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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Product Review: Metro DataVac Electric Duster ED500P.

If you have a computer then, hopefully, you clean it out on a regular basis. The best way to do this, unfortunately, is to use a "can of air." It's a can of compressed gas that's very good at blowing away dust and dirt from PC cases, fans and other bits. Unfortunately, these have a number of issues.

1. They're very limited. It takes an entire can of air to thoroughly blow out a computer and keyboard.
2. Expensive. It might cost roughly $4 for a can of air. Having to buy them over and over again really adds up.
3. They lose pressure as they start to run out.
4. They can get very cold, to the point of not being able to hold them comfortably as you use them.
5. You can't maneuver them much. Turning a can too much will cause a cloud of cold gas to come out.
6. They're bad for the environment. Buying, using and throwing away the cans will add up not only in cost but in landfills. There's also the energy it takes to manufacture and transport all of those cans.

Enter the Metro DataVac Electric Duster.

I saw an ad for this in the back of PC World magazine. It's advertised as "The Last "Can of Air" You'll Ever Have To Buy!" To anyone who currently buys canned air, that sounds like a wish come true. I checked Amazon.com and found the page for it. I read through the reviews and they were generally very good. People sounded pretty pleased with it. I decided that, once I had the money, I'd grab one and give it a shot. Luckily I was able to get a hold of one sooner than I had planned.

It arrived earlier today via USPS and I've been messing with the unit for a while now. I cleaned out my PC, a couple of tower fans, a couple video game consoles and various other things. I tried all the attachments that come with it and really put the unit through it's paces.

The result? I love it. It's surprisingly powerful and extremely well built. The main unit itself is made of steel, not plastic. The handle is rugged and ensures an iron hold on the unit. The cord is 12 feet long. It feels like something that was made in a past era, where things were made to last, not out of cheap plastic and focused entirely on styling. Another thing which will surely appeal to some is that it's made in America. It's going to be much better for the environment as well, seeing as how you won't be buying and tossing out can of air after can of air.

The only negative things I could say is that it's fairly loud. It sounds like a vacuum cleaner. It also gets very warm after a while if you use attachments which limit airflow. There's also a slightly odd smell that it gives off, maybe this is only because it's a new unit, but it's not too bad.

The negatives are very minor and the positives are just the opposite. This thing is like a WMD for dust.

Verdit: Buy it. If you currently used "canned air" for anything then you need this product. If my opinion changes I'll post an update, but I absolutely love this thing.

Metro Vacuum ED500P DataVac on Amazon

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