Dyson downsizes its classic vacuum to suit smaller spaces

The all-new Dyson Small Ball upright vacuum cleaner.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The new Small Ball upright vacuum by Dyson, available now on Amazon and Dyson.com for $400 -- and in the UK starting at £370 -- looks like pretty standard fare for the premium small appliance company.

It's a colorful, visually appealing hunk of plastic parts, complete with the requisite cyclone technology and ball-wheel contraption designed for optimal maneuverability.

While Dyson products do tend to look cool, we haven't always reviewed them favorably. We did like the V6, the V6 Absolute and the V6 Motorhead stick models, as well as the filter-free Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy upright vacuum, but nearly everything else we've tested has lost points due to questionable value. Yes, the models often performed well, but they're extremely expensive compared with the competition and they don't feel particularly durable.

Ry Crist noted that, "the vacuum clicks into its upright position, but it doesn't always stick and can come crashing to the floor" in his review of the Dyson Ball Energy. That's a pretty standard sentiment when it comes to the brand's upright vacuums.

But, Dyson seems to be shaking things up a bit with the Small Ball. It weighs 12.15 pounds -- the larger Ball Energy weighs 17.3 pounds for reference. The vacuum is supposed to be 30 percent quieter than previous compact models, the wand is 25 percent longer and most notably, it's equipped with a "new magnetic lock" that's specifically designed to keep the vacuum from falling down after you lock it into position.

This "magnetic lock" could go a long way toward changing our opinion of the overall build quality of Dyson's upright vacuums and is something we look forward to testing soon. Stay tuned.

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  • Cleaner Type upright