While the idea of having a cordless vacuum at the ready in the kitchen seems appealing, spending $299 for the weakly is not.

A compact vacuum with the attachments of a full-size unit, this Dyson doesn't disappoint when it comes to fitting in tight spaces.

The is unlike any other vacuum on the market, in that it's essentially a cordless motor and filter that hooks to any number of attachments. In seconds, it can go from a floor sweeper to a hand vac; as a handheld, it weighs a mere 2.96 lbs. With the floor extension installed, it's still only 4.76 lbs, making it exceptionally light. It's designed for wall storage in a cradling charger, an interesting enough set up that gadget lovers might want to keep it on display instead of tucked away in a storage closet.

In seconds, it can go from a floor sweeper to a hand vac.

A top-mounted motor and lightweight bottom-mounted batteries make the vac a bit top-heavy, though the combination trigger and handle are easy to hold. Semi-spherical wheels mounted on the floor attachment aid in balancing the vac, making it relatively easy to glide along smooth floors. The 's power switch is mounted, trigger style, on the inside of the handle, and the the machine only receives power when the trigger button is depressed—yet the trigger does not lock into place.

There's no hose on this vacuum, as the compact battery and motor are both built into the handle. The extension nozzle does give an extra 3.5 feet of reach, however. At 0.07 gallons, the dirt holder is tiny but works with characteristic Dyson aplomb. It'll fill up before the battery dies, and it's easy enough to empty. Without even removing the dirt cup from the unit, simply press a red button at the base of the dirt holder and the bottom will fall out, emptying the dirt. The vacuum has a washable filter located between the handle and dirt holder that Dyson recommends gets cleaned once a month.

We'll say it again. This is good for just one thing: Quick cleanups on bare floors.

For all its fancy, funky design elements, this machine is really a one-trick pony. Sure, the DC35 does a very good job on bare floors, but that's where the good news ends. Vacuuming on long carpet with this Dyson means you'll have nearly as much dirt left as when you began, and pet hair cleanup is a similar exercise in futility. Short carpet cleaning is just passable, but not as good as other vacuums in the price range. Despite its lightweight nature, it actually does a decent job picking up debris, as well.

Vacuuming on long carpet with this Dyson means you'll have nearly as much dirt left as when you began.

As the DC15 has a lithium-ion battery, power is continuous and doesn't ever feel like it's running out, offering full force until the battery is discharged. On the back is a button labeled "MAX" that gives an extra boost of power while cleaning. Below that, another button releases the swappable battery pack. The 6-foot power cord is on a "wall wart" adapter that plugs into the charging station. It's a two pronged affair and narrow enough to not crowd out other plugs; when fully charged, the has no cord tethering it to the wall at all. Dyson claims a fully charged DC35 can run for between six and 15 minutes; we ran it on "Max" with the floor brush attached—the most taxing setup possible—and it lasted for seven. If you need to vacuum for longer than that, you really should be using a full-sized cleaner anyway.

The features three attachments, two of which snap neatly onto the charging station. Though the extension wand is designed to remain mounted on the vacuum, it can also snap onto the charging station for storage while you use with other attachments. Speaking of attachments, you get a 10-inch crevice tool designed to get into narrow spaces, a brush that can be deployed to clean upholstery or to get dirt out of delicate surfaces, and a 8.5 inch wide floor tool—equipped with a brush made up of rows of carbon fiber filament—that can agitate dirt from carpets.

Pricey, and not really worth your time.

If you buy the , it definitely shouldn't be your only vacuum. It's a very good gadget for cleaning kitchen floors in between full washes, and vacuuming up spilled debris, but it's utterly useless beyond that.

While the little cordless vac has style and incomparable usability, we can't justify spending $299 for a high-end kitchen sweeper.

For many home owners, this vacuum is absolutely not the way to go in terms of your primary household cleaning device. If you live in a small city apartment with hardwood—and no pets—it may actually be a good fit. Take a look at our test results and then decide whether or not this appliance fits the nature of your domicile.

Limited quality performance means this likely won't be a good fit for the needs of an entire house.

The was straight up awful on long carpet, leaving behind more than 95 percent of the dirt we put down. What's more, the mere 5% that actually was collected consisted primarily of talc powder, which means bigger dirt (sand, mostly) got left behind. It also offered abysmal performance on short pile carpet, leaving behind a whopping 77.9% of dirt. Despite its near lack of performance on any kind of carpet, the did manage to pick up 94.6% of dirt on a hardwood floor, a respectably high-end result. Collectively, it makes for a vacuum that is great for kitchens, bathrooms, or any other part of the house with a smooth, hard floor...and nothing else.

Though it can't lift dirt from a carpet, the did do a good job sucking up larger debris like rice and macaroni from even deep pile carpets; it had a harder time with heavy items like coins, but it wasn't terrible. It also does a good job vacuuming debris off bare floors. Don't even think about using the to pick up pet hair, though. This little Dyson failed our pet hair test with a display of spectacular ineptitude. Not only did the majority of fur remain on the carpet, but most of it that did get picked up ended up not in the dirt container but stuck to the vac's floor brush and wheels.

It's interesting in that it's a cordless vacuum with rechargeable lithium ion batteries. That said, it's got a pretty loud motor.

Though it's little in size, the makes a relatively big noise. At 73 decibels, it's on par with much larger units, and much higher pitched. The draws about 10.2 watts while plugged into the charger. When it's fully charged—which we found takes around 3.5 hours when the lithium ion battery is fully depleted—Dyson estimates that it has between 6 and 15 minutes of cleaning time. At full power, we found it could last for about seven at the least.

Meet the tester

Richard Baguley

Richard Baguley

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