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Honeywell ZETA review: A personal air cooler to help on warmer days

The Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler

While it’s not a full-blown air conditioner, the Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler does an OK job of cooling things down, especially if it is fairly close to you.

Techaeris Rated 8.9/10

We may be headed into fall, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the hotter temperatures are going away. In many homes and offices, air conditioning is a must-have. However, it’s not always a given and can be a costly addition. Fortunately, there are alternatives like personal air coolers. While these aren’t full-blown air conditioning units, they can lower the temperature of smaller areas by a few degrees.

Our Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler review takes a look at a small portable unit that claims to throw cool air out up to 10 feet and covers up to 64 1/2 square feet. Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The Honeywall ZETA Personal Air Cooler has the following features and specifications:

  • Powerful airflow that you can feel
  • Cooler, fan, and humidifier for year-round comfort
  • Eco-friendly: no compressors or damaging refrigerants
  • Low energy consumption won’t dent your bills
  • Up to 10 hours of refreshingly cool air
  • Bring it anywhere: Bedside table, desktop, kitchen
  • Honeycomb Cooling Media with Antibacterial Treatment
  • Intuitive sleep mode programmed for energy-saving comfort at night
ModelDCS2AE
Air Flow173 CFM
Tank Capacity0.5 gallons
Coverage Area64.5 sq.ft.
Throw Distance10 feet
Voltage110V-120V~60Hz
Frequency60Hz
Noise Level36-47 dBA
Power Consumption50W
Current0.7A
USB Port5V/2A
Full Tank Run Time10 hours
Unit Dimensions7.9 x 8.7 x 12.2 in
Net Weight6.6 lbs
Warranty1 year limited warranty

Product video

What’s in the box

  • Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler
  • Honeycomb Cooling Media with Antibacterial Treatment
  • User guide
What's included with the Honeywell ZETA Personal Aire Cooler
What’s included with the Honeywell ZETA Personal Aire Cooler.

Design

Rectangular in design, the Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler is just under 8-inches wide, about 8 3/4-inches deep, and just under 12 1/4-inches in height. The entire air cooler is housed in a plastic shell, grey for the most part, and gloss black on the front. While it works and is pretty sturdy, it does feel a bit cheap as there is a bit of flex when you press down on the top or sides. A slightly thicker, sturdier plastic shell would most definitely be welcome here, especially given the price.

The front of the ZETA has four adjustable grey louvers running from top to bottom. Offset to the right of the louvers is the control panel. Here you’ll find capacitive power, fan speed selection, and cooling mode selection buttons. To the left of these are indicator LEDs for power, current fan speed, night mode, and cooling mode. Below the LEDs is a 2.0A USB charging port, which is a nice touch depending on where you set up the unit. As for branding, the Honeywell logo is in the upper right and that’s about it.

The control panel and indicator LEDs on the front of the Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler
The control panel and indicator LEDs on the front of the Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler.

The left and right sides of the air cooler have recessed handles near the top. While the left side is solid, the right has an exposed grille for airflow. The back of the ZETA Personal Air Cooler is where you’ll find the water tank. IT is about 1 3/4-inches deep and 10-inches in height. A clear window at the bottom allows you to see the remaining water level. When removed, there are grooves on the inside which slide and lock into place on the actual air cooler. At the bottom of the water tank is a cap for filling and water dispersal when on the unit. Below the water tank to the right (when looking at the back) is the non-removable power cord.

When the water tank is removed, you can see a rectangular access hole. Inside this is Honeycomb Cooling Media. Green in colour, it looks like a Honeycomb and feels like it’s made from cardboard or thicker paper material. This piece sits in a plastic black tray of sorts which allows for easier removal and placement inside the air cooler.

Finally, the bottom of the air cooler has four feet to elevate it slightly when placed on a flat surface.

The ZETA Personal Air Cooler looks fine but it is pretty basic, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps this is compounded a bit by the materials used for the outer shell.

Ease of Use

The Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler is super easy to use. Slide the water tank upwards to remove it, twist to remove the cap, and fill it with fresh, clean water. Replace the cap, making sure it is tight. Next, slide the water tank back onto the air cooler.

Set the air cooler on a flat surface, and plug it in. Once plugged in, turn it on by touching the power button icon on the front. After it powers on, you can adjust the fan speed, louvers, and toggle Cooling Mode. When Cooling Mode is on, Honeywell recommends that you open a nearby window or door for adequate cross-ventilation. If you want to use it as a humidifier, enable Cooling Mode and make sure to close all windows or doors so the moisture can hang in the air. Alternatively, you can turn off Cooling Mode and just use the unit as a fan.

Once the Honeycomb Cooling Media gets fully wet, the air coming from the ZETA is definitely cooler than just a regular fan, although not as cool as an air conditioner.

The detachable water tank on the back of the Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler
The detachable water tank on the back of the Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler.

It is a bit loud but it does come with night mode. When set, it will run on medium speed for half an hour before gradually reducing to low speed. Once on low, it will maintain this speed until it is turned off.

Performance

Before I get too far into this section, it’s worth reiterating that this is not an air conditioner. It is a personal air cooler so you can’t expect air conditioning type performance from it.

That being said, the ZETA Personal Air Cooler performs rather well. Honeywell gives the unit a modest 10 foot throw in the specifications. When the fan is set to one, I could feel the airflow up to about four feet away. Bumped up to two and it the airflow started to taper off around nine feet. Turning it up to max? I could still feel a faint breeze up to 16-feet away, easily surpassing the stated throw distance in the specifications. Not too shabby…

But does it actually cool? Depending on where you set it up, your results will vary. It is best used in a smaller room with a window cracked open and the door closed. However, if you have set in a more open area, the closer it is to you, the cooler it will feel. Walking into a room where this has been running for awhile definitely does feel a couple of degrees cooler. Not to mention that the breeze from the fan when sitting near it is refreshing on a warmer day.

Honeycomb Cooling Media with Antibacterial Treatment
Honeycomb Cooling Media with Antibacterial Treatment.

Honeywell also states that a full tank of water will last up to 10 hours. Of course, this is dependent on the speed your fan is set to. On the lowest setting, the tank did indeed last around 10 hours, while on the fastest it seemed to last around five or six.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of US$199.99, the Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler is a bit pricey. It does perform moderately well in the right setup and can be used in places a more expensive traditional air conditioning unit can’t be. On that note, it is currently on sale for $149.99 which is a much better price for the value this air cooler provides.

Wrap-up

While it’s not a full-blown air conditioner, the Honeywell ZETA Personal Air Cooler does an OK job of cooling things down with its evaporative cooling, especially if it is fairly close to you. It could use better quality materials in the outer shell build for the price, but it is pretty sturdy and should stand up to minor bumps and knocks. If you’re looking to cool off a small space without air conditioning, you may want to consider this relatively small personal air cooler.

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ZETA Personal Air Cooler

US$199.99

Design

8.5/10

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Performance

9.5/10

Price/Value

8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Moderate cooling of smaller rooms
  • Three fan modes
  • Decent air throw distance
  • Water tank lasts up to 10 hours
  • Has a night mode

Needs work

  • While sturdy, feels a bit cheaply made
  • Pricey at full price
  • A bit loud
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