Did the country's best vacuum cleaner just get better? Absolutely!

BY Mandi Goodier

1st Jan 2015 Technology

Did the country's best vacuum cleaner just get better? Absolutely!

When Gtech launched AirRam in 2012 everyone loved it. It was a real game changer for the industry and consumers alike. Now, with the launch of the Mk2, they're really about to leave Dyson in the dust. 

Will we all be 'airramming' in the future? 

By the middle of the 20th century Hoover became so popular that the brand name became a verb. In 2012 when Dyson was on the brink of a similar feat, Gtech launched the AirRam and it changed everything.

Launched nearly 20 years after Dyson created the bagless cylinder vacuum in 1993, the AirRam was the first major innovation in vacuuming since and was met with rave reviews by everyone who tried or witnessed one in use. It made the cleaning experience less backbreaking, more efficient and actually quite enjoyable!

Think it's impossible to get excited about vacuuming? I thought the same as you until mine arrived and before I knew it I was purposefully spilling coffee grinds onto the floor for the sheer satisfaction of achieving that perfectly clear path left in the AirRam's wake.

But what does a tech company do four years after the launch of such a revolutionary product? They do it all again only better!


The lowdown on the AirRam

AirRam Mk2 under the sofa

First of all, the basics. Let's face it, the absolute worst part of vacuuming is the cumbersome lugging of the hefty, heavy-bodied machine; bashing into walls and sofas in a vain attempt to suck up all the gathering dust from various nooks before giving up and using the nozzle function—which is pretty laborious in itself, bending down, reaching into the mysterious looming darkness of under-the-bed.

AirRam did away with all this bulk by simplifying the body and putting all the technology into the head—including its bale where all the dirt is collected (bagless as standard!)—making it a meer 3.5kg.

This already gives Gtech an advantage over its competitors whose suction has to travel through tubes from nozzle to bale, using more power, and having to navigate blockages. By placing the bale directly behind the nozzle, no suction is lost and all power is dedicated to combatting dirt.

Even if you have a vacuum that suits in terms of comfort and manoeuvrability, there's always the issue of the cord.

Have you ever attempted to strategically plug in your vacuum and then weave it around the furniture aiming to get from one side of the room to the other without stopping to unplug it? This was a regular feat for me, there would be an occasional air-punch when achieved but typically I'd resort to using the nozzle for extra reach before hearing the inevitable sad whirring sound of the vacuum losing power as the plug became dislodged under the tension on its wire.

No more! The AirRam is completely cordless and completely non-cumbersome thanks to the heart of the machine: its battery—which is at the heart of all Gtech's innovations. It'll give you a good 40 minutes of high-powered performance from one charge.


How is the Mk2 better than it's older sibling?

Emptying the AirRam Mk2 bale

It's all down to some simple but seriously smart design. Gtech CEO and founder, Nick Grey says: “With AirRam’s new approach to vacuum cleaner design it was inevitable we would learn a lot from seeing how the technology works in a wide variety of homes. We’ve watched and listened and made some really important changes to the product’s design.”

Gtech approach design by addressing everyday problems that everyday people face when cleaning the home. For example (and this is a very cool addition), who doesn't hate emptying the dirt bale? Puff! a cloud of dust appears and you hold your breath as you hold it at arm's length, upside down over the bin giving it a shake. And God forbid you have to get your hands in there to pull out any stubborn clumps. Not with the Mk2. Its rather modestly sized bale is handheld (yet packs up to 2.4L of dust and debris) and comes with a simple eject lever, making it clean and easy to dispose of that dust.

And it's not only the bale that's removable, the entire vacuum is what-they-call modular. It's the lego kit of vacuums, only far easier to assemble—I witnessed the vacuum assembled in less than ten seconds! 

Why does this matter? Well if you are looking after it properly you'll need to clean the filter from time to time. Also, if it breaks down you can simply isolate the problem and order a new part (with next day delivery which is a definite bonus!). That means no more calling out engineers or emergency visits to Argos or Currys if you find yourself in the midst of a vacuum meltdown.

All of this stuff is convenient, yes, and definitely super-cool, but what we're all interested in is performance.

First off, its runtime is improved, Mk2 lasts 60 minutes compared to the 40 of the original.

According to independent tests, AirRam Mk2 is 40% more effective at cleaning than its predecessor—that's across all surfaces—and outperforms all competitors.

Dyson's V8 cordless does perform slightly better on the carpet, but the Mk2 is significantly better when it comes to hard surfaces and crevices. It's also worth pointing out that the AirRam runs 35 minutes longer than its competitor, making it more efficient.

The verdict


New innovation to the nozzle (a simple rubber flap) creates an airlock when pulled back meaning it seriously sucks.  

Maneuverability:  Four stars

Compared to its predecessor it's a proper little mover, but there's some wiggle room for improvement.


This lightweight has thought of everything when it comes to convenient cleaning, it even pulls apart easily meaning storage is simple.


It's not as garish as the Dyson and reminds us of those old carpet sweepers. Now with added headlights, there's nowhere to run, debris!

Did the best vacuum cleaner just get even better? Oh yes indeed, and then some!

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