Dyson AnimalAbout a year ago, we were in the market for a new vacuum cleaner after blowing through yet another one of those cheap vacuums bought at Wal-Mart. As a gadget geek, I really wanted a Dyson but got talked about it by the salesman who convinced me that a European-made a Miele was a much better option – even though it certainly not as sexy as a Dyson.

So I was excited when offered the chance recently to check out the Dyson DC31 Animal – well, as excited anyone should really get about a vacuum cleaner. The Animal is cordless, and looks and feels more like a Star Wars weapon than a handheld vacuum cleaner. True to the Dyson pedigree, it has lot of power, which makes it ideal for quick jobs around the house, garage and the car.

The Animal’s only drawback is while it has a lot of bite (power), it really needs more bark (battery life). In my thorough test, the battery only lasted 15 to 20 minutes, which seemed disappointing. Then again, the Animal is not a vacuum cleaner but more of a tidying tool, which means it’s used for shorter periods of time.

At about C$275, the Animal is a lot more expensive than most handheld vacuum cleaners but if you’re looking for a long-term investment, it’s probably worth it, although I wonder whether it’s worth holding off until a unit comes out with more bark.

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