Gadget: Vorwerk Kobold VC100 Rechargeable Hand-Held Vacuum Cleaner

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I’VE just moved into a small converted barn in the countryside and there’s dust and debris everywhere.

That’s one problem, but more pressing are grime-encrusted sticky lampshades that act like catnip for the local fly population. I’m not one to condone the use of chemical pesticides but these flies had it coming; they got well and truly sprayed with both barrels, Schwarzenegger-style, and dropped like their proverbial selves.

This is where the Vorwerk Kobold VC100 comes in handy. Let’s call it the VC100 for short. I’m told by my girlfriend that sweeping up manually is so last century. The VC100 is a hand-held vacuum cleaner – sound a bit boring? Normally I would agree, but Vorwerk have unleashed the talents of their German design team on this simple household gadget, transforming it into the visualisation of a lovechild between a Star Trek phaser and a handlebar. The most surprising thing about using it is how light it is; weighing in at 750g, it’s about as heavy as two cans of Coke. I waved it around repeatedly for 20 minutes until it ran out of charge, without the slightest sensation of wrist ache.

Suction power was surprisingly good and I even managed to acrobatically pluck passing flies from mid-air, always a good sign of precision sucking abilities. The VC100 also coped well with cat litter shrapnel, which is a perennial problem in my kitchen. The built-in rechargeable battery is easily powered up by docking the vacuum with the included charging dock. At £149, it’s arguably £100 more than you need to spend if you’re a regular Argos shopper. That said, it’s the first hand-held vacuum cleaner I’ve seen that I don’t immediately want to hide in a cupboard, which is quite an achievement in its own way.

• Vorwerk Kobold VC100 Rechargeable Hand-Held Vacuum Cleaner, £149 from VK Direct, www.vkdirect.co.uk