Dyson Air Multiplier review

It looks cool, but does it really do the job?
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01.Dyson Air Multiplier desk fan


Price $350
Contact www.dyson.com.au
2 and a half stars out of 5 as a cooling device
4 stars out of 5 as a work of art

Fans of the movie The Hudsucker Proxy may recall a simple yet enthusiastic entrepreneur (played by Tim Robbins) pitching an idea to Hudsucker director, Sidney J. Mussburger (Paul Newman), whereby he pulls out a sheet of paper showing only a circle (a hula hoop prototype) and proclaims: “You know, for kids.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2QlitH4nYY A similar scene could well have played out in the Dyson boardroom, with a designer proposing a new bladeless fan that’s safe for kids.

CHOICE put the Air Multiplier (which, according to the website, took input from up to 350 engineers and scientists) up against a $48 fan from a local supermarket (with hardly, if any, input from a scientist or engineer). Both fans have a tilt function and oscillation feature that is easy to use and simply effective. The Dyson has continuously variable speed controller, while the cheap chrome fan has three speed controls.

Our four trialists found no difference in the amount of air moving over their body at the various settings and distances, and noise levels measured were the same at two, three and four metres, with no discernable variation at the highest setting. The Dyson fan did produce a more consistent stream of air; however one trialist found this to be a negative feature as it did not produce as wide a coverage of air movement delivered by the desk fan with blades.

All the trialists did note how easy the Dyson would be to clean, and one suggested it would indeed be safer to use around children as there are no blades. However, not one said they would pay the extra $300, and were more than happy to stick with the $48 desk fan.

Choice verdict

If you’re looking for something that looks cool, and you have a spare $350, the Dyson Air Multiplier might be worth the hoopla; it’s certainly a striking design. However, if you just want to keep cool, you could easily save yourself a few hundred dollars.

Please note: this information was current as of December 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market. 



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