As a single man living in a medium-sized flat with his little black cat, Button, I've previously managed to do with a small, hand held vacuum cleaner delivering 1300W worth of suction power. And I must inform you that my flat (or at least the two rooms I can get into) gets a damned good vacuuming once a month - whether it needs it or not!
Now this large machine has entered my life. First thoughts were: `this is a big, impressive, substantial, sexy piece of kit'. (Q: Is it possible to describe a vacuum cleaner as sexy? Perhaps I've been without a woman for too long.)
Hoover are making quite a few claims for their cleaner; namely that it delivers 2300W worth of suction power but uses the energy equivalent of only half that amount, making it highly efficient - saving both energy and money. They've even gone all literal and given it a lovely green (and silver) finish as if to underline its green credentials.
I lack the lab equipment to test their claim, so I'll have to take their word for it. Certainly I found the performance to be astonishing: using the `Intensive Clean' setting I ran it over my sitting room carpet and was amazed at the amount of dust that had accumulated in the transparent cylinder at the back. I have to point out that to my (slightly myopic) eyes the carpet looked completely clean before use. In addition to the above, there are also three further settings for short/hard floor, medium and luxury carpets.
Despite the size I found it very manoeuvrable, with an ultra-long power cable and hose. This is certainly up to the job of cleaning a large house, although I lack said building to push it to its limits. It's also bagless, which means even further savings in the long-term.
The manufacturer claims to have developed a new technology that prevents the filter getting clogged with dust (they've named this `Airvolution'). And to be honest, there didn't appear to be any apparent impact on performance due to a build up of dust when I used it. At the end of my session I simply detached, then opened up the collecting `bin' and emptied it. There seemed no point in cleaning it more thoroughly at this stage, but no doubt that will become more crucial with continued use.
However, I feel I must issue a warning of sorts: it's a very heavy instrument and takes no prisoners; it completely stoved-in the side of an electric plug when I got a bit over-zealous and ran into it - so handle with care. It's also noisy: indeed it can sound like a 747 opening-up its engines. But hell, using it only takes a few minutes each day (yes, I'm a changed man) so these are two very minor criticisms I can live with. This is a turbo charged Ferrari, compared to the Mini I've been used to deploying, so I expect extra decibels when revving the engine.
The machine comes with a small range of extra cleaning tools, including a special attachment for getting rid of cat/pet hairs. It also has Hoover's standard one year guarantee, but it comes with a card - that you need to complete and post off - that extends this to a very generous five. Hoover are obviously very confident that they've developed a special machine here. And I think they have too.