(Pocket-lint) - While air conditioning is standard in the USA and throughout much of Asia, in Europe it is not. So when there's a heat wave and it feels as though your internal organs are melting, it's probably time to go and buy a fan. Not just any cheap old fan, though, why not try an 'air circulator' - as Meaco likes to call it.

The Meaco 1056P is a pedestal version of its desktop version - hence the 'P' at the end of the name - meaning it features an adjustable stem for optimum height positioning within a room. And as this unit's head can oscillate horizontally and vertically - each being individually controlled as you please - it's designed to move the air through and around a whole room to help cool it down.

Meaco's appeal is that it doesn't cost eye-watering amounts like, say, Dyson cooling products. At the same time it's not cheap by any measure. So does the 1056P find that sweet spot of cooling perfection to price? We've been living with one, day and night, to try and stay cool.

Design

  • Head measurement: 320 x 339mm
  • Adjustable height: 820-955mm
  • Weight: 4.7kg

This isn't a small fan. You wouldn't put it on a desk. But it can nestle into the corner of a room inconspicuously enough. It's all-white, all rather plasticky, but at least you know what to expect. It's sturdy, too, while a leather-like grab handle features up top to help cart it about when repositioning from room to room.

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Height wise the pedestal sees the top of the head sit at 82cm from floor height, which can rise to about 96cm. If it's set to rotate through vertical oscillations then it'll need a little more head room than that.

We'd actually like the pedestal's extension to be a little taller to help position it, say, over the backs of sofas and such like. Such a design might have been too top-heavy to be feasible. However, for positioning next to a bed it's an ideal height.

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Having a free-standing fan means you can place it anywhere within a room - well, you can, if you buy an extension cable, as the provided power cable is rather short (it measures 145cm by our count - not short short, just not long enough to meander it around furniture and hide the cable away).

Modes

  • Magnetic remote control included in box
  • LCD display (light can be disengaged)
  • Modes: Eco, Sleep, Normal, Natural
  • Timer (on/off) 1-12 hours
  • 12 fan speed settings

Here's where the Meaco shows its worth compared to basic fans. Switch the 1056P on and it'll tell you the interior room temperature on its base display (the light can be switched off for night use). That temperature can help you decide which setting to choose - as there are 12 steps of fan circulation, ranging from subtle to considerable.

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There are also various modes. Sleep will start the fan at a higher setting and then work down into quieter settings every 30 minutes throughout the night until it's at base level 1. Eco will keep an eye on the ambient room temperature and auto-adjust the fan speed accordingly to maintain it. Natural will fluctuate between fan speeds to try and replicate a more wind-like breeze to help you feel cooler.

However, there's no fancy app to command the 1056P. You'll have to put that phone down and use the included magnetic remote controller instead. 

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This circular disc is easy enough to understand and will make any adjustment the fan is capable of doing through its on-base controls. The control then lives in the centre of the fan's head, to help you avoid losing it. We do wish the buttons illuminated - even glow-in-the-dark would be good - to help with seeing the controls at night. If you do lose this control then all the settings are available on the pedestal's base, so you'll always be able to control this fan to its fullest.

Performance

  • Individual horizontal/vertical oscillation
  • 20-60dB volume (claimed)
  • 1653m³/hour max airflow
  • 4m/s max air velocity

We suspect many will use the normal mode and choose a fan speed of their preference. The Meaco is static by default - but there are two individual buttons to control horizontal/vertical oscillation paths. You can have either one active, or both to give more circulation around the room. It's also possible to adjust the vertical height, set it static, then continue a raised horizontal oscillation, for example. In short: you should be able to get this fan to position just as you want. 

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Perhaps the most standout feature of the Meaco 1056P, however, is its quiet operation. Meaco claims 20 decibels at its lowest level, which is whisper quiet. We think it's a little louder than than - after all, fans aren't going to be silent - but it's still a very, very quiet fan for the amount of power it can output.

Crank the settings up a bit and, sure, there's some more noise. But we can sleep with it at level 6 no problems; move it to level 8 and the volume jumps up - but then so does the power output.

Besides, Meaco's fan is a lot quieter than an equivalent Dyson Hot + Cool - and about on par when at its maximum fan level 12 setting. It's also not far off a quarter of the price, which we think makes the Meaco much better value. And while one of Dyson's big sells is bladeless fans, so you can't damage your fingers, the Meaco's exclosure is tucked away well enough to avoid any potential harm.

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Note that the Meaco isn't an air conditioner or purifier though. It doesn't push air through a filter to aid with allergies like the Dyson does. It doesn't condense air and cool it. It's just a big and fancy fan that does a great job circulating airflow as you need it.

Verdict

If you're looking for a fan with serious airflow, quiet operation and lots settings and useful modes, the Meaco 1056P pedestal air circulator is an impressive bit of kit.

It might not have the brand name or design aesthetic of a certain Dyson competitor, but the Meaco is the quieter operator, can circulate more than 30 per cent more per hour compared to a Hot + Cool, and won't cost you nearly as much either.

Writing by Mike Lowe.