LG A9Master2X CordZero vacuum sucks with the best (review)

LG’s A9Master2X CordZero is a powerful, extremely powerful, cordless handstick vacuum that can do a whole of home clean.

LG’s top-of-the-range A9Master2X at A$999 uses the same motor/vacuum unit as its three lower-cost siblings – the only difference is the accessories and number of batteries.

It is LG’s answer to ‘whole-of-home’ cleaning eliminating the need for a separate ‘bulky, old, corded canister.’ GadgetGuy agrees – given the right home this does it all.

Review: LG A9Master2X CordZero

LG Australian Website – click here

In the box

First, don’t even think about repacking the unit and its accessories back in the box – it is a marvel of origami how it all got in there in there in the first place.

It contains

  • The vacuum A9Master2X
  • Carpet powered head (motorised hard brush – voltage supplied by the battery)
  • Hard floor powered head (motorised power soft brush)
  • Bedding punch powered head (vibrating)
  • Combination short bristle brush tool
  • Crevice tool
  • 2 x batteries 25.5V/2,000mAh
  • Charger 29.4V/1A
  • Charging station (floor standing/wall/or compact mountable)

If you buy before 31 August 2018, you will get a bonus total care kit via redemption with

  • Flexible Crevice Tool
  • Multi-Angle Tool
  • Hard Dirt Tool
  • Mattress Tool
  • Flexible Extension Hose

These are all quite useful – especially the soft brushes and flexible tube – and it’s a shame they are an option.

The first impression is that it is well made – the unit and accessories look like they will last the distance.

I tested it in a largish 65m2 one-bedroom (tight pile carpet), bathroom (ceramic tiles), kitchen (tiles) and lounge (carpet) apartment – and GadgetGuy’s often unkempt offices.

Battery 25.5V/2,000mAh

LG’s marketing says the dual power pack gives you up to 80 minutes run-time.

The idea of replaceable power packs is appealing. However, batteries can only be recharged when (A) inserted in the vacuum and placed on the mount or (B) inserted into the mount but cannot charge while the vacuum is charging – the charger cannot deliver enough wattage.

Initial charge time from zero to 100% per battery is just under four hours, and you will need to have both charged as run-time depends on the amount of suction you want. Three LCD bars on the handle show remaining battery life.

The small print reveals that 80 minutes (2 x 40) is when set on the normal mode (25W) without the power nozzle. If you use a power nozzle, it claims 60 minutes (2 x 30). The vacuum defaults to normal mode which is a little too low for most cleaning.

Activate Power mode (80W) by pressing ‘+’. In this mode with a powerhead expect 10 minutes per battery.

Activate Turbo mode (140W) by pressing the ‘+’ button held down for three seconds. In this mode with a powerhead expect 5 minutes per battery.

Turbo was excessive for regular cleaning but was handy on-demand. Power mode was mandatory on the carpet, and normal mode was too low to be of much use except on hard surfaces.

Batteries should last 500 or so full discharges and are ‘user-replaceable’ even if they cost $100 or more each.

How does it feel to use?

The unit itself only weighs 1.55kg. Add the telescopic wand at 346g, and either the hard floor brush (844g) or carpet brush (793g) and you have a total weight of from 2.7 to 2.74kg.

LG use the term ‘opti-balanced’ handle, but when you hold it, you feel 2.7kg of dead weight pulling down with nothing other than your hand to support it. There is no cantilever effect with weight distributed over or behind your wrist.

The telescopic wand is great to adjust to your height to avoid stooping.

For short cleans – a few rooms – it is okay, but for more extended use it would be tiresome.

As a hand cleaner

It weighs 1.65kg with the brush attachment – it feels quite light. Again all the weight is in front of your hand.

But it really needs the bonus flexible tube and brushes for proper dusting and in-car use.

Edge Cleaning

The powerheads can clean within a few millimetres of the edge (side) of the brush and about 25mm from the front. If you remember this orientation, you will not need to use the crevice tool afterwards.

Hard floor cleaning

The microfibre-like fabric powerhead was excellent at picking up dust and grit leaving a very slight sheen on tiles and timber floors. Don’t use it on the carpet as the friction reduces manoeuvrability.

Carpet

The hard brush powerhead was excellent on carpet offering little resistance when pushed over the floor. This is the more useful powerhead for use on all surfaces.

Upholstery

Unfortunately, without the bonus brushes set we could not test this as the short bristle brush is not suited for removal of pet hair from leather or fabric etc.

Bed thumping

It vibrates and removes hair and dander efficiently.

Noise levels

LG claim 82dB without a nozzle. Our measurements were 70db on Normal, 75dB on Power and 80dB on Turbo.

The unit has a distinct, not too unpleasant, whine on Turbo.

Dust collection

We purposely left the floors ‘dirty’, but after a thorough vacuum, the debris in the canister appeared barely 25% full. But when we opened the trapdoor the debris inside the cyclonic metal filter was considerable – only the ‘fines’ show up in the canister.

Maintenance

The .44 litre dustbin empties by opening a bottom flap. It appears sturdy enough and should not open if accidentally knocked.

The crevice tool is then used to remove the cyclonic mesh filter. Clean it under running water and dry before reuse.

The brush tool is used to remove fine dust from inside the dustbin.

Yes, its fiddly and your hands will come in contact with dust (wear gloves), but it is necessary to keep it clean to maintain full suction.

Cleaning the filters is necessary as well. The HEPA exhaust filter (in the cap of the vacuum) should be brushed/tapped, but after a few uses, it will likely need washing and drying. Washing HEPA filters will shorten their life so buy a few spares.

The fabric pre-filter (two supplied) requires washing after each use. These are more durable than the HEPA filter. All up LG states that its 5 stage filtration will capture 97.5% of dust particles.

OK, if you are lazy clean the whole shebang once a month (assuming you use it weekly) but look out for signs of suction loss and empty the dustbin with each use.

A sure sign of neglect will be if an odour, musty or dusty smell occurs during use.

Both the hard and soft floor power brushes require occasional removal of hair and lint. A five-cent piece or flat blade screwdriver is used to remove the cover cap on one end, and the brush slides out for easier cleaning. Do not wash these unless necessary.

You cannot remove or wash the bedding punch.

Storage

Because the mount is an integral part of the charger, you have three options.

  • Floor mount – it fits the telescopic head and the wand in an upright position
  • Wall mount – screw to a wall
  • Compact mode – remove the floor mount and just store the vacuum

It would have been nice to simply plug the charger into the vacuum.

Warranty

Two years on the vacuum and parts, 12 months on batteries and up to 10 years parts warranty on the motor.

GadgetGuys’s take – LG A9 Master2X CordZero handstick

The LG A9Master2X is a direct competitor for Dyson’s new V10 Absolute (GadgetGuy review here). It is probably more powerful than Dyson’s predecessor V8 cleaner.

It is hard to compare sucking ability. On 140W Turbo (battery sapping) it was like the Dyson on Max setting. On 25W Normal is was far lower than the Dyson – you will use the 80W Power mode most of the time.

It has lots of potential, but the bonus brush/wand kit is really necessary, especially the flexible extension hose (not tested) and would have made this a more useful hand cleaner.

Both look very similar at the outset – brushes, vacuum power, even style etc. But there are more significant differences in practice. Given they both cost $999, Dyson is the winner if only for its huge range of accessories supplied.

The LG is not inferior – just different and already has about 45% of the international market since its launch in Korea last July.

Analysts have said that Dyson set V10 prices to match the LG A9Master2X so Dyson may be taking a lower margin to win market share. Either way, they both cost about a grand!

We don’t usually comment on price – you pay what you are prepared to pay. If the LG were say, $100 cheaper than the Dyson and had the bonus pack included, then it would be a very close call. The idea of dual batteries is right, and I suspect that is what adds a hundred or so dollars to the price.

In fact, LG has an A9Multi (same engine) with a single battery for $749, but then Dyson has the V10 Animal version with fewer accessories for $899.

In the end it I think it will come down to a deal – LG is sold more widely through major retailers so you can drive a harder bargain. Already online discounters have knocked off 5-10%.

Pros

  • LG quality – it should last several years
  • Removable batteries – should be better than a built-in battery
  • The extendable wand allows for ‘no stoop.’

Cons

  • In the politest tone – LG PLEASE INCLUDE THE BONUS BRUSH/WAND PACK
  • Weight is all forward of the hand – it can get a little tiresome after a while
  • Would have been nice to be able to directly plug the charger into vacuum as well as the mount
  • The same price as the Dyson V10 Absolute that has more accessories

Price

$999 but try to bag a bagless bargain!

Rating

It is almost in a class of its own – a stick vacuum that is powerful enough to replace a corded one.

  • Overall: 4 out of 5
  • Features: 4 out of 5 – needs bonus brush and wand pack to be really useful
  • Value for money: 4 out of 5 – If it were a little lower cost it rate higher. Drive a hard bargain!
  • Performance: 4 out of 5 – better than a 2400W corded vacuum but limited battery time loses a point
  • Ease of Use: 4 out of 5 – Convenient for short use, will d0 whole-of-home
  • Design: 4 out of 5 –  Its hard to call a vacuum attractive. All weight is on the hand which is fine when vacuuming floors but not so much on vertical surfaces