The Dyson V12 cordless vacuum is on sale this Black Friday

The new Dyson V12 Detect Slim, released earlier this year, offers many of the features we love over the V15 for about $150 less. After spending about eight hours testing the V12 on a mix of carpet, tile, vinyl floors, and hardwood floors—generously covered in cat and rabbit fur, cat litter, and bunny poop—we concluded that the V12 Detect Slim is worth considering as an alternative to the V15, especially if you can find it for $500 or so. less.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

This new cordless vacuum has many of the same smart features as the more expensive V15, such as a laser front light, particle counter, and auto-adjusting suction. And it is more comfortable to use.

We’ll be doing more testing, and sharing our full impressions of the V12 and other new cordless vacuum cleaners soon. In the meantime, here’s everything we love about the V12 Detect Slim — and everything we don’t.

Dyson finally pulled the trigger

We’ve long complained about the discomfort of Dyson’s trigger-style switches, which you have to depress while vacuuming—it’s especially annoying if you’ve got hand or wrist pain. The V12 replaces that inconvenient feature with a simple on/off button. You are now free to switch hands as you navigate around table legs and trash cans! This is a huge advantage over the V8 and V15 series.

It is light and smart

At 5.2 pounds, the V12 is slightly slimmer and lighter than the V8, our current runner-up, and much lighter than the V15 Detect, which weighs 6.8 pounds. Like the V15, the V12 is positioned vertically above the stick (as opposed to perpendicular to it, as in the V8). This design helps the V12 feel more balanced and easier to maneuver.

Model Absolute V8 Uncover V12 Slim V12 Slim Extra revealed v15 detection
current price $350 500 dollars 500 dollars $650
Weight 5.5 pounds 5.2 pounds 5.2 pounds 6.8 pounds
On/off control Effects button button Effects
the show length 40 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes
Shipping time 5 hours 4 hours 3.5 hours 4.5 hours
box capacity 0.14 gal 0.1 gal 0.1 gal 0.2 gal
Tools included Motorbar Cleaning Head, Fluffy Cleaning Head, Crevice Tool, Threader Tool, Assembly Tool, Top Adapter, Stubborn Dirt Brush, Mattress Tool Detangling Motor Bar Detangler Cleaning Head Slim Laser Grooming Head Crevice Tool Hair Curler Welding Tool Clip Wand Motorbar Detangling Cleaning Head, Laser Detangling Cleaning Head, Misfitting Gap Tool, Wand Clamp, Hair Curler Tool, Combination Tool, Extension Hose, Scratch Free Dusting Brush Torque drive cleaning head, laser thinning cleaning head, combination

Laser and screen showing debris

Do you need a laser on your vacuum cleaner? Probably not, but as we note in our guide, lasering in typical Dyson fashion is both a gimmick and part of the actual innovation. The V12’s green laser light, which lights your way and helps detect dirt and debris, is a bit less powerful than the more expensive V15. But we found it was still bright enough to detect dust in hard-to-see areas.

Although the laser struggled to detect dirt on textured vinyl floors, it was useful in dimly lit areas like under tables, dark hardwood floors, and on the tiles between the sink and tub. You might be surprised at the amount of dust and hair that shines, not to mention the hidden spots you wish you hadn’t seen.

Like the V15, the V12 features an LCD display with a particle counter, which estimates the size and type of particles sucked out by the vacuum. It will tell you, depending on particle size, whether you live in a home infested with pollen, scale insects, dust mites or fleas. (My house? All of the above!) But jokes aside, is there anything you can do with this information? Not really, aside from getting sucked into just how big the world is. The only practical feature on the LCD screen is a runtime countdown, so you can race against the clock to make your little corner of the world a cleaner place.

The Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head lights up dirt in the dark. Yak! Photo: Sabine Heinlein

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