As the saying goes, there’s a sucker born every minute…. but this is one that comes only once in a lifetime. And since you’ve never quite met Dyson’s latest V8 vacuum cleaner, you would wish that there was something like this created more often.
Like with the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer, Dyson is looking to reinvent what consumers know of an electronic device. With its hair blowing prowess now at an absolute, the vacuum, which was what company founder Sir James Dyson first created way back when, has now received a major overhaul. Instead of blowing air, it’s now about sucking in air.
Dyson has managed to successfully pack everything you can ever expect from a normal size vacuum, into a small handheld unit. There are no power cords and no coiled plastic tubes connecting a metal tube to an engine being dragged behind, with one item tethered to the another. Instead, the 2.61kg machine now comes in several pieces that join together as one handheld unit.
Do you want it as a simple handheld, sort of like an extension of your arm, to suckm up dirt slightly beyond arm’s length? Check. Would you like it to suck up dirt from off the floor? Simply fit in the metal extension and voila! You can now navigate the device along the floor, wrist placed by your waist. And look Ma, no wires.
The body of the V8 houses the motor, the dirt catchment container as well as the device controls. There are basically two that you need to familiarise yourself with – a forefinger trigger that turns the unit on, as well as a lever that allows users to amp up the suction function
Calling the V8 a handheld vacuum is actually an insult to Dyson though, as the company has done everything within its power to pack the power of a standard size vacuum into a handheld unit.
Actually, calling the V8 a handheld unit would also serve to artificially inflate the capabilities of all other handheld vacuums in the market, because there is nothing out there quite like the V8.
What separates the men from the boys is the V8’s ability to seek out dirt, and lap it all up. Like a regular vacuum, it purrs with a strength and fortitude, and is able to reach find hairs, dirt and flecks of paper in my home, the majority of which are the remnants of a 5-year-old’s two-hour playtime. But unlike a normal vacuum, there was no need to lug it out of the cupboard or storeroom. With the metal tube already attached, all I had to do was press the trigger and let my arm glide it across the floor.
There were no cables that got in my way, and no need to tug at the rubber tube to pull the vacuum across the living room. Everything I needed to get the job done was all in my wrist, from pulling the vacuum head across the floor, to twisting it so that it could get to those corners. And when I was done, there were no power cords to recoil, or machine to put back in storage. It basically sat at the corner of my home, waiting for – no, challenging – another speck of dust to float idly by and sit on my floors.
Dirt no longer stand a chance.
Though the motor is small, it hums in a calming tone as it sucks up anything in its way. While its predecessor, the V6, could only manage 20 minutes of suction before needed a charge, the V8 can last for a whooping 40 minutes, which is more than enough time to clean a HDB flat or apartment.
If you want to clean something as waist level, there are attachments that allow it to reach into crevices, or shorter extensions that give users a tad more maneuverability, especially in tighter places, such as wardrobes.
Dyson provided the review unit with a different head, a fluffy hard floor cleaner. It took me awhile to get used to the fact that this vacuum did not come with a cleaning head surrounded by bristles. But the fluffy velvet material meant that it could scoop up pieces of dirt, dust and hair with ease, and there was no longer any need to run my fingers through any bristles, to clean out hair that got entangled.
On the flip side, I had to remind myself that velvet had a certain level of suction to it, so if your floor has droplets of water, either left by a toddler or pet, the vacuum head would easily absorb it. It did not cause me any issue, but users would have to remember to sun the head, less the wet spot starts to turn into a damp, smelly spot of unknown liquid.
As with any handheld though, performance of the unit does degrade over the course of time. A fully charged V8 could clean my 5-room flat in under 40 minutes, but after about a month of use, I realised that I could no longer clean my home before I had to charge the unit up again.
Either the battery was getting weaker, or I was taking longer to clean my home.
Another thing you have to deal with is paying S$999 for the V8 Fluffy Pro, and S$1,099 for the V8 Absolute Plus. The extra $100 is for the extra cleaning head meant for hard floors.
That’s almost twice as much as a regular vacuum. But for something that is easy to reach, and much easier to use, convenience is worth the investment.