Dyson Air Multiplier & Table Fan

Unplggd Test Lab

Product: Air Multiplier/Table Fan
Designer: Sir James Dyson & Team
Price: $299 for 10", $329 for 12"
Rating: Recommend

Yesterday we broke news about the Dyson Air Multiplier at the conclusion of the day. Today Maxwell returns with a more in depth review of his personal experience with his newfangled Dyson-designed air mover:

We received ours by messenger yesterday, but wasn't able to say anything about it until 7:01pm last night. This sort of careful marketing is the type of thing that really makes you want to roll your eyes or get really excited or both. We did both...

As Dyson continues to break into that part of our brains that has heretofore been reserved for Apple products, I have to admit they're doing a pretty good job, and the smartest thing they've done lately is to prove that they can do more than vacuums.

Which brings me to the new Dyson Table Fan aka, "Air Multiplier".

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The Design
The Air Multiplier is a neat bit of design that pushes a lot of air without the use of blades. Drawing from Dyson's Air Blade, which is a great design for drying your hands, the central unit sucks in air with an impeller and then forces it out of the thin 1.3mm aperture around the edges of the upper ring. The air that is forced out of the aperture is then directed in such a way that it carries with it neighboring air from inside and outside the ring - hence the term "multiplier" - as a little air turns into a lot of air.

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Not using blades allows it to also be safer (no chopped hands) and quieter than a bladed model, though it still makes some noise.

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The unit is all plastic, comes packed flat in a box and assembles easily by clicking the "hoop" to the base. It performs all the functions that a typical fan would, such as automatically oscillating, manually pivoting up and down and regulating its airflow with a dial that ranges from low to very high (so high that the sound eerily resembles a hard drive about to crash). While blades on high can be somewhat comforting in an old fashioned way, the Multiplier on high is a bit stressful.

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The Price
The price is very high for a table fan, a product that takes a beating on price, since people typically just want something to move air towards them when they're hot. However, as a design item, the price doesn't seem so bad as other stylish fans we've seen in the past can run from $170 right up to $650. If you've got the design itch, this won't embarrass you too much.

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The Verdict
We used this in our office yesterday and today and the long and the short of it is as follows:

1. It works very well
2. It looks funny - as in "conversation starter"
3. It's (still) expensive

While we wish that it were summertime to really test this doodad, we feel pretty confident that it would be a welcome addition to our office next year. Now, if we could only hook our iPod up to it....

Dyson.com

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.