The birth of the Dyson V10 saw the end of the corded vac for the British company; and the V11 proves that there really is no going back.
As an already accomplished cordless vac, how do you improve on perfection?
A) Provide what no one thought they needed – an LED screen to show power modes and exact battery level or B) Bestow some clever tech no one thought possible whereby the cleaner can sense the surface texture and adjust power accordingly.
Or, the Dyson way. Do both, and throw in a newly designed motor, a cleaner head twice as powerful as its predecessor and include a boost mode which is so intense you might accidentally swallow up Peter Crouch, your pet hamster.
It’s a lean, clean dust-busting machine, but will spending £600 on a household appliance bring you domestic bliss? We take to the floors (and crevices) of our filthy rented London apartment to find out...
Design & Features: House Proud
If you loved the V10 for its cool and dynamic design, then the V11 will not disappoint.
Vacuum cleaners haven't traditionally been considered an objet de desir, but that’s where this series throws a curve.
If we were Peep Show’s Mark Corrigan, we’d take one adoring look at it, then turn to the camera with a wry smile and proclaim, ‘that is one sexy house appliance’.
It’s put on a little bit of weight compared to the V10 so it’s just over 3 kgs, but don’t worry, it’s all muscle – down to its larger battery.
The big torque-ing point is the motor which Dyson believes to be 20% more powerful than the V10 and offering more oomph than most corded vacs.
Right at the top facing the user is a new colour LED screen which feels instantly strange and superfluous, but after a few weeks using it – we’ve decided it’s indispensable.
You can select the mode with the options of Eco, Medium and Boost. And if you fix on the new High Torque cleaner head, the middle setting become Auto which is where the smart cleaning kicks in - more on this later.
The screen also offers a diagnosis if the vac runs into trouble, for instance if the filter needs changing. What’s more – it'll play a video to help you solve the issue.
Remember that 150-page small instruction manual printed in 9 languages in a tiny illegible font which you might have absent-mindedly chucked into the recycling? You won’t be needing it.
What we loved about the V10 is how easy everything slots together, like a big toy. And the V11 is no different. The filter unscrews and easily lifts off to be washed in the sink. To empty the bin, remove the cleaning tube, hold it like a ray-gun and pretend you’re in Bladerunner for a moment and then release the handle to unload the rubbish and get on with the task at hand.
It’s slightly shorter than the V10 in height and it’s got a different handle base where the battery sits. So if you have a V10 wall-mount, you’ll need to change it. But the V11 one will come bundled in.
As well as all the usual accessories - there's also a clip which fits around the cleaning pole so you can store the small nozzle or brush tool whilst you’re whizzing around the house.
It’s those tiny tweaks that show the attention to detail which make the difference between an okay clean and a seriously good one.
Performance: Suckthing to torque about
We cannot fault the V11 on performance.
The combination of an intelligent algorithm to determine the suction power necessary for a variety of surfaces, plus the new design High Torque head and new motor all make that high price tag a touch more palatable.
On the Auto setting (when paired with the High Torque head) the Dynamic Load Sensor system detects brush bar resistance 360-times a second and then adapts the motor speed accordingly. Optimum for cleaning all surfaces and good for battery life efficiency.
You can hear the motor at work, it ups the power on thick carpets and the machine shouts a little louder as it shakes up the dust particles from their roots.
Design improvements don’t end there either. There’s a soft silicone bar at the back of the new cleaning head that creates a seal to the floor keeping contact as the user drags the vac back and forth.
The new display isn’t just a fancy extra. With every day use – it's genuinely helpful, especially as it will show you an exact count down time of how long you have left before it runs out of steam.
It’s scary how much debris was picked up and you can really feel in your hand how powerful the suction is, especially on Boost Mode. But this will only last 10 minutes on a full charge. Note – you'll get about 30 minutes using it on Eco mode and it takes over 4 hours to charge to full.
For ease-of-use, this vac can’t be beaten. Just as adept for large spaces as well as backs of sofas and skirting boards - simply by sticking on the appropriate attachment to the end of the slender pole.
Like all the recent cordless Dysons – there's no on and off switch and instead a trigger on the handle. Pulling the trigger is quite the thrill and it really takes the chore out of housework.
We tested it with all the common culprits – rice, oats, hair, cornflakes and it siphoned it all up with speed and style.
Dyson V11 Absolute verdict
Dyson has innovated the humble vac yet again and made substantial improvements too.
The extra power is warranted and despite initial scepticism about whether it needs a screen or not, there’s no doubt it’s a useful addition as never before have you known exactly, to the minute, when your Dyson is going to conk out.
What’s more, the instruction videos which play out on the screen inch you one step closer to domestic bliss and make the whole process more convenient.
With its futuristic design and added power boost it’s the most fun you can possibly have doing housework.
The only problem is that all your other appliances are going to be steaming with jealousy.