Dyson's DC35 Digital Slim is a strange beast, adding a long tube and a wide motorized head to its hand-held cordless dustbuster. The resulting vac is remarkably useful, though, which makes its shortcomings — poor battery life, just-OK suction and a $300 price tag — easier to overlook. It's lightweight enough to hang on a hook and perfect for cleaning out nooks and crannies, or the cruft under couches and beds.
Physically, it's nearly identical to the DC-16, though Dyson says the motor is more powerful. It handled light granular spills with ease, but needed a slower hand with heavier particles such as wax shavings or cornflakes. The mechanical head makes it particularly good for slurping up pet hair. It gets about 10-15 minutes on a charge and recharges in a few hours.
A replacement for lesser handhelds, not full-size vacs, it is in essence a modern replacement for the unmotorized hoddoddodder machines that never really worked, and in that role it excels—for the few minutes it runs on a charge. But unless your living quarters are very small, take marketing shots of it cleaning entire homes with a grain of stubbornly unvacuumed gourmet sea salt.
• Perfect for getting under and behind furniture.
• Lightweight, cordless, and the wand comes off for standard dustbusting.
• Can't vacuum while it's plugged in, charging, which is where it very often is.
• No trigger lock.