The typical corporate work day can be particularly long and draining, and there’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee or a refreshing beverage to get your through the day. Of course, you’ve also got work to do, and sometimes you can get so carried away in your work – as I often do – that you forget to actually have that cup of coffee or cold beverage before it gets either lukewarm or room temperature. And there’s nothing more disappointing than having to drink a beverage at the wrong temperature.
The two gadgets I’m reviewing today hope to solve that exact problem, while occupying just a small amount of desk space. Sold in India by e-commerce brand Flintstop, these gadgets help to keep your coffee and tea warm, your cola and energy drinks cold, and you completely refreshed and ready to work. Priced at Rs 999 for the cup warmer and Rs 1,999 for the portable mini fridge, the two gadgets are on review today.
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USB Cup Warmer
Since I drink a lot more coffee than I should, let’s start with the cup warmer. The device is interestingly shaped like an Oreo cookie, albeit a rather large one since it needs enough surface area for a typical tea or coffee mug. The USB cup warmer is manufactured by British accessories and gadgets brand Mustard, and has the branding on the top. There’s a simple plastic button that turns the device on or off, and a USB cable that connects into the USB Type-A port on most laptops and desktop computers.
When you power it on, the heating inside the device takes power from the USB port and starts heating the top surface. It only takes a couple of minutes to get warm, but it never gets too hot so it’s still fairly safe to touch the surface or handle the device without fear of burns. It’s worth noting here that the cup warmer won’t heat up a cold or even lukewarm beverage; it will only produce enough heat to keep an already hot cup of coffee the same way. Once you’ve finished your coffee, hit the power button and it switches off, having successfully kept your coffee warm and you productive.
USB Portable Mini Fridge
What if you prefer a nice chilled can of cola or energy drink? Flintstop has you covered here, too. It’s powered the same way as the cup warmer, with a USB Type-A plug that slots into your laptop or desktop computer. It’s a lot larger, and is the size of a typical soft drink can. I used a can of Coca Cola, which just about fit into the mini fridge. The fridge itself is shaped like a cola can, with a door on the front and a flap at the top that helps you pop open the door. The bottom is the cold plate that cools the can, while below that is the condenser that generates the cooling. The cable has the power switch on it, with three setting – low power, high power and off.
What’s particularly unique about this setup is that it does all of this with power from a regular USB port. Refrigerators at home are usually the most power-hungry appliances needing high-voltage power sockets to run, so the fact that this little fridge draws enough power from a USB port is remarkable. Of course, it’s a small amount of refrigeration needed, so it manages. Once again, it can’t cool a room temperature drink as effectively or quickly, but it will keep a chilled can that way for a few hours. A chilled can of Coke I bought at 10AM was still cold when I drank it at 3pm.
If you’re a coffee or cold drink enthusiast at work, these two unique gadgets will be great. They even make for interesting gifting options for your friends, family and colleagues. The USB Cup Warmer and USB Portable Mini Fridge are available now at Flintstop.com, and aren’t too expensive either.