A cordless vacuum cleaner that sweeps away its competitors thanks to raw power and a range of attachments
Gadget review: Dyson V6 Absolute
The Absolute is the high-end model of the firm’s V6 series, named after the engine that powers its vacuums. The essential components of the vacuum are the same as those found in the rest of the range, but the Absolute hurls in every conceivable attachment available, including one which resembles a paint roller, designed specifically for hardwood flooring. It is a package slender in size, packing a variety of options.
In keeping with the Dyson tradition, a product that is functional is made aesthetically pleasing. Written down, the combination of cobalt blue, magenta pink and nickel grey might jar, but the mix of colours works well on the V6, giving it a contemporary and stylish look. The main suction component, meanwhile, is a retro futuristic joy not unlike one of the alien blasters from the Tim Burton film, Mars Attacks!
The V6 Absolute is a cinch to set up without reference to an instruction manual
Thanks to an intuitive design, the device - half wand, half broom in appearance - is a cinch to set up, with a series of parts clicking satisfyingly into each other and a sturdy, protected connection for charging the vacuum via a mains socket. Once connected, each part feels robust and taking them apart again is simply a matter of clicking a button located near each of the joints. A trigger system provides the power while the dust collector fits on and off easily.
As with most Dyson products, the technical specifications make for dizzying reading. The V6 digital motor utilises pulse technology and a neodymium magnet to spin at up to 110,000 times a minute. Such statistics mean nothing to the average homeowner, of course - all you need to know that this is a stick vacuum with immense power and suction that will save you screeds of time cleaning an average sized home.
The attachments make cleaning wooden floors considerably easier
The attachment for wooden or hard floors is the star of the show. It provides a greater, and more constant, contact with the surface, meaning that dirt particles, crumbs and general debris are whisked away first time. Tested on varnished planks, lino and slate tiles, it performed admirably each time, even on the uneven latter surface with all its nooks and crannies. The light and thin dimensions mean getting under chairs and tables is a breeze, too.
Versatility is the name of the game with the Absolute. The main head unit can also be used without the wand, making it a great option for cleaning the footwells of a car. It might not look as if it has the reach to get into awkward corners, but it still takes attachments. For those with dog or cat hair clumped to a carpet or rug, Dyson’s latest product also makes an arduous job considerably easier.
Battery life is limited and means you have to plan your cleaning routine carefully
The convenience of having a portable, wireless vacuum comes at a cost, though. Over the course of testing, the battery lasted on average between 17 and 19 minutes with a full charge, slightly less than the advertised upper limit of 20 minutes. For a few rooms, this is ample, but it becomes restrictive when trying to clean a larger house in the one go. Be careful, too, not to use the boost setting indiscriminately, as the battery duration shrinks to around seven minutes if it is turned on indefinitely.
Is it enough to stop you splashing out on the Absolute? No, far from it. It may be costly, but this is the best cordless vacuum available on the market and its range of applications in and around the house - it is light enough to reach coving and lightshades, for instance - warrants the expense and battery limitations. What’s more, you won’t want to cram it away out of sight in a cupboard; this is a machine that deserves to be shown off as well as used.