The Sunpentown SF-1521 Remote Controlled Tower Fan with Ion boasts lots of features including a remote control, a timer and an ionizer to freshen indoor air. Users most like its wide-range oscillation, which is good for moving cool air throughout a room. However, the fan's actual air output lags behind competitors like the Lasko 4924 High-Velocity Blower Fan (*Est. $60) .
A gentle breeze. Based on an analysis of user reviews, editors at TopTenReviews.com say the Sunpentown fan "lags slightly behind several competitors" in terms of airflow. Its breeze can be felt about 10 feet away on the lowest setting, 15 feet away on medium and up to 25 feet away on the highest setting, they report. These numbers appear to come from one of the owner posts rated "most helpful" at Amazon.com. Its author is pleased with the SF-1521's output, saying it lowers the temperature in the room by 2 degrees while drawing only 25 to 46 watts of power.
At least one other Amazon.com reviewer agrees that the air from this fan "seems colder" than the ambient temperature; other owners say the SF-1521's output is fairly feeble, even on its highest speed. Users do like the Sunpentown's wide-range oscillation, which disperses the breeze across a range of 70 degrees. According to TopTenReviews.com editors, this helps the fan "cool a small to medium sized room in a matter of minutes." As for the SF-1521's durability, very few owners post complaints, but the warranty is relatively short at one year.
Loaded with features. The Sunpentown SF-1521 Tower Fan comes with more features than any other model in our report. In addition to its oscillation mode, it has a programmable auto-shutoff timer that can be set for one to eight hours in 30-minute increments, an LCD panel and a remote control. Editors at TopTenReviews.com call the remote "slim, attractive and comfortable to use, with clearly identifiable ionizer, oscillation, timer, style and speed buttons." However, they warn that it's difficult to line up the remote with the receiver on the fan while it's oscillating. An Amazon.com user adds that the remote's battery compartment is impossible to open with bare hands.
One unusual feature of this fan is an air ionizer that "provides fresh clean air," according to the manufacturer. As one owner posts at Amazon.com, this setting "electrically charges particles in the air," causing dust to "collect and fall to the floor rather than linger in the air." A user who lives in a desert climate is pleased with the ionizer, saying in one month of using the fan, "I have hardly had to dust." In general, however, reviewers seem unimpressed with this feature. Several can't tell if it does anything, and one says the only noticeable effect is a faint smell of ozone.
Quiet operation. Users generally agree that the Sunpentown SF-1521 is quiet. One Amazon.com poster says it's "completely silent" even on the highest setting, and there are no "creaking and cracking sounds" in oscillation mode. Editors at TopTenReviews.com say the fan isn't totally silent, but rather makes a "pleasurable humming sound" that can help lull users to sleep.
Modern design. The Sunpentown fan has a rather futuristic look, with a rounded head and an LED panel that's centered at the top like a glowing blue eye. Several Amazon.com reviewers say it "looks like R2D2" or, more generally, "like a robot;" another describes it as "very sleek and modern looking." In terms of size, the SF-1521's 12-inch circular base makes it wider than the other tower fans covered in our report. Even so, TopTenReviews.com editors consider its footprint small enough to "please anyone with a limited amount of space." They also like the fan's narrow, child-safe grates, but say this is a standard feature for tower fans.
Review Credibility: Good The Sunpentown SF-1521 Remote Controlled Tower Fan with Ion attracts more than 90 reviews and gets 3.9 stars out of 5 here. One of users' favorite features is the wide-range oscillation that distributes air evenly through a room. They add that the fan is quiet, and they like its timer and remote features. However, some disagree over how much airflow the fan actually generates.
Review: SPT SF-1521 LCD Remote Controlled Tower Fan with ION, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
Review Credibility: Fair TopTenReviews.com names the Sunpentown SF-1521 Remote Controlled Tower Fan with Ion one of the best tower fans, giving it an overall rating of 9.58 points out of 10. This score is based on an analysis of consumer reviews backed up by manufacturer specs, and Amazon.com posts appear to be the main source. Editors call the SF-1521 "a full featured and stylish tower fan with an excellent oscillation mode," but say its air output lags somewhat behind competitors'.
Review: Sunpentown SF-1521, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, 2013
Review Credibility: Fair In a blog post on this retail website, the author discusses what to keep in mind when purchasing a fan for an office desk or cubicle. She says a tower fan is a good choice when you need something that "fits discreetly in a corner," and specifically recommends the Sunpentown SF-1521 Remote Controlled Tower Fan with Ion because of its wide-range oscillation. However, it's not clear if she personally tried the fan; her recommendation appears to be based solely on its features.
Review: Choosing a Personal Fan for the Office, "Ivey", July 23, 2010