Gadget of the week is a new column that reviews available technologies that may be more tangentially related to BlackBerrys than what you regularly see on BerryReview. The focus for the column is the BlackBerry lifestyle–making everyday life easier and more efficient by employing simple-to-use and hopefully affordable technologies. This week we are covering one of the areas in life desperately in need of an upgrade in efficiency, reliability and simplicity–house cleaning. After all, no one likes to come after a long day of work only to have to clean. So this week we cover a product that makes the job easy, quick and more fun than usual…
Gadget of the Week: Dyson Blueprint and Handheld Vacuum
Price: DC25 $529.99; DC31, $219.99
Summary: Most of us, myself included, hate cleaning. So when I saw what looked like the latest Apple commercial selling vacuums I decided to give it a second go. Turns out there is a reason these vacuums are on display in the WIRED store–because they are awesome. The first thing you notice is the clean design and pretty exterior. But after some research I learned that the technology inside is equally impressive. Specifically, both the upright and the handheld sport custom suction motors and filtering mechanisms, making it more powerful and dependable over time. The upright vacuum pivots on a ball so that you can maneuver it in any direction, helping with large but irregular shaped spaces. The smaller handheld vacuum is trigger operated, making it fun to clean up smaller defined areas and countertops. After testing both the upright and handheld for about a month I find myself vacuuming more often without a complaint. But more interesting, because of their design, when not in use I keep these beauties out on display instead of away in a closet. If you are in the market for a new vacuum or simply want to upgrade your current lineup, I definitely recommend you try a Dyson vacuum out.
I know you are asking yourself, “What can be so special about a vacuum?” So let’s start with a quick outline at what makes this vacuum so different from others.
#1, the Motor:
- The Dyson upright vacuum uses a cyclone motor for cyclone filtering. The Cyclone motor takes advantage of the basic structure of a cyclone. In layman’s terms, the motor creates a tornado within a chamber. The dust is pushed by the wind to the outside of the chamber and filtered there into another compartment. In contrast, other vacuums work by sucking in the air and then shooting it through a straight filter. So on one side of the filter you have all the dust it catches and on the other side you has a gust of air with whatever dust it didn’t catch. By spinning the air to filter it, you aren’t left with gusts of dirty used air coming out of the other end. Rather, the spinning lets the vacuums do a few levels of filtering to leave you with dissipated clean air.
- The Dyson hand held vacuum uses a digital motor. The motor improves on conventional motors by replacing wire windings and metal brushes with non-moving parts that break less over time. Creating a more reliable motor for something that will be used to suck up dirt over a long period of time.
- Why it matters: Because of the differences in mechanics and build quality, the Dyson vacuums do not suffer from suction loss over time and require little-to-no maintenance and repairs (other vacuums can cost $200-500 for maintenance over the first five years). Thus, the shelf life of your purchase is extended and overall cost for maintenance over time is minimized.
#2, the Ball: You have inevitably seen this on the commercials, the upright Dyson vacuums has traditional wheels on the vacuum head, but pivots on a large ball in the rear of the unit. Thus, while a traditional vacuum moves only forward and backward, the Dyson upright vacuum can be steered in any direction.
- Why it matters: At first, it sounded like a novelty gag. But the more I used the Dyson upright, the more natural it felt. It used to feel somewhat robotic to vacuum, having to move in straight lines even when the area I was cleaning was not a straight path. But with the Dyson upright there is more freedom of movement, you can tilt and pivot in any direction you need to go–making it easier to clean normal spaces, oddly shaped spaces or reach a specific area of interest.
#3, Overall Design: Im not necessarily the biggest man’s man, but I never really cared for vacuuming either. Maybe that is because vacuums were ugly machines that made you feel just as dirty as what you were cleaning. But the clean and slick design of the Dyson vacuums make you feel clean. Its like Steve Jobs called up Dyson and said “Make me a vacuum to go with my iPod”. But its not just the big picture design that makes me like these things so much, its the little details.
- There is no vacuum bag, just a clear compartment that you can empty in your garbage when filled. The compartment lets you see in real time just how dirty you really are as well as gives you an idea of when the machine is getting full and needs to be emptied.
- The Dyson handheld vacuum operates with a trigger mechanism, almost making it feel as if I was playing laser tag with the dirt. Plus, it has a super-power button to really muscle through something. I have never really used the button, but it makes me feel cool knowing there is a “more power” button.
- All the optional attachment pieces for the Dyson Upright are stored on the unit itself so there is no fumbling for pieces.
- It is this attention to detail that just makes these things such pleasures to use.
Now before this review gets waaaaaaaay too long…
UnBoxing: The Dyson upright and handheld model come in a few pieces and with a ton of packaging. However, there were really only 3-4 pieces that need only to be snapped into place before use. I barely had to read any instruction to get up and running. Although, you might want to read the instructions before attempting to empty out the dirt compartment.
Gripes: There are two sizes of the Dyson upright vacuum. One is made for apartment sized homes, and the other for larger homes. The DC25 is the one for larger homes. The only downside is really its weight. Because it is so heavy, what should be a smooth transition out of the standing locked position by kicking the release pedal or back into the standing locked position by holding it upright and kicking two pedals, is actually a bit of a bulky move. However, with that said, once you get the big guy moving, it is a breeze to guide around the room.
Navigating the line-up: For larger homes with open spaces, the Dyson Upright it friggin sweet. But for tiny NYC like apartments, you might want to opt for the smaller upright pivoting vacuum and/or the Dyson handheld, which gives you the control to clean those tight spaces between furniture as well as table and countertops.