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Hoover Platinum Collection Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum review: A top-performing no-frills stick vac

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The $179.99 Hoover Linx is an uncomplicated cordless stick vacuum. While it can't compete with the $499.99 Dyson DC59's intriguing design and variety of brush attachments, it offers something even better: exceptional performance. Since it also costs significantly less than comparable performers, its value is tough to ignore. I strongly recommend the Hoover Linx to anyone looking for a straightforward battery-powered stick vac.

Hoover Platinum Collection LiNX Cordless Stick Vacuum
8.2

Hoover Platinum Collection Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum

The Good

The $179.99 <b>Hoover Platinum Collection Linx cordless stick vacuum</b> impressed us with its strong performance. Even Dyson's $499.99 DC59 fell short in comparison.

The Bad

This model doesn't come with brush attachments or any other special features -- it's <i>just</i> a stick vacuum. It also doesn’t have as much character as Dyson's colorful DC59.

The Bottom Line

The Hoover Linx isn't fancy, but it will clean your floors better than most of the other stick models we tested. Combine that with its reasonable price and you have one of our favorite vacuums to date.

A closer look at Hoover's understated LiNX vacuum (pictures)

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Design and features

The design of the Hoover Linx is completely inoffensive, if not a little boring. It has a glossy silver and black plastic finish with some metal accents and a small classic red Hoover logo on the front. Basically, it looks like a pared down upright vacuum.

The $500 Dyson DC59 and $180 Shark Rocket both boast colorful, quirky looks that make them much more visually appealing than the Linx. Some people might prefer a vacuum that isn't trying to call too much attention to itself, though.

While only 7.3 pounds (about half the weight of the upright vacuums we've tested), The Hoover Linx is actually on the heavy side for stick vacuums. Both the Dyson and Shark stick vacs weigh less than 5 pounds due to their unique configurations. The $230 Electrolux Ergorapido Power weighs 5.5 pounds, the $349 Electrolux UltraPower Studio weighs 6.3 pounds, and the $350 Gtech AirRam is the heaviest, clocking in at 7.7 pounds. Still, the Linx doesn't look or feel cumbersome compared to the others.

Hoover Platinum Collection LiNX Cordless Stick Vacuum
The Hoover Linx weighs 7.3 pounds. Colin West McDonald/CNET

The Linx is definitely the simplest model in terms of features. It operates via lithium-ion battery and a separate charger. There's an LED status bar that lets you know how much battery life is left. It has three options -- off, on with suction only (for hardwood or other bare floors), and on with suction and brush roll (for carpets). The dust bin opens on the bottom and the handle can recline quite low for reaching under furniture. That's it for features.

Both the Dyson DC59 and the Shark Rocket have a lot of attachments for completing all sorts of other cleaning tasks. They're really more than stick vacuums since they can double as handhelds, and you can customize them in a variety of ways. Like the DC59 and the Rocket, Electrolux's Ergorapido doubles as a handheld vacuum, although it retains the appearance of a traditional stick vacuum.

Many of the other models also offer multiple cleaning modes. While the Hoover Linx can transition from hardwood (suction only) to carpet (suction and brush roll) with the flip of a switch, Dyson's DC59 has a regular mode and a max power mode that provides a quick burst of power for tackling particularly stubborn debris. The Electrolux UltraPower even offers three different modes -- silent, normal, and booster.

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Each model has a slightly different brush roll design. Colin West McDonald/CNET





Usability

The Hoover Linx offers exceptional usability. Not only is it lighter and more compact than a traditional upright, the battery-powered design allows you to transition between rooms without tripping over a cord or searching for a conveniently located outlet. These features aren't especially unique among stick vacuums, though. All of the models we tested offer that level of usability, except the Shark Rocket (which has a cord).

It's really the small details that make using the Linx a bit less of a chore than other models -- there's a lot of logic packed into its simple design. The power switch is located at the top of the handle within easy reach. A light indicator with labels lets you know if you're in suction-only or suction-and-brush-roll mode. An LED status bar on the front of the vacuum tells you when it's time to recharge the battery.

Hoover Platinum Collection LiNX Cordless Stick Vacuum
A removable battery and separate charger mean that your whole vacuum won't have to sit on a dock in the living room. Colin West McDonald/CNET

You also don't have to worry about storing a series of accessories or charging your whole vacuum on a dock. The Linx comes with a small separate charger so you can remove the battery when it needs to be charged and store the rest of the vacuum in a closet. One drawback is that the battery lasts only about 15 to 20 minutes and takes about 3 hours to fully charge. So, consider buying a backup battery for an additional $70 if you have a larger home, plan to use this as your primary vacuum, or just don't want to worry about running out of juice before you've finished cleaning.

Performance

Our performance tests are designed to see how well the Hoover Linx handles different types of debris. So, we scattered 1 ounce each of fruity Cheerios, pet hair, and a sand-and-sawdust mixture on hardwood, mid-pile carpet, and low-pile carpet. For comparison, we also conducted these tests with the $500 Dyson DC59 Animal, the $230 Electrolux Ergorapido Power, the $349 Elextrolux UltraPower Studio, the $350 Gtech AirRam, and the $180 Shark Rocket.

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Fruity Cheerios have been a challenge for many of the vacuums we've tested, including both stick and upright models. Still, the Hoover Linx picked up 100 percent of the Cheerios on all three flooring surfaces -- hardwood, mid-pile carpet, and low-pile carpet. None of the other stick vacuum managed to do this, although the Gtech AirRam came pretty close. (It cleaned up 90 percent on hardwood, 97 percent on mid-pile carpet, and 98 percent on low-pile carpet.) If you want your stick vacuum to regularly collect cereal or other large particles, the Hoover Linx is up to the task.

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Pet hair is another tough category that some vacuums handle much better than others. Once again, the Hoover Linx picked up 100 percent of the pet hair on all three flooring surfaces. This time, though, the Shark Rocket tied with the Linx; it also collected all of the pet hair on the hardwood, mid-pile carpet, and low-pile carpet

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The sand-and-sawdust tests tell us how well the Linx can tackle smaller particles. This type of debris tends to sink down into carpeting, becoming particularly challenging for vacuums with comparatively less suction power. The Dyson DC59 won this test, picking up 100 percent on hardwood, 63 percent on mid-pile carpet, and 81 percent on low-pile carpet. Electrolux's less expensive model, the Ergorapido, came in second, and the Hoover Linx came in a close third.

Conclusion

The Hoover Linx might not look like much when compared to the design-heavy Dyson DC59, but this simple stick vacuum offers classic, intuitive design and extremely impressive performance and usability. Consider that along with its comparatively low $180 price tag, and it's hard not to recommend this model. Of course, if you want a bunch of accessories and don't mind dropping $500 on a stick vacuum, the DC59 is also a great option. It just won't offer the same value as the Hoover Linx.

Hoover Platinum Collection LiNX Cordless Stick Vacuum
8.2

Hoover Platinum Collection Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum

Score Breakdown

Performance 9Features 7Design 7Usability 9