Indoors ZONangleR_M

Published on March 24th, 2013 | by Greg


Humanscale Personal ZON Air Purifier: Fresh (Air) Direct

Every time we think that we’ve explored an area of products pretty well, something always comes up to surprise us. Whether it’s a special coating that makes regular down feathers water repellent, or today’s device that takes a whole new approach to air purification, companies continue to create new gadgets that soon seem like they were obvious all along. Air purifiers generally are pretty simple: take a fan and some filters and you’ve got the basic idea, though the goal has generally been to freshen and remove germs from a room.

The folks at Humanscale created the  with something a bit different in mind. Meant for home or office use by a single individual, it bypasses the main issue of whole-room purification systems by focusing on cleaning a narrow window of air. This means that it takes up less space, and is much quieter than competitor units- even on it’s highest level, it’s still not very loud at all. Plus, it saves energy as well. While the ZON is not a HEPA unit, they claim that it will “surround the user in a bubble of air that’s free of pollutants, dust and biological contaminants while boasting silent, breeze-free and ozone-free operation”.

There’s another upside to the focused approach as well- energy savings. Unlike most units that can have a noticeable impact on your electric bill, the ZON uses only 23 watts of electricity per hour. There is also an optional filter that can be installed to help deal with smells- a carbon filter that addresses gaseous contaminants, including odors and volatile organic compounds. Cleaning is easier than some other units we’ve seen, like the recently-reviewed Viktor. It features the same honeycombed appearance as the Crane Electrostatic model we checked out and uses similar technology, with the same downside in terms of difficulty cleaning the honeycomb out but ease of cleaning the interior filters. Compared to HEPA models, cost of use should be lower since you don’t need to replace filters.

Controls are simple- there is a timer and a slider that controls the speed. There is no remote, but since you’re going to be next to the unit in most cases, it would be unnecessary. Ours was a nice sleek glossy red, but the ZON is also available in white and black. Perfect for those with allergies or seasonal sensitivities during the Spring, the ZON sits nicely on a desk and blows lightly in your direction, with the distinct benefit of making sure the breeze around you is essentially free of germs, odors, and pollen. While it won’t do much for your cubicle companion or officemates, it will definitely help clear the air around you. We would’ve liked a handle for portability, but beyond that, it’s a nice design that blows some freshness into the purification world- quiet, compact, and efficient. Available now for $250 or so.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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