In today’s world of smart doorbells and smart thermostats and smart smoke alarms, people have become accustomed to their household appliances looking like props from a science fiction movie.
But British company Dyson, founded in 1991, blazed the trail. Back then, the nation’s favourite vacuum cleaner had googly eyes and called itself Henry – James Dyson, the billionaire Brexiteer, had other ideas.
He did to sucking muck off your carpet what Steve Jobs did to listening to Coldplay, taking something inherently boring and unpleasant and packaging it up in a shiny new format that made it seem sexy and fun.
This year marks a milestone for Dyson, which recently announced it’s discontinuing its corded, upright vacuum cleaners – don’t call them hoovers – and focusing solely on its cordless range. To back this up, it released the v10 “stick” vacuum, which can morph Transformer-like from upright apartment-cleaning machine to handheld grime sucker at the drop of a dusty hat.
It supersedes the v8 as the company’s flagship device, and if you’re a cleaning nerd – don’t pretend you’re not – you won’t be disappointed. First up, it has a cool metallic-orange filth-tube, which immediately sets you apart from all the losers still rocking the v8 with its boring old silver tube, or – god forbid – the v7 with it’s purple tube, which is the colour of idiots.
The v10 comes with a much bigger battery, capable of an hour’s worth of sucking, which is more than any one person is capable of without turning the nozzle to their ear and slurping their brains into the perspex dust-catcher. That dust-catcher, by the way, is also 40 per cent bigger – this alone isn’t anything to write home about, but, unlike the v8, it now empties without having to un-hook it from the motor, which I always found awkward to reattach. It also has more power, and three settings to rev through, should you have a particularly grubby home.
The v10 comes in three flavours, all of which have an identical body with different attachments. If you’re just using it to clean carpets, you should go for the cheapest version (Animal), which is a competitive £400. If you need to vacuum hardwood floors, the £450 Absolute comes with a “soft roller” which you’ll need. The £500 Total Clean comes with a hose attachment that you will never use.
At this stage, Dyson is only really competing with itself for the top end of the cordless vacuum market, and the v10 does its job brilliantly. I could guide you through the minutiae of how it sucked up every bit of junk I threw in front of it – including soggy coffee grounds – and how it hugs corners like a Formula One car, cleaning right up to the skirting boards. But nobody needs to hear the details about someone else’s domestic chores. Basically: it works.
If you’re worried about replacing a corded vacuum, the v10 should see off any of your reservations; it’s powerful, manoeuvrable and has more battery-life than you will ever need. It doesn’t make vacuuming fun, exactly, but it comes pretty close, and that alone is a remarkable feat.