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Dyson V12 Detect Slim review

Does the Dyson V12 Detect Slim, live up to expectations? We take a closer look at this powerful vacuum cleaner and put it through its paces.

5 Star Rating
Image shows the Dyson V12 Detect Slim.
(Image: © Dyson.)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute combines great suction power with a host of useful accessories and features, making this a stand-out cordless vacuum cleaner.

Pros

  • +

    Impressive performance

  • +

    Long battery life

  • +

    Light and very maneuverable

Cons

  • -

    Very expensive

  • -

    Small dust cup

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    Can be noisy

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is Dyson’s most powerful lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner. It features up to 60 minutes of suction power, an illuminating head that highlights particles you normally can’t see, and a sensor that tracks and shows what the vacuum cleaner has picked up. On these features alone, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim promises to blow most cordless stick vacuums out of the water in terms of performance.  

Dyson V12 Detect Slim: Key specs

Type: Cordless

Dustbin capacity: 0.1 gallons

Suction power: 150AW

Battery life: Up to 60 minutes

Battery charging time: 4 hours

Suitable for: All floor types

Dimensions: 48.6 x 10 x 10 in (with stick)

Weight: 5.2 lbs

Storage: Wall-mounted or freestanding

Warranty: 2 years

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is Dyson’s most powerful lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner. It features up to 60 minutes of suction power, an illuminating head that highlights particles you normally can’t see, and a sensor that tracks and shows what the vacuum cleaner has picked up. On these features alone, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim promises to blow most cordless stick vacuums out of the water in terms of performance. 

It also features a host of accessories designed to help you get the perfect clean. From dusting and upholstery brushes to a hair screw tool that avoids tangles, you get the full package of Dyson technology with this vacuum cleaner.

Lighter than most cordless models, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim weighs just 5.2 lbs, making it a great choice for the car, the stairs, and for cleaning soft furnishings such as curtains. 

Our review takes a closer look at the features and accessories this vacuum cleaner has to offer. We also test battery life, suction power, and ease of use, to see if they live up to expectations.

If the Dyson V12 isn’t the cordless vacuum cleaner for you, or your budget is smaller, you’ll find an excellent selection of tried-and-tested models, including robots and cylinders, in our best vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab) guide.  

Dyson V12 Detect Slim: Design

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is characteristic of Dyson's designs, featuring the distinctive orange, purple, and gray colorway with flashes of red to denote buttons and clips. 

Slimmer and lighter than previous Dyson cordless models, the V12’s base unit operates by pressing the red power button on the top of the unit. This is a big change, as older Dysons required the user to constantly press the trigger to keep the motor running. While a button at the top means you generally need two hands to turn it on and off, the deletion of the trigger certainly cuts down on finger fatigue.

An LCD screen at the back of the unit shows you how many particles your vacuum cleaner is collecting as you vacuum, which is useful information if you’re interested in that kind of data. It also allows you to toggle through 3 power modes and shows you how much run-time you have left, whether it’s time to update your filter, or if you have a blockage. 

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is easy to hold, with a deep and wide handle, although there is no comfortable padding here, unlike the Levoit VortexIQ 40 Flex. Above the handle, the filter is in a transparent purple plastic casing, leading into an attractive burnished orange casing for the motor, which is nicely scalloped at the edges. 

Image shows the Dyson V12 Detect Slim.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

From there, we’re into the 0.1 gallon dust cup, which also features a second filter, this one metal. Under the dust cup is a red push handle, which makes quick and easy work of emptying the dust cup into the garbage can.

Each of the accessories is also well-made, robust, and stylish. Dyson has made the unusual choice of making the vacuum heads transparent, so you can see the brush rolls within; blue and yellow for the Fluffy Cleaning head and blue and red for the other two vacuum cleaner heads.

Overall, it’s a pretty colorful combination. If you’re a fan of muted tones, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim may be a little too bright for you, but we enjoyed its funky design.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim: Features and accessories

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim comes with a suite of accessories to add to the base unit: 

  • A laser-illuminated cleaner head, for detecting particles invisible to the naked eye. 
  • A Motorbar™ cleaner head, which has detangling technology. 
  • A hair screw tool, for picking up human and pet hairs. 
  • A crevice tool, for precise cleaning and narrow gaps. 
  • A combination tool, featuring a duster brush and an upholstery brush. 
  • A wand clip, for attaching accessories to the stick shaft. 

Each accessory is sturdy and clips on easily to the stick shaft or base unit with a satisfying click.

If you attach one of the vacuum heads, you can run on Auto mode, which powers the motor up or down depending on the levels of particles the vacuum cleaner detects. There are three further modes – Eco, Medium, and Boost – each of which changes how long your Dyson operates.

The standout feature for us had to be the laser vacuuming head. Seeing just how much hair, dust, and debris collects at the edges of rooms with hard floors is a game-changer, and gives you the extra impetus to ensure you go right to the edge when vacuuming.

Image shows the Dyson V12 Detect Slim.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

Dyson V12 Detect Slim: Setup and assembly

Image shows the Dyson V12 Detect Slim.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim comes in 100% recyclable packaging. No plastic, no polystyrene. Anything that is wrapped is wrapped in paper. This is impressive, and yet so easy to do. It makes you wonder why more companies don't follow the same route as Dyson and opt for 100% plastic-free packaging. 

The manual is not provided with the product. Instead, you can scan a QR code or visit a short link to download the manual, paper-free. The manual itself is clear, well laid out, and easy to read with lots of useful illustrations.

The base unit came partially charged, so we could get to grips with setting up straight away. The battery unit comes already attached to the base unit, but can be easily released with just a small red lever. The filters are already in place, so you only need to fit whatever accessory you want to use, and you can start cleaning straight away. 

Image shows the Dyson V12 Detect Slim.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

Dyson V12 Detect Slim: Performance

We were excited about testing out the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute in our home, given that we have a child, two long-haired pets, and two adults who work from home. As such, the first round of cleaning was a good test to see how well the vacuum could cope with all the dirt and debris from our household. 

We were impressed with the Dyson V12 Detect Slim’s first pass. The vacuum cleaner seemed to pick up all the pet hair, dust, and debris from the floor, including kibble, food crumbs, and bits of grass walked in from outside. 

Image shows the Dyson V12 Detect Slim.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

We also loved how maneuverable each brush head was. Tight corners were no problem, with the vacuum cleaner gliding cleanly around them and picking up every scrap of dirt. 

It was interesting to see the particles removed on the LCD screen, although after a while we tended to not bother looking at this much. What was much more helpful was seeing how much time was left for cleaning. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting halfway around a room before your cordless vacuum gives up on you. 

Emptying the dust cup was really easy. Simply push a lever alongside the cup, and it opens to push everything out of it. You can also pump the lever a couple of times to get rid of any packed-in dirt. 

Image shows the Dyson V12 Detect Slim.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

Part of our testing also included seeing how effective the Dyson V12 Detect Slim was at sucking up fine particles such as flour, and larger particles including oats and cookie crumbs, on both carpeted floors and hard floors. All the tests were performed in a 210-square-foot living room with a thick carpet and rugs, and a 73-square-foot kitchen with a hardwood floor. 

Using the Fluffy cleaning head on a hardwood floor, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute sucked up every last grain of flour, oats, and cookie crumbs, often in one fell swoop. The oats took a couple of passes just to get those particles that had been pushed around by the head instead of being sucked up. However, we couldn’t fault its performance overall. 

Carrying out the same test on an area of carpeted floor, and using the Motorbar™ cleaner head, we had similar spectacular results. It seems there is nothing this vacuum cleaner cannot handle quickly and effortlessly. 

Other accessories proved to be just as useful. The duster brush removed all traces of dust from the skirting boards and hard surfaces, while the Hair screw tool was effective at cleaning stairs and our dog’s blanket.  

We also checked the noise level of the Dyson V12 Detect Slim during operation. It’s not the quietest machine. We recorded noise levels of between 71 and a whopping 82 decibels depending on what mode was used. 82 decibels is pretty loud and equivalent to the volume of a busy city street. However, Dyson only recommends using the highest mode for ground-in dirt, so you shouldn’t have to suffer this level of noise constantly while using your vacuum cleaner. Instead, Dyson says Auto/Med mode is best for general cleaning. At around 73 decibels, this is considered to be around the standard for a vacuum cleaner. 

Although Dyson says the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute can run for up to 60 minutes, it’s important to note that this only applies if you use the vacuum in Eco mode. That means less suction generally, and no extra suction if your vacuum cleaner detects more particles. If you use the vacuum cleaner in permanent boost mode, be prepared for less than 10 minutes' runtime. Using the vacuum in Auto mode tends to give you around half an hour of cleaning. 

The battery takes around four hours to fully charge. Dyson includes a wall-mounted charging dock with the Dyson V12 Detect Slim, but it’s also easy simply to charge up the base unit from a socket.  

Image shows the Dyson V12 Detect Slim.

(Image credit: Joanne Lewsley.)

Dyson V12 Detect Slim: Care and maintenance

In terms of cleaning, Dyson recommends removing and cleaning the dust cup with a damp cloth and allowing it to fully dry before replacing it on the base unit. The brand also recommends cleaning the filter once a month by running it under a warm faucet and allowing it to dry for 24 hours before putting it back into the vacuum cleaner. There is further information in the manual about clearing blockages.

Dyson stocks a range of spare parts and accessories for the Dyson V12 Detect Slim on its website. It also offers a free repair assessment from a Dyson Service Engineer on Dyson machines in and outside of the two-year warranty. Dyson Service Centers are located throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.

By maintaining your vacuum and making sure everything is in working order, you can significantly lower the number of repairs that are required and, in addition, increase the lifespan of your vacuum.

Karen Barrigan, Housetastic

Cleaning expert for Housetastic (opens in new tab)and cleaning business owner Karen Barrigan agrees that a regular service is essential when it comes to maintaining your vacuum cleaner. “Repairing a vacuum motor after failure can frequently cost as much as buying a new vacuum. However, a yearly service can keep your vacuum cleaner in top condition and extend the life of the motor, or at the very least, help prevent early failure.

The warranty lasts for two years and includes repair or replacement, plus ongoing support of any Dyson machine.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim: Price and availability

  • $649.99 / £429.99 

There’s no doubt that Dyson vacuum cleaners tend to sit at the higher end of the market, so you’ll need a large budget if you want to purchase one. However, the features and functionality that this brand offers are often unparalleled, and support and customer service are equally excellent. With a 2-year warranty, you’ll also have peace of mind that any repairs or replacements are covered. 

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is available on the Dyson website, BestBuy, Amazon, and other selected retailers.  

Dyson V12 Detect Slim: User reviews

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim has rave reviews on the BestBuy website, with 19 out of 20 reviewers giving it the full 5 stars. They love how lightweight the vacuum cleaner is, and how effective the brush heads are at removing dirt and debris. Many buyers mention how useful the laser light is at showing up particles and pet hair too. 

One user sums it up nicely: “I am very satisfied with the Dyson V12. The laser makes it fun to use, the motor is powerful, the unit is lightweight and easy to maneuver, and the whole thing is built with Dyson quality. I'm looking forward to years of good use out of it!”

There’s room for improvement according to some users though, such as a larger dust cup, longer battery life on boost mode, and the laser technology on all the vacuum heads as standard. But on the whole, it’s genuinely hard to find a negative review of this vacuum cleaner.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim: What the experts say

Karen Barrigan agrees that the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is probably one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners that money can buy. “With up to 60 minutes of power, you can clean your entire home on just one charge. The highly accurate LCD shows you exactly what is being sucked up in real-time. What’s more, the Dyson V12 has been scientifically proven to provide a deep clean.”

Barrigan particularly rates the laser technology that shows up dust and debris. “With a specialized angled beam, this vacuum can make invisible dust on hard floors visible for an even deeper and more thorough clean.”

Should you buy the Dyson V12 Detect Slim?

If you have a big enough budget, you won’t find a cordless vacuum cleaner that’s more efficient, easier to use, and packed full of useful features, than the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute. Our tests were very conclusive, and we fully recommend buying this cordless vacuum. 

How does the Dyson V12 Detect Slim compare to competitors?

The Levoit VortexIQ 40 (opens in new tab) is similar to the Dyson in terms of performance, but it’s heavier and lacks some key features in the Dyson, such as laser detection, real-time particle data, and an LCD screen. However, it’s effective at cleaning, sturdy and well-made, and is much more affordably priced than Dyson models.

The Aspiron Cordless Vacuum Cleaner (opens in new tab) is a fraction of the price of the Dyson. It’s very light and easy to use, and it features LED lights and a bigger dust cup. However, maneuverability is an issue, with nowhere near as much flexibility as the Dyson, and some accessories are poorly made. 

If you’re looking for the next level in vacuum cleaning, you could plump for a robot vacuum cleaner instead. The Yeedi vac 2 pro (opens in new tab) can map your home’s rooms, vacuum up dirt and debris, and even mop your floors at the same time, all controlled from a smartphone app.

How we tested the Dyson V12 Detect Slim

Here at Top Ten Reviews, we feel strongly about giving consumers the best buying advice. As such, we test every product thoroughly in order to give an accurate opinion of its quality. 

When we test vacuums, we make sure to take note of the packaging and unboxing, the assembly process and how difficult it is, as well as the product's design and features and how it compares to the competition. 

Our reviewers really put vacuums through their paces, testing them in controled conditions using crumbs, flour, and oats to measure how quickly and accurately the vacuum performs. They also make sure to test every accessory to assess its value and usefulness. 

Last but not least, we care about making your purchases last. We've spoken to experts across the cleaning and small appliances industry to get the best care and maintenance advice for your vacuums.

Joanne Lewsley
Customer Advisor, Vacuums, Cleaning and Air Quality

Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with some of the world’s best-known brands and websites, including BabyCentre UK and Medical News Today. 


You can read more of Joanne's work and get in touch via her website: https://www.joannelewsley.co.uk/

With contributions from