Dyson Digital Slim DC59 review

You reach for the sugar bowl, you miscalculate how far away it is, it goes everywhere. Damn. You go to the cupboard, get out the classic Hoover, look for a plug socket, have to no doubt clamber behind something, unplug something or go so far away that the cable doesn't stretch that far.

Don't worry we've all been there, but for the last couple of weeks if that's happened here at Pocket-lint we haven't had to worry about plugs and power sockets, we've had the Dyson DC59 cordless vacuum cleaner to take care of things.

We know what you are going to say: they've got poor suction, poor battery life and a tiny bin that doesn't even hold enough fluff to keep a mouse happy. Is the DC59 any different?

Design

Dubbed the Digital Slim, Dyson DC59 is roughly the same design in principle to the first couple of cordless cleaners from the company, but much has changed elsewhere.

Designed to be held in your hand like a futuristic ray-gun, the DC59 weighs 2kg and is large but not overly so. It is comfortable to hold and you use a trigger to kick everything into action.

The battery, which isn't swappable, is located at the base and there's a new digital Dyson V6 motor at the back. A new two-tier radial cyclone head the same as in some of Dyson's wired models sits on top, centre stage, with a smallish bin underneath to catch all the dust and dirt.

Included accessories

There are plenty of attachments to help you get the cleaning done - lucky you!

In the box you get a long nozzle to help reach the floor or the ceiling from a standing position. You won't always have to crawl around with the DC59 in tow.

There's also a wider cleaning brush with carbon fibre and soft bristles that also features a miniature version of Dyson's ball technology at the back, a smaller cleaning head with bristles that also has a motor, making it ideal for pet hair, a pointy nozzle for back of the sofa or corners, and a non-powered medium sized brush for spot cleaning.

They all do what they profess to do, and between them you should have all the attachments you need. The only one we would want in addition to those in the box is something bendy to get into those hard to reach bits under a car seat.

Power and suction

A new design means a new motor and it has been vastly improved here by Dyson. The motor, according to the company, is the equivalent to the original upright Dyson vacuum cleaner with the ball-like design - and that was pretty powerful.

We had no real issues picking up a range of dirt, including sugar from different surfaces and if you do find it struggling then you can hit the boost button on the back of the motor. Like an overdrive switch it increases the capabilities of the unit, but will affect battery life.

The bin, as we've said, isn't huge, but it is enough to do a large room or a couple of small carpeted bedrooms. It's easy to empty, by simply sliding down a switch to release a door at the bottom of the bin.

Battery life

We remember that the first portable vacuum cleaner from Dyson had a paltry four minutes of life per charge which wasn't really even enough to get through a small car. You could make it a competition against yourself, but it wasn't good enough.

The DC59 is different. Here it's far better as the battery gives between six and 20 minutes of continuous power depending on what attachment you use and whether you use the boost button.

While six minutes might sound low, it's a 50 per cent boost compared to the earlier model, and that's a worst case scenario that will occur only if you leave the boost mode on for the duration. The more suction, the shorter the life span.

To get the most out of the unit, as in the full claim of 20-minutes, you'll have to use it without the wide cleaning brush head or smaller motorised one.

That might not seem like much time either, but with no hold button on the trigger you fire up the motor only when you need it - it's not the same as the full up-and-down vacuum motion through a whole room where you're a slave to the plug socket. On a fresh start working quickly and not dilly-dallying, we managed to whizz around a three-bedroom cottage using the wider cleaning head.

Where problems, or should that be excuses, arise is if you start with only half a charge. You soon get frustrated when you can't finish the job in one operation. There is no power gauge to let you know either, which is annoying.

Ready to roll

Realising that to use the DC59 effectively you'll probably want to have it charged and ready to go at a moment's notice, Dyson has included a docking station in the box - read that as plastic wall mount - that you can fix in your downstairs cupboard to keep everything neat and tidy.

The mount allows you to feed through the charger so it's always ready to charge, and comes with holders for two attachments for the included accessories. There are four attachments in the box, though, so you've still got to lose one somewhere. D'oh.

Verdict

The Digital Slim DC59 shows that Dyson can successfully make a cordless vacuum cleaner that's still powerful. But does it suffer poor suction, battery life and capacity as we touched upon in our opening gambit?

Not entirely. In real terms, the DC59 has good suction which is the important bit. The design that makes it comfortable to use and the array of accessories to help you get the job done. It's still not perfect, though, and of course we would like to see better battery life or a swappable battery system implemented - in the same way you have with power tools - so if you do run out of juice mid-job you can keep on going.

In use, we really like that you don't have to mess around with cables. It reminded us of when you had a corded telephone that you used to drag around the house and then how amazing it was when you got a cordless one. Well, it's the same feeling here.

Some niggles aside, the Dyson DC59 is a great device and a worthy replacement for a standard cleaner, especially if your house is small and you don't want a big floor-standing unit eating up your storage space. Or perhaps you rarely do much cleaning anyway and want something you can hide away in the cupboard for emergencies.



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