Cooler Master Choiix Air Through Stash Notebook Cooler

Dec 20th, 2009 | By

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Cooler Master Choiix Air Through Stash Notebook Cooler


Date
: 12/20/09 – 04:49:02 AM

Author
:

Category
: Cooling


Page 1 : Index

Manufacturer
: Cooler Master

Cooler Master is a company that has made a name for itself with quality cases and cooling products. Cooler Master has recently branched out with a few new brands to help position themselves better in particular product segments.

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Once such branching is their Choiix brand. Choiix was launched to largely focus on products for notebooks and the increasing netbook market.

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From their many products, today I have the Choiix Air Through Stash to run through the paces. The Air Through Stash is a notebook cooling pad that brings a little more to the game than just lowering the temperatures.


Page 2 : Package and Specifications

The Air Through Stash comes packaged in a clear plastic shell with an insert that has the product name along with the features and specifications. The packaging gives you a pretty clear view of the product inside.

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Accessories included are a USB Y cable, instruction manual and 4 anti skid feet.

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The Air Through Stash is simple and clean design with a single 80mm fan situated in the center. There are four rubber feet on the bottom to prevent the cooling pad from moving.

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There is a cover that once removed reveals the 2.5 HD bay. This is one feature that I'm surprised I haven't seen before but it makes sense to include with a laptop cooler. A simple and easy way to increase the storage space of your laptop is definitely a plus and this feature eliminates the need to also carry a separate portable hard drive case.

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On the right side is an on/off power button along with a power/data LED. Note that this button only controls power to the fan and not to the hard drive bay. On the back are three USB ports (which essentially gives you one extra after two are taken on your laptop), a mini USB for powering the Air Through Stash and there is also an AC to DC power input but no power adapter is included for this.

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Next I grabbed the features and specifications for the Air Through Stash straight from Cooler Master's product page here.

Features:

* Compatible with up to 15? Notebook Computers.
* Center silent 8 cm fan for efficient cooling.
* Compatible with up to 500G 2.5′ SATA II HDD & SATA II SSD.
* Innovative, convenient, and inexpensive way to expand your notebook HDD storage capacity.
* Integrated 3 port USB HUB for expanded connectivity.
* Power On/Off and data transfer LED indicator.
* Powered directly from notebook USB port.
* Hot-swappable and Plug and Play compatible – no driver installation necessary.

Specifications:

specs


Page 3 : Installation and Use

So the first step was installing the anti-skid pads to the Air Through Stash to prevent the laptop from sliding. There is no guidance on where to put them so you are free to place them anywhere you like.

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Installing a hard drive is quite simple and requires no tools. There is a small baffle that you remove first, then slide the hard drive in and replace the baffle to hold it in place.

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Since the Air Through Stash is only about 12.5 inches wide, you definitely don't want to use a laptop that is larger than 15 inches as you can get an idea from this Dell D630 at 14.1 inches.

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Now that we are all hooked up it is time for some testing. I used Everest Ultimate to gather temps for the hard drive and CPU. To get CPU load temps I ran Orthos blend for two hours and for the hard drive I ran it through the suite of drive tests included with Everest and recorded temperatures. For idle temps I allowed the laptop to sit with no activities for two hours and then recorded temperatures.

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At idle the CPU temps are hardly affected and there is no difference in hard drive temps. This really isn't too surprising since the 80mm fan on the Air Through Stash is dead center and the CPU intake fan on the D630 is located along the left edge. Since the hard drive is also located along the front edge and is an enclosed area I wouldn't expect those temps to be affected either.

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Under load we see similar results as we did under idle. While it doesn't show up in the official numbers, the overall laptop did feel cooler during use. You'll note that I didn't do any testing with the fan turned off, and quite honestly that is because it is so quiet I don't see any reason you would turn it off.


Page 4 : Conclusion

From a cooling standpoint the Choiix Air Through Stash just doesn't impress me, however when you look at its other features it starts to build some momentum. For starters having an easy and quick way to increase storage for your laptop is a big plus. The entire unit is light weight and small enough to easily fit into your laptop bag for traveling. And while the cooling does leave a lot to be desired, it is whisper quiet and some cooling is better than none.

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The Choiix Air Through Stash may not be the top end laptop when it comes to cooling, but it has features that definitely make it worth a look.

Advantages

  • Easy to setup and use

  • 2.5′ HD bay
  • Light weight and portable
  • Quiet fan

Disadvantages

  • Cooling ability is negligible

  • Only 15′ or smaller notebooks

I would like to thank Cooler Master for making this review possible.

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