Dyson stopped manufacturing corded vacuum cleaners in 2018, and shortly thereafter released the V11 Absolute, the model that currently represents the best in the catalog. This vacuum cleaner promises 20% more powerful suction, and has a convenient LCD screen that shows the remaining usage time and “real-time performance”.
These are high-sounding claims, even more so when we consider that the V10 was already a fantastic product. But the new model has a more powerful and sophisticated engine, which Dyson seems very proud of.
Dyson’s confidence became apparent when they stopped making corded vacuum cleaners nearly two years ago. It was a risky move, which made us very curious. So let’s find out what’s in the V11 Absolute to make it so interesting.
It retains the same basic design as its predecessor, with the large basket (large enough to bypass a standard house) in line with the engine for better performance than older models, such as the Dyson V8.
There is a slightly larger battery inside the V11 than the V10, which increases the weight to 3.05kg. Not that the difference is noticeable: the V11 is superbly balanced and feels good in the hand.
A more significant change is the new V11 motor, which Dyson claims is 20% more powerful than the V10, delivering 185 watts of air (which is better than many corded vacuum cleaners). The improvement in suction is done via the more powerful motor, but Dyson has also made some improvements to the airflow. These include a more efficient diffuser design that straightens the airflow thereby reducing turbulence and a new impeller design.
Turn the vacuum cleaner and the new screen is impossible to miss. Adding an LCD to a cordless vacuum cleaner may seem crazy at first, but once you start using the V11 it makes a lot of sense.
For starters, it’s easier to choose which mode you want to use, especially now that Dyson has renamed them so they make more sense. Low, Medium and Max are replaced with Eco for better battery life, Medium for general use, and Boost for those times when a short burst of extra power is needed.
If you connect the new High Torque scrub head, the Medium mode changes to Auto. Here, the V11 uses its Dynamic Load Sensor (DLS), which monitors the brush bar resistance up to 360 times per second, to adjust the suction power between carpets and hard floors. This is useful, since who really wants to mess around trying to pick the right power mode anyway?
The display also solves another problem: battery anxiety. While the old V10 only had a basic display on the battery to show an approximate charge level, the V11’s screen shows a countdown timer, so you know exactly how much time is left.
If there is an error, such as no suction or cleaning the filter, the screen plays an accurate video to indicate how to correct the problem. It’s pretty brilliant, especially since the manual is likely to be the first item to get lost on the back of a closet.
Clean the Dyson V11 Absolute
As with the V10, the filter unscrews, lifts up and can be washed under a tap until the water runs free. The bin empties the same way, with the trigger opening the end and sliding the drive forward and into the bin without spitting dust anywhere. As a result of the design of the bin, it is necessary to remove the rod or accessories to empty it, a fair compromise, since it is possible to avoid the escape of dust.
At the front, there is the same socket to take the extension rod and accessories. The power supply runs along the extension rod for powering the motorized heads; feedback from the high torque head returns to the other side.
The battery pack is packed against the trigger. Again, it’s a fixed unit, so once the 60-minute time runs out (in Eco mode with a motorized brush), it will need to be charged. This takes approximately 4.5 hours. Replaceable batteries for even longer run times would have been nice.
Again, the battery has a handy rubber mat so the V11 doesn’t fall out when you lean it against a wall. It’s a small thing, but great for anyone who has seen an old Dyson cordless cleaner fall to the ground.
- Extension Wand: This wand is used most frequently when the V11 is in suction mode with vertical stick, but can also be used to extend the user’s reach in portable mode. The red button at the end can be attached to a cleaning head or to one of the handheld accessories.
- Nickel Toque Drive Cleaning Head: This is the main cleaning head used for cleaning the floor in vacuum mode. This head uses spiral bristles to agitate and catch debris from the floor and deposit it in the dust bin.
- Mini Motorized Tool: This accessory comes in handy when using the V11 as a handheld and can really provide a power boost when cleaning fabric, upholstery or pet hair.
- Combo Tool: This tool provides the function of a short / wide slit tool and a soft dusting brush. Its versatility makes it enjoyable when cleaning interior spaces such as sofas and furniture, as well as when cleaning your own car.
- Slit Tool: This tool is longer than the combination tool and offers a narrower opening to catch debris; ideal for between sofa cushions, behind furniture or other hard to reach spaces.
- Mini Soft Dusting Brush: This accessory has soft bristles that are close together and provides a nice dusting tool that won’t damage furniture or sensitive surfaces like car interiors.
- Dirt-Resistant Brush: This brush has bristles slightly further apart than the bristles of the dusting brush and are also much firmer. This is a useful tool for removing dirt from hard surfaces such as floor tiles or heavy-duty abrasive fabrics.
- Docking station: The docking station offers a simple wall mount point to allow Dyson to be suspended when not in use. This accessory can also hold 2 accessories for easy access.
- Charger: The charger plugs into a standard wall outlet and lets the Dyson juice pass between cleaning cycles.
How noisy is it?
Turn on the V11 Absolute and you will find that it is not as loud as you may have thought. From the height of the head, measured with the motorized brush in Eco mode, the vacuum reaches 71 dB. In standard mode it’s 74.6 dB and on Boost it’s a whopping 84.6 dB.
For most uses in the low-power modes, you can actually hear other people on the V11’s powerful engine – and it’s not a distracting noise.
Maintaining the Dyson V11 is critical to maintaining peak vacuum performance. By following regular maintenance you can reduce the chance of having to replace parts or accessories prematurely.
That said, maintenance is fairly straightforward. The most important maintenance activities include:
- Empty the dust container regularly.
- Cleaning the filter every month (cold water, dry air for 24 hours)
- Replace the battery if necessary.
The Dyson V10 battery is expected to last up to 15 years, according to Dyson founder James Dyson. We haven’t seen a statement from Dyson about the V11’s battery life, but we expect it to be at least as good as the V10.
While the initial cost of the Dyson V11 vacuum is high, the low maintenance costs help compensate for it.
The Dyson V11 Absolute is undoubtedly a simple to use and comfortable vacuum cleaner. Compared to the V10 it doesn’t offer huge changes, but small improvements like the LCD screen, new engine or new filter make it an interesting upgrade.
The company bets on the V11 despite the very high price, and focuses on the effective ability to clean well and thoroughly. This vacuum cleaner removes fine dust and large debris without problems, and the sensors work great. If you have a few bucks to spend on a vacuum cleaner, then the V11 Absolute is the product you should go for.
In fact, the design, comfort and experience in general will make you want to clean the house. An aspect that, alone, makes it a worthy investment.
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