By: Aaron Lai
July 28, 2023
Summer is a hot season for a handful of reasons. The most obvious one is the fact the weather is warmer, and the sun is out quite a bit more. This inherently makes both the days and nights hotter. In fact, Calgary has been getting several "heat warnings" due to daily temperatures being above 29c or evening temperatures above 14c. These temperatures might be considered average or even cold for residents down south. However, I also know summer is a time for people to enjoy the great outdoors, as they can dress down and enjoy the warmer environment. Whether this means hiking in the mountains or spending a day at a lake or a beach, the heat brings a lot of people outside. This can also include things like music festivals, street markets, strolling in your park, or having a picnic. Summer also necessitates the invention of the air conditioner and I for one am quite glad for it, as I mentioned in my review of the Thermaltake The Tower 500. However, air conditioning is only useful if you are at home or in your car. What happens when you want to be outdoors and still stay cool? Today's product, the ARCTIC Summair Plus, could be your solution. This is meant to be a portable desktop fan with a battery built in so that you can bring it along on all your adventures. ARCTIC is no stranger to cooling and they have even built consumer-facing fans like this in the past, as seen with the Breeze Pro and Breeze Mobile in 2010. However, how does this portable solution work today? Will it keep me cool both indoors and outdoors? Let us read on to find out!
Today's unit of the ARCTIC Summair Plus arrived from ARCTIC's warehouses in Florence, South Carolina. While most of ARCTIC's packages ship from Quinby, Florence is located quite close by, so it is no surprise their warehouses are close to ARCTIC's offices. Otherwise, this box was shipped to our APH Networks offices here in Calgary, Alberta with the help of UPS and their Standard ground service. It arrived in excellent condition with no bruises, scratches, or dents to be concerned about.
Out of the packaging, you can see the retail box of the Summair Plus. ARCTIC has taken a minimal approach to the packaging here, with a plain cardboard box and white text and images printed on the faces. The company logo can be found at the front with an outline of the fan in the middle. The product name can be found at the bottom with the description, "Foldable Table Fan with Integrated Battery". Interestingly, you can also see there is a lengthy 6-year warranty included with the Summair Plus. Finally, ARCTIC has told us our unit is white in color, but a black variant is also available. In addition, there is an ARCTIC Summair, which forgoes the integrated battery and is powered via a USB Type-C connection. Otherwise, around the box are more specifications and a QR code for the manual of the ARCTIC Summair Plus.
Before we continue, I have grabbed the specifications from the manufacturer's website for your viewing pleasure:
Blade Diameter: 112 mm
Fan Speed: 600—3300 rpm, Stepless Control
Current | Voltage: 5 W (5 V DC | 1 A)
Battery: Lithium Polymer, 3.7 V | 2800 mAh
Operation Time: 2.3—25 h (14 h @ 1500 rpm)
Charging Time: 3 h @ 5 W
Charging Port: USB-C (incl. 1.2 m USB-C to USB-A cable)
Warranty: 6 Years
Dimensions: Open: 159 (L) x 124 (W) x 132.5 (H) mm, Closed: 128 (L) x 124 (W) x 52 (H) mm
Weight: 320 g
With more plain packaging, you can see the ARCTIC Summair Plus is found in another cardboard enclosure, along with a color-matching 1.2m USB Type-C to Type-A cable for charging the Summair Plus. It is nice to see only post-consumer paper being used here, as even the cable is held in a paper sleeve rather than standard twist tie. There is no manual included, which is not too surprising given the fact this is just a fan. However, a small slip of paper has a warning to mention the open backside of the fan, as you will see soon enough.
The ARCTIC Summair Plus is a neat looking desktop fan. The body is made up entirely of the fan, as well as the plastic enclosure around it to protect users from touching the blade. The front has a round grille, which reminds me of the output side of the SilverStone Air Penetrator AP120i PRO. While this will get in the way of some of the air, this also serves a purpose to prevent fingers from getting into the spinning blades. It still has enough opening to ensure a good supply of air makes it through the back to the front.
One thing ARCTIC really wanted to show off is the fact their fan has a removable front grille. This way, users can clean off the fan blades if they want. For obvious reasons, you should only remove this front plastic if the fan is not turned on. This can be done by twisting the grille off the tabs and it will slide right off. Underneath, you can see the fan blades. This 112mm impeller is just slightly smaller than a typical 120mm fan. Each blade has a very curved, almost exaggerated design, which is quite like ARCTIC's retail computer case fans. Their blades are all connected by an outer ring. This makes the blade and impeller design quite like the P12 PWM PST RGB, even if our current fans do not have any lighting. As such, you can see there is not too much overlap of fan blades. They make a 45-degree angle with the center of the fan.
Looking at the back of the fan, you can see the open-back design, which exposes the blades from the other side. The five thinner arms ensure there is not much to block air from coming in, which is a good thing. However, it is the reason a warning label was included to ensure users hold the fan carefully when it is in operation to prevent any damage to your appendages. In fact, my girlfriend accidentally poked her finger too far while the fan was going at full speed and her nail was mangled. As such, it is important to heed this warning, as the fan does not feature any automatic stopping mechanism. This is an understandable balance between protection, structure, and airflow, and ARCTIC has leaned more on the airflow side of things.
The fan portion pivots where it connects to the base, and it allows for users to aim the fan within a 90-degree range. The hinge moves smoothly but offers enough resistance, so it does not move about by accident. Moving to the base, we have a circular bottom with a dial at the back. This dial is used to control the speed of the fan. This dial does not have any steps and smoothly turns, changing the operating speeds from 600 to 3300 RPM.
Flipping over the fan, you can see the base of the ARCTIC Summair Plus. The base is a rubber ring split into five sections. This rubber base keeps the fan in place, especially when it is operating. The 320g weight of the Summair Plus should also keep the whole unit stable. In the middle, we have the ARCTIC logo, some safety certifications, the product name, and its input voltage and current. At the back of the base, you can spot a USB Type-C input for charging the Summair Plus. Its internal lithium polymer battery is 3700mAh in capacity and ARCTIC states this could last you from 2.3 to 25 hours, depending on how fast you operate the fan. Also, you can expect to fully charge the Summair Plus in 3 hours. Next to the USB port, we have three dots to indicate the battery status. When it is plugged in and charging, the lights glow and blinks to indicate how much charge the battery has available. You can read the online manual to show all the distinct battery ranges, but I appreciate how ARCTIC has shown a granular range with the limitations of three lights. These lights glow while the Summair Plus is powered on to show the current battery life. Finally, if you want, you can press the circular button found on the base for a battery check with these LEDs.
Obviously, the ARCTIC Summair Plus is only as good as it performs, so we assessed it both indoors and outdoors. The first thing I noticed was how reasonably quiet the Summair Plus was, especially indoors. Even at full speed, I found the portable desktop fan to create a reasonable but not overbearing amount of audio output, while still moving quite a bit of air. The stepless adjustment meant I could make slight changes to optimize the air and noise for sufficient cooling. In my air-conditioned home, I still appreciated the localized breeze in front of me, especially if I was getting a bit heated during a game of League of Legends, haha. Otherwise, if you run out of juice while you are at home, you can plug the Summair Plus in and let it operate while it charges.
As you already know, my girlfriend and I are in a lot of markets, so when we had a recent outdoor market, it was the perfect opportunity to evaluate the ARCTIC Summair Plus. During this day in particular, the outdoor temperature reached a sweltering 31c or 88F. While that may not be too hot for some folks down south, it was a warm day for a Calgarian boy like me. Thankfully, the Summair Plus held up outdoors, even if this is not necessarily the intended environment. There was some wind throughout the day, but the fan made the day a bit more bearable under direct sunlight.
In the midst of a sweltering summer, I am quite appreciative of ARCTIC and their Summair Plus, which shows off as a solid portable fan. Its design is clean while its build quality is sturdy for a plastic encasing. In terms of its portability, the Summair Plus folds down to make it easy to transport. Battery life is good with a decently long runtime to cool you off even if you are in the sun for a full day. The battery LED lights ensure users are aware of the remaining charge. Other design elements I appreciate include the removable front to make cleaning easy, especially if exterior debris makes it through. I also like the notch-less speed adjustment so users can change the speeds quickly. As for performance, the ARCTIC Summair Plus was up to the task, generating airflow regardless of indoor or outdoor environments. It is clear the fan blade design draws from ARCTIC's computer fans, which is definitely a good thing. This means we have a minimal amount of noise for its air movement capabilities. If there is one thing to change, I would want ARCTIC to make some sort of shield at the back to prevent fingers or other objects from getting caught by the moving fan blades. At the time of this article, the ARCTIC Summair Plus is available for $32, which is very reasonable for a personal portable fan. As the weather may get even warmer during the rest of the summer, I think the ARCTIC Summair Plus is a great companion to take with you wherever you go.
ARCTIC provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
The ARCTIC Summair Plus is a strong but quiet portable fan to keep you cool on a balmy day.