surface. Soda cans (with concave bottom) and other containers that do not make full contact can still be cooled, it will just take a little longer. You will also want to watch out for insulated containers. Because the USB Beverage Chiller is trying to cool from the bottom up it must first pass through all the insulation and then to the liquid. By the time it gets through, most of the cold is waisted by cooling the container. Also if your drink is not already cold then it will take a lot longer for the chiller to get the drink cold.
The Chiller is very quiet. It is so quiet that I had to hold it to my ear before I could hear it over the normal noises in the office. All this is achieved without using more than the 5.75 Watts that a single USB port can provide.
Warranty and Support
CoolIT Systems warranties the USB Beverage Chiller for 1 year. Since the only moving part is the fan, it would have been nice if they could have increased the warranty to at least 3 years, if not longer.
If you drink a lot of beverages, mostly from aluminum cans and glass bottles, then this will do a great job of cooling your beverage. It also helps if the drink is already cold. For the small price of $39.99 I think it can easily be purchased as a gift, or for yourself, and it won’t break the budget.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|