A breath of fresh air.
De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air portable air conditioner review
While there are no truly silent portable air conditioners on the market, the De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air is about as close as you can get. Its smart remote and solid dehumidifier make it a great choice for those hot, sticky summer nights in Australia.
Portable air conditioners have always had a bit of a mixed reputation, but for renters or those on a budget, they’re one of the better options out there. Sure, a ducted or split-system air-con is going to be far more silent, but these days, portable units are a whole lot quieter than they used to be, and the De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air is a fine example.
De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air portable air conditioner price
With an RRP of $899, there are certainly cheaper portable air conditioners out there, but with a minimum noise rating of 47dB, it’s only beaten in quietness by the $1,099 Olympia Splendid AIRPRO 18, which clocks in between 38 and 48dB.
Despite its position at the higher end of the price spectrum, there are still deals to be had, with The Good Guys retailing the Pinguino Air-to-Air for $849.
If you’re happy to deal with a bit of extra noise in exchange for a cheaper model, check out our other top portable air conditioner picks.
De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air portable air conditioner size and capacity
If you’re looking for a “small” portable air conditioner that actually gets the job done, you’re going to be disappointed. Most of the models we’ve analysed hover between 21kg and 45kg, so the Pinguino Air-to-Air is smack-bang in the middle at 33kg. Plus, with dimensions of 450 x 750 x 410mm, it’s actually slightly below average in size. For a unit with a cooling capacity of 2.9kW (which translates to about 23sqm), its weight and dimensions are better than expected.
One thing you’ll need to factor in, however, is the exhaust hose. When installing the Pinguino Air-to-Air, you’ll need to leave at least 30cm between the rear of the unit and any walls or windows, so ensure you add the extra room when calculating fit.
De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air portable air conditioner performance
I tested the Pinguino Air-to-Air in a bedroom measuring around 14sqm in a top-floor, double-brick apartment. As you can probably imagine, it gets pretty warm up there in spring and summer, but the air con had no issues lowering the temperature by a good 5-8 degrees on steamy days.
There is a quiet mode, which brings the noise from a maximum of 64dB to a minimum of 47dB. While not exactly silent, it’s one of the quietest models we were able to find. Light sleepers won’t necessarily want to leave it on all night, but I found giving the room a blast for about an hour would keep it cool long enough for me to fall asleep comfortably.
De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air portable air conditioner features
Something that drew me to the Pinguino Air-to-Air was its use of an eco-friendly, non-toxic R290 refrigerant. It performs just as well as others, but without the guilt that comes with less energy-efficient, ozone-damaging gases.
It’s also got one of the most unusual remotes we’ve seen on a portable air conditioner, but one of the best, too. The remote boasts something De’Longhi has dubbed ‘Cool Surround Technology’, which essentially means you can take it with you when you’re moving around the room and it’ll track the temperature and humidity, adjusting the unit’s output accordingly.
Most portable air cons these days come with a dehumidifier function, but the Pinguino Air-to-Air has by far the best we found. The average dehumidifying capacity of the models we looked at was around 1L per hour, but the Pinguino comes in at around 1.7L per hour, which is on par with (if not better than) standalone dehumidifiers.
Is it worth it?
Sure, there are cheaper portable air conditioners available, but if you’re sensitive to noise, we reckon it's worth the extra cash for something a bit quieter. The De’Longhi Pinguino Air-to-Air is also a great option for those mindful of their impact on the environment or who want something that’ll cut through the humidity on those damp summer nights.