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(Pocket-lint) - In the hot weather it can be unbearable to focus when at work, so a desk fan is one ideal way to help keep that air circulating. Meaco has an interesting proposition in the MeacoFan 260C - as its built-in battery means you needn't be tethered to a plug socket.

With quiet operation, four fan speeds, and decent battery life, can this little desk fan do no wrong? We've been using the MeacoFan 260C Cordless Air Circulator during the heatwave to find out.

Design and functionality

  • Manual angling (vertical only): 65-degrees upward, 10-degrees downward
  • Dimensions: 268.5 x 166 x 139.6mm / Weight: 490g
  • Integrated nightlight

The MeacoFan 260C isn't a luxe design product, that much is clear, but it's a functional build that's hardly distracting on the eyes. Sure, it's plasticky looking, with only a silver-coloured stem to break up the white finish, but the base has enough battery within to give it some heft and stability on a desk.

Pocket-lintMeacoFan 260C Portable Cordless Fan review photo 5

When it comes to positioning the fan you only get vertical adjustment - by 65-degrees upwards and 10-degrees downward - which you can fix manually into place. There's no automated mechanism to rotate through such angles, nor is there any horizontal rotation - so if you're looking for a fan that spins its head around to circulate air around a little more, this isn't the one for you.

That said, as a personal fan it's quite brilliant. Point it directly at you - as we have been all day long during the sudden summer heatwave in the UK - and the subtle jet of air is just enough to ease the sweat. And as there's no cord to dictate where the fan sits you can position it as close to or far from you as suits.

Performance and battery

  • Claimed: up to 14 hours battery life (on lowest fan speed)
  • USB Type-C recharging (takes six hours minimum)
  • Four fan speeds - on-product button controlled
  • Integrated nightlight

There's a single button on the fan, which cycles between the four fan-speed settings and switches the fan off too. It's as simple as that. No on/off switch. No app. No remote control. You just press that button and cooling begins.

Pocket-lintMeacoFan 260C Portable Cordless Fan review photo 4

Well, it will if you've got enough battery life in there. But that's one of the great things about the MeacoFan 260C - the battery lasts for over 12 hours (Meaco claims 14 hours on its lowest fan setting), which has been enough to cut through a couple of work days at a time. When the battery is done, however, the product cuts out without warning. There's a rough visual countdown - an orange semi-circle around the control button - but it's fairly crude.

However, you can leave it plugged in at all times through its USB-C socket to the rear (note: no wall plug is included, it's just the cable, but ought to match your phone charger) to save the hassle. Recharging takes around six hours or so, according to Meaco's specification, which even from a low power source seems correct.

Pocket-lintMeacoFan 260C Portable Cordless Fan review photo 6

However, as this fan doesn't require a high-power source you can literally just plug it into the side of your laptop and that's enough for it to keep running and to recharge. You'll have the cable plugged in then, of course, but it's one way to skirt around any sudden battery outage. 

There's also an integrated nightlight, which we've not had much use for, but it's there for illumination should it be wanted as, say, a bedside fan instead. That will only eat into the battery life yet more of course.

Pocket-lintMeacoFan 260C Portable Cordless Fan review photo 14

At the base level the MeacoFan 260C's cooling is impressive for such a small product. Thereafter the 'whirr' sound from the tri-blades going in rotation is a little louder as you move through the three further settings - but it's still really quiet all considered.

Verdict

If you're suffering from the heat and want a small and quiet desktop or bedside fan then the MeacoFan 260C is a great little option.

No, there's not the bells and whistles of some competitors - like mechanised rotation or a remote control - but at this affordable end of the market you wouldn't expect that anyway.

That the 260C is battery powered - and therefore can be cord-free - is its big sell, as is its easy recharging. Not to mention, of course, that its cooling potential for such a small device is really rather impressive.

Also consider

Meaco 1056P Pedestal Air Circulator

Want something much more substantial? This larger, more powerful and fully controllable - vertical and horizontal motion via remote control - is super-quiet and ideal for keeping cool during the night or for circulating the air in hot rooms during the day. It'll cover much larger areas given its size.

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Dyson Pure Cool Me

While Dyson's products work well, as is the case here, the price difference is phenomenal - this fan costs 10 times the price of the 260C, but adds air purification through its HEPA filter and offers rotation.

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Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published on 15 June 2021.