In the last few years, there has been an upsurge in the number of products that run through USB ports, with an alarming number of websites dedicated to such products. A link in an email led me to a USB Fridge. After doing some further research, I also found a comparable product which is being marketed as a USB Cooler Warmer. Here is a review of both products, along with a comparison of their usability.
A USB Fridge is a mini fridge, which runs with power supplied through the USB port of a laptop or computer with the supported platforms being PC, Mac, PS2, PS3, and Xbox 360. It is also called a one-can fridge at times. It looks pretty much like a regular fridge with a door and an enclosed compartment around 20 cm high and 9 cm broad. This fridge has the capacity to hold one beverage can of up to 12 ounces. It is not meant for cooling warm drinks. That is, it will keep cold drinks cool with the standard cold plate thermoelectric cooling technology. There are heat vents in the front and back bottom of the fridge. Since it is a USB device, it does not use more than 5 volts of electricity from your computer, and will not slow down the processes as opposed to popular belief. The USB fridge works appreciatively well.
USB Cooler Warmer
A USB Cooler Warmer is similar to a USB fridge in that it also operates with the thermoelectric cooling technology. However, the Cooler Warmer has an open hot and cold plate look, with no compartments, and is around 6 inches wide and 1.25 inches high. The good part is that you can use it as a cooler as well as a warmer for cold and hot drinks. It has a 2.5 inch diameter of contact surface of the hot/cold plate, and can also be used for styrofoam cups. There is a switch at the back which lets you choose between heating and cooling options, with a sufficient amount of cooling and warming available for you to appreciate your drink. Like the USB fridge, the USB Cooler Warmer uses only 5 volts of electricity from the computer through the USB port. Condensation droplets from your drink will not affect the working of the Cooler Warmer.
Comparison of the USB Fridge and USB Cooler Warmer
While both the USB Fridge and the USB Warmer Cooler are great products (and make great corporate gifts if you can get your company logo imprinted on them), the USB Cooler Warmer is much cheaper at almost $19 than the Fridge at approximately $33. Also, the Cooler Warmer has the benefit of serving the two purposes of cooling and heating, whereas the Fridge can serve only one of cooling. Also, the USB Cooler Warmer is much more portable than the USB Fridge; the size allows it to be carried much more easily. Both products lack an on/off switch, and work by merely being plugged in to the computer or laptop.
This article was supplied by Nidhi Varma.