Very easy to use, but some features are surprisingly complex to use.

The is an upright cleaner that uses the same design approach as many other Dyson products, with tough polycarbonate plastic serving as the main material supplemented by a striking grey and orange color scheme. Rather than wheels, this cleaner uses a large ball to move around on. This makes it quicker to turn and easier maneuver, resulting in a vacuum ideal for smaller rooms with lots of furniture and angles. When locked into the storage position, the handle can also be folded down so it fits into a smaller space.

This cleaner uses a large ball to move around on. This makes it quicker to turn and easier to maneuver.

To set the floor cleaner going, you have to press the red bar on the back down with your foot: this unlocks the ball and puts the base of the cleaner into the cleaning position. There are no extra modes, and only two main buttons: a power button (the big red one) and a brush button, which activates the rotating brush in the cleaning head. The power cord is 20 feet long, an acceptable length for cleaning small spaces. The hose is a little cumbersome to unpack for use: you have to press the red button to release the rigid part of the hose, pull it out, flip it around, attach that to the flexible hose, then attach the cleaning tool to the end. Once you have got it all set up, though, it is simple to use.

The hose isn't particularly long—it extends about 7 feet from the body of the vacuum—but, again, it should be acceptable enough for cleaning smaller spaces. Rooms with large ceilings will prove a bit more of a challenge. The dirt holder is a clear plastic container that attaches on the front. It can be easily removed by pressing a small switch at the top, and the contents dumped from the bottom by pulling a red lever. This means that you can dump dirt into the trash easily and without the risk of spilling. Like the rest of the machine, though, the bin is very small: it can hold just 0.19 gallons, about a third of the size of other models. One filter is located on top of the dirt holder, another in the middle of the ball. To remove it, you press a button and a part of the ball pops out, showing the filter assembly underneath—a neat trick that allows the filter to take up only a little space. It's HEPA compliant and hand washable: Dyson recommends that it is cleaned at least once a month, more often than the filters of many larger models. On the whole, the is a very lightweight device, tipping the scales at 11.54 pounds—that includes the filter, accessories and power cable.

It has poor cleaning performance on carpet, but it handles wood floors well enough for general use.

Our tests involve picking up dirt on a number of surfaces, and the had a mixed set of results here. It did well on wood floors—we've seen better, but it was passable—but it just doesn't have the power to handle carpets. Both long and short carpet proved to be too much for this lightweight machine, as did pet hair—anything lightly floating on the surface came up, but if it's embedded, you'll need to go back to get it up yourself. Debris was another challenge overall: anything stuck in carpet wasn't budging, and heavier debris caused it to struggle.

Anything stuck in carpet wasn't budging, and heavier debris caused the DC24 to struggle.

The comes with only one cleaning tool: the combination nozzle and brush. It's a 2 inch nozzle which includes a bristle brush on a sliding sleeve. When not in use, this can be stored on the back of the cleaner body, next to the power cable. There's nothing else: no hose extension, no wide nozzle, no pet hair tool.

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

A compact cleaner that offers decent performance—on hardwoods only—and an innovative, flexible design. For all that, however, we find it hard to recommend. It's designed for a very specific purpose: cleaning small apartments with hardwood floors and lots of furniture to navigate around. If you've got a household of any other type, you're better off spending your $430 elsewhere. In fact...for $430, everyone is really better off spending their money elsewhere.

At best, this machine turns in mediocre results. At its worst, it's downright bad. Take a look at our test data and see for yourself.

Limited tools and a specialized purpose mean this vacuum is good at just a few things...and only slightly good, at that.

Oh dear. The just does not have the power to handle a deep pile carpet. We found that it was only able to pick up 18.9 percent of our dirt, a very disappointing result. It barely did better on short pile carpet, too, managing to pick up just over 32 percent of the dirt. Fortunately, it managed to do pretty well on wood floors, picking up 94.8 percent; it's not perfect, and not as good as other vacuums in this price range, but it's still very acceptable.

Pet hair was definitely an obstacle for this cleaner: it managed to pick up hair on the surface of our carpet, but not any that was even slightly embedded. The was able to pick up much of the smaller debris in our tests (such as rice grains and pasta) on the wood floor—a surprisingly positive aspect—but not the coins that serve as heavy debris. We also found that it struggled with all of the debris, regardless of weight, when it was placed on carpets, managing to pick up just about 60 per cent of it. You should be able to pick up more with repeated passes over the carpet, but cleaning up a food spill will be a somewhat tiresome experience.

A little quieter than other cleaners, and uses less power.

We measured the noise level of the at about 73 decibels, which is a little less than the 77-78 dB level that we usually see from larger cleaners, but only by a little. It uses a little less power than the bigger cleaners as well, using about 688 watts while cleaning a carpet.

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Richard Baguley

Richard Baguley

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