Dyson has released an even smaller version of its multi-floor model, the Dyson DC49, and we've been cleaning our house for the last couple of weeks to find out whether it is any good. Can a smaller design, smaller bin, and digital motor still cope with a house of five, and a dog?
To say that the DC49 is small would be an understatement. Designed originally for Japanese flats, the DC49 will, if you remove the accompanying hose, sit in a space the size of a piece of A4 paper. That's pretty impressive given that it works and functions like a regular vacuum cleaner.
That diminutive size, which is 30 per cent smaller than the previous model, continues over to the weight of the unit too. It weighs 2.7kg and this, in real terms, means that you shouldn't have any issues carrying it around the house. We certainly didn't in our testing, easily carrying it upstairs and downstairs, as well as generally lugging it around our three-bedroom cottage, a property that while small, is still probably larger than the target market of compact flats.
As with previous models, the motor is hidden within the ball and features an "auto coil" button to bring back the power cable. It's activated by a simple, bright red power button that leaves no confusion as to its purpose.
The smaller size has had an impact on the bin size though, which is now 0.5 litres. What that means is you'll have to empty it more often. We've found, if you are going for a full house clean, that it worked best emptying the bin every other room. A one-bedroom flat should have no problem with general fortnightly dirt.
If there is any annoyance about Dyson's range, it is that the hose is still gigantic, especially in proportion to the main unit. It's unwieldy, and awkward, but detaching it from the main unit is now a lot easier for storage.
It's a necessary evil though, as without it you wouldn't be able to clean, and the telescopic rigid main element does mean you can reach ceilings for those cobwebs and the filthy aracnids that terrorise you from above. The Dyson is rated five stars for its spider dispatching ability, so arachnophobes read no further - this is the sucker for you.
Vastly improved over the DC47 - the previous model - Dyson has now included a turbine head with the built-in carbon fibre filaments and nylon brushes that have been recently introduced on other Dysons. These work to pick up even more dirt than previous models: we know, because we've compared them.
That all translates to a device that does a much better job of cleaning than the last machine. And we know it did a better job, because we could see the lines where we had cleaned on the carpet.
If you haven't guessed yet, we think the DC49 does a pretty bang-up job of cleaning. Dyson has packed the new model with a more-powerful digital motor than last time, and the DC49 can now pick up even smaller bits of rubbish and detritus than before.
We had no issues with the performance and the suck-ability, however suggestions that this is the quietest Dyson yet might be true, but it is still quite noisy. We also noticed that all this power pushes out a lot of heat. It's not an issue, but is something we noticed standing too close to the vent when cleaning. Toasty.
If you live in a small, one-bedroom flat and need a vacuum cleaner that doesn't wipe out an entire cupboard, then this will certainly do the trick, however that hose is still the bugbear here and something that in our minds Dyson needs to concentrate on solving.
That said, the DC49 might be small, but it manages to pack a big punch when it comes to performance.