Launched a few weeks ago in Malaysia as well as other regions throughout Asia, the Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra is their latest cordless vacuum that has been built from the ground up to make it ideally suited for the cleaning scenarios typically seen in Asian homes. Here is the in-depth Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra review for Malaysia where we put it to the test.
Most manufacturers go into a numbers game and attempt to issue mere iterative updates for products that simply up the performance by a notch and throw in more widgets and an aesthetic face lift but Dyson has instead gone back to their roots and leveraged their engineering prowess while factoring in the most important thing – listening to the customer.
Their original Dyson V11 Absolute remains an absolute powerhouse of a vacuum with the power and performance to tackle everything from rugs to hard floors on any home on the planet but it was also heavy with a heft that often required more petite users two hands to wield effectively.
It was also rather long with attachments that are better sized for larger European homes rather than the smaller confines of space-deprived apartments. That’s where the Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra comes into the picture.
What is the Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra?
Rather than being an upgrade of the prior V11 Absolute, the Dyson Digital Slim is a complete reimagining of their cordless vacuum design to make it ideal for Asian homes which typically feature hard flooring with barefoot occupants and which have shorter but more frequent cleaning sessions. Additional customer feedback also discovered that the V11 Absolute was a bit too large and heavy for petite users to wield effectively.
To address this, the Digital Slim is 30% lighter and 20% slimmer with shorter but no less effective attachments. Where the original V11 weighed close to 2.5kg without attachments, the Digital Slim weighs a mere 1.9kg. It’s even lighter than the revamped V8 Slim which weighs in at 2.15kg.
Astute readers will probably figure what’s the catch here. While a logical deduction would be that a smaller chassis would likely bring about lesser performance, it’s anything but the case with the Dyson Digital Slim.
The reengineered design of the Digital Slim vacuum wasn’t intended to simply shave a few pounds off the weighing scale; it was done to ensure that there is no compromise in performance whatsoever. The Digital Slim retains a similarly powerful Hyperdimium motor and a redesigned series of cyclones – the linchpin of how it maintains its impressive suction power which we’ll go into in detail later.
|Price||RM2,599 (Digital Slim Fluffy Extra), RM2,799 (Digital Slim Fluffy Pro)|
|Suction power||100AW (Air Watts)|
|Cyclone technology||11 scrolled cyclones|
|Accessories||Slim Fluffy Cleaner head, Light pipe crevice tool, Combination tool, Mini motorised tool, Quick release up-top adapter, Quick-release extension hose, Reach-under tool, Mattress tool, Wand storage clip, Tool docking station & Charger|
|Battery||Up to 40 minutes on Eco mode/ 3.5 hours charging time (removable)|
|Size/Weight||1,100 x 250 x 250mm /1.9kg|
Dyson Digital Slim Design and Build Quality
Externally, the Dyson Digital Slim has a similar form factor to the V11 with a pistol grip and trigger, a bullpup mounted HEPA filter and LCD readout display on the back and a dustbin up front. Set in between the bin and filter is Dyson’s new Hyperdimium motor that is, in itself, a marvel of engineering.
The linchpin of the entire Digital Slim, the Hyperdymium motor which also sees service in the Dyson V11 is capable of spinning at a terrifyingly fast 120,000rpm to generate 100 AW (Air Watts). For the uninitiated, Air Watts is an engineering term to measure the amount of suction going through a given opening which, for lack of a better word, means that the Digital Slim sucks very well indeed.
To make it work, the Hyperdymium motor creates suction by channelling air through a series of miniature cyclones; a design feature that’s been in common use in Dyson’s cordless vacuum designs for quite some time. The innovation here is that Dyson has managed to redesign how these cyclones are aligned in the Digital Slim so that they can cram more into a smaller space without compromising on performance.
Dubbed ‘scrolled’ cyclones, the Digital Slim has 11 of them to offer sufficient performance to tackle even minute motes of dust and the most pernicious dust bunnies. The Digital Slim also has the same high grade filtration system as the V11 to capture almost all captured dust particles and allergens in the dust bin for later disposal.
The Digital Slim’s dust bin itself is slightly smaller than the original on the V11 but that’s not a major issue with frequent users as it’ll be emptied more frequently. Of note is that the slider requires less pressure to open so it’s easier to empty the bin. Up front, the Digital Slim has the same familiar rounded port that accepts a variety of attachments depending on the job at hand.
The end result of this size and weight reduction is that the Digital Slim is light enough to be comfortably held one handed even with an attachment at high port and it’s balanced towards the middle unlike the older V11 which was rather front heavy on its own.
This slimming down programme isn’t just limited to the main housing of the Dyson Digital Slim itself as the various attachments have been made lighter, flatter and more compact but no less effective to deal with the tight spaces in Asian homes. The extension wand itself has also been shortened slightly to a more manageable size by chopping a couple of inches off the end to make it easier to maneuver around.
On top of being lighter and slimmer while retaining the performance envelope of the larger V11, the Digital Slim also has another ace up its sleeve – it has a removable battery at the base of the trigger assembly. Each unit only ships with one but you can buy more separately.
Each battery offers up to 40 minutes of usage in Eco mode and less if you dial up the standard or high-powered Boost modes but you can basically swap them out at will for longer cleaning times.
Overall build quality for the Dyson Digital Slim is excellent with precision fittings and the sort of durability you’d expect from a Sherman tank. It’s built tough, can take a spill or two on the floor without mishaps and is made to last.
We’ve encountered older examples of the Dyson V8, V10 and V11 that are still running around in perfect condition even with exceptionally butter-fingered owners. If you’re balking at the high asking price, think of it as a long term investment in keeping your home spick and span for years to come.
Dyson Digital Slim Attachments – What are they for?
Dyson offers the Digital Slim cordless vacuum in two variants which are essentially the same save for slightly different sets of attachments with your choice of either the Dyson DIgital Slim Fluffy Extra or the Dyson DIgital Slim Fluffy Pro. Our review unit was the former. To be clear, it’s only the attachments that vary slightly – both have the same high-powered Digital Slim vacuum.
|Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra||Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Pro|
|Slim Fluffy Cleaner Head||Slim Fluffy Cleaner Head|
|Light Pipe Crevice Tool||Light Pipe Crevice Tool|
|Combination Tool||Combination Tool|
|Mini motorised Tool||Mini motorised Tool|
|Mattress Tool||Mattress Tool|
|Wand storage tool||Wand storage tool|
|Tool Docking Station||Tool Docking Station|
|Quick release extension hose||Quick release extension hose|
|Quick release up top adapter||Floor dock|
|Reach-under tool||Quick release stubborn dirt brush|
The Fluffy Pro has most of the tools that the Fluffy Extra has but ditches the Quick-release-up-top adapter and Reach-under-tool in exchange for a Floor Dock and a Quick-release stubborn dirt brush. Another minor change in detail is that the Fluffy Extra has a metallic purple extension wand while the Fluffy Pro has a more ostentatious one colour in gold.
What this means is that the Fluffy Extra is better suited for tackling spots above and under heavy furniture typical in many Malaysian homes with large beds, heavy shelving and wardrobes. The Fluffy Pro’s floor dock makes it a better choice for home owners who aren’t able to drill holes in the wall to mount the tool docking station while the unique Quick-release stubborn dirt brush gives it better capabilities to tackle floor mats and rugs.
While many of the attachments are unpowered or simply serve as extensions to reach odd places like the Quick-release-up-top adapter (for targeting the tops of high shelves and ceilings), the quick-release extension hose ( for extra reach) and the reach-under tool (for cleaning under beds, sofas and the like), some run power off the main digital motor.
The Light pipe crevice tool is designed to target narrow spaces and has the advantage of a mounted LED light so you can see where you’re vacuuming. The Slim Fluffy Cleaner head is where Dyson features most of their innovations as it’s made of aerospace grade aluminium for durability and lightness and is 40% lighter than its equivalent on the V11 while having a flatter profile too for cleaning on hard surfaces. The edges have also been improved so it works better and cleans just as well around the edges especially where a floor meets the wall.
Another powered tool is its Mini Motorised tool which has a similar roller to deal with upholstery like chairs, sofas and the like.
The Digital Slim also has two unpowered tools – a mattress tool to effectively clean your bed and a combination tool that features a slide out brush for general purpose cleaning duties.
You also get a wand storage tool that snaps onto the extension piece so that you can store two additional attachments, much like extra shells in a shotgun though in practice this makes for an unwieldy way to store it.
Combined, this assortment of attachments allows the Digital Slim to tackle almost all scenarios in Malaysian homes. For the hard marble, parquet and wooden floors, you snap on the Slim Fluffy Cleaner head. For rugs, carpets, sofas and the like, you use the Mini motorised tool. For tight corners, you use the Light pipe crevice tool. The Combination tool which has stiff nylon bristles is to tackle stubborn dirt and general purpose use or outdoors foot rugs, car mats and the like.
Attaching and detaching them is exceptionally easy and it’s a matter of snapping the attachment piece in. Removing it simply requires pressing the fast release button and yanking it out. In tight spaces, you can also remove the extension wand – the long purple bit – and simply add an attachment straight to the Digital Slim to make it a super compact cordless vacuum.
Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra Performance and Usage
Getting it up and running is relatively straightforward especially for prior Dyson vacuum users though newcomers may find the variety of attachments available daunting at first. Once you unpack it out of its container, you simply have to hook it up to the mains to get a full charge before plugging in an attachment to start waging war on dirt and dust.
While it’s optional, the wall-mounted floor dock makes storing it more convenient though you need to screw it into the wall which isn’t an option if you’re renting accommodation.
For the most part, you’ll be relying on the Slim Fluffy Cleaner head for working on most of the flat floor surfaces in your home. If you see a rug, car seat or something cushioned, swap it out for the Mini motorised tool. If you encounter a tight corner or a narrow space, get the Light crevice tool. If you’re dealing with rougher surfaces like a car mat or outdoors on the porch, swap it out for the combination tool.
Operating the Digital Slim is as easy as it gets – you pull the trigger and it starts sucking. The difference here is that it has three selectable power modes – Eco, Med and Boost, each of which has increasingly higher levels of suction power but a trade-off in higher power drain on the battery that are accessed via the rear LCD readout. The readout also offers basic diagnostics to tell you if the DIgital Slim has encountered a blockage or other mishap.
For a basic clean-up, Eco mode is more than sufficient with Boost mode for especially stubborn bits of dirt and hair or in areas that you rarely clean and need a more thorough clean-up. Most of the time, we relied on Medium mode which delivered enough power to get the job done.
Emptying the bin is as simple as it gets but there’s an added benefit this time as Dyson has made the dust bin itself, the Slim Fluffy Cleaner head, filter and Light pipe crevice tool washable under a sink to ensure a more thorough clean.
In keeping with its mission profile, we subjected the Dyson Digital Slim to a field test over the course of several weeks in our home which has hardwood flooring with deep grooves between the planks that were prone to collecting dust as well as antique furniture cabinets and shelves that were hard to reach unaided.
On medium mode with the Slim Fluffy Cleaner head, we were able to deal with tiny motes of dirt, hair, dust and other bits of detritus with just one pass though some tougher bits that were stuck in between the floorboard grooves and in corners had to be dealt with using the Light pipe crevice tool. For the living room couch and chairs, the Mini motorised tool managed to get an impressive amount of dirt with every pass.
In general, we used the aforementioned three tools the most and only resorted to the combination tool to tackle car mats and some spots outdoors and the Mattress tool to clean beds of dust and fine bits of dirt. The added reach-under and up-top adapter are especially useful and save our backs and knees from significant discomfort and having to take risks climbing on chairs or going prone to clean hard to reach spots in the house.
When compared side by side with the V11, we experienced relatively equivalent dust busting performance, which is to say that it’s one of the best dust busting performers that we’ve seen though we were able to clean for much longer periods of time on account of how light the Digital Slim is which makes holding and using it a lot easier.
Another interesting feature to note is that the Digital Slim is also slightly quieter than the V11 in its equivalent modes on account of better noise insulation materials. Boost mode still kicks up a serious racket but Eco and Middle mode are just a tad bit quieter though it’s still not suppressed enough to conduct bouts of cleaning at midnight.
As the Digital Slim only ships with one battery, we weren’t able to fully test its battery swapping capabilities beyond the standard battery life test. According to Dyson, these batteries will be available for sale separately in the future. On Eco mode, the single battery is able to last about 40 minutes with Medium mode lasting about half an hour and Boost about 15 minutes or so. The rear LCD indicator is able to give a running count down to the minute of how much battery life you have which comes in handy to time your cleaning sessions.
Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra Verdict
The Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra is a watershed moment for the brand as this is exactly the kind of cordless vacuum we’ve been waiting for that’s light and compact enough for petite people to use, has the right attachments to clean everything of note in Malaysian homes and has the power as well as the battery life to actually tackle it in an effective fashion. This is certainly not the cheapest option but it is one of the best that money can buy.
What we liked Improved ergonomics make it excellent for one-handed use, superb performance that matches the V11 Absolute, very practical attachments for tighter corners and flooring, changeable battery packs ensure uninterrupted cleaning sessions
What we didn’t Not cheap, more colourways would be nice, attachments won’t work with older Dyson cordless vacuums
We say The Dyson Digital Slim cordless vacuum offers a finely tuned combination of power, portability and performance to tackle even the most pernicious dust bunnies in Malaysian homes. With an effective assortment of accessories and a form factor that makes it ideal for petite users, this is the gold standard for cordless vacuums in Malaysia and beyond.
Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra
Dyson Digital Slim Fluffy Extra
The Dyson Digital Slim cordless vacuum offers a finely tuned combination of power, portability and performance to tackle even the most pernicious dust bunnies in Malaysian homes. With an effective assortment of accessories and a form factor that makes it ideal for petite users, this is the gold standard for cordless vacuums in Malaysia and beyond.