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First Look: Dyson DC41 Animal Complete
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First Look: Dyson DC41 Animal Complete

3:21 /

This vacuum aced our performance tests. So why are we so disappointed with it?

-Hey, CNET. I'm Ry Crist and I'm here with the Dyson DC41 Animal Complete vacuum cleaner. Now this is a very, very high-end vacuum. It's $649. It's about as expensive as you're gonna find and it promises top-of-the-line performance. So naturally, we wanted to figure out just how top-of-the-line a vacuum this is. So we put it through a comprehensive series of tests. We did pet hair and cereal and human hair, sand, sawdust, knots and bolts- you name it. We threw at this vacuum to see what it could handle and overall, this vacuum did very well. It is a top-of-the-line, high-end vacuum. It does extremely well when it's vacuuming things up. However, I have some major qualms with it that make me say it's a "no buy." Now, let's take a look at the design of this thing. When you hear the word "Dyson," you think about Dyson products- the Dyson Airblade, Dyson vacuums- you probably think "a good design" and you think these are products that are cutting-edge and they're made in the laboratory and they're very advanced and they're just meticulously plotted out, but the problem with this vacuum lies in the design. First off, you can't bring it out of its standing position without yanking it. You can't step on it somewhere. There's no button. You just have to give it a good yank, and I hated that. I felt like I was hurting it every time I put it down and what's worst, if you don't put it down all the way, these back wheels here won't pop up and get out of the way, and it makes it [unk] vacuum very poorly and it's an easy thing to miss. So you have to kinda be careful with it. Then when you're putting it back up, it doesn't always snap into place the way it should. You hear a click but you need to click it and get it a little extra umph to make it stand up. If you don't, it'll fall right back down, and I can't tell you how many times during testing I would click it up to put it into a standing position only to have it fall back down towards the floor and I'd had to dart down to catch it. On top of that, let's take a look at the wand. The wand reaches pretty far. It's got a lot of attachments. That's what you get with this Dyson Animal Complete. Aside from the attachments, the hose itself just isn't very good. It's not designed well. There's no handle. There's no good place to hold it. Like I said, it performed very well. It got a 9 out of 10 in performance but in terms of design, Dyson's notorious for good design and this is not well-designed so I'm a little stunned by it. Now all that out of the way, there are a lot of good things about this and there's a reason it's $649. Not just the performance, it also gets the Dyson ball, which is very good. As for the canister itself, it's got a nice size. It's fairly easy to open and dump out and closed. But if you look at it, it just got a lot of little plastic kind of flimsy parts that move a little too much. The plastic itself is supposed to be the same stuff they make riot shields out of- Dyson's very proud of that. And I have no doubt that it is very strong, it's not gonna break or crack but the rest of this plastic here- that's not riot shield material right there and that doesn't really inspire confidence. So I guess the point is if you like Dyson vacuums, if you love this design and think that Dyson is a really quality brand- sure, this is the best vacuum they've got. It's gonna do very well. It's gonna clean up any mess you throw at it, but I think there are better vacuums out there with better designs that do just as well. This is so expensive it needs to be perfect in order for us to love it, and it's just not. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist.

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