Dyson's newest vacuum is more powerful, convenient, and efficient than its predecessors, but I'd only recommend it for large homes

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  • Dyson is well known for its powerful, convenient, and well-designed cordless vacuums, and its latest, the V11 Outsize, is the largest and most powerful yet. 
  • It features a large bin, a wide cleaning head, strong and adaptive suction power, and an LCD screen to tell you how much battery is left. 
  • Given its size, it's best for cleaning large homes and you'll be able to thoroughly clean each room without worrying about the battery running out, the bin filling up, or weak, ineffective power. 
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Dyson has come out with another cordless vacuum, and this time, it's even bigger and more powerful than its predecessor, the V11 Torque Drive vacuum.

Like all of Dyson's vacuums, the new V11 Outsize cordless vacuum ($800) is quite the investment. But if you find yourself spending way too much time cleaning your floors because your current vacuum isn't powerful, large, or convenient enough, then the Dyson V11 Outsize could be the solution. 

After testing the V11 for five months, we've determined that the vacuum is best for large spaces and family homes. 

Design and specs: What the V11 Outsize looks and feels like 

Compared to traditional corded vacuums, the cordless V11 Outsize is sleek, slim, and not bulky. 

It's about four feet long and weighs just under eight pounds, with a 12.5-inch wide cleaner head, LCD screen, and rechargeable battery. In addition to the standard cleaner head, it comes with five interchangeable tools for more specialized cleaning tasks and an extra battery pack that brings the total run time up to 120 minutes. 

It also comes with a docking station that you can mount to your wall for easy, organized storage. 

How to use the V11 Outsize 

Even if it's your first time owning a Dyson cordless vacuum, the set-up and features are intuitive and pretty easy to grasp. After you've charged the device fully, click the components together and it's ready to use. 

You can choose from three different cleaning modes (Eco, Auto, Boost) by clicking the button on the LCD screen. This screen also tells you how much time is remaining on your vacuum's battery. Eco mode uses the least battery, while Boost mode, for intensive cleaning on stubborn dirt, uses the most. Auto mode is the versatile and adaptive middle ground that automatically senses changes in floor types and adjusts suction power accordingly. 

To start cleaning, simply press down on the handle trigger and release it to stop the suction. My hands are on the smaller side so I sometimes found it tiring to hold the handle while clicking down, but the good news is that you don't have to press the trigger all the way down in order for the suction to activate.

The cordless stick design and position of the bin are great because you can get under small, narrow spaces without rearranging your furniture. I could reach under my couches and even the oft-missed spot below my piano pedals, simply by bending down a bit and angling the vacuum appropriately.

Vacuuming is also much less cumbersome in the absence of cords. Even though many corded vacuums have admittedly long cords, it's nice not to deal with tangles or the search for available outlets. I went from room to room, and downstairs to upstairs quickly, saving time and effort on the unpleasant chore. 

As the name suggests, the most distinctive feature about the Outsize is its size.

It has a wide cleaner head to capture larger areas of dust and debris, plus a 0.5-gallon bin to store all that dust and make it possible to clean your entire house (multiple times) without stopping to empty the bin.

Senior editor Jada Wong also tested the vacuum and said, "Now that both my husband and I are home all the time, there's been much more hair, dust, bits of random packaging, small food scraps on the floor, and clumps of soil from my indoor planting projects. We have a Dyson V10 and it's great, but we have to change out the canister every week. The V11 Outsize has a bigger canister so we can vacuum and dump out the contents more like every few weeks instead, and we can vacuum our entire house in one go instead of stopping halfway. It's more convenient and efficient for us, though it makes me worry about how lazy we truly are." 

The bigger features of this model, combined with a powerful motor that spins at up to 125,000 rpm and a filtration system that traps 99.99% of particles, allow for a quick yet thorough cleaning job. 

With everyone in my family indoors most of the day and the increased foot traffic, weekly vacuuming has become even more imperative. The Outsize has been able to pick up all the hair, food crumbs, and dust in our two-story house without a problem, and on a single charge. Once I've conquered all the rooms, it's easy (not to mention more hygienic) to empty the bin directly into the trash can without touching any of its contents. 

Just in case you have very large ground to cover, the Outsize comes with an additional battery pack that you can simply replace the dead one with once the time comes. However, of all the times I've used it, I haven't needed to grab the extra battery pack yet. 

Cons of the V11 Outsize

The Outsize isn't perfect, and that's namely due to the extra weight, noise, and price tag. 

  • Weight: The V11 Outsize is the heaviest cordless stick vacuum from Dyson. The whole machine isn't clunky, but if you spend a long time vacuuming, your hand could still get tired. I suspect it's because of the bin position, which concentrates the weight on the top of the device and makes your body do more work in carrying it. Since this design is what lets you get into hard-to-reach areas, the weight isn't the end of the world, but it's something you should keep in mind. 
  • Noise: "When the vacuum is on the low setting, the noise is bearable. It's low enough that I can keep the TV on and not worry that I'll miss what's being said, but not low enough that I'd want to vacuum our entire house in the morning. When it's on max, it's incredibly loud — I can't hold a conversation and I wouldn't dare vacuum unless it was the middle of the afternoon." —Jada Wong, senior editor
  • Heat: "Like the V10, the V11's battery is by the handle so it generates a lot of heat that gets shot out by the vents. I don't notice it when I vacuum the floors in big sweeping motions but when I have to maneuver the vac for corners and crevices, I'll get a shot of ventilated air on my face or hands. It's a fleeting moment but uncomfortable nonetheless." —Jada Wong, senior editor
  • Price: As the most recent launch with the most powerful features, the Outsize is certainly not cheap and it retails at $800. Should your budget allow for it and you need a great vacuum option right away, I think it's worth the cost. However, if you don't want to pay as much but still want the reliability and efficiency of a Dyson vacuum, I recommend either 1) waiting until a newer model arrives so the Outsize will drop in price, 2) checking out current Dyson deals (the biggest discounts happen around Black Friday and Cyber Monday), or 3) checking out older models, which are usually a bit lighter and less powerful, with less battery per charge. If you want an older model, here's a quick comparison of the Outsize and the Torque Drive, which is also part of the V11 line. 

Dyson V11 Torque Drive vs. V11 Outsize: Which vacuum should you get? 

Up until now, I've been using the V11 Torque Drive (currently $700), so I can compare the two directly.

After testing the two, I would suggest getting the Outsize if you live in a large, suburban family home with many different types of cleaning surfaces. The larger bin, wider cleaning head, and stronger power are perfect for the big cleaning task. Meanwhile, the Torque Drive is better for smaller spaces, such as my small four-person, one-story apartment in Brooklyn.

The Torque Drive is the only other Dyson cordless vacuum that also has an LCD screen. It also features three different cleaning modes, thorough filtration, strong suction power, and a great battery. 

The bottom line

I love using the V11 Outsize to clean my house, but I don't think it's for everyone.

You'll be perfectly fine with an earlier model in the V11 line if you don't have a large home or you don't mind recharging your device once a week or so if you're on a cleaning schedule. You can even get a non-V11 vacuum if you don't care for the LCD screen that tells you how much battery is left, like a V10.

All in all, however, the V11 Outsize has all the features you could want in a high-tech vacuum: it's big and efficient, but it still looks sleek, and it can get into low, tough-to-reach areas. Outside of the core cleaning task, it's easy to empty, maintain, and store. If you want to invest in an effective cordless vacuum, I can't imagine a better choice. 

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