I was recently asked by USA Today's technology site, Reviewed.com, to sort out a feature on the best rechargeable batteries. I called in a ton of the things, in a number of sizes, and got down to testing. One of the tests that I decided to run was to pop the various AA cells I had on hand, by brand, into a battery-powered fan to see how long they could run the thing for. I opted to order the least expensive fans I could find that I felt, based on my past experience testing fans (if you work as a hardware journalist for long enough, sooner or later, you'll have tested damn near everything), wouldn't crap out on me after running for a few hours: the Honeywell HTF090B Turbo on the Go Personal Fan. In order to cut down on the amount of time it'd take me to run the tests I needed to conduct, I ordered four of them.
To my surprise, I fell in love with an $11 piece of hardware.
This little Honeywell fan can be run off of a USB connection, making it a great choice for using at your desk, or four AA batteries. When running the fan on rechargeable battery power, I was able to get a maximum run time of close to 10 hours. Not bad! It's light and compact enough that you could stick it in a carry-on bag to take with you traveling or toss it in the back of a car to keep you cool during a bit of tent camping on a weekend. The fan's stand, which collapses down for storage, is adjustable and can also be used to hang it from a hook.
Now that I'm finished running the tests I bought the fans for, I've got one plugged into my MacBook's USB port to keep me cool as I work, and another one, running off of batteries, set up for my pooch to keep her cool on the floor.
I love being surprised by how much a simple, inexpensive device can improve upon my quality of life. In a world where we increasingly covet items that are priced out of reach for many, it's a joy to discover.