Cool Gadgets –
It can produce some cool air. • It’s easy to use.
It’s not really an air conditioner. • Way too expensive for what it is. • The company is odd and the buying process feels scammy.
Don’t waste your money on this thing.
I run hot. I’m liable to break a sweat at any time. It’s just how I am.
I am convinced people are divided into two categories: Always Hots and Always Colds.
Think of yourself. Think of your loved ones. I bet you know where they fall. My fiancee: Always Cold. My mom: Always Hot. My dad: Always Cold.
So, what if you’re in a house divided like me? My fiancee is cold, I’m hot: What do I do? Even worse, what should I do in the dead of summer when I break a sweat tying my shoes?
I thought maybe, thankfully, I had a solution when my editor suggested a writer review a portable AC unit that had infested his Instagram experience with ads. Lots of people have apparently seen it everywhere. It’s called the Blaux Portable AC and it promised to cool you off with a USB-powered, cordless, small AC. Let me get this out of the way: It really wasn’t great.
I think before I write too much about my experience with this thing, you might want to watch this pretty popular explaining how this thing actually isn’t an air-conditioner and walking through some pretty shady business practices from Blaux. I don’t think I need to rehash all the details, but suffice it to say this product is one of those weird internet things of questionable, undefined origins.
So, anyway, Mashable ordered me a portable AC. It took a bit of time to arrive, but, you know, there’s a pandemic so that’s fine. It cost $89.98 ($99.98 with shipping). I would advise you not to spend $100 of your hard-earned cash on this thing.
The little AC, but, again, this is not an air-conditioner, which functions off refrigerant, is a box that measures approximately 5-inches. It looks like a small fan…it kind of…is a small fan. (More on that later.) But points for being mobile and small.
It works like this: You load the back of it with water and/or ice cubes then turn it on. It charges via a basic mini-USB port. Points for ease of use.
OK, but does the thing work? I mean… kinda? It depends on your expectations. This is definitely not an air-conditioner. It will blow pretty cool air and, if you’re always hot, it can be a nice chilly breeze if you aim the sucker right at your face. I’m writing this with my Blaux on my tabletop, going full blast and it feels like a slightly cooler fan.
And honestly, there’s the rub. You’re probably better off buying a regular ass small fan for $15 to $20.
Sure, the portable AC is…portable, but it’s also pretty damn useless outdoors. The model I got (which I can no longer find on the website — more on that later) sloshes water around if it isn’t perfectly even. I spilled a bunch of water on my laptop writing this, courtesy of my Blaux. It’s nearly impossible to move without water spilling. It feels like one of those early 2000s gadgets that promised cool things but ended up being cheap and ineffective.
When I used the portable AC outside on a summer day, it basically just leaked water and didn’t cool me off one bit. It was a muggy, August afternoon and the Blaux’s output felt vaguely like a dude who just brushed his teeth breathing on me.
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And now a bit of housecleaning: the Blaux I got doesn’t seem to be for sale anymore? Parsing through my email, my order shipped via the site getblaux.site but Blaux now seems to be sold via blauxstore.com. My model has a black strap and loads water from the back. The model I found online now seems to have a gray strap and loads water from the top. Even finding the new model online is difficult if you’re not being redirected by an ad. Blauxstore.com doesn’t actually take you anywhere and I had to find the portable AC via a Google ad.
Not sure what to make of all that, but it’s weird. Again, that YouTube video is a good watch if you feel like you still might want to buy one of these things. There’s a lot of weird things with this company. Lots of folks aren’t happy with it online, it don’t seem to have any real social presence, and its website has pushy sales tricks and “reviews” that are just static images.
So, if you’re an Always Hot like me, just know some things are too good to be true. If you want to stay cool, save yourself some money and invest in a light tank-top, a cheap fan, and spend the rest on some ice cream.
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