Using the same patented "cyclone" technology that made Dyson upright vacuums famous, the new Dyson Root 6 ($150) is a handheld tool that never looses suction, cleaning better and more hygienically by trapping dirt more effectively. With its molded plastic bodyâ€”looking something like a creature-trapping gun from the prop department of Alienâ€”it's ergonomic and easy to use, successfully negotiating the narrowest of nooks and hard-to-reach corners.
In CH's tests, we were impressed by the Root's ability to clean the long hair of a sheepskin rug, the dust chamber's convenient design (a latch releases a flap to empty directly over a garbage can), and the fun of seeing the dirt whirl around in the clear plastic bin. Other features include LED indicator lights, washable filters that never need replacing, a brush tool (with a lint extension) and a separate narrow crevice accessory. Though at times we wished for an attached light to see what we were cleaning and the battery's charge didn't last quite as little long as we expected (its lithium ion battery does charge up to three times faster than others), overall it's an ideal device for cars, small rooms and spills where large vacuums would be inconvenient and overkill.