Dyson continues its quest to only launch cordless vacuum cleaners, with the Dyson V11 Absolute - a tweaked version of its V10 cordless model launched in 2018 - being its latest and greatest.

But do vacuum cleaners benefit from yearly update cycles or is this merely the company updating for the sake of updating? We've been doing the housework to find out what's changed and whether it's for the better.

Familiar form factor

  • Same form factor as V10 model
  • Now features LCD screen on rear
  • Bigger battery and new filter design 

The V11 sports a similar, but not identical, design to the V10 model. The main differences are that the battery is now bigger and wider - meaning if you've got the previous model, you'll have to replace the wall mount - while the way you change the filter is improved so it's now much easier.

Pocket-lintDyson V11 Absolute vacuum cleaner review Cordless cleaning image 2

But the biggest change of all is the addition of an LCD screen, which faces you when using the V11 so you can see what's happening - more on that in a moment.

In design terms the V11 has motor and bin housed in a form factor akin to a ray-gun from a sci-fi movie, complete with an easy-to-use power trigger for turning on and off. Dirt gets sucked up the cleaning shaft and straight into the reasonably sized bin.

The only complaint from some in the household is the need to remove the cleaning tube to then open the dirt bin. It can be fiddly; but I believe there is a certain knack to it - and I've mastered it quicker than other family members.

Information is power

  • Colour circular LCD screen
  • Screen used to select cleaning mode, change filter, show battery time remaining

The addition of the screen improves the cleaner in a number of ways. It gives you a quick indication of what mode you are in - although that's fairly easy to tell simply based on the power of the suction and the noise the machine makes - and shows how much battery life remains so you can estimate whether you've got enough power left to complete your cleaning.

Pocket-lintDyson V11 Absolute vacuum cleaner review Cordless cleaning image 6

When the cleaner isn't in use the display is used to indicate whether you are charging the unit (it take three to four-and-a-half hours to charge completely), how much battery charge there is, and can even warn if you've got a blockage or the filter needs changing. The display and the information it delivers is simple - but in a good way.

Three cleaning modes

  • Auto senses when to change mode
  • Improved cleaning times 

There are three cleaning modes available: Eco, Auto, and Boost.

Eco, as the name suggests, delivers the longest battery life, but less suction. Boost is like a turbo mode that gives lots of power but a much lower battery life. In our tests you'll get around 12 minutes of cleaning time with Boost (previously it was eight minutes on the V10) compared to over 60 minutes on Eco.

Pocket-lintDyson V11 Absolute vacuum cleaner review Cordless cleaning image 8

To give you the "best of both worlds" there is Auto, which uses sensors in the accompanying brush bar (this is only available in the more expensive V11 Absolute model) that lets the cordless vac automatically switch between Eco and Boost depending on the surface being cleaning. Switch from hard floors to carpet and the V11 can detect that change and adapt the power accordingly. This gives you much more cleaning time, but without the feeling that you aren't ignoring all that power when you need it.

Dyson V11 cleaning performance

  • New more powerful and quieter motor
  • New brush bar helps deliver better suction 

It's not just about using smarts to deliver different cleaning strengths. Dyson has changed and improved the accompanying cleaning bar too. There's now a mix between soft and hard bristles, it's got the sensors in it to understand the floor surface you are on, and two new features that make the world of difference.

The first is simply an air inlet so you can clean rugs without the V11 ripping them off the floor - which is very much welcomed. The second is a soft silicone bar at the back of the cleaning head that creates a much better seal and therefore noticeably improves the suction compared to the previous model.

Pocket-lintDyson V11 Absolute vacuum cleaner review Cordless cleaning image 5

These features combined with a new quieter and more powerful motor really do make the V11 superior to the V10. Not that the V10 has suddenly become bad - it's still a great buy - but just the newer model is markedly better.

The V11 Absolute also comes with a number of different cleaning heads and brush bars in the box. There's a high torque cleaner head (this is the one with the sensors in it), a soft roller cleaner head, a mini motorised tool, a mini soft dusting brush, a combination tool, and a crevice tool all included.

Verdict

While V10 users will be more than happy sticking with what they have, all the additional new features and options on the V11 make it a much better vacuum cleaner - indeed it's the best cordless model Dyson has released to date.

It's powerful and easy to use thanks to no cables hindering your cleaning experience. That does mean battery life can be limited if you're always using Boost mode, but there's enough for most households and it's easy to pop it back on charge again. 

When Dyson first ventured into cordless it was very much see as addition to your "main" vacuum cleaner in the house. With the V11, however, it's the only vac you'll need.