Around fifteen years ago, Dyson emerged into the mainstream with an upright vacuum that cleaned better than the competition, hardly ever got clogged, had a colorful and modern design, and did away with the annoyance of a typical vacuum’s throw-away bag. It was a sensation. Millions of people bought handsomely designed Dyson vacuums, simply to show the world they had the good taste and wherewithal to own one. Like the iPod, Dyson had created a coveted product that turned its market upside down, and a new global brand was born.
Since then, Dyson’s innovations have permeated into the mainstream while the company has diversified into similarly smart hand dryers, hair dryers, and air purifiers. It’s hard to remember now what a joy it really was to fire up your Dyson and attack that carpet for the first time all those years ago.
Which brings us to Dyson’s latest line of cord-free vacuums. Designed as a hybrid between standard upright and handheld vacuums, Dyson’s cord-free vacuums come with a handful of modular parts that allow you to vacuum your floor, your couch, and your car with the same machine.
The first thing I noticed about the V7 was its color: a shocking fuchsia, highlighted with bright purple and shiny gray accents. Dyson remains intent on making a visual statement.
The model I reviewed arrived with four modular, snap-on parts (or “tools,” as Dyson calls them): the Motorhead itself, which is a smaller, detachable version of a typical head from an upright vacuum; a brush, for help sucking string or other staticy items off your couch; a narrow finisher, for getting into corners or crevices; and a roughly two-foot extension tube.
All the tools snap on and off the main handheld unit with intuitive ease, and they all have their uses. To transform the V7 into an upright, you attach the extension tube to the Motorhead, and away you go. To vacuum your car, you’d likely attach the narrow finisher directly to the handheld unit. To get the cobwebs out of your ceiling corners, you pop the brush onto the extension tube, and those corners are yours. And so on.
The V7 comes with a wall mount that not only stores and charges the vacuum, but also efficiently manages the modular tools. The wall mount plugs into a standard, nearby electric outlet, and charges the vacuum in less than an hour. The vacuum pops on and off the wall mount with one simple motion. With a full charge, the V7 runs for about thirty minutes on its standard power settings. This may not seem like a particularly long time, but if it takes you longer than that to vacuum your house you’re going to want a bigger vacuum anyway.
The efficiencies and flexibility built into the V7, therefore, are top-notch. But how well does it actually vacuum?
Really well, it turns out. The V7’s standard suction power feels similar to the larger Dysons of the previous generations. The V7, however, can also be toggled into “max suction” mode, where suction becomes powerful enough that the V7 gets difficult to move over a rug or carpet. Power is not an issue here.
If you remove the Motorhead and snap on one of the other tools, the V7 turns into a powerful little handheld that zaps up everything—damp sand, coins, and the great majority of the who-knows-what strewn about the back of my car by my two disgusting, elementary-school-aged kids.
The small faults I found with the V7 Motorhead had more to do with the tradeoffs Dyson made to create a flexible product. For example, due to its smaller size, it took longer to vacuum the floor with the V7 compared to a standard upright vacuum. And because it’s larger than a typical handheld, its wall mount takes up more space, making it tricky to find a convenient mounting spot that’s out of the way, easily accessible, and near an electric outlet.
My last sticking point is more of a preference thing: that fuchsia-and-purple color combo may not be for everybody.
9/10—It does a lot, and it does it exceptionally well.