Dyson's Air Multiplier is able to "generate smooth, uninterrupted airflow with no unpleasant buffeting," the product's website states. Air is drawn into the base and pushed into the round ring, and accelerates as it exits. Dyson says the technology "amplifies surrounding air." The price is amplified, too: A 10-inch version costs $299.99. (In case you're asleep, that's really $300.) A 12-inch version costs $329.99.
We comparedthe Dyson with three conventional table fans that cost $17 to $35, measuring air speed and looking at slow-motion films of smoke we sent through each fan. We also asked four blindfolded staffers to compare the Dyson's outflow with that of two conventional fans, one at a time, while standing 5, 8, and 11 feet away.
Our engineers might have joined the Dyson Air Multiplier fan club—except for the high price. Generally, panelists found that the Dyson generated a smooth, uninterrupted airflow, but they felt that one of our comparison fans did that, too; and most panelists found those two fans equally pleasing. The Dyson is easily adjusted with a tilt of the tower, is easy to clean, and is safe, because there are no blades. The moving part (called the impeller) is inside the cylindrical base and is inaccessible. But you'll save a good $264.99 by buying a conventional fan.