Plug and Heat: A USB Cafe Pad
by the Gadget Gals
A friend, who knew I was working on a rather time-consuming project and that I was a gadget enthusiast, sent me this neat little device. "Just plug it in," she said, "grab a cup of tea, and relax." Which is exactly what I did. There seated in front of my computer I enjoyed a very pleasant techie-tea experience.
The Cafe Pad is, quite simply, a warming device with a USB cable attached. It's less than five inches square and resembles a coaster. I plugged mine into my keyboard, and although some of my devices prefer not to be attached to my keyboard, this one worked just fine. It comes with a 36" cable, so you can plug it into other ports if you wish. I found the keyboard port the most convenient because it kept me from fighting all the other cables that are attached to my computer.
With its sleek, no-nonsense design, it fits in well with my computer station. Its stainless steel heating pad and white plastic frame make it look like it came with my computer. I will tell you that it attracts attention. When a cup isn't sitting on it, people want to know what it is, and when it's keeping my tea warm, people are curious about how it gets its heat.
According to the documentation that came with the Cafe Pad, the temperature of the pad ranges from forty to eighty degrees Celsius from border to center. The diameter of the heating area is three inches. On the side of the pad, there's an On-Off button so that you don't have to pull out the USB plug when you are not using the Cafe Pad. A LED indicator on the top of the pad lets you know when the device is on.
ThinkGeek http://www.thinkgeek.com that sells the pad claims, "Research conducted at ThinkGeek Labs suggests that an essential part of any geek diet is a daily regimen of caffeine .... Figuring warm drinks into the equation, we feel it only makes sense to offer a method for keeping your beverage at the proper consumption temperature." Be assured, however, that those who prefer hot herbal drinks or other non-caffeine beverages will find the Cafe Pad useful and fun as well.
USB Cafe Pad
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