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?
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
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.
“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.”
He says that in theory (an engineer’s favourite word) it can
now last up to 60 minutes on a charge.
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.
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!
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.
Churchill says its not
about more mAh capacity but about a new Dyson battery design that provides
fade-free power regardless of remaining charge.
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
GadgetGuy’s take: OK – enough science. Please.
Churchill and I could have talked for hours about mAh,
circuitry and design paradigms but let me simply
say that very few competitors stick vacuums have the degree of science and
technology in them that the Dyson does.
And the price – from $1099 (up $100+) helps feed those several thousand scientists and engineers that keep improving the stuff so we will buy more and get a better experience.
Churchill, when asked about the V12 stared into space wishing he could tell me about internet connectivity and how it may vacuum the home all by itself! One thing he said – Dyson will not stop inovating until they have it right!