Dyson V8, a cordless alternative to an upright

Dyson V8, a cordless alternative to an upright

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Dyson V8, a cordless alternative to an upright

Dyson believes that cordless vacuums are the future, whether handheld or robotic, but battery technology has been the big sticking point. The latest V8 cordless claims to last twice as long and to be able to completely replace a corded vacuum.

The Dyson V8 is the latest in a long line of handheld vacuum cleaners, which started life as the DC16 in 2007. Since then, they’ve become more powerful, and with improved energy-efficiency and batteries, they last longer between charges. They’ve also gained floor tools and wands to turn them into full vacuum-cleaner replacements.

The big difference between the V8 and last year’s V6 is that the new Dyson cordless claims to last for up to 40 minutes battery life.

Pull the trigger and off you go

The V8 is one of the most manoeuvrable and easy-to-use vacuum cleaners available. Fit a tool, press the trigger and off you go. Dyson’s system for attaching and detaching peripherals is quick, easy and feels robust — just push a button and slide apart, snapping the next piece into place. It means going from a hand vacuum with crevice tool to a full vacuum takes seconds.

Unlike a corded vacuum, there’s nowhere to store the unused ends on the cleaner, which would add weight, but it is a bit of a pain.

With a wand and cleaning head attached, the V8 handles like a cylinder vacuum’s wand without the weight of the connecting tube and main unit to drag around on the floor. It feels very different to an upright, but using it quickly becomes natural.

Used in short bursts, the V8 is a lot more balanced than most handheld vacuums and cleaning the stairs was so much easier with the Dyson than an upright or cylinder vacuum.

A switch on the top varies between maximum and normal suction. Leaving it on normal with the powered fluffy or carpet head was more than enough for regular vacuuming, providing a similar level of cleaning to a Dyson upright. The V8 comes in two versions: the V8 Absolute and the V8 Animal. The Animal is the starting model and comes with one big motorised brush head, a crevice and combination tool and a smaller motorised head for cleaning the stairs and other bits. It is expensive, no where to store extra heads, nowhere to carry tools when cleaning.

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