Dyson continues to roll out, no pun intended, its new ball technology to the 2012 range of vacuum cleaners. The hope being you'll get your cleaning done even quicker than before. But is the Dyson DC41 - the new flagship model - up to the task, or is it just a lot of hot air with no suck?
To find out, we've been living with the upright cleaner for the last couple of weeks in a family house of four with a moulting dog.
The DC41 is a large machine with a big capacity, and as such, it's designed for people with large homes. But don't let that put you off: it might be bigger than the company's miniature DC24 designed for small city flats, but it's still smaller than the Dyson cleaners of yesteryear that you've may already own, but which are now coming to the end of their life.
The striking Dyson design ethos is still kept in the new DC41. The overall design goes through a refining process compared to previous models, but it is still clearly a Dyson. The vacuum cleaner is still grey, with a strong dash of colour - in this case blue - and a clear bin topped with all those "cyclone" funnels which still looks really "industrial". And, of course, the clear bin still lets you can see the dirt you are collecting.
This being an upright cleaner you get the large capacity bin (2.1 litres) siting on top of the Dyson Ball that not only allows you to manoeuvre your way around the living room quickly but also, in the case of the DC41, hides the engine.
The bin has been tweaked ever so slightly, making it easier to get to the filter, which, Dyson claims, can capture particles down to .5 microns in size, like pollen, mould and bacteria. It's also now easier to empty the bin without getting dirty yourself.
The extendable handle is strong and sturdy, pulling out to become the hose that stretches some 14 meters - five times the length of the handle - handy for reaching the top of the stairs. Out of the box everything slots together for a quick setup.
Dyson cleaners have never been ones to lack in the suction department, and that's still true of the DC41. The cleaner likes dirt and likes to suck it up, especially once you press the "turbo boost" button on the handle which is designed to really get to work on dirty carpets or rugs.
We noticed a vast difference in cleaning power compared to the DC24 (the company's city cleaner) in our house, and it had no problem picking out a labrador's hair from our carpeted, tiled and floor-boarded house. For the vacuum cleaner geeks you get 255AW of suction power.
We tested a number of substances to clean on carpet including sawdust, dirt, dog hair, shredded paper, and sugar. The DC41 copes will all of them.
Included in the box is also a mini turbine head for the hose - handy if you need to get into tight spots as, remember, the DC41 isn't the smallest of cleaners. There's also a host of other more simple attachments.
With every Dyson we get easier movement and the DC41 is no exception. Zipping around our house was no trouble at all, although with a change to the engagement system - Dyson has removed the back foot pedal which used to engage the cleaner head - moving it around the house without the cleaning head lowered is a new knack you will have to learn. It was something both we and Mrs Pocket-lint have struggled with.
It is also a fairly heavy cleaner, weighing in at 7.8Kg. That's still lighter than previous models, but again, something to bear in mind if you are going to have to lug it up and down stairs. There are plenty of grab handles, but combined with its size, and that sucking power, for some it will come across as unwieldy.
We are really impressed with the cleaning performance of the Dyson DC41. It coped well with our house, alarmingly managing to fill half a bucket, even though we had cleaned with our previous vacuum (also a Dyson) a couple of days earlier. In fact Mrs Pocket-lint was keen to comment that it managed to add new "fluffiness" to our living room rug. Praise indeed.
Here's the bad news though, the Dyson DC41 Animal isn't cheap. This is a flagship Dyson that comes with a premium price point - £389. You do though get a vacuum cleaner that will ensure your house's floors are cleaner than you've probably ever seen them.
If money is no object, and you are looking for the best of the best, then the Dyson DC41 Animal is certainly worth the investment.
Carpets don't get cleaner than this.