Do you need it? No, but it’s a sweet breeze

Do you need this latest Dyson contraption? Especially at $500?

At first glance, the price sounds high, and there are certainly lower-cost fans in every store, but Dyson fans have never been a bargain. Just like a Mercedes and a Kia will both move you down the road, a Dyson and a cheaper fan will both keep you cool.

The difference is in the details and the air purifier with a 360-degree HEPA filter.

A quick check of Amazon shows HEPA air purifiers run between $100 and $300, so if you add the cost of a similar-sized Dyson fan without an air purifier ($320), the combined fan and air purifier is not really overpriced, especially when you consider the Wi-Fi connection and app.

The Pure Cool Link connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network and can be controlled by a smartphone app from across the room or across the internet.

The air moving out of the fan is like a cool breeze. It’s louder at the higher settings but is good white noise while sleeping.

To set the Pure Cool Link to one of the 10 fan speeds, you’ll need to use the included remote control or the smartphone app.



Messaging app uses your phone number

Google’s Duo is a simple video messaging app that accomplishes the task of doing one thing very well. Think of it as Apple’s FaceTime — Google Duo is designed for one-on-one mobile video calls and nothing else. Those who use Google’s Hangouts app, which also allows for video calling, may look at Duo and miss features such as group calling. That’s a valid criticism.

Duo differentiates itself in two key ways. One, it’s tied to your phone number rather than your Google account, meaning that you don’t need a Google account to use it. Second, Duo is encrypted, so that Google itself can’t see the content of your conversations.

Duo does have one feature that could be particularly useful for video calls on the go: If the person calling you is on your contacts list, Duo’s “Knock Knock” feature gives a video preview of who’s on the other side. This can be disabled, but it’s useful if you get a call and want some intel about who’s on the other side and the kind of mood they are in.