Dyson V11 Outsize: Bigger can be better, at a cost

Tech Tools: New vacuum cleaner is perfect for larger homes, but has some drawbacks

Dyson V11 Outsize
    
Price: €700
Where To Buy: www.dyson.ie

Does size matter? It can when it comes to technology, with some forms of technology steadily shrinking over the past few years. But in the case of the Dyson V11 Outsize, it’s a case of bigger can be better.

Dyson has been encouraging consumers to cut the cord in recent years, with a range of cordless devices that can replace your traditional corded vacuum cleaner. Battery improvements and better motors have made the cordless cleaners a viable option for most homes, freeing up some space for homeowners who can ditch their bulky previous vacuums.

This latest addition to Dyson’s line-up takes the technology developed for the V11 range and puts it into a bigger footprint. Some of it is nice to have; the rest is essential.

On that essential list is the cleaning power. The V11 Outsize uses the same powerful motor, which spins at up to 12,500rpm to give some impressive suction. If you’ve ever thought your carpets were clean, 10 minutes with the Dyson machine will make you rethink that belief.


Dyson has built in some technology to optimise power and therefore be a little less tough on the battery in certain circumstances. The sensors in the machine will automatically adjust the suction power when you are using the high torque cleaning head in auto mode, depending on the type of flooring. Move from carpet to hard floors and you can hear the difference in how hard the machine is working.

Cleaning time

The V11 also has a display on the back with a to-the-second countdown timer that shows just how much cleaning time you have left, and changes depending on your choice of cleaning mode – eco, medium/auto or boost. Put it in boost and you’ll see the running time cut considerably, but on eco mode you can get up to an hour before you have to charge the vacuum cleaner up.

If you need extra cleaning time though, the Outsize has a swappable battery, something other Dyson machines don’t offer. It means you can charge a second battery pack on the dock while you clean, and never run out of battery midway through your clean. It’s a single button swap, although the extra batteries are optional extras – meaning more money on top of the not inconsiderable outlay for the machine.

That display will also let you know when something is wrong, such as the filter needing a clean, or a blockage in the device. That eliminates some of the guesswork you may have needed previously when your Dyson started making strange noises because of a gunked-up filter or a child’s sock was wedged somewhere almost inaccessible.

Main difference

So why go for the Outsize over the regular V11? The main difference between the two is the bin size and the cleaning head. At 1.9 litres, the dust bin for the Outsize can hold more household crud before you have to empty it – it’s up to 150 per cent bigger – and the cleaning head has been increased in size by 25 per cent. You can cover more ground with fewer interruptions, and in theory, get things done quicker.

There’s also the aforementioned swappable battery, which will give you double the cleaning time if you have one always charging on the dock. There are minor things too, like the trigger that feels different to the original V11 and is more comfortable (for me) to use.

That extra size means it is bulkier though. The Outsize was noticeably less comfortable to use overall than the regular V11, especially when it came to reaching higher areas in the home. That is partially mitigated by the extra tool for high-up areas, but you’ll still notice the extra bulk as you move through your home. It’s still nowhere near as awkward as a traditional vacuum cleaner though.

The good:

You get all the technological advancements of the Dyson V11, but in a size that suits you better if you have a larger home. The battery is swappable, so you can have a second battery on standby if you need it.

The not so good:

Bigger size means more weight, and that makes the V11 Outsize a little more cumbersome than its smaller siblings. It’s also more expensive, and considering Dyson machines aren’t cheap, that extra cost may be a deal-breaker for potential customers.

The rest:

The Dyson V11 Outsize comes with slightly different attachments, including a much wider mattress tool, and a quick release up-top adapter to help you get the device into higher nooks and crannies. You’ll also get the wand storage clip, so you can carry around another attachment, as well as the quick-release crevice tool, a mini motorised head for smaller areas and the fluffy roller head for hard floors.

The verdict:

Though perfectly suited to larger homes, the Dyson V11 Outsize has a price that may be a little too steep for some shoppers.


Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist