Dyson has clearly won the Death Star contract: its latest all-white upright vac looks made to match the battle attire of stormtroopers. Though unable to hit the side of a bus with a blaster, they might finally get a fighting chance against kitty litter spills.
For the rest of us, the Dyson DC25 Blueprint LE is set apart by its relatively light weigh-in, industrial styling, and the manoeverability created by the ball. Like all of its kin, it's a object of consumed art, easy to love and laden with an elaborate set of accessories and tools. Also available is the DC24 Blueprint, which is only 12lb but has half the suck.
Performance was excellent: it handled all the solid spills we set it against, collecting them without fuss. Wisps of dog hair spun like cotton candy in the translucent bin. The ball makes a big difference to manoeverability, but there is an apparent trade-off: it doesn't have the same forward pull that everyday vacs do. It's also loud, especially when the motorized brushes are turned on, and could do with a retractable cable stash.
Both models are available at Target, priced at $430 for the DC24 and $530 for the DC25 (the big one is also offered at Dyson's online store). In each case, that's $30 more expensive than the standard edition.
It's not really worth the premium (which goes up to $50 if you buy a standard DC24 or DC25 from Amazon), but it sure is pretty. Bottom line: get a Dyson ball model if you don't like the angular, hamfisted movements that a normal vac encourages, or if you want to get the house cleaned in record time without cutting corners--and think that the 5-year warranty justifies a higher price tag.