That's where Dirt Devil gave us a sneak preview of their latest vacuum, the Swerve. Expected to retail for $99 when it goes on sale this fall, it's a bagless upright with cyclonic filtration and a flexible brushhead that allows it to turn corners easily.
We got to spend some time with a preproduction model of the Swerve on the show floor in Chicago. Though we'll have to wait to get a production version in our lab to conduct a full scientific test, we can say that the new Swerve is compact and maneuverable and will likely attract attention in the entry-level upright segment.
Though the preproduction model we tested wasn't quite ready for consumers, we could tell that the Swerve would maneuver easily around rooms crowded with furniture and other obstacles. Dirt Devil's target audience is first-time home buyers and apartment dwellers, so the ability to move around small homes is a plus.
There are two controls on the vacuum: a power control located directly above the dirt holder, and a foot pedal to release it from a stored position. It doesn't bode well for high-pile carpet or hardwood floor performance that there's no separate adjuster for floor height, as similar vacuums we've tested in the past either get bogged down in shag or glide right over heavier debris on wood and tile.
Cleaning tools sit on board the vacuum and snap onto the extension wand. A combination crevice tool and upholstery brush was the only tool available on the preproduction model we saw on the show floor.
The power cord was wrapped around the back of the unit. It's not retractable.
The Swerve's handle detaches from the vacuum body and connects to the vacuum hose for use as an extension wand. This feature wasn't usable on the preproduction model we saw, but it appeared that such a setup would offer at least another two feet of reach for cleaning curtains and cobwebs.
The dirt holder detaches from the center of the vacuum and hinges from the bottom. Like all bagless vacuums, there'll be a dust plume when you eventually empty it.
A filter sits beneath the vacuum's dirt holder.
We'll wait for a production version before we throw the Swerve on the scale. The prototype model we handled felt lightweight, yet substantial.
At the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, Dirt Devil gave us a preview of their Swerve bagless upright, which goes on sale this fall for an MSRP of $99. As an easy to use and compact cleaner, we bet it will attract shoppers in the entry-level segment.
We didn't have a chance to test overall performance, though the lack of a height adjuster suggests this vacuum may not be ideal for high-pile carpets or debris on hardwood floors.
The Swerve's maneuverability is its strong suit. A universal joint at the cleaning head allows it to turn corners with ease. An extension hose will make it easy to clean dust and dirt from ceilings, high shelves and curtains.
We haven't had a chance to plug in the Swerve, so we have no idea how loud it is. If anything, it would've been drowned out by the various product demonstrations and presentations going on around us on the show floor in Chicago.
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