Cordless vacuum cleaners: the new Gtech AirRam Mk2

Cordless vacuum cleaners: the new Gtech AirRam Mk2

The Gtech has undergone a major overhaul.. and if you're someone who struggles to find the motivation to vacuum, well, this lightweight and dare we say brilliant AirRam Mk2 device will turn you into a house-proud townmouse

By Abby Trow and Kate & Nigel Trow
The new Gtech is an excellent machine

The new cordless, bagless, energy efficient AirRam Mk.2 is a significant improvement on the original model, launched back in 2012. Lightweight, more manoeuvrable, quieter and with no-mess emptying, it's a delight to use and it's very very good at the job of sucking up mess from floors, whether carpeted or a hard surface. Special features include new compression technology that compacts dirt into a tubular bale. Weight: just 3.5kg. Energy use: 100w. Price: £199, Gtech  

We tested the original Gtech cordless vacuum cleaner in 2013, soon after it was launched, and as we said at the time, it's a good machine for quick clean-ups. On the downside it was noisy and it didn't get close in to the edges of skirting boards and kick plates. I also felt it was better on carpet than on hard floors.

Nonetheless I wasn't expecting any significant changes when we were given the Mk2 upright and the hand-held Gtech Multi to test...possibly a bit of new styling, a little more horsepower so to speak. 

Well, how wrong can you be because, having been using it for the past six weeks, I think the Mk2 is a massive improvement; and my parents, who are in their late 70s and live in an old rectory in south Wales, have been similarly impressed - you can read their comments - the OAP perspective as they call it - after mine.

 

 

the machine can limbo under the lowest of sofas
Emptying the waste couldn't be easier
Close up of the re-designed Mk2 upright
The Mk 2 AirRam hand-held Multi is also significantly better, with more suction and a lower register
So what do I like about it? Well, in a nutshell I'm finding it a lot more effective at picking up dirt. We have fairly old carpets in our flat, and they've got that slight film of something..not quite grease..but you know what I mean...over them and they don't look really clean unless I've got the mighty Miele Cat&Dog out and vacuumed them with that. The previous AirRam was fine for a quick once over, but it didn't produce the same results as the Miele.
 
I won't get rid of the Miele because it's still a good machine, but since having the AirRam Mk 2 I have not once got the Miele out of the cupboard. Which is a relief because it's heavy, you have to lug it around and of course you're endlessly having to plug/unplug it and not get your your ankles tangled up in the cord. The latest AirRam cleans the carpets as well as Miele does and what's great about it is that it's always there poised for duty..no cord, no plugs and you can lift it with one hand. I keep it charged and because it's very unobtrusive, it lives in the study. Quite handy as a coat rack actually when it's not vacuuming.
 
The AirRam Mk2 is equally effective on hard floors. We have a rubber floor in the kitchen, porcelain tiles in the bathroom and lino in the hallway, with carpets in the sitting room, study and bedrooms and the machine glides effortlessly from room to room sucking up whatever dirt is in its way. 
 
I like the on-off button being moved to the base of the machine so you operate it with your foot and I'm pleased this new model is considerably more quiet that its predecessor and the noise it makes is at a lower register. The machine has bright LED lights on the front, which really do beam in on dirt in dark corners and the design means the base gets up very close to skirting boards and kickplates to gobble up crumbs that the previous model couldn't quite reach. The handle also lies almost flat so you can clean easily under beds and sofas and the handle also has an adjustable height - lower it and get your children to vacuum. 
 
In short, I think this machine is a 'proper' vacuum cleaner, not a carpet sweeper with bells and whistles. You don't need a plug-in machine, though if do decide to eschew one, you would need the Multi for stairs and crevices..
 
The only problem with re-chargeable appliances is that you can lose the re-charging cables and they're about £20 to replace. So be very vigilant and remember where you put them...
 
AirRam Multi
 
Again, a really big improvement on the first AirRam Multi. This one looks more stylish, it's got much more suction and cleaning power thanks to a brush roller, and while it still is a bit shrill for my liking, it's less noisy than the previous model. Another great advantage is that it has a 20-min run time. It's lightweight and cleans stairs in no time. Easy to empty, it's very useful - great for the car too.
 
Overall view
 
Both machines are excellent and my floors have never been so dirt-free. Having a cordless machine makes life so easy because it only takes a minute to grab the device and clean-up.  
Hard floors, carpets, stone..the Mk2 works well on them all
Charge the battery in the machine or remove it and charge it up

Kate & Nigel Trow

We were delighted to test the AirRam as we do find vacuuming quite a chore now we're older and the upright machine we have is very heavy. In fact it's so heavy that Nigel uses it just once a week really, which isn't enough,' says Kate Trow.

'We both are impressed by the lightness of the Gtech and of course the real advantage to it is there's no cord. A couple of years ago I did trip over the lead on our vacuum cleaner and fell and broke my wrist so the cordless aspect to it is what makes it a godsend.

'We find it works well on the stone floor in our hall, on the carpets in the sitting and dining room and on the Marmoleum in the kitchen. We have two floors upstairs and it's so easy to carry it upstairs and carry on with the vacuuming. Before there was the unplugging and the heavy lifting and then plugging in again upstairs..all that trouble is gone.

'I'm getting used to remembering to keep it charged up and know I mustn't lose the charging lead.

'With the Multi, that's been very useful for our stairs, which are painted and have carpet down the centre with stair rods. Cleaning them using our heavy upright wasn't easy because you'd have to balance the machine as you worked your way up. But you just hold this in your hand and it's very effective. I find it a bit too noisy but it's not unbearable.'

'We do feel it's much easier to keep on top of the housework with these vacuum cleaners, and for older people who worry about falling or who can't lift heavy things, they are ideal.'

The AirRam Multi costs £149, but if you buy it with the AirRam Mk 2, you can buy both for £299. 

.
.
.