Actually no, not really.
Especially with air conditioning, looks can be deceptive. Like many advertising images, this photograph does not show the large pipe from the machine to the window. The next photo shows a real bedroom installation with a similar machine.
Now we can see the pipe that these so-called ‘portable’ units need to exhaust hot air to the outside. These machines are large and you need two people to carry them. Then there’s the fiddly window kit to hold the large pipe in place. With many windows, like the one shown, there are still gaps so the hot air from outside (and some from the pipe) gets sucked back into the room.
To get cooling power anywhere near a mini-split, you need a unit with two pipes, one to bring in outside air and the other to exhaust the warm air.
So the so-called portable air conditioner is not portable, and nor is it mobile and easily moved from room to room, let alone home to work or to your favourite retreat. They weigh 50 – 80 lbs, and they’re also noisy. Unless you have a two pipe model, they only provide a few degrees of cooling too. Learn more here
To add to the confusion, if you search for “mobile air conditioner” or even “mobile aircon”, you will be offered sites showing you evaporative air coolers. Here there are very small, light weight, truly mobile units.
However, they actually provide very little cooling. We measure cooling in terms of BTU/hr or kilowatts. A small water cooler will generate 100 – 200 BTU/hr in dry air. In humid air, the cooling will be much less. To cool a whole room, you need at least 10,000 BTU/hr, fifty times more, so don’t expect much from these coolers unless it’s next to your face and the humidity is low.
There are much larger evaporative water coolers, but they’re not really mobile other than having wheels on them.