What makes a good vacuum cleaner? For us, it is anything that gets the mundane task of doing the cleaning done with as little fuss as possible. No amount of clever industrial design and good looks can make up for the fact that ultimately a vacuum has one purpose: to suck up dirt from the floor.
AEG's cordless vacuums have been around for a while. The Ergorapido, which we have been testing for a good while now, always falls slightly short in the power department. Now however comes AEG's Ultrapower, a cordless vacuum which promises to suck, in a good way.
The AEG Ultrapower sits right at the top of AEG's cordless range and as such is the most powerful it offers. It is miles better than the Ergorapido, which managed to keep our wooden floors clean but failed to deal with dog hair and carpets.
But this has put even our cabled, bagless vacuum to shame. We were seriously impressed with just how much sucking the Ultrapower could do. At the top of the vacuum's handle is a button which governs the amount of oomph behind its suck: stick it all the way up to three and you should find the Ultrapower good for most situations.
The vacuum also includes AEG's Brushrollclean - yes, all one word, don't ask - technology. It works by separating things like hair - and other gunk which will clog the vacuum - from dust. It really works, and we found even after our dog saturated the sofa with hairs, the Ultrapower kept on going.
There is no questioning how much easier a cordless vacuum cleaner is to whizz about the house with. No cables mean you can just keep on cleaning without needing to swap plugs every time you change room.
The problem is that the Ultrapower suffers slightly from oversimplicity. Because it is so stripped back and lightweight, yet powerful enough to replace your standard vacuum, it is irritating when things like a crevice tool aren't included. You can certainly get into corners, thanks to the compact shape of the Ultrapower, but it's hard to clean them properly.
On top of this, the simple plug-in charging station which ships with the vacuum doesn't make any sort of sound to let you know the Ultrapower is correctly docked. You need to fiddle about with the station to make sure both contact points on the hoover and the dock are touching in order for it to charge. If you just dump the thing on to the charging station, you will accidentally not charge it at times. There are lights however, but these are easier to miss than an audio confirmation.
The Ultrapower has a great battery: AEG touts 60 minutes maximum from the vacuum. For the most part, we saw it deliver these sorts of results. With the ability to switch off the cool, although likely battery-sapping LED lights on the front of the vacuum's nozzle, we imagine you might get more.
Charging the Ultrapower takes about four hours. The front of the vacuum has orange lights which indicate charge level. Really though, given the vacuum comes with a charging station, we imagine you'll just plug it in and forget about it.
Being bagless and cordless means all the messing about involved with having a bit of a clean is taken away. You don't need to unwrap cables or stick in a new bag, you can just pick the thing up and get going. Because of this we found ourselves using the Ultrapower a lot more, resulting in a much cleaner Pocket-lint base camp.
There is an optional booster battery pack which will double the vacuum's cleaning time, should you have more ground to cover. Unfortunately we didn't get to test this, but we imagine installing it is pretty easy, as the Ultrapower's battery is removable.
Somehow a vacuum has us excited. The Ultrapower looks genuinely cool and with its LED running lights, just like those found on cars, it is rather fun to use as well.
What we really love is the simplicity. You can just pick up the Ultrapower and get going. None of the hassle is there and, as such, you don't mind having to do the odd cleanup. Also, if someone has a spill, you can grab the thing and tidy straight away.
This is the cordless vacuum to go for. It might seem like a bit of a boring piece of tech to invest in but trust us, there is nothing better than a gadget that makes the most menial of tasks a doddle.