As someone who likes to take a technologically advanced and hands-on approach to home cleaning, I’ve found that a good, high-end handheld vacuum cleaner is an invaluable tool to have around the house. Whether it’s everyday cleaning or tackling specific messes as they happen, it helps to have a quick and convenient vacuum cleaner handy. Dyson makes some of the most impressive and technically advanced handheld vacuum cleaners, and the latest product from the company uses innovative technology to enhance the cleaning experience.
Priced officially at Rs. 58,900, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is now the most expensive product in the company’s cleaning range in India. It’s lighter and slimmer than the previous flagship device, the V11 Absolute Pro, but has a couple of interesting features that promise to improve the cleaning experience, such as laser dust detection and a piezo sensor to help analyse and track the amount of dust and dirt collected. Do these innovations help make the Dyson V12 Detect Slim the best vacuum cleaner you can buy right now? Find out in this review.
Dyson V12 Detect Slim design and usage
Despite its excellent suction power and vacuuming capabilities, the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro was held back somewhat by its sheer size and bulk. The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is considerably lighter and a fair bit slimmer, weighing 1.5kg on its own and 2.2kg with the Fluffy cleaner head and wand attached. It’s much more comfortable to hold and use. That said, the 0.35L dustbin is smaller, and the 11 ‘Root Cyclone’ chambers in the V12 Detect Slim generate a bit less suction power than the 14 chambers in the V11 Absolute Pro.
Another key difference that helps make handling the Dyson V12 Detect Slim easier is that the power trigger has been replaced by a big red power button on the top. Pressing this button turns the machine on, and it stays running until you turn it off. I found this a lot more convenient than the previous model’s trigger, since I was able to firmly grip the handle of the V12 Detect Slim while using it.
The Dyson V12 Detect Slim has a removable battery, which can be charged separately from the device or while still attached. It can be swapped out with an extra battery to extend runtime, but this needs to be purchased separately.
The back of the Dyson V12 Detect Slim has a round LCD panel just like the V11 Absolute Pro. When the device is running, the display shows the power mode, a countdown timer for the battery, and information about the dust and dirt particles collected, along with analysis from the built-in piezo sensor (more on that later). When charging, it shows the battery level. A button just below the screen lets you cycle between power modes such as Eco, Auto/Medium, and Boost.
Although a bit more expensive than the V11 Absolute Pro, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim has a smaller bin to hold collected dust and dirt. Emptying this is as simple as pushing the red handle on the bottom outwards, which opens the lid and ejects its contents with a bit of force. You should ideally only do this when the vacuum is pointed over a disposal bin.
I did find that the slim profile of the built-in dustbin meant I occasionally needed to unclip and completely detach it, and clean it out either with my hands or a cloth to ensure that all of its contents were removed. An indicator line on the transparent dustbin lets you know when it needs to be emptied, but it would make sense to do this every couple of runs, in my opinion.
Usefully, the dustbin can be washed with water, but be sure to let it dry completely before reattaching it to the Dyson V12 Detect Slim. There’s also a removable filter at the back of the vacuum body, which can be washed periodically. This filter ensures that small dust particles aren’t exhausted out of the vacuum cleaner and back into your home.
Dyson V12 Detect Slim fittings
The Dyson V12 Detect Slim comes with seven cleaner heads in addition to a ‘wand’ tool that also serves as an extension pipe. These include the Fluffy cleaner head, Direct Drive cleaner head, hair screw tool, Combi tool, Crevice tool, soft dusting brush, and stubborn dust brush. The charger, wall dock, and a wand clip are also included in the box.
Of particular note are two fittings that are new to the Dyson range in India – the Fluffy cleaner head with the laser dust detection system, and the Hair Screw tool. Although similar to the soft roller and Fluffy cleaner head fittings on other Dyson products, the one that comes with the V12 Detect Slim has a green laser emitter at the bottom that shines a few inches in front of the cleaner head. You can turn this on or off with a small switch on the head. The Hair Screw tool is designed to vacuum loose hair in a manner that prevents it from getting tangled in the rollers of the other cleaner heads.
The other fittings are similar to those available on existing Dyson vacuum cleaners, and are designed to work for specific tasks such as cleaning sofas or other fabric surfaces, and getting into narrow gaps such as between car seats. The three largest fittings are motorised and draw power from the V12 Detect Slim itself.
The non-motorised cleaner heads and fittings that come with the Dyson V12 Detect Slim are backward-compatible with other Dyson V-series vacuum cleaners and vice versa, but the motorised fittings work only with the V12. The swappable battery is specific to the V12 Detect Slim, and can’t be used with any other Dyson device. The wand tool is around 75cm long, similar to one you get with the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro, and can be used with any of the other included fittings to help reach farther and make cleaning floors easier.
Dyson V12 Detect Slim performance and battery life
Although its name suggests that the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is a step above the V11 Absolute Pro, not to mention its higher price, it’s important to point out that the V12 vacuum cleaner isn’t quite as powerful as the V11 when it comes to rated suction. That said, the difference isn’t massive, and most buyers should be satisfied with the level of power on offer with the V12 Detect Slim, in addition to its technological improvements and features.
The Fluffy cleaner head with the laser dust detection system was the fitting I used the most, primarily for cleaning the floors in my home. I also used the hair screw tool, crevice tool, and soft dusting brush for sofa, furniture, and window channel cleaning, and the additional tools were handy for cleaning ceiling fans, tabletops, and car seats. The Direct Drive cleaner head has carbon fibre filaments, and Dyson claims that it will be more effective at removing finer dust particles from hard floors.
An omni-directional roller head, similar to the one on the Dyson Omni-glide, would have been nice considering its excellent maneuverability, but the two main fittings and the roller wheels do allow for a reasonable amount of flexibility when using the V12 Detect Slim. Although not as powerful as the V11, I wasn’t at all disappointed with the V12 Detect Slim; this is still an extremely powerful vacuum cleaner for its size and dimensions.
I was able to completely clean my roughly 900-square-foot home in around 40 minutes, and two to three sweeps in auto mode over the marble floors were usually enough to capture most dust particles. For larger messes such as food crumbs, or for cleaning my sofas, I usually needed to run the vacuum cleaner over the same area three to four times.
The hair screw tool did seem to work as advertised for picking up loose hair; balling it up before sending it into the dustbin of the V12 Detect Slim for easier disposal. This fitting should come in handy in homes with pets that tend to shed a lot.
Where the Dyson V12 Detect Slim really justifies its flagship credentials is in its two key features, the laser dust detection system, and the piezo sensor used to measure and analyse particles sucked in by the vacuum cleaner. The former is applicable only when using the Fluffy cleaner head, while the latter is built into the vacuum cleaner itself and therefore works with any fitting.
The laser dust detection system on the main Fluffy roller head of the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is a rather interesting feature. The Class 1 laser is mounted low on the fitting, and shines a green light directly in front of the rollers to illuminate dust and dirt particles on the floor. It’s implemented well and works exactly as it’s supposed to.
That said, it’s most effective in the dark or in very dimly lit rooms, and I often found myself operating the Dyson V12 Detect Slim at night with the lights turned off and curtains drawn to take advantage of it. In the dark, I was able to see small dust particles that were otherwise invisible on my light-coloured flooring. The V12 Detect Slim showed me that there was still some dust even after my 360 S7 robot vacuum cleaner had cleaned the area.
In bright daylight or even in a well-lit room at night, the effectiveness of the laser dust detection system is as good as nought, and I found it made more sense to just turn it off. It might look a bit silly to vacuum in the dark, but that’s really the most effective way to use the laser dust detection system. Keep in mind that even when the laser is off, the V12 is still going to clean those invisible, microscopic dust particles. The advantage of having the laser on is that you can see whether the area you’re vacuuming indeed becomes clean or not.
Statistics from the piezo sensor are displayed on the LCD screen on the Dyson V12 Detect Slim, in the form of bars and numbers. The vacuum cleaner shows four bars for the different size ranges of dust particles, along with counters above them that show actual numbers of particles captured. The four size categories are 10-60 microns, 60-180 microns, 180-500 microns, and anything larger than that. The sensor takes 15,000 readings per second and resets itself when the Dyson V12 Detect Slim hasn’t been used for a while, so you’ll see fresh details for each cleaning session.
It took just about a minute or two for the counter for 10-60 micron particles to run into the millions on a normal day, while the other figures rose more gradually. The counter for particles over 500 microns measured just about all large impurities, including food crumbs, and typically went into the thousands after a long cleaning session.
Although these statistics are interesting, it’s hard to judge their accuracy. The sensor on the Dyson V12 Detect Slim did seem to react differently based on the type of mess, and even told me if my home was more or less dusty on any particular day than on the previous one. When used in Auto mode, the piezo sensor also detects larger messes and increases the suction power of the device accordingly, which worked well for me particularly on rugs and other fabric surfaces.
Battery life with the Dyson V12 Detect Slim was similar to that of other large vacuum cleaners in the V-series. Dyson claims a runtime of up to 60 minutes at the Eco power setting. I almost always used the vacuum cleaner in Auto mode, and got 40-45 minutes of runtime per charge, depending on how often the vacuum cleaner would automatically boost power to deal with bigger messes.
This is pretty good for a device of its size, and was more than enough to fully clean my home in one go. For shorter cleaning sessions of around 10-15 minutes, it helped that I didn’t always have to plug the vacuum cleaner in after the task, and I really only needed to charge it once every three to four days on average.
Dyson vacuum cleaners are impressive for how effective they can be considering their small, cord-free form factors. They’re also not unpleasantly loud, and the V12 Detect Slim offers all that and more. Although not as powerful as the V11 Absolute Pro, the difference in effectiveness is small enough to let this slide, especially considering the new laser dust detection system and piezo sensor-powered dust analysis that you get.
Yes, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is very expensive, but this is an impressive machine that not only cleans effectively, but helps you clean better too. If you have the budget for it and want a good vacuum cleaner, there’s really nothing else in India that can offer this level of competence and insight into the task of cleaning. If you want a bit more power and flexibility with fittings, it might make sense to pick up the V11 Absolute Pro instead.
- Good cleaning performance for the size
- Laser dust detection system is impressive
- Piezo sensor offers useful stats
- Good battery life
- Dustbin cleaning isn’t always easy