Dyson gave its cordless vacuum line a big upgrade last year with the introduction of the V10 Cyclone. It was bigger and more powerful than its previous vacs, with a new design and three power modes using varying levels of suction. Dyson was so confident in the V10, it stopped developing its corded stand-up vacuums upon its release.
So where does the company go from there? The answer: The Dyson V11 Torque Drive, which upgrades the V10 design in several ways, including a new Auto mode that will alter the suction on the fly depending on the cleaning surface, a countdown clock that shows the estimated remaining battery life to the second, and a rear LCD screen that walks users through basic maintenance.
In other words, the V11 is all about making you think less. The Dynamic Load Sensor, which is built into the High Torque cleaner head, is clearly the highlight, enabling the vacuum to sense when it’s on carpet vs. a bare floor and adjust power accordingly. No more wondering when to kick things up a notch, and no more switching heads; whereas the V10 came with different heads for hardwood floors and carpeting, the V11 has just one head.
Not that Dyson is passing the savings onto you. The V11 has the company’s trademark high price point, starting at $599 and going up to $699 (shipping now). You get what you pay for, though: The V11 has a number of other upgrades, rated at 20% more power than the V10 and even more battery life, topping out at an hour in “Eco” mode.
Eco is the lowest of the power settings, which Dyson has renamed Eco, Auto, and Boost and color-coding them green, blue, and red, respectively. The red Boost mode in particular is meant to discourage users from keeping the vacuum in the high-power mode, which shrinks battery life to mere minutes but jacks up the power to suck deep into carpets.
I got a chance to try out the V11 at a demo space in New York City on Tuesday. It feels exactly the same as the V10, which I find a little on the bulky side (Dyson makes smaller vacs, too). I liked seeing the battery countdown on the back (there’s nothing more annoying than a battery dying in the middle of a cleaning job), though the mode button is tough to push with your thumb. I suppose you’re not meant to — I don’t know why you’d want to manually switch power mid-glide — but the button placement makes it a tempting maneuver.
I’m sure I’d get over the urge if I owned a V11 for more than a week, since everything about this product is tailored to get you to not think about what you’re doing. It’s a daydreamers’ … well, dream.