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 08 February 2007
 Brando
  http://www.brando...
 Mobile Devices
 Dr. Adrian Wong
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Brando USB Chiller & Warmer Review
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Brando USB Chiller & Warmer

Unlike some USB gadgets, the Brando USB Chiller And Warmer is a gadget with real potential. Heck, if you love to have a cold/hot drink sitting next to you while you work... or frag your enemies, you would probably love to buy something like this chiller/warmer.

However, its weak peltier put a crimp to its ambitions. Even if it's powered to its maximum potential of 3.75W, that's really not powerful enough to significantly cool down any drink. It naturally does better at heating up drinks. But even then, it only managed to achieve a maximum surface temperature of 50.1°C. Warm, but hardly enough to keep a hot drink hot.

Perhaps it's because the USB port is essentially limiting its power. Even though it's specified to draw up to 0.75A, USB ports can only provide up to 0.5A of current. That would mean the peltier's actual power output would really be a paltry 2.5W. It would actually be even lower in chiller mode because some power has to be allocated to the fan, which can take up to 0.55W. Little wonder it performed so poorly in the chiller mode.

Ahhh.. It's really too bad. I love cold drinks, and this could have been a really useful desktop companion. With a rather noisy fan to boot, it will probably outlive its welcome soon. A real shame.

However, if you are still interested in giving it a try, be sure to use it with a metal mug that has a flat base that is no wider than 65mm. You can also try disabling the fan. Not only will that rid you of its irritating whirl, it will also allow the peltier to draw more power. That should improve its chilling performance.

I don't think you really need to worry about heat accumulating inside the unit. From what I can feel, the heatsink is hardly hot. Besides, it comes with quite a large heatsink for such a low-power peltier. Natural air convection should be enough to cool it.

For more details, read our Comprehensive Review!

MSRP

• USD 24.00

Lowest PriceGrabber Price

• NA

Review

Comprehensive Review

Box Size

• 16.9 cm long
• 7.5 cm wide
• 4.3 cm high

Chiller Size

• 13.8 cm long
• 8.9 cm wide
• 3.4 cm high

Size Of Cooling/Heating Pad

• 65 mm diameter

Chiller Weight

• 420 g

Cable Length

• 98 cm

Supply Voltage

• USB +5V

Current Draw

• 0.6 A to 0.75 A

Power Consumption • 3 W to 3.75 W

Operational Temperature

• - 20 °C to 45 °C

Warming Performance

• Maximum achievable temperature : 80 °C ± 5%
• Achieves a 29 °C increase in temperature in 10 minutes.

Cooling Performance

• Minimum achievable temperature : 10 °C ± 5%
• Achieves a 13 °C drop in temperature in 10 minutes.

 

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This review system is designed to allow you to quickly receive information on the latest hardware or software. This new system also allows you to quickly get the gist of the review without reading through it. This can be very useful, especially in situations where you need to make a quick purchase decision.

In this new system, we start with a Product Overview whenever a company sends us a press release about their latest product. We shift through extraneous PR-talk to create a straightforward summary of the product's features as well as specifications. This allows you to quickly find out all the pertinent details about the product, without reading through official press releases.

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After thorough testing, we will post a Comprehensive Review of the product. This adds on to the pictorial review with comprehensive test results and our final conclusion on the product.

But no matter whether you are reading a Pictorial Review or a Comprehensive Review, you can always read the summary of the review as well as examine the product's specifications right on the first page. In all our new reviews, we will maintain the first page as a Product Overview page. If the product is listed in PriceGrabber, you can also check out the lowest price online.

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