Juha Saarinen is a tech blogger for nzherald.co.nz.

Gear Friday: hi-tech hoovering with the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro is supposed to "turn vacuuming on its head". Photo / Juha Saarinen
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro is supposed to "turn vacuuming on its head". Photo / Juha Saarinen

Vacuuming really isn't one of my favourite activities. That is, it's great to have a clean place but schlepping a noisy hoover around to achieve them is zero fun.

When Dyson suggested I look at its new fancy vacuum cleaner I thought "argh, no!" because I'd have to actually use it to try it out but... OK, does the improbably named Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro really "turn vacuuming on its head" as the company promises?

Short answer: no. You still have to drag the thing behind you and use a handle with attachments suck up the dust.

The Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro does make the whole process easier and more efficient though, which means you spend less time in the zero fun state of vacuuming. You might think there's an animal theme going on with the vacuum cleaner, but it's actually designed for people with molting creatures at home, like teenagers and pets.

It's probably the best vacuum cleaner I've tried in fact, being amazingly powerful and yet lightweight and self-righting in case it topples over. That's the Big Ball feature, by the way.

The Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro is sold on its tech features, and the polarising design reflects that. I don't mind the outlandish look with the see-through plastic cyclone turbine chamber being reminiscent of a fifties space alien's hair style but it's certainly a step away from traditional vacuum cleaner design.

Dyson's Cinetic cyclone tech that apparently accelerates air to 290 kph and spins it to separate particles as small as 250 microns from the flow is the main reason the vacuum cleaner looks the way it does.

Not having dust bags can be umm, a mixed bag because you have to empty a container full of dirt anyway somehow. Dyson made this quite simple and painless with a detachable chamber on the Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro and there's even a dirt ejection system that works in a similar fashion to the ultrasound dust reduction mechanisms on camera sensors - it vibrates at 5,000 Hz to shake off the dust from the vacuum parts, and works well for most things apart from hair.

While the Cinetic stuff works well and means you don't need a dust bag, you can't push air round at those velocities willy-nilly. Like a traditional vacuum cleaner, the Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro is quite noisy unfortunately.

Then there are all the accessories! Ten, if I counted them right. Different heads for different tasks, like a carbon fibre turbine head for carpets, brushes, stair tools, a flexible thing that you can poke into nooks and crannies - it's a bit overwhelming actually, but you'll never want for the right vacuuming head, that's for sure.

Now, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro will set you back just under a grand if you shop around. That's quite a bit of money for a vacuum cleaner, and to my disappointment it doesn't buy a Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pro that's networked and with sensors to provide readouts for an app with an API for developers.

OK, I'm kidding about the last thing but you kind of expect connectivity and apps in 2016, even for boring domestic chores. I'm sure someone, maybe Dyson, will get around to that soon. Hope they don't stop there, actually, and make a full cleaning robot (no, not a Roomba clone, they're useless on stairs) so I can do something else instead.

- NZ Herald

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Juha Saarinen is a tech blogger for nzherald.co.nz.

Juha Saarinen is a technology journalist and writer living in Auckland. Apart from contributing to the New Zealand Herald over the years, he has written for the Guardian, Wired, PC World, Computerworld and ITnews Australia, covering networking, hardware, software, enterprise IT as well as the business and social aspects of computing. A firm believer in the principle that trying stuff out makes you understand things better, he spends way too much time wondering why things just don’t work.

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