Aurora AS420C Desktop Review
Pros: Small and compact, inexpensive
Cons: Slow, not particularly powerful
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Aurora AS420C Desktop
$41.11 at Amazon
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|Pros||Small and compact, inexpensive||Speedy, compact, user-friendly interface, budget-friendly||Inexpensive, reliable, fast||High security, inexpensive||Small size, simple, inexpensive|
|Cons||Slow, not particularly powerful||Difficult to empty, heavy lid, medium security||Loud, bin could be easier to empty||Slow, loud, can't shred CDs||Noisy, overheating smells, slow, light duty only|
|Bottom Line||A great space saver if you only need to shred documents occasionally||A speedy, compact, and intuitive paper shredder, perfect for household use at a price you just can't beat||This shredder is perfectly sized, powered, and priced for home office use||A decent choice if you don't shred often but want the highest security||While the small size and price tag of this model are alluring, we recommend other products in this price range first|
|Rating Categories||Aurora AS420C Desktop||Aurora AU1230XA Ant...||Amazon Basics 8-She...||Amazon Basics 6-She...||Bonsaii 6-Sheet Cro...|
|Shredding Quality (40%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Aurora AS420C Desktop||Aurora AU1230XA Ant...||Amazon Basics 8-She...||Amazon Basics 6-She...||Bonsaii 6-Sheet Cro...|
|Bin Capacity||1.32 gallons||5.2 gallons||4.1 gallons||4.1 gallons||3.4 gallons|
|Advertised Sheet Capacity||4||12||8||6||6|
|Measured Sheet Capacity||4||13||11||6||8|
|Maximum Sheets per Minute||24||168||96||42||48|
|Shred Size||1.5" x 1-17/20"||3/16" x 1-9/16"||3/16" x 1-27/32"||5/32" x 15/32"||1-25/32'' x 1/5''|
|Dimensions||9.49" x 6.93" x 9.92"||13.31" x 8.46" x 15.87||12.8" x 7.3" x 15.9"||7.5 x 12.5 x 16||14.1" x 11.8" x 7"|
|Weight||4.9 lbs||13.1 Ibs||8.3 lbs||10.0 lbs||6.3 lbs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While certainly not the most capable shredder in our lineup, the Aurora Desktop is tiny and inexpensive, making it perfect for those who only shred a few sheets here and there. It received the lowest overall score after we ran our side-by-side tests, but that's only because it is quite sleek and small compared to most others. Its compact size makes it a perfect choice for those that don't need to shred often. You can read more on the specifics of its performance below.
Due to its small capacity, the Aurora earned a low score in shredding quality. We found that it certainly maxed out at its advertised capacity of four sheets. Anything more and you could hear the engine whining like a sad dog.
Also, the paper slot is only 4.5 inches wide, so you have to fold the pages in half to get them through the shredder. It is rated to shred credit cards, which it was able to do in our testing. However, the motor whined, indicating that it was working very hard to do so. If you just need a shredder for the occasional document or credit card, this is more than enough power. If you shred more regularly and thus need a bit more robustness then you may want to check out some of our higher-performing models.
Here again, the Aurora's small size is a limitation. If you're fast at folding paper to put it through the shredder, you can get this machine to eat up about 24 pages in a minute.
However, the bin only holds 40 sheets, so you'll fill it up pretty fast. Obviously, this shredder isn't designed for speed, so it's a poor choice if you have bigger shredding jobs. If you're looking for speed and you don't mind spending a smidgen more, you should take a look at our higher-performing models.
Ease of Use
The Aurora is a very simple device with just one switch. This switch lets you turn it on, off, and run the blades in reverse in case something is stuck.
There is a convenient little handle for when you need to remove the shredding unit and empty the bin. However, that bin does fill up fast due to its tiny size. The bin's capacity is around 40 sheets, so if you only shred a few pages here and there you won't have to empty it too often.
This simple user experience fits well with the Aurora Desktop's streamlined, space-saving pedigree. If you're looking for more advanced features like safety sensors, overheating sensors, and jam-proof technology, you're going to have to get a larger and more expensive machine.
We expected a tiny shredder like this one to sound high-pitched and shrill, but we were pleasantly surprised. While the sound it emits certainly isn't cheery, it was of a medium-ish pitch that wasn't too grating on the ears.
Seeing as this is a low-capacity shredder that likely won't be used for long stretches at a time, the noise level is completely acceptable. Occasional use of this shredder, even in a crowded cubicle space, likely won't aggravate your neighbors.
Should You Buy the Aurora AS420C Desktop?
If you want a simple shredder available on your desk at work or in your home office, the Aurora is right up your alley. Its space-saving niche is clear. It is a very budget-friendly shredder that can quickly shred the occasional sensitive paper document that comes your way, and then disappear into a closet or corner of your desk until it's needed again. If you foresee using your shredder frequently or for medium and larger quantities of paper, though, you may benefit from a larger floor model.
What Other Paper Shredder Should You Consider?
There isn't a desktop-ready model we recommend over this one. However, should you decide that a larger capacity shredder serves your needs better, check out the Amazon Basic 8-Sheet Cross-Cut. It costs about the same but has a higher shredding quality and speed than the Aurora Desktop. While it's too large for a desk, it doesn't take up too much floor space with its modest 4-gallon waste bin.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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