The Dyson V8 is a cord-free vacuum cleaner that is designed to help you keep your house clean effortlessly.
I am kind of a cleanliness freak - so much so that I bought an industry-grade $3,000-odd Rainbow vacuum cleaner to clean my house. However, the Rainbow is bulky, heavy and needs to be tied to a power point whenever I vacuum my house. So when the Dyson V8 was launched, I was more than happy to give it a go.
The review unit is the V8 Absolute Plus ($1,099) but there is a cheaper V8 Fluffy Pro ($999) model. The main difference is that the Absolute Plus model includes extra accessories such as an extension hose, a soft dusting brush and, most importantly, the direct-drive cleaner head.
The cleaner head has a motor located inside the brush bar that drives stiff nylon bristles deep into carpet pile to remove ground-in dirt or pet hair. Its soft anti-static carbon fibre filaments remove fine dust from hard floors.
Otherwise, both models have similar accessories, such as a soft roller cleaner head, a crevice tool, a mattress tool and an elbow joint tool.
Looks-wise, the V8 resembles a vacuum cleaner from a science fiction movie. It looks ultra-futuristic with its shiny grey/blue plastic shell that covers the V8 compact motor, which is capable of 110,000 rotations per minute. The vacuum cleaner has a hand grip with a trigger that you press to activate its suction power.
A transparent bin in front of the trigger lets you see the amount of hair and dirt collected.
PRICE: $1,099 (V8 Absolute Plus, the version tested), $999 (V8 Fluffy Pro)
BATTERY LIFE: 4/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
Once it is full, hold the main unit over your rubbish bin and lift up the ejection handle to open the bin's bottom lid. The main unit can also be easily dismantled and cleaned.
There is a slider on the main unit's top that switches between normal and maximum suction. However, the normal suction power is more than enough for most situations.
At 2.6kg, it is not really heavy. The weight is centred on the main motor unit, so it is easy to manoeuvre the V8 regardless of the cleaning attachments placed on it.
But, while my arms were not aching, my fingers felt sore from having to constantly press down on the trigger. With no trigger lock, I found myself having to change fingers to press the trigger, as each finger gets numb quite quickly. But this trigger does save battery.
According to Dyson, the V8's battery life is around 40min, if you use small attachments like the crevice tool. But if you use the direct-drive cleaner head, battery life is supposed to be only 25min. It will last only 7min on a full charge if you turn the suction power to maximum.
I used the V8 with direct-drive cleaner head to vacuum my 90 sq m flat on normal suction. While it usually takes 1hr to clean my flat using my Rainbow vacuum cleaner, with the V8 it took me only around 30min. And it was then that the battery went flat.
A full charge takes around 5hr. I recommend leaving the V8 plugged in all the time, as Dyson says it will stop drawing power the moment it is fully charged. So you do not need to worry about high electricity bills.
While not as thorough as the Rainbow, I found that the V8 did a pretty good job of cleaning my flat in half the time. There was also no dragging or knocking a bulky vacuum cleaner into furniture or myself anymore.
Being cordless, the V8 also doubles as a handheld vacuum cleaner for your car. No need to plug a cord into the cigarette lighter socket anymore.
One downer, though, is that the instruction manual does not tell you what each cleaning attachment is for. I had the benefit of asking Dyson's public relations people plus my experience with the Rainbow vacuum cleaner, but you would have to figure things out for yourself.
Spending around $1,000 for a vacuum cleaner may sound crazy to many but, considering that I forked out more than $3,000 for a Rainbow vacuum cleaner, I think the Dyson V8 is reasonably priced on account of its attractive design, convenience and ease of use.
•Verdict: The Dyson V8 is a superb easy-to-use and efficient cordless vacuum cleaner that more than justifies its hefty price tag.