- Highly efficient
- Easy to empty and clean
- Well designed
- 5 year guarantee
- Lacks attachments
- Struggles cleaning thick carpet
Review Price £199.00
What is the Gtech AirRam?
The Gtech AirRam doesn’t look like a normal cordless vacuum; it looks more like a slimmer and lighter upright vac. Appearances are deceptive, however, the AirRam is a simple, energy-efficient product looking to steal some of Dyson’s innovative thunder and make vacuuming sexy. That’s no easy feat, but with a sleek design and cordless functionality it’s one the Gtech AirRam might just be able to pull off.
Gtech AirRam – Cleaning Performance & Suction
The Gtech AirRam is not a vacuum in the traditional sense. Normal vacuums have a motor that powers a fan. The pressure drop, caused by the fan, creates a vacuum, which sucks up all the nasties. Most vacuums also have a rotating brush that helps feed dirt into the intake. The AirRam differs in its cleaning tech by using the rotating brush as both a brush and the fan that helps creates suction. A separate fan also helps increase suction. Don’t worry, that’s it, science lesson over.
We were initially a little sceptical about how the AirRam would perform. It’s battery powered, light and doesn’t have the suction power of other vacuums, and our experience with stick and cordless vacs in the past suggested it wouldn’t deal too well with tough chores.
Its initial test was to tackle the nylon carpet of a room that had just been prepared for painting. The carpet was covered with dust, pieces of plaster, nails and large scraps of wallpaper. This was a task that could cause blockages and damage to many traditional vacuums, particularly those with narrow hoses.
Surprisingly for a battery-powered product, the AirRam passed with flying colours. Not only did it manage to sweep and suck up the larger pieces, it also managed to pick up most of the dust and the small particles we were expecting it to miss because of the lower suction.
The Gtech AirRam powered through the nylon carpet test
If a piece it rolls over is too big to scoop up it rattles around the rotating brush, making it easy to remove by hand or to shake out. When this happens the AirRam gets very noisy and this is one of its few negatives.
The performance on smooth surfaces such as vinyl, wood and laminate is similarly impressive. We expected it to pick up bigger pieces of dirt, which it does very well, but it also did a thorough job with fine dust and powder. On these types of surfaces the AirRam’s brush actually propels it forward, making vacuuming light work.
The only surface the AirRam struggles with is thick shag. Its lack of strong suction means it can’t pick up dust as well as a traditional vacuum can on this surface. If your house is covered in thick carpet you should look elsewhere, perhaps the Dyson DC50 Animal.
The suction from the traditional vacuum is better able to get dirt out of thick carpet
Gtech AirRam – Usability & Maintenance
There are no attachments for the AirRam, so you won’t be able to use a hose to get those hard to reach corners or use it on furniture or curtains. Its profile is also means getting under couches or furniture that lies close to the floor is a struggle. It's a perturbing limitation for a £200 vacuum, but it is powerful enough to suck up dirt and dust stuck from edges, such as next to skirting boards, making it less of an issue. It's not meant as a complete replacement for a traditional vacuum. It's more for daily use while a normal vacuum should be used when you want to get through all the nooks and crannies.
A clever rotating mechanism lets you steer the AirRam with a simple flick of the wrist, as opposed to having to force the wheels to the left or right to get the angle required. A second handle half way down the shaft makes it easy to lift or vacuum stairs.
The key strength of the AirRam lies in the fact that it is battery-powered. Not dragging a cable around, or unplugging and replugging as you go, is a godsend. You’ll power from room to room with nothing impeding you other than the battery running low or it needing to be emptied.
Rather than use a bag or cylinder, the AirRam traps dirt in a compact plastic container. This lifts easily out of the base so it can be tipped directly into a bin. The rotating brush manages to compress dirt well, but you’ll still need to empty it more regularly than a bagged or traditional bagless vacuum although the fact that it’s so simple to empty means that this is not a major drag.
There are two filters which stop finer dust from clogging up the motor. These are easy to remove using a coin and Gtech recommends they are cleaned by running them under a tap once a month. The rotating brush can be cleaned in the same way.