If you’re shopping for a smart air conditioner you can easily move from room to room and control with your phone or your voice, there aren't a ton of options out there. Luckily, the $599.99 Midea Duo Smart Inverter Portable Air Conditioner is easy to recommend. Armed with an innovative air circulation system that removes hot air while delivering cool air with an extended throw range, the Duo quickly and quietly cools down 450 square feet of space. It's also simple to install and move from room to room with ease. It won’t tell you how much power it’s using and it doesn’t support HomeKit or IFTTT, but its ability swiftly to cool off a room without making a racket earns it an Editors’ Choice award for smart portable air conditioners.
Measuring 32.4 by 19.5 by 16.7 inches (HWD), the 14,000-BTU Midea Duo is a few inches shorter than the Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner (36.8 by 12.6 by 12.6 inches), but it's much wider and deeper. Although it weighs 72 pounds, it's easy to move around thanks to a set of casters on the bottom that work just as well on carpet as they do on hard flooring.Our Experts Have Tested 127 Products in the Smart Home Category in the Past YearSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
The AC has a glossy black finish and a huge 11-inch-wide-by-6-inch-thick matte black exhaust hose that stretches out to around five feet when fully extended. That’s nearly twice the size of the hose that comes with the Hisense 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner With Wi-Fi. The reason for the extra girth has to do with the Duo’s unique air circulation system.
As the name implies, there are actually two hoses built into the exhaust hose; one for removing hot air from the inside and the other for bringing in fresh air from the outside. This allows the AC to provide a balanced airflow and prevents hot air from reentering the room. The hose is attached to the rear of the unit and retracts into a compartment for easy storage when not in use.4.0Excellent$309.99See Itat WalmartRead Our Hisense 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner With Wi-Fi Review 4.0Excellent$345.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Midea 8,000BTU U-Shaped Air Conditioner Review4.0Excellent$415.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Windmill AC Review 4.0Excellent$279.00See Itat Lowe'sRead Our Hisense 350-Sq. Ft. Window Air Conditioner (AW0821CW1W) Review
The Duo is designed for rooms up to 450 square feet. It has a 49dB sound rating and offers cooling, fan, and dehumidifier modes. Around back is a plug for inserting a drainage hose (included) for when the unit will be used as a dehumidifier, as well as a removable drip tray and air filter. There are handles on either side of the cabinet, and the top contains several control buttons, an LED display, and an air louver with an automatic swing motor that moves up and down to ensure even circulation throughout the room. The louver provides an air projection range of up to 26 feet.
Onboard features include the LED display, which tells you the set temperature and current room temperature, up and down arrow buttons for setting the temperature, a Swing button for enabling Auto-Swing and adjusting the airflow angle, a Timer button for initiating auto-on and auto-off times, a Mode button for selecting an operation mode (Auto, Cool, Dry, Fan), a Fan button for selecting the fan speed (Low, Mid, High, Auto), and a Sleep button. The Sleep button increases cooling by two degrees Fahrenheit after 30 minutes and again after another 30 minutes. After the second increase, the new temperature will be maintained for the next seven hours before returning to the original settings.
Included in the box are five window slider panels, assorted foam insulation strips, a drain hose and adapter, air exhaust adapters for vertical and sliding window installations, assorted mounting hardware, a user manual, and a 7.5-inch-long white remote control that has a 2-inch display and offers all of the above-mentioned onboard control functions.
The Duo uses the same mobile app (for Android and iOS) as the Midea 8,000BTU U-shaped Air Conditioner. Each installed AC gets its own box on the Appliances screen. Here you’ll find the name of the AC, an on/off switch, and the current room temperature. Tap the box to open a screen with a much larger on/off button. When the AC is off, the screen is gray and says OFF. Tapping the button turns the Duo on and changes the screen color to blue in Cool mode, gold in Dry mode, green in Fan mode, and purple in Auto mode. You can view the set temperature and use the plus and minus buttons or the slider to change it.
Along the top of the screen are buttons for changing the mode, and along the bottom are buttons for adjusting fan speed, changing the movement of the mechanical louver, changing sleep settings, turning the unit’s LED lighting on or off, muting sounds, and creating cooling schedules.
Tap the three dots in the upper right corner to open the Function screen, where you can configure Express Run settings (one-touch settings), create schedules, adjust sleep settings, run diagnostic tests, and change temperature units (Celsius or Fahrenheit).
The Duo supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control, and will work with other smart home devices via Alexa and Google routines, but it doesn’t support IFTTT applets or integrate with Apple’s HomeKit platform. It also lacks the energy reporting that you get with the window-installed GE Energy Star 115-Volt Electronic Room Air Conditioner AHC08LY.
Installing and Using the Midea Duo
Setting up the Duo for the first time was easy. I installed the window sliders, adjusted them to fit my window width, and inserted plastic bolts in the holes to lock in each piece. I used the included foam to seal off any openings in the window frame, and attached the exhaust hose to the window slider. You’ll want to make sure that the AC is no farther than nine inches away from the wall where the window is located to accommodate the hose length (if the hose is stretched too tight it may pull the sliders out of the window).
Next, I downloaded the mobile app, created an account, and tapped the plus button in the upper right corner to add a device. I selected Portable AC from the list and followed the instructions to power up the unit and press the Swing button for three seconds to enter pairing mode. I tapped Next, connected to the Duo’s SSID using my phone's Wi-Fi settings, and returned to the app. I selected my home network SSID when prompted, entered my Wi-Fi password, gave the AC a name, and the installation was complete.
The Duo did an excellent job of cooling in my tests. It needed just 20 minutes to cool down a 360-square-foot room from 78 degrees to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s right in line with what we saw with the Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner, and a bit faster than the Windmill window air conditioner (30 minutes).
The unit was very quiet and responded instantly to onboard commands, as well as app and remote controls. Alexa voice commands to turn the air conditioner on and off and to set the temperature worked flawlessly, as did my Alexa routine to have the Duo turn on with a specific temperature setting when a Ring doorbell detected motion.
A Convenient Way to Cool Down
If you want to avoid the annual hassle of installing and uninstalling a heavy window air conditioner, the Midea Duo Smart Inverter Portable Air Conditioner is definitely worth considering. Despite its girth it's easy to move from room to room, and installation is a breeze. It performed well in our tests, cooling quickly and quietly, and it responded instantly to voice, app, and remote control commands. We’d like to see Midea add energy usage reports and support for IFTTT applets, but even with these minor shortcomings, the Duo still merits an Editors’ Choice award for portable air conditioners.4.0Editors' ChoiceSee It$599.00 at AmazonMSRP $599.99View More
The Midea Duo is a smart portable air conditioner you can control with your phone or voice to quietly cool off a 450-square-foot room in no time.
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