Meaco is a British company that was established more than 30 years ago by a husband and wife team. It’s seen much expansion since, and is now known for its air appliances such as dehumidifiers, fans, air conditioners, heaters and humidifiers.
Its range of fans comprises five models, covering smaller desk-top units to a large floor-standing fan. The MeacoFan 260c Cordless Air Circulator is the smallest and cheapest in the range, but this little fan has plenty to offer.
A rechargeable cordless model, it can also be operated while it’s charging via the supplied USB cable. There are four speeds to choose from, and it can run for up to 14 hours at the lowest speed setting or four hours at the highest. There’s even a night light in the base, which is an unexpected extra feature given its budget-friendly price.
One of the biggest issues with rechargeable products is that when the batteries reach end-of-life, the whole product has to be replaced. Happily, this isn’t the case here: the MeacoFan 260c’s batteries can be replaced to extend the life of the fan.
On test this fan proved a welcome addition to my home during a summer heatwave. Whether in the kitchen, office or garden, you can keep it close by, no matter what you’re doing. At its highest speed setting, it blew out a more powerful breeze than we had expected, producing little noise while it did so.
If you’re looking for a fan that will cool you from the other side of the room, this isn’t the model for you. However, it’s a great budget-friendly portable fan that will come in handy throughout summer.
Price and availability
- List price: £34.99
The MeacoFan 260c Cordless Air Circulator is only available in the UK. Get it direct from Meaco or through Amazon. It’s the cheapest model currently available in Meaco’s fan lineup.
- Price and availability score: 4/5
- Check out our fan deals page to make a cool saving
- Simple one-button operation
- Easy to dismantle
This neat little fan measures just 26.9 x 16.6 x 14cm / 10.6 x 6.5 x 5.5 (h x w x d) and it’s also lightweight at 490g / 1.08lbs. It charges via a 1.2-meter/ 47-inch USB cable that’s included in the box; but there’s no plug, so you’ll have to use your own or charge it via another device such as a laptop.
The MeacoFan 260c is operated via a single button that can be found on the top of the base. Press it once to turn the fan on, while every subsequent press increases the speed, before finally switching it off. Pressing and holding the button for two seconds will turn on the night light, which illuminates the bottom part of the base.
An LED light surrounds the button, with the portion that’s lit white increases as the fan speed is increased. It also has an orange half that serves as a charge indicator when the fan is plugged in. There are no other fancy settings to get your head around; this fan is very straightforward to use.
The fan head can be tilted up or down to better direct the air. There’s no side-to-side adjustment, but you can achieve that through fan placement. The base has four rubber feet and the battery compartment can be opened using a screwdriver, allowing the batteries to be replaced when they reach the end of life. And for easy cleaning, the front grille twists off and the fan blades can be removed with a firm pull.
- Design score: 4.5/5
- Straightforward to use
- Works best at a close range
- Great portability
The MeacoFan 260c comes out of the box ready to go; there’s no setup required. Our model even came with enough charge for a couple of hours’ use, so we could put it to work straight away. And using it is very straightforward indeed – after a quick glance at the manual, we had all the information we needed.
There’s very little to dislike about this little fan – as long as you’re happy to have it close by; otherwise, you won’t feel the benefit. That said, on the highest setting we could feel a breeze at a range of 3.5 meters/ 11.5 feet. Still, the closer it is, the better.
Note that this fan won’t cool the air in any given space. Following an hour of being turned on in a room, there was no appreciable difference in the room’s temperature. But like all fans, you’ll benefit from the windchill effect when the fan is blowing towards you, and so will feel more comfortable as a result.
The nightlight on the base emits a gentle glow that would be useful in a children’s bedroom, and while the lights around the main button are useful for indicating the speed, in a bright setting the white light can be difficult to make out.
We used the fan in a number of rooms and scenarios, including while we cooked on a hot day, where it provided welcome relief from the heat of the kitchen. It was also great in a home office – not only does the MeacoFan 260c cool, it doesn’t look out of place perched on a desk, nor does it take up too much space.
The fan was also welcome company while eating in the garden, with its cooling effect much needed on a hot day where simply being in the shade wasn’t enough. It was great while working out on the Peloton, too, making a sweaty ride far more pleasant. And therein lies the beauty of this little fan – you really can place it anywhere, enjoying its benefits wherever you are.
The noise level varies depending on the room and the surface on which the fan is placed, but as you’d expect, it’s quietest on the slowest speed, averaging around 40dB. At the highest speed setting, the noise level goes up to about 60dB, which is still just a gentle hum.
The front grille comes off with an easy twist to provide access to the blades for cleaning – a gentle wipe should suffice. There really isn’t any other maintenance needed, other than changing the batteries when they reach the end of life.
- Performance score: 4.5/5
- Charges via USB
- Replaceable batteries
- LED light indicates charging progress
Meaco claims a full charge of the 260c fan takes six hours. However, during testing, we found the time varies depending on the method you’re using to charge it. It usually took 4-5 hours, not that we’re complaining. During charging, the circular LED light around the main button flashes orange; it’s divided into four segments, with each one representing 25% of charge. When half of the circle remains steadily lit, you know it has reached 50% charge.
On the highest speed setting the battery lasted 4 hours and 15 minutes, a quarter of an hour longer than Meaco claims. But on its lowest speed setting the fan lasted an impressive 19 hours, which is 5 hours more than the time stated in the manual. When we used it on high speed with the night light on, the fan still lasted 4 hours before the battery ran out of juice – this is the worst-case scenario.
We like that the battery is replaceable, so that the life of the fan can be extended. The manual says you’ll need to replace the battery after 300 charges, which is less than a year of use if the fan is used daily. A pack of two replacement batteries costs around £20 which can be bought direct from the Meaco website.
- Battery life score: 5/5
|Price & affordability||It’s good value and readily available, but only in the UK||4/5|
|Design||On the whole, Meaco delivers a well-thought-out, neat and streamlined design. The fan is a little plasticky, but that’s to be expected given the price.||4.5/5|
|Performance||As a compact, portable fan, the MeacoFan 260c is effective, quiet and versatile.||4.5/5|
|Battery||Excellent battery life on lower settings and can still be used while charging||5/5|
Buy it if...
You want a compact fan
With a footprint of around 14cm/ 5.5 inches in diameter, this fan takes up very little space on your desk or counter. At just 26.9cm/ 10.6 inches high, it will easily sit on a shelf or windowsill.
You want to use a fan away from a power socket
Take this rechargeable fan anywhere without worrying about power. It’s as handy for taking on a camping trip as it is for use around the house.
You want a quiet fan
Creating a dull hum on the highest setting, as fans go, the MeacoFan 260c is pretty quiet. There are no offensive rattling or squeaking sounds to be heard.
Don't buy it if...
You want an oscillating fan
This fan is a static model, pushing air in one direction, so if you’re looking for a fan that rotates from side to side, consider another model.
You want a fan to cover an entire room
This little portable fan works best when you keep it close by. You’ll need a large or floor-standing model for cooling a whole room
You want a top-of-the-range model
As much as we like this fan, there’s no denying it’s a budget-friendly model. If you’re looking for a very powerful and robust model, you’ll need to look at the more expensive fans in the range.