Review: Dyson V8 Absolute+ cord free vacuum cleaner
4.6Overall Score

Price (RRP): $999
Manufacturer: Dyson

We’ve looked in the not too distant past at the Dyson CSYS desk lamp, and at a pretty fantastic Dyson WiFi fan/heater. But of course Dyson first became well known for vacuum cleaners. It has what I guess would be the equivalent of “barrel” type cleaners, and also uprights. But here we’re looking at one of its “cord free” cleaners, which it also groups into its “handstick” category.

Let’s be clear. The Dyson V8 Absolute+ is not a small hand cleaner for quick spot cleans. It is fully capable of acting as the main vacuum cleaner in the house, despite being rechargeable.

Features

The Dyson V8 Absolute+ is current top of the line in the Dyson handstick range. The V8 series are the most powerful, with the longest lasting battery. The V8 Animal ($799) is the entry level model. The V8 Absolute ($899, but currently on special at Dyson’s website for $699 as I write) is essentially the same but adds several attachments, including a powered head for hard floors. The review model, the V8 Absolute+ adds some more attachments, and includes a carry bag for them.

The device sits neatly in its wall-mounted dock

Before detailing the attachments, let’s look at the core system.

This is the handle, motor, battery and debris container. This whole section weighs just 1.6 kilograms. A trigger has to be held in the whole time to operate, there being no lock. There are three levels of filter: a perforated metal foil stops all larger material; a washable fine filter stops the smallest of dust particles which make it through the foil, while a filter after the motor and fan gives the air a final scrub before it’s expelled. Dyson’s signature “radial cyclone” air flow system is used to increase efficiency and there’s a lot of sound damping in the unit to keep noise down.

The debris container is a little over 100mm in diameter and can be filled to a depth of 35mm. This isn’t the kind of thing that you empty after a month or two. You’ll be emptying it after each use, and perhaps more than one time per use if you’re doing a big cleaning job. Fortunately it’s really easy to empty.

The battery is rated at up to 40 minutes of operation. Dyson doesn’t hide that this depends on the mode. There are two speeds selectable via a switch on the main body. “Powerful suction” is the lower power mode. It’s in this mode that you can get up to 40 minutes using the various non-powered tools and attachments. If you’re using one of the powered heads, that reduces to 25 minutes.

Easily removed from dock, just by tilting out

But if you do need more power, Max Mode reduces battery life to just 7 minutes. So think of that as a kind of turbo boost, to be switched on as required for difficult parts of the cleaning task.

The battery, incidentally, is described by Dyson as using Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium technology. It is nonetheless a Lithium Ion type, but one that is noted for offering high energy density and long life, but is considered in the industry to be a little less safe than some alternatives, and quite a bit more expensive. Apparently this technology is used in electric vehicles, including Tesla cars.

That would explain in part the fairly high cost of the unit, and we’ll just have to trust that Dyson has managed the safety side of things. As we reported four years ago, when a problem does arise with Dyson products it is quick to recall and fix things.

Powered head

The Dyson V8 Absolute+ consists of the following parts:

  • the cleaner body, with battery, filter and receptacle for the debris
  • a 670mm tube to allow you to vacuum floors and carpets without bending
  • the docking station, which both holds the cleaner and charges it, and provides clips to also hold two attachments
  • the 225mm wide standard direct drive cleaner head – this has a brush on the roller, which is fitted with a motor to that it rotates rapidly to help the cleaning process
  • a similar width soft roller cleaner head, also with its own motor, and which is designed mostly for use on hard floors
  • a mini motorised tool – again with a motor to rotate its brush, but this one is only 120mm wide
  • a standard skinny “crevice” tool, which is narrow for reaching into confined areas
  • the aforementioned V8 Accessory Tool Bag, which is big enough to hold all the attachments except for the main tube
  • another crevice tool of which has a brush which can be clicked to the end so it can be either soft or hard
  • a “combination tool” which can have a flattish hard face, or can be converted to a soft brush simply by sliding down the built in brush
  • a small hard head which Dyson calls a “Mattress Tool”
  • an extension hose which can pull out to allow easy bending
  • and an “Up Top Adaptor”, which can bend from a position of 180 degrees to 60 degrees, which means you can vacuum the backs of things.

The last five items in this list are those which separate the Absolute+ from the Absolute.