However you power it, the NSA UK Dual Power is a superb pedestal fan
- Useful modes
- Plenty of power
- Quiet and energy-efficient
- Can run from a USB power bank
- Poor remote
- Tricky to assemble
The competition’s hotting up in the world of pedestal fans. On the one hand, you have products such as the EcoAir Zephyr and Meaco MeacoFan 1056P, which can throw out huge amounts of air while making precious little noise. On the other, you have products such as the AirGo Smart Fan and Duux Whisper Flex adding app-controlled smart features and voice control.
READ NEXT: Best fans
Well, now we have a new contender from NSA UK – a brand we’ve previously associated most with premium tower fans – and it’s sitting in something of a sweet spot, rivalling these other fans on noise and performance, but coming in at a slightly lower price. What’s more, it’s got its own little party trick to play.
NSA UK Dual Power Stand Fan review: What do you get for your money?
For £120 – £20 less than the Meaco and £10 less than the EcoAir – the Dual Power Stand Fan gives you a big 12in pedestal fan with 32 speeds, a tilting head, three different modes and a timer. What’s more, it’s based on an efficient DC motor for reduced noise output and power consumption. It’s Quiet Mark approved, like Meaco’s MeacoFan 1056P, with a classic pedestal style that’s not a million miles away from the elegant Duux Whisper Flex.
And as for its party piece? Well, the name gives that away. The Dual Power Stand Fan normally runs off a standard mains adapter, but unplug that and slide the sliding cover over it and you’ll reveal a handy micro-USB port. Using this you can power the fan from a standard mobile power bank and take it with you around the house or into places where you can’t normally get any power.
READ NEXT: Best air purifiers
NSA UK Dual Power Stand Fan review: What features and settings does it have?
The controls on the front, along with a digital display, give you easy access to all the fan’s features, including 32 speeds, the timer and a choice of four different modes. In normal mode you just set the speed and let the fan run, or you can switch to Natural Breeze, which does the usual trick of simulating what it says by varying the fan speed, with little peaks and lulls to make you feel like you’re sprawled out on a tropical island rather than collapsed on the sofa in your too-hot living room.
Eco/AI mode is the one you’ll probably come back to most often, as it adjusts the fan speed depending on the current room temperature. Finally, Sleep mode runs the fan at the highest speed in your chosen speed range, then slowly steps that down until it’s running low, slow and quiet. It then repeats this cycle while you snooze until either you or the timer turns the fan off.
Beyond this, you can set an on and off timer and can also tilt the fan head manually, from anywhere between zero and 90 degrees towards the sky, or set the oscillation range between 30, 60, 90 and 120 degrees. This enables you to focus the fan’s cooling powers all on you, as you’d really like to, or let it cool the rest of your household, as you know you ought to.
With the fan running from a power bank – we used a basic 10,000mAh Anker model – you lose access to the top 16 speeds in standard mode, or the top two speed ranges in Eco/AI, Sleep and Natural Breeze mode. You’ll also have to wave goodbye to oscillation. Within those constraints, though, the fan works just as it’s meant to, and you can lug it out to a garden room, garage or garden office where you don’t have power, or just take it with you as you move around the house.
NSA UK Dual Power Stand Fan: How well does it perform?
If there’s one thing we expect from a pedestal fan, its airflow and plenty of it. The Meaco 1056P can dish it out at speeds of 3.8m/sec, while the Duux Whisper Flex is just 0.1m/sec behind, at 3.7m/sec. The Dual Power isn’t quite in that league. We took the maximum speed at 1m away from the fan, dead centre at 3.4m/sec. All the same, that’s still a pretty heavy breeze, of the sort that hurls paperwork off tables and can move light objects around. With oscillation turned on and the speed turned up, you could easily cool a good-sized room.
Of course, at that speed noise levels creep up, and the Dual Power registered on our smartphone noise meter at 46.7dBA – just above the Whisper Flex and 1056P. However, turned down to half speed this came down to a very reasonable 34.8dBA, with an airflow of just under 2m/sec; still enough to keep me cool while working in a hot, sunlit room.
At a lower speed (8) the noise was barely noticeable above ambient levels, though there wasn’t much airflow to write home about; only when the anemometer was moved closer than 1m could we get it to start spinning and register a reading.
Power consumption is impressively low, even for a modern DC motor fan. At the highest speed you’re looking at just 14.2W, which is lower than the Meaco and Whisper Flex fans. Turn the speed down to the lowest setting and you can have it running for under 1W, though the cooling power here is so negligible that you might want to save even more energy and simply turn it off.
READ NEXT: Best sunscreen
NSA UK Dual Power Stand Fan: Is there anything we didn’t like?
There are only two things we didn’t like about the Dual Power Stand Fan. First, the remote. This is a £120 pedestal fan, and the cheap, membrane-style remote control doesn’t really cut it at this level. What’s more, you have to use it as there’s no button on the fan itself to switch between modes.
Second, it’s a bit of a pain to put together. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for the new trend of packing big products into smaller boxes and letting the buyer take over the final leg of the manufacturing process. All the same, doing so took me a good 15 minutes, and I’m an experienced pedestal fan assembler. It’s possible to make this easier and provide clear instructions, as Duux managed to do it with its more complex Whisper Flex.
NSA UK Dual Power Stand Fan: Should you buy it?
The Dual Power Stand Fan isn’t quite as powerful as its biggest rivals, and it’s also not quite as super-quiet. Yet we’re not talking about a massive difference, and it’s cheaper and has the edge on energy efficiency.
The Meaco and EcoAir fans are a little more adjustable, while the Whisper Flex wins on style and smart features. But if you’re looking for a great combination of power, quiet running and sheer value, then this fan is up there with the best. Throw in the fact that it will run from a cheap USB power bank, and it’s an even more brilliant buy.