Damn you, Sir James Dyson. Just when we were getting used to the exceptional V10, you had to make more than 80 changes and release the Dyson V11 cord-free vacuum cleaner. Oh well, get out the credit card again.

I fail to see why your nearly 6000 scientists and engineers cannot leave well enough alone. No, you had to take the V10 – arguably the best cord-free vacuum – and make the Dyson V11 even better. Are you never satisfied?

Dyson V11

GadgetGuy went to an embargoed release of the Dyson V11 and met John Churchill, vice president of floor care at Dyson.

He is an affable enough POM, but the penny dropped when he said he had been at Dyson for 18-years working on, wait for it, improving the vacuum cleaner. John seems a nice cobber but obviously has limited horizons.

Churchill started as a graduate design engineer in 2001.

He has moved up the ladder to fill vacuums left by others to design engineer, design manager, head of product development – cylinders and handhelds, RDD design director, global product development director and now VP Floorcare.

“We improved the upper handle angle by 5° to make it more comfortable to hold,” he beamed. Be still my beating heart! But as I am a techy, I actually understood where he was coming from.

The Dyson V11 has more than 80 changes over the V10 – most you cannot see

Perhaps the most important change is to idiot proof the V11.  By that, I mean to add a single button to set it to ‘Auto’ mode (in addition to Eco and Boost).

You see past models have had a good/better/Max suck switch and frankly no one knew what setting they really needed, so they set it to better or Max at the expense of battery life – as low as 10 minutes with the power head.

In our V10 review, we found that for most hard floors that the minimum setting was more than adequate. Even most carpets seldom needed more than a medium setting. And Max was best reserved for Aussie shag pile.

Dyson V11
The full kit. The new head is centre right.
Dyson V11

Churchill explains

“Most of the changes are about adding AI to sense the amount of suction needed for the surface you are cleaning and the head you are using. The auto setting along with the new DLS (Dynamic Load Sensor) High-Torque head (an all-in-one motorised cleaning head) that can replace ‘Mr Fluffy’ (hard floor) and ‘Mr Floppy’ (the soft floor head) to maximise battery life. The real-time LCD tells you how much battery you have left, and AI helps identify your usage patterns to make that even more accurate over time.”

Dyson V11

He says that in theory (an engineer’s favourite word) it can now last up to 60 minutes on a charge.

That LCD

It is far more than a fuel gauge. It has reminders when to recharge, charge status, clean filters, and even adds basic video tutorials to help identify and clear blockage etc. It is a clever use of the small screen.

Dyson V11
The video screen shows suck power versus battery life

Churchill explains that there is more science in this than put a man on the moon. He proudly shows me the cut-out model with the whiz-bang circuit boards and sensors everywhere. There sure ain’t any of those in the cheap stick vacs!

Dyson V11

Battery

The V10 has a 2600mAh 66Wh battery. The V11 has a 3600mAh 91Wh battery. It’s larger and heavier taking the weight from 1.66kg (sans cleaning attachments) to 2kg. The weight increase is noticeable but not a problem due to that 5° handle change! It uses the same 30.45V/1.1A (33W) charger as the V10, and a 0-100% charge will take just under 5 hours – about an hour longer than the V10.

V11 battery on left V10 on right. Note the size difference and the reversal of the labels – very scientific

Churchill says its not about more mAh capacity but about a new Dyson battery design that provides fade-free power regardless of remaining charge.

More sucking

And as usual the new V11 has 20% more sucking power than the V10 that had 20% more power than the V9 … Dyson tweaked the motor that now spins at 125,000 RPM and has a new air diffuser.