For many people, a vacuum cleaner is just something you buy without much care or planning. But when you stop and think you realise how important to your overall home health (and personal health) these devices can be. When you have a family member that can be prone to asthma attacks due to allergies, keeping your house clean is a must.
Then there is the whole design and technology thing. Sure, the one job you expect from a vacuum cleaner is to suck dirty - but sometimes traditional, corded designs are just inconvenient and make the whole floor cleaning activity a very annoying task.
I know this because we do have a traditional vacuum cleaner here, an old Dyson DC20. It's corded, has a flexible hose and it still works like its first day around the house - twelve years on. But as I mentioned, the corded design and having to pull the whole thing behind you while you go around the house, plus having to stop and unplug from the wall outlet when moving rooms... It just makes the whole routine a bit more tedious.
Just recently Dyson has introduced its Dyson V11 Outsize, a cordless, bagless vacuum cleaner with a range of new features that are really designed to make it easier to clean around the house while making sure you are not severely limited by a cordless vacuum in terms of run-time.
Straight away I have noticed the shape - with a weight of 3.5 Kg including battery, the whole device is designed to not be "heavy" and it can be comfortably used around the house without feeling "heavy". With the extension tube and either the High Torque Cleaner Head or the Fluffy Cleaner Head, you can quickly move in any direction, thanks to the flexible design of these two heads. In fact, you can easily move around edges, corners and get under low sofas, desks and TV cabinets without fear of getting a flexible hose tangled and on your way.
The High Torque Cleaner Head is a brilliant piece of engineering too. It's 25% wider than previous models, measuring 32 cm in width. And thanks to this oversize you can clean a larger area with each pass, making it a faster chore. Thanks to built-in electronics (the Dynamic Load Sensor) the head detects and reports changes in resistance due to floor differences, with the Dyson V11 Oversize changing suction power when appropriate. This means battery deep cleaning can be achieved automatically and battery life is extended when less power is needed.
This head spins up to 60 times per second, using its combination of nylon bristles and anti-static carbon fibre filaments to remove dirt and capture dust from different types of floors.
All this dust and dirt is collected on the see-through, plastic bin - with a 1.9 litres capacity. after going through an advanced filtration system that reportedly captures 99.97% of small particles - as small as 0.3 microns. And thanks to 18 "cyclones" (the piece of technology that increases suction) generating forces of 79,000g, all this is pushed through the filters with tremendous force. The result is clean air being pumped out, while dust and dirt is trapped inside the bin.
After some use you can handwash the filter and leave it to dry for a day, then it's good to be reinstalled and used again.
Once I had clicked the battery and tried it for the first time I was very surprised that, despite having a new motor that spins at 125,000 RPM and is 20% more powerful than previous models, the Dyson V11 Outsize was very quiet. Not absolutely silent but if you have used previous models you will notice how much less noise it generates.
The Dyson V11 Outsize offers a simple user interface to communicate remaining battery run-time, current mode and current charge level (while plugged in for charging). In the case of blockages, the LCD screen also shows you a diagram pointing out the location of the blockage so you know exactly what needs cleaning.
Below this LCD you will find a button that allows you to change suction power between "Eco", "Medium" and "Boost". You can use "Eco" mode on hard surfaces that aren't that dirty - conversely, you can switch to "Boost" when you have surfaces that are very dirty or need extra power to scrub (when using the spinning heads). Mind you, changing to "Boost" mode severely reduces the run-time available so it shouldn't be your standard mode.
The battery life is rated to up to 60 minutes. This will obviously vary depending on the characteristics of your home and the selected suction power mode. In our case, I can easily go around a 110 square metres house, with mostly hard floors (except for large two rugs) in about 30 minutes (stopping to move a few chairs around and so on) and still have about 20 minutes of battery left.
Emptying the bin is very clean. Remove the attachments (of which there are quite a few, in addition to the spinning heads - and with the vacuum cleaner on top of a rubbish bin simply push down a lever. This will release open the bottom and gravity does the rest. Pull the lever back and the bin is back in place. No dirty hands here!
Inside the box you will find other tools including small brushes and a motorised tool (which is not as flexible as the large head but can more easily get into smaller places) such as ledges. There's also a drop-in dock, which you can attach to a wall so the Dyson V11 Outsize can be stowed away when not in use.