by Jeff Bordeaux

Product development. It really has no boundaries. Imagine being at a creative meeting for Spencer Gifts, how fun and irreverent would that be? Think of all the ideas that don’t even make it to production. What do people need? What do people want? American consumerism is blurring those lines more each day. I myself can be a total impulse buyer and a master of delusional purchases, thinking about all the ways I’ll use something I don’t need. Today we have the USB Beverage Chiller from Cool It Systems. The company makes a variety “Cooling Applications” for the PC and this is their first foray into the novelty gadget world. Let’s see what it’s about.

What is it?
The USB Beverage chiller is basically a cold plate with the circumference of your basic 12 ounce aluminum can. It’s a robust little guy with a small cooling fan on the back and a heatsink grill on the front. It needs a powered or dedicated USB port to work, and won’t be compatible with lower powered USB ports such as Apple keyboards. It’s shiny plastic white finish is attractive, and should fit in well near any computer.

How does it chill?
Upon plugging it in, the chiller almost immediately got cold, only taking a few seconds. We then cracked a cold beer and applied it to the cold plate. The starting temperature of the beer was 34 degrees Fahrenheit and we left it there “unsipped” for two hours. At that point the temperature had risen to 56 degrees, which means you have to drink your drink in a short period of time in order for this device to work effectively. The specs on the site says the cold plate chills to 45 degrees, but no mention to the variable of time. Also, due to the narrowness of the cold plate’s circumference, any container with a base bigger that of an aluminum can won’t fit. Gangster’s won’t be able to chill their 40′s of Old English, though tech blogger’s will have no problem jamming a Red Bull atop the cold plate. I’m sure if you got all MacGyver on it you could configure a way to expand the base, but I don’t see anybody with the time or passion to do something like that.

In the end?
There are definitely some practical applications for this device. It would be great in hot and tropical climates where your drink just sweats balls from start to finish, or you are like my roommate who is a human aquifer of Pabst Blue Ribbon. An exceptional gift idea, it should be fun to talk about whenever your showing a new person around your house. That being said, the USB beverage chiller does it’s job for the most part, provided your drink of choice is it’s drink of choice.

For Company Specs, FAQ, and to Purchase for $24.99 go here.


Jeff B