The Dyson V12 cordless vacuum cleaner is on sale for Black Friday

The new Dyson V12 Detect Slim, released earlier this year, offers many of the features we love on the V15 for about $150 less. After about eight hours of testing the V12 on a mix of carpets, tiles, vinyl floors and hardwood floors – generously covered with cat and rabbit fur, cat litter and rabbit poop – we’ve come to the conclusion that the V12 Detect Slim is worth considering if alternative to the V15, especially if you can find it for $500 or less.

Dyson V12 Detect Smart

This new cordless vacuum cleaner has many of the same smart features as the more expensive V15, such as a laser headlamp, a particle counter and automatically adjustable suction power. And it is more comfortable to use.

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

Dyson finally jettisoned the trigger

We’ve long complained about the inconvenience of Dyson’s trigger-style switches, which you have to press while vacuuming – it’s especially annoying if you have hand or wrist pain. The V12 trades that awkward feature for a simple on/off button. You are now free to switch hands as you navigate around table legs and litter boxes! This is a huge advantage over the V8 and V15 series.

It is light and manoeuvrable

At 5.2 pounds, the V12 is thinner and slightly lighter than the V8, our current runner-up, and much lighter than the V15 Detect, which weighs 6.8 pounds. Like the V15’s engine, the V12’s is positioned vertically on top of the stick (rather than perpendicular to it as on the V8). This design makes the V12 feel more balanced and easier to maneuver.

Fashion model V8 Absolutely V12 Detect Slim V12 Detect Slim Extra Detect V15
Current price $350 $500 $500 $650
Weight 5.5 lbs 5.2 lbs 5.2 lbs 6.8 lbs
On/off control Tractor Knob Knob Tractor
Duration 40 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes
Charging time 5 hours 4 hours 3.5 hours 4.5 hours
Baking capacity 0.14 liters 0.1 litre 0.1 litre 0.2 liters
Including tools Motorbar detangling nozzle, Fluffy nozzle, crevice nozzle, hair screw nozzle, combination attachment, attachment, stubborn dirt brush, mattress nozzle Motorbar Detangling Cleaning Head, Laser Slim Fluffy Cleaning Head, Crevice Tool, Hair Screw Attachment, Combination Tool, Wall Clip Motorbar Detangling Cleaning Head, Laser Slim Fluffy Cleaning Head, Awkward Gap Tool, Bar Clip, Hair Screw Tool, Combination Tool, Extension Hose, Non-Scratch Dusting Brush Torque-driven cleaning head, Laser Slim Fluffy cleaning head, combination

A laser and a display showing debris

Do you need a laser on your vacuum cleaner? Probably not, but as we note in our guide, in typical Dyson fashion, the laser is part gimmick and part genuine innovation. The V12’s green laser headlight, which illuminates your path and helps reveal dirt and debris, is slightly less powerful than that of the much more expensive V15. But we found it’s still bright enough to reveal dust in hard-to-see places.

While the laser struggled to detect dirt on patterned vinyl floors, it was useful in dimly lit areas such as under tables, on dark hardwood floors, and on tile between the sink and bathtub. You might be surprised, and a little annoyed, by the amount of dust and hair it lightens up, not to mention hidden blemishes you wish you didn’t see.

Like the V15, the V12 has an LCD display with a particle counter, which estimates the size and type of particles the vacuum has picked up. It will tell you, depending on the particle size, if you live in a home that has pollen, dander, dust mites, or fleas. (My house? All of the above!) But all the jokes aside, is there anything you can really do with this information? Not really, aside from wallowing in how dirty the world is. The only practical function on the LCD screen is the running time countdown, so you can race against the clock to make your little corner of the world a cleaner place.

The Laser Slim Fluffy squeegee illuminates dirt in dark areas. Bah! Photo: Sabine Heinlein

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