You may recall a few months ago, I found myself in the novel world of vacuum reviewing. My corded Dyson bit the dust and I was at my wit's end about what to do. I ultimately bought a corded Shark model on Amazon that (so far) is still working quite well, given its sub-$300 price point. I also demoed a cordless stick model from the relatively new manufacturer Tineco, whose business plan seems to be: "Let's make Dyson-esque models for less than an actual Dyson."
In that first story, I mentioned that while I loved my Dysons, I had gone through a decent number of them during my adult life. And that's when an email landed in my inbox, from Dyson's marketing team. My first thought was that they were going to be mad, or maybe take issue with the admitted-fact that I frequently bought refurbished Dysons instead of bucking up and investing in a new model. But they didn't. They just said, "We're sorry your last Dyson experience wasn't perfect, but would you be interested in demo-ing our new cordless model, the V11 Outsize?"
I'm mean, it would have been sorta rude to say no, right? So this past month, I put the Shark aside (maybe it's working so well because it keeps getting shelved for demo models) to take the V11 for a spin.
My first observation when the deceivingly compact box arrived was: how do they fit all the stuff in? Not only is the body of this powerful vacuum considerably bigger than past Dyson models (like my old V8), but it comes with six different heads, two batteries and a charger. Unpacking it was like a scene in a movie where a sniper removes his rifles from the specialized case—not the normal image of home maintenance, to be sure.
But it gets better. Once I had the unit in hand, it likewise felt like some sort of weapon from the future, and when I deployed the trigger, the machine made what I can only describe as the most badass sound ever to come from a home appliance. It's a cross between a Stormtrooper's blaster and a Harrier jet taking off. I probably played with it for a full five minutes, terrorizing my dog around the house. Eventually, I fully assembled the unit (meaning I clicked the powerhead into place) and got to trying it out for its intended purpose. Here are my observations after two weeks of use.
Power is what the V11 hangs it hat on, and it delivers. One of the problems with the Tineco was that it had a smart sensor that was constantly trying to tell me how much power I needed, and the truth is, I was constantly adjusting it upwards. The Dyson's fallback setting is already very powerful. You can boost it for pet hair on upholstery and tone it down for eco mode, but I found myself doing neither. The potential downside here is draining power, but that never happened and I have a large house. Plus there's an extra battery included, so you would need a mansion full of cat litter to even get close to running out of juice.
The other positive is that that the powerhead is full-sized, like a corded vacuum, not the small version you see on most wand models and that makes a huge difference on any big areas. The dust bin is also exponentially bigger than most competitors, which is hugely important when you have a dog, for example, because it means you're not constantly stopping to empty the bin.
Well, it's not cheap. It's $1,100 on the Dyson site, putting it at the top of the market (although I've seen variations of the V11 at Costco in the $900 range). Either way, it's pricey. I also didn't use half the functions and a few of the heads — the opportunity just didn't arise in normal housekeeping. That's not much of a gripe. Maybe one day I'll be happy to have the "quick release flexi-crevice tool" at my disposal.
I mean, this thing is awesome, but it's like a Porsche: it better be good, and it is. It is powerful enough to truly do away with a corded model, it has no little peccadillos that would grate on you after time. Battery power seems seriously ample, even accounting for some inevitable decrease that time will bring. I wouldn't take out a loan to buy it, but if it's in your price range, I'd buy with little hesitation.