(Pocket-lint) - Are Dyson’s really all they are cracked up to be? Even our very own gizmo girl rates the allergy busting DC11, so it was with good cause that we decided to test the new DC14 Animal. To give it an extra hard test we decided to pit it against our two-year old chocolate coloured Labrador to see if it could cope.

On a good week we only have to vacuum around four times, on a bad week when Boston - that’s the dog name (get rid of him! - sub-Ed) is shedding his fur, chewing twigs and generally making a mess that number rises drastically. The problem is that the brown hair just never really goes away and without realising it your carpets start to take a darker tone. So lets start with the good points about the DC14 animal version:

There is no doubt about it this vacuum cleaner has the sucking ability of a teenager giving a love bite, it cleaned the carpets amazingly, and got rid of the hair in one big swoop. To test the cleaning power we actually vacuum cleaned the carpets with our little Goblin vacuum cleaner first. Yet the Dyson still managed to find another two buckets full. I was shocked, the wife mortified.

The second is that the DC14 Animal is an upright, which while some like the compactness of the pedal cleaners, makes things a lot easier as well as saving the bending down all the time.

The Dyson gets relatively close to the edges without the need to have to use all the attachments. If you do the animal version - and this is the bit that breaks it out from the four other models in the DC14 - is it comes with its very own mini-turbine attachment that fits on to the end of the extendable nozzle. Rather than relying on the suck of the cyclone in the main unit, a mini one sends the dirt on its way from the source. This as you can imagine, makes a powerful combination and the dirt in our tests didn’t really have anywhere to go but into the bucket.

If it’s not the suck that it’s going for it, it’s the ease of emptying the bucket and you can see that someone in a design studio has thought long and hard about this. In a surreal Ghostbusters moment, carrying the dirt to the bin button was just like Bill Murray carrying a ghost in those containment field and the pressing the button eject the contents. None of this changing the bag, emptying the bag because you haven’t got any more, simply press and it’s gone.

With that many strong points there can’t be any bad surely, well unfortunately there is, gripes more than fundamental issues but nonetheless still gripes.

For starters our Goblin has a wonderful little device that recoils the plug cable when it’s not in use. Tap the button on the top and like a tape measure the thing goes hurtling back into the unit. The Dyson DC14 however doesn’t have such charms and you have to spend a minute of two winding the wire back up on the back. Now this might sound like I am being picky, but what this means is that you have to undo the whole cable if you want to use the extending arm. Undoing the whole cable means you now have five meters of wire kicking around the room and that can only lead to getting in the way.

The other major niggle we had was the long hose. Yes it is very good and was easy to remove (once you’d undone the cabling) and it was also easy to attach back, but it’s not something that is quick enough or un-cumbersome enough to use when you just want to do a quick corner.


So what is our verdict? Overall we liked the DC14 Animal a lot and the results certainly spoke for themselves compared to our little Goblin. However at £300 for the Animal version I would expect them too and the Dyson still isn't perfect. If you've got a large house then this will certainly fit the bill, if however your in a city flat, no matter what the kudos is surrounding these things, I think its just going to be too big and too cumbersome for those quick hoovering moments. The Dyson is for the Saturday morning cleaning regime rather than the odd spruce up.

Writing by Stuart Miles.