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by K. Samwell on March 14, 2007 in Gadgets

Brando offers a wide range of special, useful and helpful technology products. Alongside the myriads of USB products are a wide selection of LED items, which will also be illuminated in this spotlight.

Whirlwind Cup, Universal Plug, Final Thoughts


Whirlwind Cup

Product Link

There’s not much chance I’m going to shell out more than $20 for a mug, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. You may be wondering, why I would stir my drink more than once, but for anyone who loves hot chocolate as much as I do, you’ll know you always miss quite a bit of chocolate at the bottom. All this is, is an insulated mug with a stirring mechanism at the bottom. It allows you to ‘refresh’ your drink before you take a sip and reblend your sugar, cream, undissolved mix or even apparently, cake batter. Now personally, I would not stress this mug out with anything quite as heavy as cake batter, but it’s perfect for hot and cold drinks alike.

Two AAA batteries slip snugly into the base of the mug, and are then covered with a water resistant plastic seal. The mug itself is stainless steel with clear outer coating and a black lid that opens and closes with a twist, to keep your beverage even further insulated. The handle is clear plastic with a small button at the top that stirs your drink when pressed. The stir mechanism itself consists of a small plastic wheel at the bottom centre of the mug.

Now from personal experience with this mug, I would suggest not leaving anything in the bottom for a long period of time. Anything sugary or syrupy will possible gum up the stir mechanism beyond recovery. Ensure you rinse out your Whirlwind Cup as soon as you are finished with your drink, to ensure the stir wheel moves freely. To clean this, I suggest not shoving a plastic scrubbie brush down there, as it may damage the tines of the wheel, but as the instructions state, simply put a small amount of water and dish detergent into the mug and use the stir feature. For stubborn stuck on stuff at the bottom, I used a paper towel to wipe out excess, being careful not to touch the wheel itself, just in case.

This mug has held up pretty well, as I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now for both cold and hot beverages, but by far my favourite is the way it keeps your hot chocolate mixed up. No more wasted chocolate at the end of the cup! Now I’m not much of a gourmet coffees connoisseur but this may even refroth your drink! Give it a try, and like I said in the beginning, $22US is more than worth it for an insulated, carryout self stirring mug. This is also a very good gift idea for the holidays! Keep it in mind! Now I’m going to go put more cream in my hot chocolate just to watch the swirls it creates when I stir it. Food and entertainment in one!

Universal Adapter Plug

(Link Not Available)

And finally, most of this would not be possible without the 220 to 110 plugin converter that Brando so graciously sent when we realized that some of the plugin items supplied were for non-north american outlets. But this very versatile device is more than it appears, it can convert pretty much any power supply to work with any device. The list of conversions available is HUGE, lets see: Type A, Type B, Type BF, Type B3, Type C, Type O, Type O2, and Type SE. These pretty much cover every single country on the planet including smaller republics and islands. Every configuration is diagrammed on the instructions, and the unit itself is very intuitive. It’s a bit like unfolding a swiss army knife as there are many combinations and configurations to choose from, but if you have your item and your outlet, figuring out the right setup is immediately apparent.

Final Thoughts

Thank you to the folks at Brando for making this possible.

And of course, every time I go to the Brando site, I see something else that I can use, there’s a USB Skype Speaker ,a Bottlepod Adapter that turns your pop bottle into an impromptu camera stand,a 7” LCD Digital Photo Frame the list goes on and on, you can spend quite a bit of change here, and you will not be disappointed. While the odd item may seem a little strange, I have found homes and uses for everything they sent me, yes even the Super Mini Phone was put to use by someone who didn’t have room on their desk for their rather large phone base. So rather than take up room on their desk, their phone is on a shelf out of reach and the Super Mini Phone is simply clipped to a convenient spot on their very small desk. See it all worked out great!

I must admit, if I had to pick out my favourite item from this list, it would be tough. I love the pen that plays mp3s and records and hey even writes, the plugin air purifier has kept my office air pure, and it may or may not be connect to the fact that I’m not suffering from allergies this year, like every other year I’ve lived here. Though I will admit, I’m a lot less stuffed up in this room than in other parts of my place, so perhaps it is a factor.

So yes, it’s hard to pinpoint a favourite here, but I hope that you can come away from this review not only interested in the myriad of Brando’s products but perhaps thinking of all the great gifts you can give throughout the year to your favourite desk jockey or tech geek. There’s something for everyone here and in my case, many many things I want!

I do need to advise you up front though, if you are ordering something for North America, please ensure you specify that your outlets are 110 not 220 when you order an item. This option cannot be found in the checkout that I have noticed, however we have to hope that the country of destination flags which power usage to ship.

And I must admit, I am seriously impressed with their shipping fees at Brando. ::: Worldwide Shipment Fee: USD$ 3.00 to ANYWHERE ::: now you cannot beat that!

A final thank you to everyone at Brando for being so amazing to deal with. I love your gadgets, I love your LED items, your USB items and there’s so much more on your site every day that I want. If there’s something gadget-y I need I can find it at http://usb.brando.com.hk. There are even things I don’t realize I need until I see them on your site. Thank you for letting us spotlight your site and your products, it’s been a great deal of fun and very informative.

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