The unit works as described. It's not supposed to cool down an entire room, but I use it on my nightstand or coffee table to cool down air around it. It DOES cool it down because, you know, science. I haven't experienced leaking at all, but I have experienced mold growth in the filter. It DOES use water after all, so I was expecting this was going into it. I have been having health issues since so decided to find out what it was, and low and behold, a moldy filter. I drenched it in bleach and hoping to give it another go. Filling the reservoir with water and a tiny bit of bleach might protect against the mold. We'll see. For now, just know that the "moisture attracts mold" this might be best suited for extremely dry climates but here in Boston it's already humid, so the mold growth is amplified.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend