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Dyson's latest handheld vacuum works smarter, not harder

There's also a smart sun lamp and a personal air purifier.
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The weather's warming up, which means spring is almost here. That heralds the cleaning out of musty apartments, students studying for finals and of course, allergy season. Dyson just unveiled a trio of products that can take care of all of those vernal needs and more. There's a new smart cordless vacuum, an air purifier-slash-personal fan and a smart light that takes its cues from the sun.

Gallery: Dyson Lightcycle, Pure Cool Me and V11 | 11 Photos

None of these products break new ground for Dyson. These are all categories the company has already dabbled in, but the products are even more refined now. First up: $600 Dyson Lightcycle. Yes, that's the actual name and it has nothing to do with Tron. Instead, the "cycle" in this refers to day and night. This connected lamp takes the basic metal arm design of Dyson's CSYS task light and sticks a microprocessor into it.

It receives real time data tracking the current position of the sun, and adjusts the light level accordingly. It'll gradually get brighter as the day goes along, with its greatest intensity at noon. As it transitions into evening the light will get warmer, that way you avoid pesky blue light that might keep you from sleeping properly.

Dyson

You're not entirely beholden to that giant ball of fire in the sky, though. The top of the lamp has touch controls that let you adjust the light levels and, if you really want to fine tune it, you can also customize the light's brightness and color through the app. You can choose between various presets, select your own preferred lighting temperature (warm or cool) and set a wake or sleep timer. An ambient light and motion sensor will make sure the Lightcycle turns off when you're not using it.

There's even a nifty away mode that will simulate someone turning the light on and off at irregular intervals, to scare potential intruders away. And don't worry about burned out bulbs or wires in your very expensive desk light — the Lightcycle is supposedly good for 60 years of use, thanks to the special copper rod cooling system that draws heat away from the bulb, extending its life span.

Dyson

To keep yourself cool, Dyson takes its expertise in fans and air purifiers and mashes them together in the $350 Pure Cool Me. Thanks to its HEPA filter capable of grabbing particles as small as 0.3 microns, it can trap pollen, mold spores, and bacteria, as well as household chemicals like hair spray and bathroom cleaner. It won't clean an entire room — the Cool Me is about sanitizing your personal space, especially if you're in a shared environment like an office.

The Pure Cool Me creates two air jets that flow over the device's outwardly curved surface. When they meet, it creates a single, powerful gust. This is Dyson's "Core Flow" technology, inspired by the Harrier Jump Jet. You can shift it around by sliding that convex surface back and forth with your palm, though I personally found it a little tricky at first to manipulate. The Pure Cool Me doesn't have an app or any smart controls like the larger Pure Cool line. However, since this you're meant to be sitting right next to it at all times, maybe it's not the most egregious omission. (Though, it would be nice to get some air quality readouts.)

Dyson

Also on deck to clean up your personal space is Dyson's new V11 handheld vacuum, which comes in two models: Animal and Torque Drive. This successor to last year's V10 is designed to fix a lot of the pain points of other stick units.

The V11 has a battery that can run for an hour — though it's unlikely you'll be at it for that long, because it's 20% stronger than the V10 and smarter too. It actually monitors the amount of torque coming off the floor to figure out if it's being run on a bare surface or thick rug, and then it adjusts its motor speed in response, as fiber tends to need more oomph to suck all the dirt out. Many vacuums have knobs or dials that let you adjust the brushes manually, and it can be a real pain to figure out what works best. Personally I just set mine in the middle and don't even bother changing it at all in my apartment, which is mostly wood floors with the occasional rug. The V11 makes it a lot easier to switch between surfaces and conserves power in the process.

Dyson V11

The higher end Torque Drive model comes with an LCD screen where I could watch the level of remaining charge double when I rolled it from a pile carpet to a bare wood floor. Even more handy are the diagrams the screen displays when there's a blockage or the filter needs changing: It shows you exactly where and how to take the V11 apart to fix the problem.

Because it's Dyson, of course the V11 won't be cheap. The lower-priced Animal runs $600, and lacks a screen though it still packs in adaptive suction technology. The battery level and mode are indicated with LED rights instead. If you want the full experience, the Torque Drive is $700, but you do get an extra attachment in the package. Last year's V10 also cost that much, and at least you get a lot more features for the price this time around. The V11 and the Pure Cool Me are available today, while you'll have to wait until April 4 for the Lightcycle to grace your reading nook this spring.

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