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Dyson DC44 Animal Digital Slim Cordless Vacuum Review

Home Test of Dyson's new Digital Slim - the DC44 Animal

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Dyson DC44 Animal Digital Slim Cordless Vacuum Review

Dyson DC44 Animal

Photo © Dyson
I was very impressed with Dyson's original Digital Slim and the more we used that cordless vacuum, the more we knew we wouldn't want to be without one. It's just that convenient. Well Dyson has a new model out that promises a longer run time and it also comes with a mini powered tool for upholstery. Read on to see how it fared.

Product Despcription

    Dyson® DC44 Animal Digital Slim Cordless Vacuum
  • Root Cyclone™ Technology
  • Dyson® Digital Motor
  • No loss of suction; suction power is 28 AW in normal mode / 65 AW in max power mode
  • Balanced for floor to ceiling cleaning
  • Clear bagless dirt bin .09 gal
  • Motorized head with carbon fiber filaments
  • Increased run time: 20 Minutes on standard; 8 minutes on Max
  • Detachable wand is lightweight aluminum
  • Dual power model: Standard and Max
  • Wall-mountable docking station; vacuum can be charged on or off the docking station
  • Mini motorized tool for upholstery
  • Combination dust tool and crevice tool
  • Battery power: 22.2V nickel manganese cobalt battery pack releases its charge evenly so there is no drop in performance
  • Weight: 5.07 lbs
  • Learn more from the manufacturer
  • MSRP: $399.99
  • 2-Year warranty

How the Dyson DC44 Performed

Dyson DC44 Animal

Photo © Dyson
November 7, 2012
Having previously tested Dyson's original DC35 Digital Slim, I was most eager to see how they could improve on this cordless vacuum that has proven to be a good performer all around. For those who have never tried this handy machine, you won't find any other cordless vacuum that measures up to the Digital Slim in terms of suction power and convenience. They just don't even come near performance-wise. The Slim leaves them in the dust - the proof being in the dirt bin.

And what makes this design stand out over other cordless handhelds besides the excellent suction, is the convenience of having a wand and floor tools which makes it more versatile. It also takes a handheld to new heights, literally. Gone are the days of bending down to clean little floor messes, crevice-clean patio door track, reach deep inside the closet, tidy the craft area or climbing to suck up spiders off the wall.

Sweeping is a thing of the past, except for picking up larger dried up plant leaves. The Slim handles most everything else. This cleaning tool can be used with or without the wand and it also has handy floor tools too. And, most Dyson cleaning tools can be used with it - the Articulating floor tool being one of my favorites.

Now onto the new model; it definitely has big shoes to fill. First off, the DC44 has more run time - 20 minutes in standard mode; 8 minutes on Max. That's about 5 and 2 minutes respectively, over the DC35. That may not seem like much, but for a cordless - every minute matters. That extra few minutes might give you time to clean the entrance too, before company arrives. The DC44 has a fade-free nickel manganese cobalt battery so there's no lag in power or suction. It requires 5 hours to fully charge. After that, just use as needed and return to the docking station for charging. Once charged, it's ready to use; we don't unplug it.

I got most of the minivan cleaned before it ran out. Had cleaning not been so extensive or should I say, overdue, I might have had enough charge to do the whole vehicle. In a few minutes, I cleaned the family room, up the stairs, entrance, laundry area and onto main floor. I let go of the trigger a couple of times as I moved things, but got a good twenty minutes run time on standard mode. It's surprising how much space you can clean in that little time. Much shorter of course on Max, but also more power to remove sawdust stuck to the entrance mat.

That's plenty of time to clean around furniture and traffic areas, including around the wood stove, entrance and mats. In fact, it's rare that we use a full charge; 10 - 15 minutes or so is usually enough for our place. The DC44 is all I need to keep floors free of dirt between more comprehensive cleaning. Sometimes we grab it several times in one day, to clean up little messes or 'sweep' after a meal. We both love the grab-and-go convenience and overall performance of this vacuum.

As for cleaning power, we didn't notice much difference from the previous model - both have great suction. The mini motorized tool has much more than expected and is terrific for vehicle upholstery. There are two motorized tools with the DC44, a larger one which navigates very well from carpet to floor; and a mini motorized tool for upholstery or small areas. Note that our carpet is a low-profile type, so not sure how it would perform on plush carpeting.

As for handling - it does seem nicely balanced whether vacuuming high or low and we didn't really see any noticeable difference there, from the original Slim. I still find it heavy on my thumb joint after 10 minutes as I did with the DC35, but that's just my arthritic hand. My hubby doesn't notice that at all. Regardless, we still love this cordless vacuum and I found it really nice for cleaning the RV too.

Overall Impression

Love this model just as much as the original Slim, but the extra run-time would make a difference when needed - so this newer model is well worth considering for those having trouble deciding which model to get. The addition of the mini-motorized tool also adds function and is great to clean furniture or the vehicle. I would recommend the optional Dyson Tangle-free Turbine Tool for those with pets, since it does an amazing job with hair removal. It does fit both the DC35 and DC44 Digital Slims. Price is the only reason this product did not get a full star rating.

Could you get along with this cordless without having a back-up canister or upright vacuum? It has plenty of suction, performs very well on carpet or hard surfaces and has a good array of practical tools. For those in dorm rooms, mobile homes, senior's residences, tiny flats or condos - it may be all you need. It really depends how large your place is when it comes to run time and what you like to clean with your vacuum. I'm old school and still like to have a full-size vacuum handy.

When I tested the DC35, I had considered the Digital Slim more of a secondary vacuum and for some it will be. But we find ourselves relying more and more on this cordless vac for everyday cleaning, pulling out the canister vacuum, less and less often. It's such a time-saver. Vacuum dusting is a must for me and I have used the Digital Slim with Dyson's Soft Dusting Brush, but I still prefer a regular vacuum hose lighter, easier to maneuver over ornaments and more comfortable for serious dusting. Except that is, for cleaning the ceiling fan. The Digital rules there, coupled with Dyson's Multi-Angle Brush, which makes it possible to clean the top of the blades without climbing.

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Dyson DC44 Animal

Photo © Dyson
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