Dyson V11 Review: How much better can a vacuum cleaner get?

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I’ve loved Dyson from afar for years. Legendary British inventor and entrepreneur Sir James Dyson was able to make clunky home appliances beautiful and way more functional than anyone expected them to be. I’ve had the absolute best time trying out Dyson’s V10 and the Pure Cool last year. With a new year comes a new Dyson V11 cord-free vacuum and it’s been a squeaky clean two weeks.

Dyson V11: What’s new?

I remember how I felt when I got the V10 with all its Cyclone wonder and tried to imagine how much better the Dyson V11 could get. In a nutshell; it made me want to clean. Every day. It’s just amazing. New users are going to love it and folks upgrading from older versions are going to appreciate the tiniest of improvements.

Dyson's new V11
You can easily rest your Dyson V11 against any surface while you take a break or move furniture around

Some of the major upgrades are a much-needed improvement on battery life and a very handy LCD screen on the drum facing you while vacuuming. It shows battery usage, the power mode in use and the ability to quickly switch modes, and maintenance alerts. It’s easily my favourite addition to the V11.

The Dyson V11 is the second generation cordless vacuum cleaner from Dyson. Over the V10, it’s also got 20 per cent more suction power through an advanced digital motor. This is achieved through an in-line configuration module that consists of the bin, motor and cyclone array.

All these parts are aligned in a straight line to ensure maximum suction. The V11’s cyclone array consists of 14 cyclones in total. Dyson says that they generate “forces of more than 79,000g to fling microscopic particles into the bin”, including pollen and bacteria. They continue to claim a whopping capture rate of 99.97 per cent of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Now there’s no real way of confirming this, but it does do a great job of cleaning, I can attest to that.

Battery life

Two of the biggest improvements I saw over the previous generation model were the Dyson V11’s battery life and the improved motor. The new battery is a seven-cell nickel-cobalt-aluminium battery and it’s there to compensate for the new and more powerful motor. I expected it to cancel out any improvement but I definitely saw the battery lasting me longer than the V10 did. Dyson’s claim a lofty 60 minutes of “fade-free” floor cleaning though that may be possible consistently on its Eco Mode which isn’t ideal for a more rugged cleaning.

Dyson V11 Review
There isn’t a surface, crevice or corner you can’t get to with one of Dyson’s many attachments

On Boost mode (for tough cleaning days) the battery lasted about 30 minutes on constant use, whereas the V10 got done in less than that. Auto mode gave me a little over an hour and Eco mode is the best for battery longevity. However, I found myself switching up modes when I didn’t feel it doing the trick. Eco mode is great for daily cleaning but if you’re trying to get rid of dirt and muck or just need a rugged carpet cleaning, you’ll need to switch up modes and charge more frequently. Overall I found the motor, on all modes, a fair bit more powerful than the V10.

More power

It’s never all hype with Dyson. When it says 20 per cent more suction power has been added, you can believe it. Another improvement not spoken about but was a pleasant surprise: noise levels. Eco and Auto mode sounded fine but the V10’s Boost mode was far too noisy. The overall noise levels on the V11 have definitely been brought down.

Dyson V11 Review
The bin can fill up quick. It’s so easy to remove all the dirt and start from scratch with the push of a lever

The High Torque cleaner head is the primary attachment you’ll use on carpets, rugs and hard floors for a nice deep clean. What’s more is that on Auto mode, it uses DLS (Dynamic Load Sensing) to sense the brush resistance up to 360 times a second, which it then communicates to the motor and battery microprocessors. It automatically adjusts the motor speed by judging the type of surface. It’s pretty useful when you’re cleaning up a house with a variety of flooring.

Dyson's High Torque vacuum head
Your go-to attachment for a dusty tiled floor with rugs

Dyson V11: Daily use

There was a corner that was unreachable in my house until I got the V11. It was a tiny spot inside a cupboard that was made specifically to hold the washing machine. It was tiny and impossible to reach with a conventional cleaner. Over time it collected bits of dust and washing powder. I was never able to reach it until my first day with the V11. There are so many different attachments, I started looking for tough spots and started cleaning them. You could say I’m committed to my job, but I also enjoy a good cleaning.

Dyson V11 Review
Dyson has imagined almost every possible scenario and made an attachment to clean it

Being smack in the middle of what seems to be the hottest summer in Dubai, my balcony has been packed up until December. It’s been untouched for months so obviously it’s collected a LOT of dirt, especially on the astroturf flooring. I headed out in the evening with my fully charged V11 on Boost mode and cleaned the place up. The floor, chairs and tables all lying out in the harsh weather were practically brand-new in about 25 minutes thanks to High Torque cleaner head, the stubborn dirt brush and the long crevice tool.

The new LCD screen is way more than a simple gimmick. It’s constantly in your face reminding you of how you’re using your vacuum and how much battery is left before you’ll need to recharge. What’s more, is that it also reminds you when to clean the filters and if there are any blockages that need to be addressed. There’s an intelligent factor to the entire inner workings of the Dyson V11 as well. Its battery and monitoring system work together to gauge the remaining runtime. It learns how you’ll use it over time and optimised runtime and also takes the floor you’re cleaning into account when displaying the remaining runtime. That’s another “smart” and “always learning” device added to our ever-expanding smart devices.

Dyson V11: My take

There’s not much the vacuum cleaner can’t do thanks to an arsenal of attachments that can be used to get into the toughest of corners, highest of points, wooden tables, marble floors, fluffy rugs and even your mattress. They’ve thought of just about everything.

Everything in Dyson's new V11 box
All the cleaning equipment your home or office would need

The cost of this excellent ensemble can be tough to swallow at first, one may even scoff at it. However, when looking at the long term, you could easily compare it to shelling out more for a brand such as Bose, Apple or Sony. In their respective electronic categories, they charge a premium for delivering high value their competitors just aren’t known for. Along with value, they almost guarantee longevity. Once you buy a Dyson, you’re going to be happy with that product for years to come. Not to mention Dyson’s fantastic support team will always be on hand to maintain and fix up your device for you at any juncture.

The Dyson V11 may be a different experience at first, coming from conventional cleaning tools, so it may take a little getting used to but by your second outing with it, you’ll never want to use another cleaning apparatus. After a couple of uses you’ll even figure out how to optimize battery usage to get just as much as you need through a single cleaning without having to stop for a battery recharge. I personally couldn’t recommend it more.

The Dyson V11 officially releases today and will be available for Dh2,999 in Dyson stores as well as the major retailers in the UAE. It comes with two-year warranty and most importantly a 14-day return guarantee is purchased from the Dyson.ae webstore. So if you’re not sure of the cost-to-feature ratio, give the device a whirl. You might just end up agreeing with us.