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Lasers make everything cool, vacuuming included
I’m a self-professed nerd. And like any self-respecting nerd, I love lasers. Lightsabers, Captain Kirk’s phaser, and of course, the light cycles in Tron, what’s not to like about them? But while all those examples are incredibly cool, futuristic visions of lasers in use, I didn’t realize that the coolest implementation I’d come across would be the laser on the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Total Clean, also known as the Dyson V15 Detect ($749.99) vacuum cleaner in the US where it comes equipped with a larger bin.
Look, unless you’ve truly bought into the zen of cleaning aka the Marie Kondo lifestyle, it’s hard to imagine that you enjoy vacuuming. I bought myself a Mi Robot Vacuum Mop-P robot cleaner during the early days of the pandemic out of sheer laziness. It does a decent job, but it can’t handle rugs nor can it reach the absolute corners of the room. Begrudgingly, I still have to pull out the vacuum every few days. That terrible sense of dread over the thought of cleaning my apartment has, however, turned to excitement ever since I got the Dyson V12 Detect a few weeks ago.
Dyson has been at the top of the cordless vacuum game, both in terms of features and nose-bleed price points, for several years now, and I knew what to expect from the cleaning experience. What I didn’t expect is just how much of a difference a gimmicky laser can make to the chore.
Dyson’s latest vacuum ships with a special cleaning head called the Laser Slim Fluffy. The fluffy (seriously, Dyson?) is a standard brush attachment with a laser tucked away in a corner. Nerd alert: I prefer to call it the Path Finder, after the first rover operation on Mars.
The laser head attachment is incredibly simple in its function, but it instantly transforms a chore into a game. Turn down the lights, bump up the techno music, and the green laser shows you exactly what and where you need to clean.
The Dyson V12 Detect Slim turns a chore into a rave and makes vacuuming a lot more fun.
The technology here is deceptively simple. A laser diode placed close to the base throws out a spread of light. The green spread of light, straight out of Tomorrowland or a Blue Öyster Cult concert, illuminates any hair, dirt, or dust particles that it strikes along its path. Follow the dirt and blaze a trail of clean flooring behind you. Simple.
I don’t get a lot of natural light in my apartment, and the general ambiance stays on the darker side which goes a long way towards hiding dust. The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is astoundingly effective at showing me dust in places that I thought were clean.
The actual vacuuming itself is exactly the same as on any other Dyson cordless vacuum. Which is to say, it is effective. You can cycle between a range of power modes, but I’ve found the auto mode to be perfectly adequate. Dyson added a piezo sensor to the vacuum that lets it dynamically adjust the suction power based on the level of cleaning required.
That acoustic piezo sensor is a pretty nifty extra that adds yet another cool feature to the vacuum. Similar to air purifiers, the sensor is able to gauge the size of dust particles – up to 15,000 per second. A screen placed behind the vacuum displays an ever-increasing count of dust particles based on the size of the particulate matter.
It's hard to resist the urge to go pew-pew every time you fire up the Dyson V12 Detect.
I feel that Dyson fell just short of gamifying the very act of vacuuming itself. I can see myself chasing dust bunnies with the laser vacuum, racking up points on a personal leaderboard of dust collected per cleaning session. Unfortunately, there is no log of it, nor is it possible to sync this data with the Dyson app (Play Store).
Look, there’s not much new that can be added to vacuuming as a category. It’s a problem that has been functionally solved. Sure, longer battery life is great to have and more powerful suction motors are convenient, and the Dyson V12 has those. But more importantly, it solves a problem I didn’t know I had. The laser attachment magnifies dust and dirt, making vacuuming more effective and a lot more fun. It also feels like the final step in the entire video game prop aesthetic that Dyson has been going for and I’m all for it.
The Dyson V12 Detect Slim leans hard into the video game laser gun aesthetic but the additions make functional sense.
Does anyone need a vacuum cleaner that costs a whopping $749? Not really. There are many other alternatives from Chinese brands that get you most of the performance for a lot less money. In fact, you can even pick up older Dyson models for less. But, if you, like me, can’t resist the urge to go pew-pew everytime you hold up a cartoon weapon, the Dyson V12 Slim or Dyson V15 Detect ($749.99) scratches that itch and does a mighty fine job of cleaning up your apartment as well.