The Dyson AM01 Table Fan is the most discussed and debated fan in all our sources. Both professionals and home users are attracted by its fully adjustable airflow and unique, futuristic design that boasts no visible blades. However, experts find no basis for the claim that the AM01 delivers a smoother airflow than standard desk fans, nor do its power and noise level justify the price.
"Smoother" airflow isn't noticeable. Dyson says the AM01's "bladeless" design produces a noticeably smoother flow of air, with none of the "buffeting" associated with normal fans, but expert reviewers dispute this claim. Bryan Gardiner of TheWirecutter.com points out that the AM01 isn't really bladeless; the blades are just concealed inside the base. In tests at ConsumerReports.org, the Dyson fan does produce "a smooth, uninterrupted airflow," but so does a regular desk fan. Technology expert Al Warman of Britain's Which? magazine says if you put the AM01 and a standard fan side by side, "you're unlikely to notice the difference."
Dyson also boasts about the fan's powerful airflow, which it claims is "multiplied 15 times" as it passes through the fan's ring-shaped opening. In terms of cubic feet per minute, however, Gardiner finds that the AM01 Table Fan moves less than half as much air as his favorite fan, the Vornado 660 (*Est. $100) . User reviews are mixed, too; some say the AM01 "moves an unbelievable amount of air" while others call the airflow "feeble." The review in Which? says Dyson's claim is true in one sense: The AM01 does use less energy than a regular fan to produce the same amount of airflow.
Kid-safe and easy to clean. While the AM01 Table Fan's unusual design may not produce noticeably smoother airflow than a standard fan, it does have two major benefits for users. First, it's safer for kids and pets. "The fact that my two and five year old kids cannot get their hair or fingers caught is a number one safety feature for me," writes one owner at Amazon.com. Second, since there's no need for a bulky grille, the fan is much easier to clean.
Other user-friendly features include an easy tilt adjustment and fully adjustable power levels. One Viewpoints.com review praises the way the fan "pivots on its own," and instead of having two or three distinct speeds, the AM01's fully variable speed settings adjust with a "dimmer switch" on its base. However, unlike the largerAM02 Tower Fan ($430) , it doesn't have a remote control.
A bit loud. The Which? review notes that although you might expect a "bladeless" fan to be extra quiet, the AM01 is "not actually that much quieter than a traditional fan." In fact, many user reviews say it's louder. One Amazon post voted "most helpful" compares the AM01 unfavorably to a 6-inch clip-on fan, saying it's more than twice as loud and moves only 40 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air while the smaller fan moves 190 cfm.
While a few reviews do praise the AM01's quietness, several more complain about its noise level. One owner says it "sounds like a jet engine in my bedroom," and another at Amazon.com calls it "easy on the eyes, hard on the ears." A few users say the sound is more of a high-pitched humming, which one Amazon.com poster finds "more intrusive than the Vornado fans I have around the house."
Unique design. Even reviewers who aren't devotees of the AM01 admit that its looks are exceptional. Which? magazine's Warman describes it as "iconic" and predicts that "people are going to buy it just for the looks of it." And based on user feedback, many people are doing just that. One Amazon.com review begins, "Buy for style, not for function;" another at BestBuy.com admits, "Would I buy this fan if all I wanted was a cool soft breeze? Heck no. Would I buy this fan because it makes a statement and would add to the decor in my modern condo? YUP...I DID!"
Various reviews describe the AM01's styling as "slick," "modern," "unobtrusive" and "futuristic." One owner even compares it to a piece of modern art. Moreover, an Amazon.com poster says the Dyson's looks offer a practical advantage: They make the fan "more acceptable to have out" where guests can see it.
Review Credibility: Very Good ConsumerReports.org editors compare the Dyson AM01 Table Fan to three unidentified standard tabletop fans to see which produce a "smooth, uninterrupted airflow." Testers measure air speed from each fan and watch slow-motion films of smoke passing through them, and blindfolded subjects are asked to evaluate the flow of air from each. While the AM01 performs well, a less expensive fan does a similar job. Editors like the Dyson fan's easy tilt adjustment and safe, bladeless design, but they don't think these features justify the high price tag.
Review: Is Dyson's Fan a Smooth Operator, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, July 2010
2. Which? magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good This older report announces the introduction of two new fans in the Dyson Air Multiplier line: the AM02 Tower Fan and the AM03 Pedestal Fan. It includes a link to a video evaluating the original Dyson AM01 Table Fan where Which? technology expert Al Warman explains how its bladeless design works and demonstrates its fully variable speed control. He admits that while the AM01 may "look cool," it's no better at helping you "stay cool" than a standard desk fan.
Review: New Dyson Bladeless Fans Offer '50% More Airflow', Editors of Which? , June 29, 2010
Review Credibility: Very Good Gardiner names the best whole-room fan based on a search of "thousands of user opinions online." He calls the Dyson Air Multiplier line of fans, which includes the AM01 Table Fan, "more about the sizzle than the steak." Although the fans look good, he says they can't compare to the Vornado 660, his top pick. If you buy a Dyson for its looks, he warns, "you'll be paying in some cases a 400 percent premium and losing a good deal of performance."
Review: Best Room Fan, Bryan Gardiner, May 21, 2012
Review Credibility: Good There are more than 150 Amazon.com user reviews for the Dyson AM01 Table Fan spread across three pages. Feedback is much more mixed than at other retail sites and the AM01 gets only 3 stars out of 5 on average, perhaps because Amazon.com doesn't duplicate posts from the manufacturer's website as most other sites do. Owners here love the Dyson's stylish looks, smooth airflow and easy-to-clean shape, but they're less impressed with its power, noise level and exceptionally high price.
Review: Dyson Air Multiplier Table Fan, 10 Inches, Blue, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
Review Credibility: Good The Dyson AM01 Table Fan attracts only about 15 owner reviews at Viewpoints.com, where it gets a score of 72 points out of 100. Individual posts are fairly detailed and none are recycled from the manufacturer's website. Most users love the bladeless design, which they say looks cool, is easy to clean, and is safe for kids and pets. They're more divided over the fan's airflow and noise level; some call the AM01 powerful and quiet while others find it noisy and underpowered.
Review: Dyson AM01 Air Multiplier Table Fan Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of April 2013
Review Credibility: Fair About.com's guide to housewares tests the Dyson AM01 in her own home. Mifflin gives the fan 4 stars out of 5, saying she really likes its "quality construction, good performance and unique air flow." She's also impressed by the bladeless design, which she describes as "elegant" and much safer than a bladed fan. The only thing she dislikes is the price, calling it "pretty high" for a table fan.
Review: Dyson 10" Air Multiplier Table Fan Review, Mariette Mifflin, March 1, 2011