I'm A Bit In Love With The Dyson V11

Image: Tegan Jones

Vacuums shouldn't be exciting or fun. It's against the law of nature.

And yet here we are. Old mate Dyson has turned around and made a vacuum that is packed with so much convenient tech that I can't stop talking about it.

I could weep over how often I have been peachy keen to clean my floors since this beautiful, cursed object first graced my eager hands.

Damn you, Sir James Dyson. Look at what you've done to me.

What Is It?

Dyson's latest cordless vacuum that shows your how much charge it has left and can automatically switch modes depending on the floor surface.

It's also bigger!

What's Good About It?

Image: Detachable head for easy cleaning

It Sure Does Suck

With a new digital motor that spins at 125,000 RPM, it can handle anything I have needed sucking up.

From masses of malted hair, to spilled snacks to general dirt situations - it slurps it up good.

Just don't be putting it on wet surfaces. That's what a wet vac is for.


Battery Meter

I never thought that a battery life indicator would be my favourite feature of, well, anything. And yet here we are.

The V10 did have a meter of sorts. Three LED lights would disappear has the battery drained, leaving you paranoid about whether your machine was going to turn off at any second.

But now we have an actual clock that shows how many minutes and seconds of battery you have left and it is excellent.

The timer will also change depending on which cleaning mode you're in. Watching it jump up when I go from carpet to tiles (which requires far less suction power) is wild.

So while not having a corded option is an obvious drawback to the V11, the battery meter hugely helps you manage your cleaning and charging time. I'm a big fan.

Another cool function of the screen is letting you know about blockages and if the filter or bin haven't been connected correctly.

It will also show you where the issue might be if you have NFI what you've done, which happened to me the first time I used it at home. It was super helpful.

It will also alert you when your filter needs cleaning. Again, useful if you're a dirt monger like me.


Battery Life

The display while plugged in

The battery size is also bigger this time around, lasting up to sixty minutes, depending on which mode you're using. You're more likely to hit that mark if you're using Eco since it uses far less power.

However, a larger battery also means longer charging time. The V11 takes about 4.5 hours to go from 0 to 100, which is a full hour more than the V10.

As an apartment dweller who mostly relies on quick cleans, I have never found this to be an issue. I've literally never needed to vacuum for a full hour.

Also, battery paranoia thanks to my phone has also resulted in me always putting the Dyson on charge when I'm not using it. So again, zero issues.

Charge it between cleans and you'll be fine.


Surface Adjustment

Auto Mode on carpet vs. Auto Mode on tile

The V11 has three different power modes - eco, auto and boost.

The former uses the least amount of suction power and I've found it good for gentle or daily cleans.

The latter is the most heavy duty and is perfect for spills or if you'd rather not think how long it has been since you last cleaned your floor.

Auto sits in the middle and is the mode I tend to use most. Part of this is because its the gateway to one of my favourite features - the dynamic load sensor.

Eco Mode on carpet vs. Eco Mode on tile

The V11 is smart enough to detect changes in floors and will adjust its suction accordingly. This is extremely helpful for battery conservation and works well with the new floor cleaning attachment, so you don't have to worry about damage.

There is a soft floor attachment included if you are a little concerned, though.

My apartment is a mix of carpet, tiles and lino so I love that the V11 will take care of this for me. Plus, its fun hearing and feeling the motor change as it detects a difference surface. Yes I am sad and need a hobby.

It does take a second or two to switch over, though. So I recommend pushing the vacuum slowly across a new surface to give it time to switch gears.

Also, use Boost Mode sparingly - it's a thirsty boy. You can see below that compared to the Eco and Auto modes, there is far less difference between time remaining on carpet and tiles in Boost.

Boost Mode on carpet vs. Boost Mode on tile

What's Not So Good?

Just a few casual attachments

Heavy

The biggest drawback for me is the weight increase.

I remember when I first picked it up I thought how the weight is noticeable for me, but wouldn't be a problem.

A couple of months and some cracked ribs later and I'm experiencing first-hand how it can be a little problematic,

While Dysons usually make vacuuming extremely easy and what I would call light housework (at least in my small apartment), it has felt a bit more uncomfortable in my current state.

To be fair, the V11's bin is 40 per cent larger than previous models, and just as easy to detach and empty as ever - which is something customers (including myself) wanted.

Between that, a new fancy motor and the the battery meter I fully understand that compromises need to be made. That stuff adds weight.

And if I had written this before my injury I'm sure this section would be more theoretical in its criticism. I comparatively felt the weight different between in and my V8 but didn't mind.

But experiencing it first hand has given me pause beyond the scope of someone who is generally able-bodied.

If extra weight is a potential problem for you, I highly recommend trying it in a store first.


It's Pricey

The V11 starts at $1,099, with the Absolute Pro version (which I tested) coming in at $1,249. That could very well be a deal breaker for some when it comes to buying a vacuum.

On the flip side, I appreciate that Dyson isn't just relying on this being a bloody great machine (which I believe it is) as the selling point.

The V11 also comes with a suite of attachments to use for different surfaces, corners and a car.

So while the price may make your wallet cry, you're at least getting a fully kitted out unit that will be future proofed for years.


Should You Buy It?

Enjoy the random hair

At $1,249 the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro is a hell of an investment. But then, anyone familiar with the brand will know that getting this kind of quality on the cheap is an impossibility.

But the good thing about Dyson products is that even if you wait a generation or two to buy, you're still getting an extremely great vacuum cleaner.

I would still be happily using my V8, which I only bought at Christmas last year if the V11 hadn't come in for review.

So yeah, while I adore this thing you should wait for a sale period or even a year or two if cost is an issue.

A previous gen Dyson is also a great alternative, though I had to admit that the time-based battery meter and surface pressure change are huge gamers for the brand. If I was buying now I would consider waiting for the V11 to come down in price.

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