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Solid gold cleaning machine: Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum cleaner review

The V11 Absolute is the flagship cordless vacuum cleaner in the Dyson range. With a distinctive design, and a feature set that takes the pain out of cleaning chores, it’s the most advanced cordless cleaner yet to wear the Dyson brand.

We loved using it, and think you will to.

The V11 features a number of smart features, including a full colour display that graphically provides both battery strength and animated troubleshooting advice. You want high-tech wizardry? You’ll find it onboard.

The V11 Absolute comes in several colour variations. Our sample was the Gold iteration, which is exclusive to Dyson’s online store, but there’s also Nickel/Blue, Nickel/Iron, Nickel/Purple and Copper/copper. 

There are several variants of the V11. In addition to the Absolute featured, there’s also the cheaper Animal and the Outsize (the latter not currently available in the UK).

Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum cleaner – Description

The V11 builds upon previous cordless Dysons, combining characteristic design flair with impressive versatility.

It weighs 3kg, and is relatively light and easy to manoeuvre. We soon felt quite adept at noodling it into corners and between chair legs. 

Build quality is excellent, and intuitive. For example, the filter is easily removed for cleaning, and when run under a tap reveals a cute tap graphic to indicate that it’s clean.

The bin is emptied with a slick sliding point and shoot mechanism, the lid opening to a trigger command, allowing you to dump debris straight into a bin with minimal spillage.

The V11 weighs 3kg, and is relatively light. We soon felt quite adept at noodling it into corners and between chair legs… 

The V11 comes with a number of accessory heads. The High Torque motorhead will be the default choice for most jobs. It’s manually adjustable, with a slider that lowers the brush for maximum suction. It’s joined by a Soft Roller Head specifically for hard floors. The brush on both can be removed for cleaning. For stairs, there’s a small motorized brush.

Also included in the box are combi and crevice tools, plus a soft cleaning brush for furnishings. A bundled clip allows you to attach optional heads to the main wand, making us far more inclined to choose the right tool for the job.

On the down side, there’s but a single battery supplied.

It’s worth noting that the V11 doesn’t stand upright on its own either, so when not in use you’ll need a handy cupboard corner to lean it in. Alternatively, use the wall mount dock, supplied. This includes power cable management, so you hang the cleaner away on charge until it’s needed.

Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum cleaner – Features

Amid the menu of niceties on the V11, the standout is the full LCD colour screen. This smart display constantly monitors the performance of the cleaner, graphically showing battery strength with a remaining time indicator; it may sound like a gimmick but we found this innovation really useful. More than that, it provides animated troubleshooting, indicating not only that the air filter needs cleaning but how to remove and clean the component. When it senses a blockage, it’ll show you where this most likely is occurring and how to fix it. You can effectively forget about having to consult a manual when the cleaner throws a tantrum.

You can use the screen to switch between cleaning mode (Eco, Medium and Boost); the V11 adapts to whichever head is attached. Attach the High Torque head and the mode defaults to Auto. A Dynamic Load Sensor (DLS) monitors resistance on the brush bar, automatically compensating between carpet and hard floor use. 

This Dyson boasts 14 concentric cyclones in operation, which sounds formidable, but it isn’t a noisy vacuum by any stretch. You’ll hear the motor audibly step up to the job when it’s working across carpet. It also makes a satisfying whooshing sound when the motor spins down.

If you are sensitive to allergens, the V11 has wider appeal, as it sports an advanced filtration system that avoids sending allergens back into circulation.

When it comes to measurements, the V11 stands 1,286mm tall, from brush to handle, and is 250mm wide. 

Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum cleaner – Performance

The most immediately impressive aspect of the V11 is its suction power. This beast is astonishingly powerful, and we found it makes short work of grit, dust and persistent debris. Dyson’s Hyperdymium motor spins at 125,000rpm and delivers 185 air watts in full Boost mode, which provides enough grip to take corners at speed. 

It literally cut a swathe across our soiled carpet sample.

An integrated motor spins the brush bar up to 60 times a second, forcing nylon bristles into carpet to remove stubborn dirt. Even if you feel your carpets are relatively clean, you’ll be amazed at just how much grunge is still swirled up into its bin. 

Pet hair is a perennial challenge, particularly when you have a cat that naps on the stairs, but this is easily dealt with using either the main High Torque head, or the smaller brush.

The V11 uses a seven cell nickel-cobalt aluminium battery cell. Stamina varies according to cleaning mode. Boost puts the biggest drain on the battery, while Eco is more generous. It’s unlikely you’ll feel a need to use Boost very often, to be fair. We found the average battery time varies between 20-30 minutes, which should be enough for a quick cleaning blitz.

The battery takes around four and half hours to fully charge.

Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum cleaner -Verdict

The V11 is a hugely impressive cordless vacuum cleaner. It not only boasts impressive suction and cleaning powers, but a range of genuinely innovative features. The LCD display is transformational, while DLS, coupled to that High Torque motorhead, makes it a doddle to move between hard floors and carpeted areas. 

We also love the overall design and manoeuvrability of the V11 Absolute. Given how ruthlessly efficient it is, we often wished for a higher capacity bin, but the sheer satisfaction of dumping a full container shouldn’t be underestimated.

We reckon once you’ve experienced this premium Dyson, the idea of any return to a tethered vacuum cleaner seems positively antiquated. The V11 Absolute comes highly recommended, and can be considered Best in Class.

The Dyson V11 Absolute Gold is available from Dyson.co.uk, priced at £599.99

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About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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