Just got mine 10 mins ago and I'm enjoying it as I type. Here are some thoughts:
1) This Woot was apparently very popular. The Fedex dude asked me, "What are these? I have 4 of them on my cart right now!" Sure enough there were 3 other Vornado boxes. He added that there were plenty more in the Fedex delivery van. I assume that the huge box means that each shipment contained three fans, as mine did.
Given that the Woot wasn't a sell-out, I didn't know that they were this popular. Maybe they were just popular in my NYC neighborhood and nowhere else? The irony is that it's been downright cold, dipping below 60 at night. Anyway, I explained to the Fedex guy what Vornado and Woot are, and he's now planning to buy one as well as join Woot.
As for the Vornados themselves, I already own the smaller 2-speed clip-on so a lot of my impressions are based on a comparison.
1) These are rated to move air 70 feet as opposed to 60-65 feet of the clip-on, yet they're listed as using fewer watts. I didnt believe the specs so I emailed the company and one of their engineers responded within hours, He told me that it was true because the larger fan has a bigger blade and deeper pitch, making it even more efficient.
In a head-to-head comparison, this fan does NOT seem as powerful as the smaller clip-on on high. If the engineer was correct, there are two explanations: 1) the smaller vortex of the smaller fan may concentrate the energy into a smaller area making it seem more powerful. But at further distances, i.e. 70 feet, the effect disappears because the beam spreads out. 2) The higher wattage of the smaller fan has more RPMs and the louder noise created makes it seem more powerful.
2) All 3 of my Vornados arrived intact. Even the boxes -- including the outer carton -- were unblemished. The 3 clip-on Vornados I bought previously from Woot were also perfect. So either I'm lucky or many Wooters are unlucky.
3) On low, this larger Vornado is not as quiet as the clip-on on low. The clip-on was truly whisper quiet. If it wasn't for the air moving, I would not have know that it was on from 6' away. Then again, I'm a lifelong NYCer and have become numbed to ambient noise. Even sirens often fade into the background. This larger Vornado is not as quiet on low. My guess is that the noise is from the larger volume of air moved. Most people think that fan noise is from the motor. Unless the fan is broken, most of the noise is actually from the air being moved. Sound, after all, is moving air molecules bouncing on your eardrums. That;s why vacuums are so loud. So noise from a fan is actually a good thing because it means air is being moved.
4) Some people mentioned the Vornados having a sealed motor, explaining its durability. Thw motor on this larger Vornado doesn't look sealed at all. In fact, it looks dangerously exposed. YOu can see the wires around the armature and all the innards of the motor,
I definitely wouldn't leave it plugged in anywhere that water or rain might be present, i.e. on the patio.
5) I bought this fan primarily for the middle speed. My complaint about the clip-on is that there is a HUGE difference between high and low. Low is imperceptibly quiet while high can interfere with my TV viewing. I needed a middle setting and the second setting on this 3-speed was perfect. It's suitably powerful yet not too noisy.