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Dyson DC25 Blueprint impressions: is the 'Ball' worth it?

Darren Murph

Dyson's DC25 Blueprint just started shipping en masse this month, and with an MSRP of $529.99, it's significantly more pricey that the "bargain-minded" DC23 Turbinehead that we had a peek at last month. The company's range of 'Ball' vacuum cleaners have been around for years now, but this is the first chance we've had to roll one over our own carpet. With a striking white finish, impeccable build quality and a design to make any gadget nerd blush, there's quite a bit here that you won't find on your average vac, but is the sphere really enough to warrant the lofty sticker? Read on for our two pennies.

Gallery: Dyson DC25 Blueprint - Limited Edition | 22 Photos

First off, we should mention that the DC25 Blueprint - Limited Edition is downright gorgeous. From a design standpoint, it's hard to not fall in love here. The white is stunning, and the curves are in all the right places. We know -- that sounds tremendously odd when referring to a gadget that cleans the dust and debris from your den, but it's true. Assembly took all of four minutes (a few snaps here, a few clicks here), and off we went. Our first negative vibe was from the power cable; Dyson's cheaper DC23 has a retractable power cable, whereas this bugger has a traditional "just hanging there" cable. Why not implement the brilliant cable management system on the DC23 into this vac? Or all of your vacs, honestly.

After grumbling for a bit over that, we eventually plugged it in and fired it up. In unscientific testing, we found this machine to be noticeably more noisy than the DC23, though folks who clean while jamming to their MP3 player won't much mind. The mechanism for reclining the vac is just beautifully intuitive; you simply press the large blue handle on the rear with your foot, and the wheels slide up allowing you to tilt it back as far as you please. Standing it back upright is just as simple; just tilt the handle forward and wait for two solid clicks. The bundled attachments all worked well enough, though the extension handle is in an odd place. You actually have to stand the machine upright, remove the handle altogether and clip an attachment onto the rod that tucks away behind the handle structure. It's a somewhat convoluted process, though we suspect Dyson anticipates that you'll use your upright for "upright duties" while using your hand vac for those hard-to-reach places. That's not a valid excuse for the design choice here, though.

So, how'd the ball work? In a word, well. Moving the machine forward and back was incredibly simple, requiring little to no effort even in thicker carpet. It had no issues going from carpet to rugs to hardwood floors, and suction remained as it transitioned from surface to surface. The ball, however, didn't really blow us away. It's supposed to make maneuvering your vacuum way, way easier, though we didn't really find it as revolutionary as we had hoped. We still generally made the same movements, and while it did make cornering a touch simpler, you still end up walking directly behind the vac sooner or later. Don't get us wrong -- it's a stellar design, but it's not as world-changing as Dyson would have you believe. If you could get this machine for under three bills, we'd say it's worth springing for, but we can't really justify the lofty price tag here on the addition of a ball alone.

All told, the DC25 Blueprint just struck us as too pricey for what it is. Is the suction amazing, even after extended use? No doubt. Is the design incredible? Clearly. But the full package just doesn't scream "value" at $530. Unless you've got oodles of spare cash to blow, we'd probably recommend one of Dyson's cheaper options (such as the DC23 Turbinehead). We can't argue with the quality and performance of the company's vacs, but it just feels like Dyson's trying to get away with charging a higher-than-acceptable premium here because of the paint job. Not that we haven't seen companies play that card before, but at the end of the day, there's no need to put spinners and a spoiler on a machine that cleans up your guest room. If you catch our drift.

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