Choice Reviewed The Xbox Mini Fridge, Says It Can’t Actually Cool Anything

Choice Reviewed The Xbox Mini Fridge, Says It Can’t Actually Cool Anything

Australian consumer advocacy group Choice has reviewed the Xbox Mini Fridge and has confirmed what most owners already knew: it can barely cool anything down.

By its own admission, Choice is just about the last outlet on earth to review the Xbox Mini Fridge, but stated it was “keen to delve beyond superficial impressions and bring the full weight of the CHOICE thermal lab to bear to see exactly how it performs.”

In my humble opinion, all product reviews should begin with reading the box features and muttering “We’ll see what the lab has to say about that.” Extremely great start.

The battery of tests revolved around taking the Xbox Mini Fridge at its word and treating it as an actual mini fridge. The mini fridge was placed in the thermal test chamber at both 32 degrees C (a summer day) and 16 degrees C (a winter day) to test how long it would take the fridge to cool eight cans of soft drinks from room temperature.

They then placed a platinum resistance thermocouple, which is like a turbo-fancy thermometer, into the Xbox Mini Fridge and closed the door. They also recorded the kind of power draw the mini fridge demanded when undergoing these tests.

The caveats

The Xbox Mini Fridge famously has a list of warnings and caveats on a slip of paper in the box.

  • Don’t overload it, or it might burn the motor out.
  • Don’t run it longer than two days, or it might burn the motor out.
  • It may also generate a prodigious amount of internal condensation, which might cause it to ice the vents over and burn the motor out.

In short, the device gives the immediate impression of not being up for the task it is expressly trying to accomplish, and it’s being open about that.

The results

Choice found that even placed against extremely low expectations, the Xbox Mini Fridge failed dismally. The 32-degree test took 24 hours to bring eight cans down to a tepid 21 degrees C. As the review points out, that’s only slightly warmer than water out of the tap. The 16-degree test proved that with the significant help of existing external cold, the Xbox Mini Fridge was able to bring that down to a reasonable 5 degrees C in the same period. This puts the device in line with its warning slip’s assertion that it is a cooler, not a fridge. But the box says it’s a mini fridge!

The real eye-opener came when Choice compared the Xbox Mini Fridge’s power draw to that of a regular fridge, calling its findings “disturbing.”

Choice found that the Xbox Mini Fridge horks down a colossal 376 kWh per year at 32 degrees and 409 kWh per year at 16 degrees. That is, as it correctly asserts, as much as a normal, family-sized, 500-litre compressor fridge.


Of course, you shouldn’t run the Xbox Mini Fridge for longer than two days anyway. Thank God, because if you did, it seems like you’d be causing the lights on your block to flicker with the amount of juice it’s sucking down. Translated as a dollar amount, you’d be paying $155 a year — as much as it cost to buy the damned thing — to run it 24 hours a day.

But the real kicker? Its power draw is so bad that if the Xbox Mini Fridge weren’t exempt from MEPS Energy Star regulations, it would be illegal to sell in Australia.

Sit with that one for a minute. If you, like me, already own one of these things, you must be wondering what kind of electricity demon you’ve invited into your home.

So, after putting the Xbox Mini Fridge through its battery of tests, does Choice recommend a purchase? No, it does not. Unless you’d like a large oversized novelty Series X in your house, which is kind of fun. Just don’t turn it on.

You can read the full review right over here.

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