Dyson has reinvigorated its cordless vacuum cleaner range with two new models this month, one designed for more aggressive home spillages with a nylon cleaning head - the V6 Fluffy - and one that is the top of the line, that suits any floor you happen to task it with. It is the Dyson V6 Absolute and we've been giving it a quick spin. Literally.
It is Dyson's most powerful cordless vacuum cleaner yet but will be familiar in style and shape to those who have used any of its stick-based machines before. The main hand unit can be used with a selection of different cleaner heads, included in the box, and it is surprisingly light and nimble to use for such an efficient piece of technology.
The battery pack is part of the bottom of the handle and the charger housing that comes with the cleaner can be wall mounted or used flat. The only cable required in the entire set-up is from the dedicated charging plug and can be clicked into place in the housing or simply plugged into the back of the V6 Absolute if you prefer it that way.
We've always liked Dyson's slim cordless machines for design, specifically because they add a sense of science-fiction to the technological innovations and this model is no different. It could just as easily double as a blaster in a 1950's sci-fi flick - which makes us more likely to volunteer to vacuum. There is something slightly industrial-looking about it too.
It comes with a pink, but not shockingly so, stick attachment and that too adds a little fun to the proceedings. Long gone are the days of brown, beige or brown and beige vacuum cleaners that not so much suck up dirt as freely distribute it in a greater arc.
And that's where the Dyson V6 Absolute excels the most. Not only is it one of the most attractive cleaners the company has produced, for a cordless machine, it is the most efficient.
There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the direct-drive cleaner head is much improved over other models in the company's line-up, offering a claimed 150 per cent more brush bar power than Dyson's popular V6 Animal. And in practice in our brief test around the flat it seems to back up that claim. Normally on the clear brush based cleaner heads, you can see the bristles blur past in use. Not on the V6 Absolute - they just moved too quickly. Dirt didn't so much get sucked up, it looked like it was phased out of existence.
The motor in the main body is the same on other models - capable of spinning at 110,000rpm - but the Absolute also has a post-motor filter that none of the others can boast. This sits on the rear and prevents a claimed 99.97 per cent of particles as small as 0.3 microns escaping back into the air.
This means allergens and even smoke will be contained and filtered inside the machine.
Finally, on our initial whizz around with the unit we were particularly impressed with the separate cleaner head for hard floors. Estimates by market research company the Freedonia Group state that between 1997 and 2017 there will have been a 73 per cent increase in hard flooring materials bought and installed in the home, and our flat is one of them.
The hard floor cleaner head is specifically designed to tackle such surfaces and has clever debris channels that keep a tight seal between the tool and the floor, ensuring that dust and grime goes into the vacuum rather than escapes in the flow. And there is a max setting that can close the enclosure further, if it needs to pull up dust embedded in cracks and crevices - such as between floor boards.
We're still yet to discover how long the battery life lasts in full use and between charges, but let's just say that we managed to test the cleaner in three reasonably sized rooms without the battery cutting out. Like all Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners, the power will cut straight out when battery life is low rather than wind down the power.
At £449.99, the Dyson V6 Absolute is at the top end of the price range for cordless models, but considering its versatility - doubling fine as a main cleaner for a flat or smaller house, and a hand cleaner for the car or kitchen - you will get a lot of use out of it for the money. And even in initial tests, we can safely say that it is the most powerful in its category for sure.