At CES this past January and more recently at CeBit right now we have seen a growing trend. Companies like Cooler Master have been introducing designer brands with a focus on style. Cooler Master introduced Choiix (it's said "choice") this past June, we had the opportunity to take a closer look at their whole line this past January at CES. Today we have a chance to get a closer look at their Mini Air-Through Notebook Cooling Pad. Without the models here to distract me, I can really check it out.
Product Name: Mini Air-Through Notebook Cooling Pad with USB Hub
Review Sample Provided by: Choiix
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
|Dimensions:||300 x 230 x 5~30 mm (11.81" x 9.05" x 0.20" ~1.18")|
|Weight:||540g/1.19 lbs (without HUB), 575g/1.27lbs (with HUB)|
|Fan:||70mm Fan x 1 (2.76")|
|Materials:||Aluminum, Rubber, and Plastic|
|Features:||4 port USB 2.0/1.1 port hub|
Being the packaging whore that I am, I was excited to see that the Mini Air-Through was packed in a colorful packaging. The front of the box was very simple with a white background and a picture of the cooling pad. Choiix didn't forget to include all of the need to know information, you can find the specifications and features on the back. There is also a full-scale diagram of the Mini Air-Through to make sure you understand the size. I love the bright green handle up top, it contrasts against the orange well. Attached to the handle they have included tags of all current Choiix products.
Inside the box, you will find the cooler secured with foam. The necessary usb cable is tucked away in the foam also. Along side of the cooler they have include a fold out user guide if you need it and a set of anti-skid pads.
Installation and Setup
There really isn't much to this install. The Mini Air-Through is designed for small netbooks . You side it under your netbook and plug the included USB cable into the cooler and into a USB port on your netbook. Simple as that.
The Mini Air-Through doesn't have large high speed fans to cool things down. Instead they relied on the Air-Through design to aid in keeping your netbook cool. Normally laptop coolers mount the fans directly under the laptop, this can work for some setups, but others may actually have less cooling performance than without a cooler at all. The reason for this is the placement of the cooling vents on the bottom of your laptop. To avoid this problem Choiix placed the fan on the back of the cooler and placed a large hole in the middle of its cooler. The fan pulls cool air from away from the laptop and pushes it under the whole laptop; this just aids the stock cooling vents rather than trying to force air into the laptop. I found in testing that GPU and CPU temperatures dropped an average of two degree's, not a huge number. Where I found the most notable cooling difference was to the touch, I was able to leave my laptop on for long periods and the bottom wasn't hot to the touch when I picked it up.
Of course, with the cooling having a fan I was concerned with the noise output. The 70mm fan wasn't silent, but was quite enough that you would never hear it over any typing. In fact it was much quieter than the DVD drive on my laptop. I would have been happier with silent, but there has to be some noise with any moving parts.
Although I found the Air-Through to have great real world performance I couldn't help but be focused on the styling. It's obvious Choiix didn't want this to look out of place in your home. In-fact that is the basic idea behind Choiix, they are designing simple, functional products to help mesh our technology driven lifestyles with simple and elegant. I believe that they have done a great job of this with the Mini Air-Through. Not only did it perform well in testing, but it would fit in even the most stylish décor.