Last year's Dyson Cyclone V10 cordless vacuum cleaner (here's our review) was a pretty huge leap from the 2016/2017 Dyson V8 models, both design- and power-wise. Even a year on, it remains the premium cord-free vacuum to get if money isn’t a problem.
But here we’re today with the new Dyson V11. Seriously, after all that have gone into the V10 (125,000-rpm motor for better suction, new point-and-shoot dustbin design, longer battery life — just to a few), when the V11 arrived in our lab, it got me wondering whether Dyson really needs to come out with a new model every year. Are there enough improvements to warrant a new V11 name, or is this more of a V10.5?
For me, changing motor speeds for different surfaces is the single most annoying thing when I’m using the V10 (and below models). And don’t get me wrong: it’s not about being lazy and not willing to press a button — it’s more about not knowing which mode is more suitable for the task at hand, especially when I’m doing spot cleaning for an accidental spill. Also, when I’m vacuuming the house, I often have trouble deciding if I should use a lower speed and try to squeeze in a couple more rounds, or just go full throttle to ensure all dust and debris get sucked in but run the risk of running out the battery before the deed is done.
The Dyson V11 is designed to stop users from overthinking the cleaning process. I’ll spare you the implementation details, but in broad strokes, there’s now a sensor at the new High Torque cleaner head that talks to the motor in the main unit. In Auto mode, the system, which Dyson calls “Dynamic Load Sensor” technology, basically detects for brush bar resistance and uses that info to vary the motor speed (and hence suction power) in real time as you move the stick from one floor or surface type to another. I didn’t always feel the change in pressure, but I could always tell that a crossover has happened because the V11 would whine differently whenever it came to my carpets.
One thing to note is that the sensor is only present in the aforementioned High Torque cleaner head and not in the other attachments. I don’t see this as a problem because the High Torque cleaner head is the most used attachment anyway. To make this head work across different surfaces, it’s fitted with stiff bristles to tackle ground-in dirt on carpets as well as carbon fiber filaments to capture fine dust from hard floors and crevices.
(For those wondering, the High Torque cleaner head will fit the V10 too, but since the V10 doesn’t have the extra chip at the motor end, the auto suction-adjusting function won’t work here.)
But there will be times that you might want to use the V11’s non-Auto modes. For sucking dirt that’s buried deep, there’s a Boost mode that sucks just as strong as a full-size corded vacuum; and for times when you’ve a lot of area to cover and you want the maximum run time, there’s a weaker but more battery-friendly Eco mode.