Review Choiix Air-Through Stash Notebook Cooling Pad
Memory Cooler. The summer is approaching and Choiix presents a notebook cooling pad, the Air-Through Stash, which has an integrated 80 millimeter fan, SATA bay for 2.5" drives and a 3 port USB hub. We'll clarify if this purchase is worth it in this short review.
Choiix is probably unknown to most users because this brand of Cooler Master has only been around since 2009. The parent group, Cooler Master, doesn't have much to do with computers and is known for cases, adapters and various cooling pads. Now with the label Choiix, there are attractive supplies for PC and the notebook or netbook.
The Choiix Air-Through Stash is a notebook and netbook cooling pad that can accommodate 15 inch devices at most. It's already very tight in the first test with an Apple MacBook Pro (13.3 inch). A device with a 15 inch display will already protrude a bit on the sides. The cooling pad is delivered in a plain plastic packaging and the scope of delivery only has the essentials. There is a short instruction manual, four rubber grips, so that the cooling pad won't slip, and a USB to mini USB cable in order to use the cooling pad's functions, aside the device. An extra power cable isn't mandatory.
The cooling pad is available in white or black, depending on preference, whereas there are a few alternatives with color accents. The case is made of simple plastic, which is manufactured well, but the surface feel isn't completely convincing. The cooling pad only weighs 580 grams with a 2.5 inch hard disk.
The Stash's set up is kept quite simple. There is a quiet running, 80 millimeter fan, as found in desktop cases, in the middle. The functions are supplied with power over the notebook, but a separate adapter can also be connected. The on and off switch on the cooling pad's right is an advantage. The power requirement for the notebook can be reduced with it because the fan, the USB ports and the 2.5 inch drive aren't enabled in this state.
The device's real highlight is the integrated bay for a 2.5 drive. It allows building in an additional memory capacity of maximum 500 GB (SATA II). Both common hard disks as well as modern solid state drives (SSDs) can be used. However, the speed advantage of SSDs isn't fully available because of the link to a USB 2.0 port.
The 3 port USB hub is also operated via the USB cable and Windows 7 recognizes both the hub as well as the hard disks without difficulty. The recommended retail price for the Choiix Air-Through Stash is around 19.99 euro. A price comparison on the internet lists the cooling pad for starting at 25.00 euro (plus shipping), though. In our opinion, a price a bit less than 20.00 euro for a cooling pad with a SATA compartment is fair and acceptable.
Notebook cooling pads are made in all shapes and sizes, but Choiix presents an especially interesting solution with the Air-Through Stash. Unfortunately, the haptic isn't completely convincing and the implementation of a solid state drive (SSD) is only beneficial to an extent because of the slow USB 2.0 port.
The design and the set up are convincing and the integrated 80 millimeter fan works quietly and cools the device well. All functions, including the 3 port USB hub, can be operated with a USB cable. Using your own adapter is possible.
The scope of delivery is only limited to the essentials, whereas the final price of 19.99 euro (RRP) is achieved. We would have liked to have a better haptic and a higher weight. On the whole, Choiix's concept for the Air-Through Stash is convincing.