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Dyson V11 Absolute Pro review: the absolute best vacuum cleaner you can buy

On: April 16, 2020

Vacuum cleaners, at least in India, are associated with bulky, noisy appliances with a jungle of wires and confusing attachment heads. I’ve used vacuum cleaners for years (a side effect of always having had pets), and while they get the job done, they’re cumbersome to use and even more difficult to store. Enter Dyson – the British brand that has been making vacuum cleaners for 25 years now, and is also popular for its powerful air purifiers. As a brand, Dyson is focussed as much on design as it is on performance, and the latest vacuum cleaner in its lineup, the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro, is the brand’s most advanced yet. As expected, this appliance doesn’t come cheap. I’ve been using the V11 Absolute Pro for the last month, and here’s what you need to know if you’re wondering whether it’s worth the money.

Design

The Dyson V11 Absolute Pro is a work of art. I had the Gold version for review, which as the name suggests features a gold finish on part of the body and the wand. The V11 Absolute Pro doesn’t look very different from its predecessor, the V10. That said, Dyson has added a few upgrades with the V11, with the most significant being an LCD display, which lets you toggle between the different suction modes and shows you how much run-time you have left in each. The display also alerts you if the filter isn’t attached properly or if there are any blockages, both of which are accompanied by handy little videos telling you how to fix the said issue.

The vacuum cleaner itself is a compact, handheld unit without any messy cords to get in the way. It has that sci-fi plasma gun look, complete with a trigger and a satisfying ‘whoomp’ sound when the trigger is released. The V11 Absolute Pro sucks dirt and debris into its clear bin, giving you the satisfaction of seeing all the muck you’re cleaning up. Once the bin is full, you simply need to remove any attachment and release the contents into a bin. The base stand is where the battery is stored, and there’s a port at the end to plug in the charger. The V11 Absolute Pro also comes with a washable filter at the end, which according to Dyson, captures 99.97 percent of fine particles. This ensures that the air released by the machine is filtered and safe, and won’t aggravate any allergies you might have. The vacuum cleaner and accessories feature red tabs, and letting you easily attach and remove brush heads with simple press and release actions. There’s a single trigger button to start vacuuming, and you need to keep it pressed for the entire duration you’re cleaning. The only issue I had with the trigger button is that it gets inadvertently pressed when you’re changing attachments, releasing the bin contents or even just holding it in your hand.

Accessories

The Dyson V11 Absolute Pro (Gold edition) comes in a beautifully packaged box, and includes 11 accessories including the various attachments, a wall-mounted docking station and a floor stand, among others. There’s a slightly cheaper Nickel/Blue option (Rs 52,900) which comes with the same accessories, minus the floor stand. Since this is a returnable review unit, I opted to use the vacuum cleaner with the floor stand, instead of the wall dock which needs to be drilled into the wall.

The floor stand is easy to assemble, and comes with a weighted base that feels very stable, even when the V11 Absolute Pro and several attachments are placed on it. The stand features a long pole, at the top of which is a docking station for the vacuum cleaner. There’s an inlet for the charger, which can be neatly threaded through the rear of the pole, with the charging pin securely attached to the base of the dock. This allows the vacuum cleaner to seamlessly plug in for charge when docked – all you need to do is turn on the wall switch when you want to charge it. The floor stand also features a dock for the wand. In addition to this, Dyson also bundles a wand storage clip in the box, which can be snapped on to the wand and lets you store two additional attachments. While this setup doesn’t house all the bundled cleaning heads and attachments, there’s enough storage so that all your commonly used attachments are within easy reach.

To give you an insight into what the various cleaning heads do, let’s tackle them one by one. All the quick release tools can be attached directly to the V11, letting you use it like a compact dust buster.

High Torque cleaner head: This attachment can be used both on hard floors and carpeted areas, and features an inbuilt DLS (Dynamic Load Sensor) that automatically adjusts the suction when you switch from carpet to floor, and vice versa.

Soft roller cleaner head: This one is for hard floors, and can be used instead of a broom to conveniently sweep the house and pick up debris and fine dust. The soft brushes ensure your floors don’t get scratched.

Quick release mini motorized tool: A smaller version of the two cleaner heads above, this tool can be attached directly to the vacuum cleaner and used to clean upholstery, car seats and more. It’s particularly effective for sucking up pet hair.

Quick release crevice tool: You’ve probably seen this tool on other vacuum cleaners. It’s narrow and ideal for picking up debris in narrow spaces.

Quick release combination tool: This tool lets you switch between a stiff nylon brush head and a broader crevice tool. It’s a versatile tool that’s useful for cleaning the base of sliding doors and windows, cleaning the tops of door and window frames and more.

Quick release mini soft dusting brush: As the name suggests, this is a brush with soft bristles and is designed to help you dust delicate items. Use it to clean fragile knick knacks, framed art work, lamp shades and more.

Quick release mattress tool: This one looks similar to the mini motorized tool, but doesn’t have any moving parts. Use it to regularly clean your mattress for dust mites.

Quick release up top adapter: This attachment can bend and lock at various angles and is useful cleaning the tops of cupboards, door frames, light fixtures and other areas that are hard to reach. Needs to be used along with other quick release tools.

Quick release extension hose: Extends up to 60cm for hard to reach areas, such as under car seats, behind cupboards and more. Needs to be used along with other quick release tools.

Performance

Dyson claims the V11 Absolute Pro offers 40 percent more suction power than the V10, with a motor that spins at 125,000 rpm. As for the different modes, you can switch between Eco, Medium and Boost. For regular cleaning, you should stick to Eco or Medium modes. The Boost mode is a battery hog, and should only be used to clean a particularly dirty surface. In terms of battery life, you get about 60 minutes in Eco mode, and about half an hour in Medium. The Boost mode lasts between 10-15 minutes, and should be used sparingly. The battery life may not seem like much, but the V11 is efficient and doesn’t require you to swipe over the same surface repeatedly. The noise output on the vacuum cleaner isn’t uncomfortably loud either.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been using this vacuum cleaner for a month now, and have put all the bundled tools to the test. The high torque cleaner head is very effective for carpets. I managed to clean a 4 ft x 6 ft carpet in under five minutes, since the powerful suction ensures you don’t need to clean the same area twice. The carpet looked a few shades brighter by the end of it, and the amount of dust accumulated in the bin was testament to the V11’s cleaning prowess.

To test the soft roller brush, I covered an area of the floor with talcum powder. Here again, a single swipe was enough to remove all the powder from the floor. The soft brushes picked up every speck of powder, and even managed to clean between the grout of the tiles, which is something a regular broom can’t do. The mattress cleaner tool is effective for removing dust mites, and as the mom of a young toddler, I’ve been using it regularly over the last few weeks. Other things I’ve cleaned with the V11 include car seats and mats, upholstery, curtains, window nets, paintings, lampshades and pretty much anything I spot that needs a quick cleaning. The vacuum cleaner’s compact and cordless nature goes a long way into making it a handy tool to use around the house.

Emptying the bin and cleaning brush heads

One of my favourite features of the V11 Absolute Pro is how easy it is to empty the bin. Simply remove any attachment, hold it facing downwards (vertically) over a bin, and press the release tool. If you’re a clean freak like me, you might get annoyed at any residual dust that accumulates inside the transparent bin. Well, there’s some good news, because you can even detach the bin completely (there’s a little red tab underneath the release lever). You can then wipe the bin clean with a damp cloth, leave to dry and go back to cleaning. That’s not all, as you can easily unscrew the filter at the end of the vacuum to clean it periodically. You just need to run it under a tap and leave to dry completely before re-attaching.

The brush heads are also easy to clean. The Torque and mini motorized brush heads can be unscrewed using a simple coin. You can then pull out the brush heads and remove any lodged dirt or fibres before refitting and using them again. The soft roller has two brush bars which can removed the same way, and these ones can also be washed with cold water (not detergent), left to dry for at least 24 hours before using again. Other accessories can also be rinsed out with cold water, dried and used as required. It’s important to remember that the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro is a dry vacuum, and all attachments must be completely dry before being used again.

Bottomline

The Dyson V11 Absolute Pro is to vacuum cleaners what the iPhone is to smartphones. It’s designed beautifully, works seamlessly, lasts for years and costs a pretty penny too. Therefore, the only question you need to ask yourself is should you pay Rs 60,000 for a vacuum cleaner? Well, the answer is subjective. If you would pay that much for a flagship smartphone, I can assure you that the V11 Absolute Pro would offer better value for your money, and last much longer too. While Indian homes are rarely fully carpeted, they tend to get pretty dusty. If you live in a polluted area, have pets or kids, or are subject to allergies, the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro could be a good investment for the long term. It’s effective, easy to use and store, and most importantly, isn’t an eyesore. In case you want to invest in a Dyson vacuum cleaner without spending as much, you can also consider some of the cheaper cordless options from the brand, such as the V7 Animal and V8+ Animal.

Pricebaba’s rating: 9 / 10

What works:

  • Powerful, effective cleaning
  • LCD display displays battery countdown
  • Tools are easy to swap out
  • Comes with a wall and floor dock in the box
  • Bin is easy to empty

What doesn’t:

  • Very expensive
  • Trigger button gets inadvertently pressed
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Ketaki Bhojnagarwala

Ketaki has over 10 years experience writing on tech, having worked at the Hindu Business Line and 91mobiles earlier. When she's not editing copies or reviewing the latest gadgets, she spends her time binge-watching Netflix and reading fantasy fiction.