Pros: Quiet, seems to work, easy to use, easy to clean, low price
Cons: Smells of ozone, bright blue LEDs, buzzes/crackles after 1 month of use even after cleaning
I don't understand why it is called Target Ionic Pro here on epinions, because I bought this both at Fry's Electronics and Best Buy. Long story - skip if you want: I bought it at Fry's Electronics because they advertised it for $149.99 on their sales ad. Then I went to Best Buy to check out what they have, since I have $100 worth in Reward Zone Certificates. I found out they sold the exact same thing at the exact same price! I decided to return the one I bought from Fry's, so I can use the certificates at Best Buy.
I also found out that the price is the same as what Ionic Pro sells it for on their website (www.ionicpro.com). They seem to market it themselves as an LLC company. I didn't realize they were a "As Seen On TV" product. :) But they were, trying to compete with Sharper Image's own silent ionic air purifier. Sharper Image's unit sells for $349.99, while they sold their product for more than half off!
The unit itself is a little more than 3 feet tall. The box it came in is about the same size to protect the unit, and no bigger than necessary. The size of the unit was solidified when I had the two units in the car at the same time. Having both in the hatchback of my brother's VW GTI, it filled up the hatch perfectly, leaving no room for anything unless you put things on top of the Ionic Pro boxes. :)
Anyways, once home, opening it up, removing the Styrofoam and plastic bags that protects it reveals the unit. A 17-page instruction booklet fell out, as well as a packet of those things that warn you not to eat (meant to keep the air free from moisture).
There was a warning sticker that blocks the user from removing the ionic blades unless you read it and remove it. Nice move to make us pay attention to it (but how many stupid people do you know who won't?). It states that we must tip the unit sideways before we reinsert the blades. If you don't, the blades will not go back in because of a latch. This is done so the blades are aligned when you insert them every time, and not damage anything during reinsertion.
The control panel on top of the unit is easy to understand and use. It consists of a power button and 4 LEDs. The LEDs says Hi, Med, Low, and Clean. Everything is self explanatory even "Clean". The 3 LEDs for the "speed" settings lights up bright blue, while the "clean" LED lights up red. The bright blue LED is annoying when operating the unit at night and trying to sleep with it in your bedroom (unless you think of it as a nightlight). It is simply too bright, and may keep some people up. I taped a peice of cardboard over the controls so I can flip it up when I need access to the power button. Though this helped alot, the blue LED was bright enough to show through the cardboard!
I also complained about these bright blue LED fads in my notebook review here. In this case, the blue LED was located right under the screen, which is very distracting during use.
To operate, you hit the power button (once it is plugged into a 3-prong outlet). It goes to HIGH first. This means the unit is on all the time, without it going into any kind of "going off" session. It is suggested this is for large rooms, such as a studio apartment. Medium is suggested for medium sized rooms, and stay on longer than Low, and goes off at less interval times as Low. Places like the family room or a large master bedroom is perfect for this setting. Low is considered the most cost efficient operating mode, and also perfect for small rooms, such as a standard bedroom.
Pushing the power button will go to high first. Pushing it each additional time will make the unit go into medium, low, then back off. Simple, huh?
You can smell the ozone when you first start it if you are near the unit. You can't smell it though if you are at least 2 feet away. I can feel a slight breeze, which tells me that it is indeed moving air. However, it felt weak, and made me doubt how effective it will be in cleaning the air in a room.
Clean lights up when it is time for you to clean the blades. You should do a "light" cleaning anyways in about 5 days by pulling a latch on top of the unit. This causes a plastic blade to run across the ionic blades, scraping off the collected crud. When the Clean light goes on, you must do a deep clean, which means pulling the blades out and wiping them down with a damp cloth. The instruction suggest that after you clean it this way, you should allow the blades to dry for at least 24 hours before reinserting it into the Ionic Pro unit and powering it back on.
After using it overnight, there was some dust collected at one edge of the blades. After 3 days, more was collected, but did not seem to reach the edge of the blade. After 5 days, the clean light did finally light up, but surprisingly, the blade wasn't as dirty as I expected it to be. It was, however, covered in dust, but there seem to be clean areas at the end of the blade that seem it could be used. Nevertheless, I followed the instructions, which says to take out the blades carefully, and ground it by touching the blade to a water tap before attempting to clean (or touch) it.
I used a damp paper towel and wiped all sides of the 3 blades clean. Letting it dry for 24 hours (as stated in the instruction), I tipped the unit over horizontally to reinsert the blades, tipped it back upright, and turned it back on.
I didn't really feel any effects of having cleaner air. Does this mean the unit isn't working, or just that my allergies just didn't pertain to "nasty air"? I'm not sure. But looking at the dirty blades at the end of the week makes me feel better mentally that I have this unit in the room than not.
UPDATE: I have noticed after a month of straight use that the unit buzzes like static eletricity. No matter how much I clean the blades (and it looks practically new after all that cleaning), or how long I let it sit to dry after cleaning, it will still have that annoying sparking and crackling noise!
Time to take it up to the Ionic Air warrantee people...