Apple. Google. Amazon. And even Tesla.
Just a few big names that pop into my mind as I unbox what at first seems like the latest electronic gizmo from any of the big techs. Yet this one is different. Molekule sent us its latest air purifier. No big deal really, there’s so many of them on the market these days it’s hard to tell them apart. However, the Air Pro which Molekule announced earlier this month, does have several differentiators. I’ll share some thoughts here on Stark Insider along with some unboxing photos and first impressions. The full review will follow in a few weeks once we put the Air Pro through some tests.
First, let put this out front: the price. Molekule is targeting commercial environments — medical spaces, offices, gyms, retail — so at $1,199 USD it’s likely out of the reach of most consumers (though it’s currently listed for less on Amazon). However, Molekule says it is also well suited for large indoor home spaces (up to 1,000 sq. ft.) that benefit from a powerful air purifier to improve air quality.
- RNA viruses
- DNA viruses
- Black mold
- Pet dander
- Citrus-scented cleaners
- Bacterial sports
- Staphylococcus (skin, soil)
- Dust mite allergens
Another thing to point out is the filtering technology used in the Air Pro. Called “PECO” which stands for photoelectrochemical oxidation is unique compared to the competition. This is a relatively new approach to air purification. I’m certainly not a scientist — Google and please do your research — but my understanding is that unlike traditional HEPA-based purifiers which trap contaminants like allergens, VOCs, bacteria and mold, PECO-based ones seek to destroy them. Further, PECO is able to deal with particles, at least in theory, that are much smaller than traditional filters. Molekule’s other air purifiers including the Air and Air Mini+ also use PECO so the company has a history here of innovating in this regard. Is PECO better than HEPA? I can’t say. But will be interested to see how this Air Pro compares in real world use to other air purifiers we have on hand including ones by Coway (Airmega), Winix, and Blueair. I’m particularly interested to see if the Air Pro can actually reduce in-home formaldehyde, something I’ve yet to see any purifier handle (opening windows for 10-15 minutes twice a day is likely still your best option). Of course the wildfire smoke hanging over the San Francisco Bay Area is also a concern.
Molekule says the Air Pro moves 3x the air flow of its consumer devices (Air, Air Mini+).
Molekule Air Pro: First Impressions
Molekule definitely knows a thing or two about design and marketing. Unboxing the Air Pro is an exercise in outstanding user experience. I’ll let the photos below do more of the talking in this regard.
I like that the Air Pro comes in a bag with handles. That makes pulling it out of the box a back friendly affair.
One of the things you’ll notice is the unit’s heft. The Air Pro weighs far more than typical plastic-y air purifiers.
And this thing looks gorgeous. Stunning silver anodized aluminum finish. Leather (vegan per Molekule) handle which makes moving the heavy unit easy. Minimalist overall design. And integrated power cord organizer beneath the base and air intake. Overall Molekule scores an A+ here, no doubt about that.
When you first power on the Air Pro you’re given the option to pair with your phone. In this case, the Air Pro is not yet supported and is only available to pair using a beta version of the app. I’ll test that and write about the experience in the upcoming review on Stark Insider.
In any case, without the app you can still use the touch-based display at the top to control the Air Pro. At a glance you can see the air quality rating. Swipe and you can see more details about various PM (particulate matter) ratings including PM10 (pollen), PM2.5 (dust) and PM1 (smoke), and adjust fan control among other settings. Overall, again slick implementation.
That’s about all I can share for now.
Of course, none of the pretty aesthetics will mean anything if the Molekule Air Pro doesn’t do what is promised: clean the air. I’ll need some time to evaluate its performance in the home using a real world environment. With another unfortunate wildfire season underway across the West Coast I’m hoping for the best.
Molekule Air Pro: Unboxing
Molekule Air Pro: Design — A Knockout
Molekule Air Pro: Display and Unit Control Options
Molekule Air Pro: PECO Air Filter
Look for a full review soon on Stark Insider.
Molekule Air Pro is available for pre-order now on Amazon and ships November 1, 2020.