I am not sure where you live, but here in South Texas the heat has been brutal lately! We began football season with 2-a-day workouts on August 2 so I have spent countless hours outside in the scorching sun and heat. In fact, last Tuesday the temperature was 104 degrees with high humidity at 4:00 when we hit the field for practice. At this rate, most of us Texans are looking for any way to cool off. Being a geek means gadgets are always a possibility to alleviate the miserable feeling of being too dang hot. I recently checked out two products from Arctic Cooling that are a perfect way to geek out and cool off. The Arctic Breeze Pro brings a fan and four port USB hub to a desktop and the Arctic Breeze Pro provides a USB powered fan to use when mobile. Lets see how they stacked up.
Arctic Breeze Pro
- Illuminated knob for power and fan speed (800, to 1,800 RPM)
- Energy-efficient motor, low noise impeller
- 4-port USB hub included
- Flexible neck for easy positioning
- USB-powered, suitable for PCs, laptops and USB chargers
- External power adapter (optional) – for devices with high power requirements
I already talked about the heat here in Texas. My guitar room/office/man cave is located in a section of my house that was added on and does not have an air condition vent. Cool air from other rooms does filter in, but it is always a few degrees warmer than the rest of the house. When I saw the Arctic Breeze Pro, I was pretty sure it would be a nice addition to my desktop. Adding four USB ports made the device a must have.
The idea of a USB fan seems like a novelty item, but I was pleased and surprised at the quality of the Arctic Breeze Pro. The fan blades are made of heavy plastic and are super sturdy. This thing will not break if the blades are touched. The flexible, metal neck is strong and no matter what position the fan is, the neck holds tight. At eight inches, the fan is high enough to be quite useful, but not too tall that it is in the way. The base unit is also plastic, but is attractive and strong. The illuminated knob is used to control the fan and can adjust the speed from 800 to 1,800 rpm. At full blast, I do feel much cooler sitting using my Mac Mini on my desk.
As with any USB device, I have to plan for when and if I use them because my version of the Mac Mini is limited on USB ports. The added ports on the Arctic Breeze Pro makes the device usable on any desktop setup. The ports work fine, but some devices that require more power may not work. For example, it is not possible to sync and charge an iPhone or iPad. To fix this problem, it is possible to add an AC adapter to make the ports powered. I plan on buying an adapter for mine so I can use virtually any USB device with the ports.
Arctic Breeze Mobile
We are all increasingly on the go while computing as our devices get smaller and more portable. In fact, there are very few places I go without my MacBook either with me or nearby ready to work. Even without internet access, I can do some of my writing or work on football game plans. Once again, the hot South Texas summer seems to always come into play. In fact, almost every evening we sit on the deck in the backyard and let my boys run around a play before bath time. To us, it is fairly nice outside, but usually is still in the low 90s as the sun is setting. So what if the same fan I added to my Mac Mini could easily be carried and travel outside with me? The Arctic Breeze Mobile fixes this problem.
- Energy-efficient motor and with low noise impeller
- USB-powered – suitable for laptops and USB chargers
- Lightweight, portable, slim design
- Flexible neck for easy positioning
- Perfect for frequent travelers
The Arctic Breeze Mobile sports the same build quality as the pro edition, just in a smaller package. I used the pro first and was expecting the mobile to not only be smaller, but also not made as well. This idea turned out to be completely false. The same care and build quality is included in the unit, from the heavy-duty fan to the sturdy adjustable neck. There is a certain heft to the product that makes it just feel well made in your hand.
Maybe you would like to be able to use the fan, but not use one of your USB ports. Maybe you are sitting on the deck with the iPad and not using a laptop at all. Luckily, the Arctic Breeze Mobile will work with just about any USB power device. I had great luck using it with the Arctic C1 mobile solar charger which is pictured above. I also have a large battery charger that has a USB port on the side and it worked to power the fan. The fan is truly mobile.
If you are looking for a fan solution or if you are tired of the summer heat, the Arctic Breeze Pro and Arctic Breeze Mobile are perfect. The Pro works great on a desktop and will expand the number of USB ports available. The mobile is light weight and easy to carry in any gear bag and can be used with other sources of USB power. The fans are made with attractive design features and are high quality heavy-duty items and are virtually silent.
MSRP: Arctic Breeze Pro = $19.95
Arctic Breeze Mobile = $9.95
What I like: Excellent build quality and silent fan.
What could be improved: I would love to see the AC adapter included with the Pro. I need the power.