Dyson’s first vacuum from its new Gen5Detect range – the Absolute – is the company’s best vacuum yet.
Boasting a new moniker, the Absolute marks the end of Dyson’s “V” line of vacuums and the start of something new. This is attributable to the new and improved engine that can rotate at 135,000rpm and pick up particles as small as 0.1 microns (which is very small, about the size of the smallest corn starch particles).
The engine isn’t the only feature that makes the Absolute stand out, though. For most people, the changes in the design will be the standout features.
The cleaner no longer requires a trigger to use, its HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) filtration system captures 99.99% of particles, the software has been upgraded to show even more detailed information, and the Dusting and Crevice tool is built into the main tube.
These welcome new features make the Absolute, Dyson’s most user-friendly vacuum to date.
- Great performance
- Built-in Dusting and Crevice tool
- No more trigger
- 99.99% particle capture
- On/off button is awkwardly placed
- Not compatible with old motorised attachments
The Gen5Detect Absolute costs $1,599. It’s an expensive vacuum cleaner, but it is competitively priced – the Miele Triflex HX2 Pro costs $1,389, and Samsung’s Bespoke Jet Elite costs $1,499.
The Absolute boasts a familiar design, but there are some noticeable changes here. Mainly the new interface, the trigger removal, the “fully sealed” filter and the built-in Dusting and Crevice tool.
Anyone who’s used a Dyson stick vacuum before will feel comfortable with the Absolute. It boasts the same cordless design that’s easy to use and is functional. It’s 128cm long and weighs 3.5kg. This is a little longer and a little heavier than its predecessor, the Dyson V15 vacuum cleaner, but it’s light enough to use for long periods.
It has the same 0.77L clear bin that allows you to see when it’s full, and it’s also just as easy to empty using the same push and release mechanism. Point the nose of the cleaner into the bin, push the red release button, and you’re done. It’s a winner.
One of the key characteristics of the Dyson stick vacuum range is the interchangeable heads. The Gen5Detect Absolute comes with four in the box.
The Fluffy Optic cleaner houses a laser to help with hard-wood cleaning. This has been improved significantly. The laser reveals three times more dust than the laser found on the V15. It’s brighter and more powerful, allowing you to see and clean up even more “invisible” dust. Like the V15 though, it did struggle next to windows on a bright day. The laser was significantly harder to see in sunlight but most of the time, it worked well.
The Hair Screw Tool is used for removing long hairs like pet hair. The Combination Tool is essentially two tools in one, allowing for quickly switching between cleaning and dusting tasks. And the Digital Motorbar houses de-tangling vanes to automatically clear wrapped hair from the brush. It’s a good selection that will cover most of your cleaning applications.
If not, there are “speciality” heads that you can purchase separately. These range in price like the $50 Awkward Gap tool for hard to reach places, or the $30 Extension Hose for cleaning corners.
It’s important to know that if you’re upgrading to the Gen5Detect Absolute, some old attachments will work with the new vacuum cleaner, and some won’t. Non-motorised heads like the Extension Hose, Pet Groom Tool and Combination Tool are compatible. However, motorised ones like the Motorbar, Light Pipe Crevice Tool and Hair Screw Tool are not, which is disappointing. Dyson has confirmed that they will release Gen5Detect versions soon, but I would’ve liked to have been able to use all the attachments I’ve already purchased on the newer vacuum.
A new feature I particularly appreciated was the built-in Dusting and Crevice tool. On previous Dyson products, this was a completely separate attachment. With the Absolute, it’s located inside the main tube. It utilises the same “red button to remove” mechanism synonymous with Dyson vacuum cleaners. Press the button, pull the tube off, and the vacuum is now a much shorter handheld. It’s easy to set up and great for cleaning the backs of steps and carpet edges. With my previous vacuum, it’s easily the attachment I changed to most. Having it built-in meant I didn’t have to walk back and forward, grabbing the attachment from where I kept it. I could get it all done right then and there.
The Absolute doesn’t have a trigger, you press the on button, and it goes. This is another smart decision by Dyson that improves the vacuum’s accessibility. I’m relatively young, and after long cleans using the V15, I could feel a bit of fatigue in my trigger finger. I can only imagine what it would’ve been like for older customers. Without the trigger, it’s a more comfortable experience, allowing for longer lasting cleans.
The location of the on/off button is frustrating, though. To start or stop the vacuum, you need two hands. The button is high up on the back of the device and is unreachable with one hand. If you’re holding something in one hand, with the vacuum in the other, you will have to put that item down. I was holding my niece, and I had to put her down to start or stop the Absolute. It seems minor, but it wasn’t a problem with my previous trigger-based vacuum cleaner.
The Absolute also boasts better HEPA filtration. According to Dyson, the vacuum captures 99.99% of particles up to as small as 0.1 microns. This means the dust, dirt and debris you’re picking up with the vacuum won’t be able to leak back out into the environment. It’s hard for me to test this, we’ll have to take Dyson’s word for it, but based on Dyson’s track record, I’d say this is true. For someone with allergies, this is a massive deal.
The interface on top of the vacuum is even more accurate, counting and sizing particles 15,000 times a second. It uses a piezo sensor – which turns vibrations of dust particles hitting a surface inside the cleaning head into electrical signals – to detect particles up to as small as 0.1 microns.
The information is separated into four different particle groups based on size. It’s also colour coded to show how clean an area is. If the bar is blue, there’s a high number of those particular particles in the area. A white bar shows a medium number of particles, and a green bar means there’s a low amount. If in auto mode, the vacuum will automatically increase/decrease suction based on what it’s sensing. It’s impressive.
I loved how the graph decreased as I cleaned the area. Previous Dyson devices showed the number increasing to show how much you’ve picked up. It may be psychological, but it was a much nicer feeling knowing how much cleaner my house was, as opposed to how dirty it was in the first place. It felt more rewarding. With that said, the software still shows how much it has picked up at the end of every clean, so not everyone may have this same reaction.
While the software is a bit overkill for most users and can lead to a bit of obsessive-compulsive cleaning, for someone with allergies, it’s great. They can see the particles they’re picking up and can ensure they are getting a good clean of the house.
Performance is where the Absolute’s most prominent upgrade has been introduced. This is Dyson’s most powerful cordless vacuum, and that’s thanks to the new and improved motor inside.
The motor boasts a brand-new design that’s smaller than the one found in the V15 and more powerful, spinning at up to 135,000rpm. The V15 boasted a 125,000rpm engine. Although the difference doesn’t sound like much, an extra 10,000 spins every minute is a lot.
This means the Absolute can get an even deeper clean, picking up particles as small as 0.1 microns. To put that into perspective, asbestos particles can be as small as 0.7 microns, bacteria 0.3 microns, insecticide dusts 0.5 microns and paint pigments 0.1 microns. There isn’t a lot this vacuum cleaner can’t pick up.
You can use the vacuum in three modes, Eco, Normal and Boost. Each determines how much suction power will be initialised, and the higher the suction power, the more battery it uses.
Dyson claims the vacuum can last up to 70 minutes on a single charge, but that’s if it’s being used in Eco mode the whole time. We found these claims to be accurate, and that’s ten minutes longer than the V15.
Using the vacuum in Boost mode decreased the battery life significantly, only allowing for 14 minutes of cleaning and Normal allowed for roughly 35 minutes. Most of the time, I left the vacuum in Auto mode, which automatically adjusted the suction power according to what it was sensing. However, I often had to turn Boost mode on to pick up those smaller 0.1-micron particles.
To charge the battery, you can use a cord plugging into a standard outlet or mount a holder onto a wall and feed the cable through. Both of these items come in the box, and setting it up on the wall is easy.
A full charge takes 4.5hours. This is quite long, seeing as Samsung’s Bespoke Jet Elite takes 3.5 hours to charge fully. Fortunately, the battery on the Absolute is interchangeable, but you will have to buy an extra battery which costs $250.
The Gen5Detect Absolute is Dyson’s best cordless stick vacuum cleaner. That’s high praise, as previous Dyson products were already excellent vacuum cleaners.
The features introduced here aren’t simply evolutionary. They’re impactful and improve on Dyson’s previous products. The faster and more efficient motor is the headline new feature here; however, I’d argue that the changes made to the design will be the true standouts for most people.
The trigger-less system and the built-in Dusting and Crevice tool are game changers that significantly improve usability. They allow for longer cleans and the ability to get everything done without having to walk back and forth, changing attachments.
The faster engine allows for a massive 135,000rpm suction power and will pick up almost anything you can think of, even the smallest particles. The software has been improved so you can see exactly what you’re achieving while cleaning, and the Absolute’s HEPA filter system captures 99.99% of particles. This won’t mean much for most people, but for someone with allergies, these features are essential, and you’ll wonder how you managed without them.
There is room for improvement here, though. The on/off button is uncomfortable, and the inability to use motorised attachments from previous devices is disappointing. However, after using the Gen5Detect Absolute, you’ll swiftly forget about these issues. It really is a phenomenal vacuum cleaner, and it’s worth the price.