Dyson V12 Detect Slim Review: Probably the best cordless vacuum cleaner right now

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is the latest cordless vacuum cleaner from the British home appliance giant.

What you get out of the box from Dyson V12 Detect Slim Total Clean model. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Having used its predecessor – the Dyson V11 Absolute – for the past two years, I am excited to see how the V12 fares. The V12 is essentially a slim-down version of Dyson’s flagship V15, which is not available in Singapore.

PRICE: From S$899, available in Lazada, Shopee and Dyson Store
WEIGHT: 2.2kg

The major upgrade that the V12 is getting is laser dust detection. It is a fancy name for a green laser diode being integrated into its Slim Fluffy cleaner head to help you see dust better. It works similar to how you are able to see dust in the air when a ray of light shine through your window.

In addition, the V12 comes with an acoustic piezo sensor sited within the bin inlet. It measures the size and quantity of different dusts and the results are shown on the circular LCD screen at the rear of V12.

The new anti-tangle hair screw tool (L) and the Slim Fluffy Cleaner head with laser detection. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

There is also a new anti-tangle hair screw tool that is designed specially to prevent the wrapping of hair around the brush bar.

The V12 Detect Slim comes in three versions – the entry-level Fluffy, the mid-range Total Clean (with an additional cleaner head and dirt brush) and the Absolute Extra (with an additional cleaner head, dirt brush, extra battery and a standing dock). We reviewed the Total Clean version.

Like the V11, the V12 looks like a futuristic ray-gun from a sci-fi movie. Its hand grip has an opening at its bottom for you to insert the removable battery like a magazine.

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim. (Photo: Dyson)

But unlike the V11, it does not have a trigger that activates the suction power. This is the feature I have been asking for the longest time. Instead, you have a power button on top of the V12.

All you need is to press the power button once and you can start vacuuming without having to press the trigger all the time when vacuuming. No more numb fingers as a result.

The V11 (on top) vs the V12. Notice the red power button on top of the V12. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Plus, the V12 is slimmer and lighter than the V11. While the V11 weighs a little over 3kg, the V12 only weighs 2.2kg. Thus, it will definitely help to reduce the load on your back and arms.

There is a button below the circular display. Pressing this button toggles through three cleaning modes – Eco, Medium and Boost. This is pretty self-explanatory, as it means basically low, medium and high in suction power. The display also shows the amount of time remaining before the battery goes flat.

The display at the rear not only shows the amount and size of dust picked up, but also the remaining run time. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

As the chief floor cleaner of my 4-room HDB flat, vacuuming is my weekly ritual (sometimes mid-week too). Usually, I used either my $3,000 industrial-grade corded vacuum cleaner or the V11 as my main vacuuming machine.

So, I am excited to see how well the V12 can be my main machine to do so. And after using the V12 for nearly a month, I think it is ready to replace my V11.

+ Great suction performance
+ No trigger mechanism
+ Laser really helps to see dust
+ Display shows the size and amount of dust gathered
+ Removable battery

– Expensive
– Small dust bin compared to V11

Initially, I thought the laser detection is a gimmick. Dyson even highlighted that the green laser diode is positioned precisely at 1.5-degree angle and 7.3mm off the ground for optimal detection.

However, when using the Slim Fluffy cleaner head to vacuum, I was surprised to really see the dust on my floor. I can literally see the line between where the V12 has vacuumed and where it has not.

More interestingly, I was able to see specks of dust that I weren’t able to pick up. For example, a little Scotch tape stuck on the floor that I would have other missed.

If you are not happy with the laser, you can easily turned it off with the switch on the cleaner head. But I think it is really a useful tool to have.

The V12 can easily get under cupboards for optimal cleaning. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

In addition, I like that nothing seems to bother the Slim Fluffy cleaner head, as it picks up debris and dirt on ceramic tiles, parquet flooring and carpets with ease. When vacuuming carpet, the V12 will automatically increase its suction power to better remove the dust.

When using the anti-tangle hair screw tool on my sofa and beds, it did a splendid job in clearing all the dust and hair. In fact, it is so powerful that it will suck up any cables you left lying around.

Using the anti-tangle hair screw tool to vacuum my sofa is a breeze. Just make sure no cables are lying around. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Comparing the suction performance between the V11 and V12, I found no difference. My house was as squeaky clean as previously cleaned with V11, after just one round of vacuuming around my 90 sq m house with the V12.

But on the downside, the V12’s dust bin is a tad small. Compared to the large 0.54L bin in V11, the V12’s 0.35L bin means you probably have to go to empty it more often.

Dust and hair quickly fill up the dust bin of V12. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

I usually only need to empty the bin after vacuuming with V11. Now, I have to empty it twice during the vacuuming process with V12. But that means, the V12 probably picked up more dirt and dust than the V11.

As mentioned earlier, I used either my industrial-grade corded vacuum cleaner or Dyson V11. It usually take around an hour to clean my 4-room HDB flat using the corded vacuum cleaner and about 45 minutes with the Dyson V11.

On a full charge, the V12 is rated to last up to 60 minutes. This is probably true if you use a non-mechanised brush.

You never have to guess how much battery life the V12 has left. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

In my tests, I found the V12 to last around 45 minutes on Eco mode when using the Slim Fluffy cleaner head with the laser turned on all the time. But I was able to finish vacuuming the floor of my house in 30 minutes.

Thus, I can use the extra battery life to vacuum my sofa, bed and other surfaces using the hair screw tool. And I was able to finish all the vacuuming within an hour. The best part is the battery life is fade-free. In other words, it will not fade in performance and remains powerful till the battery goes flat.

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is probably the best cordless vacuum cleaner in the market right now, with its light weight, powerful suction, great laser detection feature and convenient anti-tangle hair screw tool.

Perhaps, the only caveat is its price. Starting from S$899, the V12 is quite expensive. But I think it is well worth its price tag.

DESIGN: 9/10
OVERALL: 9/10 [SGEEK Editor’s Choice]

Trevor Tan

Started out with dreams to become a street photographer, Trevor Tan somehow became a tech journalist with over 16 years of consumer tech experience. Maybe he plays too much video games and buys too many new gadgets.
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