Breaking free from vacuum filters: the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball

cinetic-big-ball

It’s certainly got an attention-grabbing name – The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball. But does Dyson’s latest vacuuming construction live up to its warrior-esque title?

Any newly-released vacuum by Dyson has to be worth taking note, especially when it claims to process dirt and dust into microscopic pieces without any clogging and by doing so eliminating the need for a filter.

So let’s have a look at what the tech press big guns have got to say about the new Dyson Cinetic Big Ball that has been dubbed as pushing vacuum technology forward.

GizMag got the chance to conduct an early review of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball. Asides its annoying upright canister and base latch, which, if you don’t get right, causes the handle to keep falling back towards you, GizMag was impressed with quiet motor and “phenomenal” suction.

As well as sucking up “enough dog hair to make a third dog”, the Cinetic obliterated party mess with equal grit, as the bristle brushes swept up party streamers with ease.

In cleaning mode, the Cinetic proved its worth to the GizMag reviewer once more, getting rid of stains when spot cleaning was applied.

It’s maintenance-free

One of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball’s biggest pros, writes Tech Crunch, is the fact it is essentially maintenance free. You can kiss goodbye to the days of arduously removing, rinsing and then drying filters. This is thanks to the fact the vacuum relies on smaller cyclones working together which create an intense centrifugal force. This force is capable of separating even the tiniest pieces of dirt and dust –hence no removable debris builds up.

That said, Dyson Cinetic Big Ball users will still have to empty the dust and dirt chamber. As Tech Crunch rightly points out, if they managed to overcome this requisite of modern vacuuming, they would “probably break the laws of physics.”

Another major plus point of the new Dyson, according to Tech Crunch, is all the accessories that most household vacuumer’s will need.

In terms of performance, the Tech Crunch reviewer believed the Cinetic “consistently outperformed” their own Dyson DC25 upright.

Old frustrations

In a slightly less praising review of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball series, CNet claims Dyson’s latest vacuuming wares is stifled by old Dyson frustrations, namely that it’s a tad on the flimsy side.

Whilst, thanks to the ball it rests on, the Cinetic is pretty manoeuvrable, it feels flimsy and falls over, exclaim CNet.

Despite niggling concerns about robustness, what’s remarkable about Dyson’s Cinetic is that it’s filter-free. But does this really make a difference in terms of functionality?

Reviews.com seems to thinks so, claiming the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball is 54% better than the other vacuums they tested and giving it a score of 9.2.

cinetic-big-ball-side

So how much is the new wholly machine filtration vacuum? £459.99 – not cheap, but then what do you expect for a vacuum without filters.

The Dyson Big Ball Cinetic is available now. Visit Dyson to find out more.

Top 5 Father’s Day Ideas

Klhip

Who doesn’t love a made-up holiday designed to perpetuate gender stereotypes and sell merchandise? It’s that time of year again and Father’s Day is upon us. Still it fun giving you dad something, be it tickets to the ballet, a new CD player or just a hug. And it you’re looking for something for someone technically inclined we have 5 things that just might do the trick.

Klhip
If your father’s hand is starting to resemble a bear claw and if your old man responds well to vaguely passive agressive gestures he might very well love Klhip, the world’s first (and only) ergonomically correct nail clippers. Klhip features a precision engineered balance of increased leverage, enhanced control and world-class manufacturing using surgical-grade stainless steel.

Out now from The Foundry for £49.99.

Camper-Van-Tent

Camper Tent
If you Dad has always secretly had a thing for Mother Nature, and yearned for the Summer of Love then why not get his this officially licensed, four-person tent, which is a full-sized replica of the iconic 1965 Volkswagen Camper Van, synonmous with the 1960s counterculture he turned his back on when he married your mother and went into teaching.

Limited Edition VW Flower Power Campervan Tent: £299.99 or try and win one free from Campetition

Philips-Avance-Grill

Philips Avance Grill
Doesn’t your pops love grilled meat but also reside on the British Isles? Chances are he won’t have many chances to get his BBQ on. Fortunately Philips are hoping to change all that with the Philips Avance Grill (HD6360), the first-of-its-kind indoor barbeque with a unique Taste Infuser, enabling you to infuse your food with natural smoky flavours, herbs, or wine, giving your dishes an authentic barbeque taste.

The Avance Grill is available from Amazon for under £120.00

Looj-Fathers-Day

Looj
Wanna give the old man a break from hard work and give him a glimpse into the future household maintenance? Then give him Looj – the UK’s first gutter cleaning robot. Able to clear 30 feet in just 5 minutes the Looj is perfect for clogged cutters and automatically senses and adapts to the conditions in your gutter, making sure the dirtier areas get worked on until clean.
But more importantly you can say “hey Dad I got you a robot”.

The iRobot Looj 330 is available now from iRobot.com for £299.

Orbitsound-M12-FDay

Orbitsound Wireless Soundbar
If your Dad loves great sound and hates cables then he and I should hang out. And while we’re hanging out we’ll be using Orbitsound’s M series wirless soundbar. We loved Orbitsounds T series wired soundbars and were delighted when they made the leap to wireless. The room-filling spatial sound enhances TV audio and had Bluetiith streaming built in. And there’s a wireless subwoofer for some all-important bass.

Orbitsound M9 and M12, £299 and £399 respectively, both available from John Lewis.

Grillbot: BBQ Cleaning Robot

GrillBot-on-Grill

Robotic gadgets often work best when they prevent us having to do tiring and repetitive physical work, and that’s certainly an apt description for cleaning a barbeque grill. Enter the Grillbot: a gadget that looks and works a lot like the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner but for your grill.

As with the Roomba, the Grillbot uses sensors to control speed and direction, making sure it take the most efficient route around your grill while still getting everything clean. The big difference is that instead of nylon brushes for picking up dust, the Grillbot has three replaceable brushes with tough metal bristles for scraping the gunk and fat from your grill in exactly the same way as using a wire brush by hand. The three brushes are removable for washing and you can even chuck them in the dishwasher.

The basic principle is certainly simple: in fact inventor Ethan Woods developed the idea by attaching a wire brush to a power drill! As with many gadgets — the works of James Dyson come to mind — the tricky part was making it work smoothly and reliably, particularly given that that grills are anything but the type of solid, flat surface robots prefer.

GrillBot

One of the most impressive features is that, because Grillbot uses wire brushes, it’s able to get to work even while a grill is still hot. Normally when we barbeque, by the time a grill has cooled down completely it’s got dark, we’ve had a few drinks, and we have neither the willpower nor the ability to clean properly, leaving us with the heartsinking sight of a dirty grill the next morning. With the Grillbot, you can set it to work as soon as you’ve put out any flames and you’ll have a great talking point among your more gadget-oriented guests.

The standard version is powered by six D-cell batteries (the chunky sort often used in torches.) A premium edition model uses a rechargeable battery with mains adaptor for charging. With the premium model you can also use a timer to automatically set the Grillbot to shut down after a set period of cleaning.

For those of us in the UK who’ve learned to distrust the phrase “barbeque summer”, it’s possible not everyone will need to use the Grillbot enough to make it a worthwhile investment to the same extent as our American cousins. It really comes down to how often you barbeque and how much you detest cleaning. That said, for anyone who operates commercial grills or runs a campsite or holiday park, this could be a significant time saver.

The Grillbot will be available from mid-2013 with the standard version costing $69.95 and the premium edition $99.95. The manufacturers plan on a UK release at some point, but you can pre-order from grillbot.com for international delivery as the charger is compatible with 240 volts power.

iRobot Mirra 530 and Looj 330 Pool and Gutter Cleaners: Robot Chores

Pool cleaning isn’t normally the first type of manual labour (or in some parts of California, Manuel labour) that I would assume would be under threat from robots. According to my knowledge, which is based solely on movies, pool cleaners are good looking wayward men in their early 20s who spend half their time idly raking the pool and the other half flirting with bored housewives and curious husbands. I need to watch better movies.

Mirra-

However once again technology has lept in to innovate and iRobot has introduced Mirra 530 a Pool Cleaning Robot. Chore-laden children in sleepy towns across American movies can also rejoice as the company also procudes the Looj 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot.

iRobot Mirra 530 a deep cleans any type of in-ground pool surface and water. This means you don’t have to use the pool’s filtration system, hoses or booster pumps as often so you save and lot of energy and money in the long run. Mirra 530 provides complete pool coverage anda thorough cleaning through its iAdapt Nautiq Responsive Cleaning Technology which allows the robot to size up the approximate dimensions of the pool – then choose the optimum cleaning cycle for maximum efficiency. Mirra makes multiple passes over the entire inside of the pool, floor to waterline, including walls and stairs and constantly responds to its environment by navigating obstacles, changing directions when necessary and making sure not to tangle its 60-foot floating power cord.

Looj

The iRobot Looj 330 cleans gutters on its own at the press of a button, taking a dangerous yet tedious job and doing it for you. Looj uses a high-velocity, four-stage auger to blast away leaves, dirt and clogs while brushing gutters clean. In CLEAN mode, Looj automatically senses and adapts to debris, providing the most effective cleaning. Its low-profile design enables Looj to fit in more gutters worldwide (Looj is already on sale in North America). A communications range up to 50-feet between the robot and remote control handle allows Looj to clean long stretches of gutter without having to move the ladder and Looj is waterproof in up to 8 inches of water.

Mirra 530 features the latest in pool cleaning technology and an easy-to-use design, bringing yet another state-of-the art solution to iRobot’s line of home robots. This is also the first time that our outdoor robots, including the award-winning Looj 330, will be available internationally, a huge leap forward for the fast growing robotics industry.

Jeff Beck, chief operating officer at iRobot

Mirra 530 will have a suggested retail price of $1,299.99
Looj 330 will have a suggested retail price of $299.99

The best of the Gadget Show Live @ Christmas – part 2

Gadget-Show-Live-at-Christmas-Part-Two

Make sure you check out part one of this guide from yesterday.

The Gadget Show Live @ Christmas brought all sorts of fun and games to East London. We had a play with a few choice items.

GSLX-Fridja

Fridja
Ironing is very few people’s idea of a rollicking good time but the Fridja ironing system was the second most desirable item I saw in the whole show (after the OP-1). As I’m often fresh, dressed like a million bucks I need my garments to look crisp. Fridja brings high grade garment steaming to the people, and at £99 it’s at a fraction of the cost of a local dry cleaners.

GLSX-MakerBot

Replicator 2 3D Printer
If you read Chris Anderson’s Makers (or even just my review of the book here) you’ll know that there’s a brave new world of 3D printing, where people can apply all the exciting and collaborative elements of Web 2.0 and apply them to the real world of bits and bobs. The Replicator is great for knocking up all sorts of amazing knick knacks, although at £1799 is far from an impulse purchase.

GSLX-R2D2

R2D2
Star Wars landed in the late 70s and then never really went away. And there’s even a possibility that the recently announced sequels buy Disney might be … well good. I was charmed by this inflatable remote controlled R2D2 which can spin 360 degrees and generally float around. It’s best feature is its self-righting system that defies being knocked over – as was throughly tested by the gang of schoolboys I saw trying to give poor Artoo the kicking of his life.

Stickem
Stickems are simple screen wipes made from ultra fine microfibres. What makes sticks special – and fun – is their “self -cling” backing that means you can pop them on the back of your tablet or smartphone and have them handy any time you want to remove any make-up, oil, grease of whatever you happen to have covering your phone. They come in a range of fun designs in collaboration with up and coming artists so they’re a good way of keeping your phone clean and personal.

GSLX-Mu

Mu
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest and we just need to take time to think about the simple things that we take for granted. The Mu rethinks the ubiquitous three-pin and makes it a portable pleasure for the pocket-focused smartphone world. The Mu folds down to a compact 14mm completely hiding the three pins via a clever (and patented) swivel mechanism, making The Mu 70 per cent smaller than a standard plug.

iRobot Roomba 600: When Will Smith takes on vacuuming

Roomba-660

Keeping your house neat and tidy can be a nightmare at times, especially if you live in a one-bedroom flat like myself… There are just not enough hours in the day. As luck would have it though, the smart chaps at iRobot have come top the rescue with their new Roomba 600 cleaner.

Now I can sit back, put my feet up and enjoy the latest Will Smith film safe in the comforting knowledge that the Roomba 600 is running around the floor, vacuuming the flat from top to bottom – doing all the hard work for me, all without having to lift a finger.

Packed with new features, the Roomba 600 is one of the most technologically advanced cleaners on the market. An optimised airflow will ensure the evenly-filled bins need to be emptied less frequently, the Aerovac brush design means it will pick up more dirt than in previous models and it will need to be maintained less often.

You can even tell it which rooms you don’t wish to be cleaned, which it will then avoid and concentrate on the rest of the house. How have you survived up to now without one of these clever devices? Household chores will never be the same again.

To find out more about the iRobot Roomba 600 and how it can help keep the dirt at bay, visit their website on www.irobot.com/uk.

Neato XV-25 robotic vacuum cleaner review

Sweep away hair and allergens without lifting a finger

This is like a dream come true – as I write this, a small robotic vacuum is navigating its way around the ground floor of my house doing the vacuuming.

I will do anything to get out of housework, so when the ed suggested I try out a robotic vacuum cleaner, designed especially to pick up allergens and pet hairs, how could I refuse? The house is generally covered in cat hairs from dawn to dust, so I figured it would certainly get a good workout.

Neato-XV-25

The Neato XV-25 might sound like something from a 1960s sci-fi cartoon, but looks like a chunky set of bathroom scales in shape. It comes with a charging unit that plugs into the wall, and the vacuuming unit itself is low, so could sit beneath a chair or table if you wanted to keep it out of the way.

It’s incredibly simple to set up – a few buttons are all that stands between you and getting it to do a spot clean – and programming it to clean the whole house at a certain time on any day of the week is as simple as setting a digital alarm clock or setting the time on the central heating.

When it starts up, it does sound alarmingly like a plane getting ready to take off, but as it’s actually vacuuming it’s not too bad. I often can’t hoover because my other half works shifts and is asleep when I might do housework (another great excuse for not doing it!), but I could happily let the Neato do its job without disturbing him (not in the same room though!).

Watching the XV-25 navigate its way around the rooms (it has sensors in the front that can detect objects such as chairs and tables), the Neato looks pretty haphazard in where it goes, but it does manage to get pretty much everywhere. Being slim, it fits under chairs that my usual upright vacuum can’t. My only bugbear is that it doesn’t go close enough to the edges, and after a few days of vacuuming, I’ve noticed that there’s a building edge of dust along the sides of the couches that it just can’t reach.

It also does a far better job on carpet than it does on hard floors. Mind you, because I don’t have to do the vacuuming, I can happily set it off a couple of times a day to vacuum while I get on with other things.

Time-wise, I’m quicker – it takes about 30 minutes to do what would take me about 15 – but then I can get on with something more interesting – liker writing reviews for this website.

There’s a lot I like about the Neato – we’ve had a few visitors this week and everyone has been fascinated to watch it go around the room, avoiding chairs, tables and other obstacles (although it doesn’t seem to think anything of running over feet!) I like that it is simple to use, and that you can time it to vacuum when you want – great if you set it to have a vacuum round while you’re putting the kids to bed, or once you’ve gone to bed yourself.

And I love the way it posted a message on its screen saying ‘please put me on the floor’ when I picked it up. It’s got quite a character. It also tells you when it’s finished and is heading back to its charging station.

It has also proved itself pretty efficient at picking up cat hairs (never an easy task) – although I have to say the cats were pretty alarmed by it at first, although they’re getting used to it now. And as we’re in the middle of some decorating work, it has managed to keep the dust at bay far better than I and my usual vacuum cleaner would have done.

Despite that, I think it is far more suited to some homes than others. If you have a minimal house, with very little on the floor, it will work far better than it does in our, admittedly cluttered, home. In fact, it is far more suited to a flat, as it can’t do stairs – we’d love to see it sprout little legs and go up each stair, vacuuming as it goes! If you need to keep it away from certain areas (an area full of wires for instance), special barrier tape is included, which the Neato will detect and keep away from.

The other thing I’m not so keen on (but then regular readers of Latest Gadgets will know I am a skinflint!) is the price – £429 is quite a lot to pay when you’ve still go to go round and dust the edges!

The Neato XV-25 is available from www.amazon.co.uk now

Robomow RM510: Never push a lawnmower again

Cutting the grass was the ultimate excuse for me to get out of doing housework or the washing up. Of course in winter I had to resort to alternative scenarios but each summer it was always my escape route. Now all those carefully laid plans are in tatters thanks to Robomow. Designing a lawnmower that does everything itself. How could they even think of such a thing?

Robomow

Following a simple one time set up where you peg a wire (which is supplied) around the edges of your lawn, the Robomow RM510 will duly set off from its base docking station at the appropriate time you’ve programmed it to and cut your lawn in perfect lines. And it doesn’t just cut, it disposes of the cut grass too by mulching it back under the now pristine turf So no waste grass to worry about because its recycled and your lawn gets fertilised at the same time. When its work is done it returns to its docking station obediently to get recharged ready for its next mowing session.

The built in rain sensor will make sure your Robomow doesn’t venture out when the grass is wet and there’s an additional remote control you can add to navigate it around any particularly narrow strips of grass. Just think, you could be the envy of your neighbours who’ll be desperate to get their hands on it, fortunately the RM510 has a user controlled anti-theft guard and alarm system built in so there’s no chance of it going walkies unless you’ve programmed it to do so. While we’re on the subject of security there’s a tilt detection cut out and a child lock system built in and the unit detects trees, rocks and other obstacles.

In other words, you and I have no choice but do those waiting dishes from now on.

Robomow RM510 £1071.32 available from www.mowermagic.co.uk.