Is it wrong to be a little in love with a vacuum cleaner?
Heck, if this feeling is wrong I don’t want to be right.
The Gtech AirRAM cordless vacuum cleaner (RRP £229.00) came into my life just a few short weeks ago, but already I’m infatuated.
Why’s that? Well, I’ll tell you.
There’s a carpeted area of my house in the diner part of the kitchen that attracts every single atom of dirt and debris thanks to its thoroughfare status. Even though we adopt one of those uptight no-outdoor-shoes-inside policies, the floor remains resolutely littered with grub – usually about five seconds after I’ve hoovered.
Consequently, I have spent a lot of my life cleaning it. I have a brilliant, tiny Dyson City Wool + Wood vacuum tucked away in the kitchen cupboard and I’ve had all manner of great handhelds, including the Dyson Handheld (which got destroyed by a water leak) and the Black and Decker Flexi Hand Vac (which was perfect in many ways, but did leave me crawling on the floor to clean the whole floor (not really what it was designed for).
The Gtech AirRAM is the perfect combination of these excellent cleaners: it’s cable-free and battery operated; it has great suction and it’s extremely manoeuvrable.
Cleaning made easy with the AirRAM
Designed by British company, Gtech, the AirRAM combines the handy elements of Gtech’s floor sweepers (remember the one your grandma had?) with more modern cleaning methods. Because it collects the dirt down in little trays in the cleaning unit, it can maintain impressive sucking power (the dirt doesn’t have to travel so far), lasting for a good 30-40minutes on one charge.
Charging takes just four hours and the battery is removable so you can charge more easily. You can also get a free bridge cable (or just steal the one off your printer) that lets you see the stats on your battery usage. Apparently, it tells you how much money you’ve saved thanks to going wireless (Gtech press tells us that the AirRAM can save up to £252 in electricity bills over a five-year period). Unfortunately, I can’t tell you if the Gtech really does save on energy bills because the software doesn’t yet work on the Mac OS; it’s coming soon, apparently.
Things I liked
- The AirRAM picks up a LOT of dirt. All the cat hair it collects every time I use it is a little alarming.
- The dirt gets compressed into “bales” which means it can store a lot more than you’d expect.
- It lasts well on one charge making it easy to do a good 40-minute cleaning session without needing to re-juice.
- It’s very easy to manoeuvre. It goes almost totally flat for getting under coffee tables or beds – and you can steer it round corners thanks to the clever handle.
- It’s light enough to carry round easily.
- You can remove the handle and stash the two parts in a pantry cupboard. (Gtech, please note: the next version should include a clever way to clip the top handle to the bottom one so they stay neat).
- It’s cable-free; having to plug in a cleaner to do a quick run around just makes it feel more like hard work!
- You can store it upright, or you can open the head to make the whole unit flat. This means you could hang it on a hook in the understairs cupboard without it getting in the way.
Things I didn’t like
- You can’t tell if it’s charging when you plug in the battery. A reassuring LED would be nice
- It’s far too easy to put the handle in the wrong way round. If you do that it is REALLY hard to get the handle out again. Weirdly, the handle looks like it’s the wrong way round when it’s the right way round, which makes the whole thing too complicated.
- Like all bagless vacuums, it’s never as easy to empty the dirt collectors as the makers promise. The trays are wider than my dustbin so using a bin bag was the only way to safely trash the detritus.
- You can’t do stairs, skirting boards or wall edges. It’s not designed for that, but it does mean that this is more a secondary cleaner not a primary one (or a primary cleaner for ease-of-use with a secondary nooks-and-crannies cleaner on standby).