Any computer enthusiast will tell you the two things you can never have enough of: USB ports and cooling. Having finally moved into an office that will hopefully survive the summer with me, I was ready to make my desktop as practicle as it could be comfortable. A combination of great timing, psychic abilities, and a few hundred emails to Artic Cooling resulted in them sending us a care package to help.
Review Sample Provided by: Arctic Cooling
|Specifications (Breeze Pro)|
|Limited Warranty||2 years|
|Dimensions (Packaging)||130 L x 96 W x 223 H mm|
|Dimensions (Product)||104 L x 95 W x 197 H mm|
|Rated Fan Speed||800 - 1800 RPM, ()|
|Specifications (Arctic Hub)|
|Dimensions (Packaging)||123 L x 95 W x 29 H mm|
|Limited Warranty||2 years|
|Host Interface||USB 2.0|
|Ports||4 x Type A nUSB 2.0 for devices|
|Indicator||1 x green LED|
Both the Breeze Pro and the Arctic Hub are packaged fairly simply, consisting mostly of a clear plastic allowing a direct view of the enclosed product against a cardboard insert. The plastic is crimped in a few places along the sides, allowing consumers to pop the front and the back apart and access the product quickly and without wounds.
Getting both accessories ready to use requires only enough effort to break the plastic and plug into an open USB port. From there, the Breeze Pro features can be set from the minimum RPM of 800 to 1800 via the knob outlined in blue, which also indicates power. Likewise, the hub will show a green LED indicator on the top.
The four port USB hub is a nice little design, with three ports in each rivet of a fan shape. The final port rests on top, which is probably my favorite since plugging devices in vertically is usually quicker. At $9.90 it holds some great value, with competitor's standing at about five dollars more MSRP.
The Breeze Pro also features a built-in 4-port USB hub, two to the right and two to the left of the speed adjust knob. The base is made of solid material and is heavy enough to hold it's own regardless of how you twist or turn the flexible neck. Hidden in the base is a circular rivet which can be used to wind and store excess cable (at full extension the cord is almost 2 meters).
As mentioned before, the fan speed can be adjusted anywhere between 800 and 1800RPM, which is just under what a 120mm case fan can achieve. Even at its lowest setting a slight breeze can be felt at a normal desk distance if the fan is next to the monitor. At full blast, there have been several times I've turned the speed down because my face gets chilly. The Breeze Pro is also dead silent, regardless of what speed it is set to.
The Arctic hub is probably one of the best values you can find for USB 2.0 expansion, and has a design that doesn't hurt to look at. The Breeze Pro, admittedly, may seem a little luxurious at first, but I found myself sacrificing that wind-in-you-hair feeling for more practicle uses, such as keeping my mouse hand free of sweat while gaming. The fan does MSRP a bit high in my opinion at $29.99, a good ten to fifteen dollars more than competitors. If you sacrifice one USB port and the ability to adjust speeds, the same set-up can be assembled by purchasing AC's own portable USB fan and plugging it into the aforemention Arctic hub for about ten dollars less.