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Gtech AirRam Mk2 review



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Our Score:



  • Battery life up to 40 minutes
  • Easy to empty and clean
  • Headlights
  • 2-year guarantee
  • Good across carpet and hard floors


  • Lacks attachments
  • Ineffective on edges

Key Features

  • Cordless vacuum
  • 100W power
  • 3.5Kgs
  • LED headlights
  • Battery life up to 40 minutes
  • Easy dirt ejection
  • Manufacturer: GTech
  • Review Price: £199.00

Editor's note: this is a review of the Gtech AirRam Mk2. Click on page 2 for our review of the original Gtech AirRam (2012).

What is the Gtech AirRam Mk2?

When the Gtech AirRam launched in 2012, it was an anomaly. It looked like an upright cylinder vacuum cleaner, only it had the portability and cordless convenience of a "stick" vac. While it was too basic to take care of all your vacuuming needs, its sleek design made it an incredibly useful tool.

Four years later, the market is full of versatile cordless cleaners. Gtech has decided against sitting back, and now we have the AirRam Mk2. It’s had some significant upgrades, which make it a more useful floor cleaner. Additions include headlights, a clever new bin, plus a modified suction system that makes it easier to pick up dirt of varying size.

The concept remains the same: it won't replace a proper vacuum cleaner with all the attachments, but it's a useful and convenient second cleaner if you've got already got a good corded model.

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Gtech AirRam Mk2 – Design

Gtech would like to compare the AirRam Mk2 to Dyson vacuum cleaners, but I don’t think that’s entirely sensible. They’re very different beasts. While Dyson makes upright vacuums and handheld stick vacs, Gtech has seemingly merged the two categories into a third option.

The AirRam is cordless, runs on batteries, and its 3.5kg weight means it’s lighter than most upright vacs. But that’s still heavier than the typical stick vac and it lives firmly on the floor. It also has no tools or attachments, either.

The AirRam is best described as an upright vacuum cleaner on a diet. I say "upright" because it stands up, but it works very differently to traditional upright rivals. There is no cylinder, for starters. Everything is packed into the base unit, where a motorised brush bar beats up dirt before a fan sucks it into the bin.

In this sense it’s not really a vacuum cleaner, since there’s no vacuum. Move the AirRam Mk2 about and you’ll notice there’s none of the powerful suck-down effect that you would find on, well, a vacuum.

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There are four wheels – two large ones and two tiny ones on the unit’s underbelly. Manoeuvrability is aided by the motorised brush bar, which is powerful enough to make the whole thing crawl forwards by itself. Push the AirRam Mk2 forwards on a hard floor and it will feel like it's gliding. That's great for anyone who doesn't want floor cleaning to be a workout, which is something Gtech can boast over its competitors.

Going backwards, you'll be met with a little more resistance. This is because of Gtech’s new AirLOC technology, which is a fancy way of saying the front has a clever little flap. It goes with the motion when you push forwards, but it flicks down and locks into place on the backstroke, creating a better seal.

The new bin is a curious contraption. It accounts for roughly a quarter of the base unit, and It has a snail-shell cross section designed to help compress dirt. Gtech claims the 0.8-litre bin can hold 2.4 litres of dust and debris.

What’s more impressive is the dirt-removal mechanism. Lift the bin out and you can use a little slider to eject bales of dirt. The idea is that you don’t need to get your hands all dusty every time – only when you pull out the filter for rinsing once a month.

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Elsewhere on the base unit is a foot-operated power switch and a removable battery block. Gtech claims a 40-minute running time from a four-hour charge, and my test results weren’t far off. It has four LEDs to indicate how much juice you have left, but they’re not very accurate – the AirRam Mk2 conked out even though there were two lights left.

Speaking of lights, Gtech has added headlights to this AirRam. While that might sound like overkill, it’s great for showing up debris you may have missed.

As for the "stick" part of the AirRam, very little has changed. It remains a telescopic pole with two handles – one to push it around, the other for carrying. I’m not sure why this pole is that chunky, and two handles feels like overkill. Still, it’s easy to assemble – you just slot it together and everything clicks into place.

Build quality is fine. The plastic body does feel a bit tacky, and the bin is a little flimsy, but overall the AirRam Mk2 feels sturdy enough to take on some chair legs. Just in case, Gtech will guarantee your vacuum for two years.

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Gtech AirRam Mk2 – Cleaning performance

The original AirRam was better on carpet than it was on hard floors, but Gtech’s tweaks seem to have fixed that imbalance. Part of that is down to the AirLOC design, which is supposed to draw in bigger debris on the forward stroke, and finer dirt on the backstroke.

I started with hard floor performance, dropping a handful of porridge oats on my kitchen floor. Sure enough, the forward stroke took care of most of the bigger grains, but there were still plenty of finer bits left between the tiles. That’s fine, because a single backstroke sorted that out.

Gtech AirRam Mk2

Next up, the carpet test. I threw down a few spoonfuls of baking powder (plus some oats for good measure) onto my deep pile rug. As before, the forward stroke sorted out the bigger chunks, but there was plenty left. The backwards stroke was much better at picking up the powder.

It wasn't clean, however – the AirRam Mk2 seemed to press some of the powder into the rug, and it took three to four reps to rid the rug of powder. Total cleaning time took less than 10 seconds – not bad, but not as good as best from Dyson and Bosch. Fine powder aside, the Gtech had no issues grabbing crumbs or fine hair.

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The AirRam Mk2 does have a slight tendency to push around bigger bits that don’t fit under the flap on the first pass. It seems the machine relies on running over things to pick them up – because it lacks suction power, it’s not as good at handling dirt it can’t run over.

Crucially, this means edge cleaning performance isn’t amazing. I moved a bookcase to get at the dust that had gathered behind for the last year, and while the AirRam Mk2 was able to shift most of it, there was a clear line of dust left hugging the skirting board. Maybe more suction would help, but there's no option to adjust power.

This calls for some edge and crevice tools, but the AirRam Mk2’s design means tools aren't an option. Gtech does sell the Multi, a handheld vacuum cleaner armed to the teeth with tools and pitched as the AirRam’s ideal companion – but that costs £150. You can buy the AirRam Mk2 and the Multi together and save £50, but even then you’re dealing with two separate devices, with two batteries to be charged.

It's here that the Gtech's rivals have an advantage. Dyson, Bosch and Vax offer all-in-one cordless vacuum cleaners that can handle open floors as well as tighter spaces.

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Should I buy the Gtech AirRam Mk2?

The Gtech AirRam Mk2 builds on the original’s ideas with some useful additions that make it a better tool in general. The headlights are cool, the new bin’s dirt-ejection mechanism is handy, and the AirLOC design is an effective way to improve performance.

The competition is tough, however – tougher than when we first reviewed the original AirRam. The Dyson V6, for instance, offers superior cleaning and flexibility for around £50 more. The Gtech does offer longer battery life with a motorised brush bar – up to 40 minutes versus the V6's 17 to 20 minutes – but the Dyson has tools for cleaning your sofa, curtains and plenty more besides.

Then there's the Bosch Athlet BCH652KTGB, which can be had for similar money, but it beats the Gtech on bin size and battery life. The Bosch also offers adjustable power and tools for different vacuuming styles. Another option is the excellent Vax Air Cordless Lift, which is also £200 and more versatile.

Compared to these rivals, the Gtech AirRam Mk2 is clearly not a flexible, all-in-one cleaning machine. It does one thing, but it does that pretty well. Its job is to clean most of your floors most of the time, and it succeeds in that respect. It's a handy, convenient addition to augment your existing vacuum cleaner, not a replacement for it.


A very clever cordless cleaner, but not the most flexible.

Overall Score


house cleaning austin

August 2, 2013, 7:08 am

That kind of vacuum cleaner looks interesting and nice. This can surely help many people in having a good and perfect tool that would help them in cleaning their carpet easily and effectively.

shani west

September 14, 2013, 3:52 pm

well I have just bought a GTech airRAM and I am already finding it irritating. Firstly not doing corners means well it is not a complete clean. Then It is too deep to get under low surfaces. The instructions are too slight, going over a carpet , the red light started flashing and stopped and it was the thinnest piece of cotton that stopped it.Hair wound around the brushes made it not work -really difficult to clean brushes,
Had it a day and already it isn't showing any light when trying to recharge so is it faulty or already broken?

Penny Dubin

September 20, 2013, 2:24 pm

Was the brush really that hard to clean? My condo has limited carpeting, so deep, plush rugs isn't the issue, but hair clogging the brush would be, as after blow-drying my "mane", I often see lots of hairs on the floor!
Reviews say it really needs a full 4 hrs to charge from empty. What do you find?
Is it actually supposed to show lights while recharging? I would find it annoying if it didn't work correctly, right out of the box.


September 20, 2013, 4:41 pm

Hi Shani
As I mentioned in the review it's not really meant as a replacement for a cylinder vacuum as you will still need one to get into the nooks and crannies. I find the airram perfect for daily use with the cylinder coming out once every couple of weeks.


October 2, 2013, 1:45 pm

Following a severe Stroke at only 48 years old, I was looking for a vacuum that was easy and light to use. Yes, it is light, but sadly, I am very dissapointed. There is no way that the AirRAM can replace my heavy, but brilliant, Samsung vacuum cleaner. It works very well on open flat carpeted areas and hard flooring, but I have a very large, deep rug with a cubic design that has deep ridges around each square, but, as there is no suction action in the AirRAM, any particles that find their way into the ridges, remain there!!. Being the granny of a gorgeous, but active, 2 year old girl, I suffer a huge amount of crushed crisps, biscuits and other food deposits, which stubbornly remain in the ridges until I use my Samsung. It must also be remembered, that the AirRAM, not being a convetional, powered vacuum, has no hose or tools. Therefore, small, difficult to access, or high places, cannot cleaned. Basically, the AirRam, in my opinion, is a rechargable, up very market carpet sweeper. I already own a GTEC SW26 carpet sweeper, that cost less than a third of the AirRAM, but as a quick a clean up, does the job just as well.

silver surfer

October 13, 2013, 2:35 pm

Whilst have been delightedwith performance of my Gtech, when it came to washing the filter, I had real difficulty in getting the filter back into position, as the rubber seals were very hard to position to allow the whole thing to seat properly. I am hoping this will ease with wear


November 5, 2013, 11:35 am

I have had my Gtech got 18 moinths and couldn't live without it. I didn't get it to replace my Sebo as I was aware that it wouldn't do the nooks and crannies as it doesn't have tools. I couldn't live without it. I use it daily downstairs to get rid of the dog and cat hair and it is brilliant, it even goes over the VET bed fleece dog rug as long as it is placed on top of the Turtle mat so that it doesn't slip. It states not to get stringy stuff sucked up or it will stop and have to be unpicked off the brush roller. The flilters are a bit fiddly but I manage and I pick a very sunny day or when the radiators are on as they take ages to dry. They are bringing out a hand held for stairs, furniture, cars etc so will be tempted to get that. I dread if the battery wears out as they are VERY expensive.


December 10, 2013, 7:32 pm

I got this as a Gift and after a few uses the GTech AIRRam stopped working. The motor spins but the heads do not. This looks to be a normal occurrence. I would not buy this product until they seriously make some changes. When the product was working it was great but after less than 10 uses and it breaks then it is no longer useful. Note I used it under normal conditions, nothing too hasty, etc. See video posted by another user. http://www.youtube.com/watc...

Geoff Richards

December 10, 2013, 10:35 pm

Hi Jose,

GTech provides as 5 year warranty so best to speak to them directly, rather than following this video and disassembling your AirRam.


December 24, 2013, 5:05 am

Ok will try them. I just hope I don't get the same problem again.


December 29, 2013, 10:04 am

I have the same problem. Brilliant when it worked but wont suck, sounds like a drill and just doesn't work. I have had it six months and its only been used lightly. I know I could try sending it back, but in my case I wont. Too much hassle ( bet G Tech rely on that!). I bet loads of people are like me. I am very very disappointed to be honest. Loved it whilst it worked. Cost too much for me to replace it again.


January 5, 2014, 12:06 pm

Just to update my comment from a few days ago. I decided to get in touch with G Tech about my Air Ram fault ( probably the cog fault) What can I say? They have been brilliant . They collected my AirRAM from my house by carrier the same afternoon.The sent me a new on on Saturday (two days later). I like the Air RAM and I don't think you can fault that for customer service and honouring a guarantee. Just Brilliant.

Dave Hayes

January 10, 2014, 5:12 pm

love the G tech--we live in Canada--salt and sand in the winter is a problem in our 9 story apartment complex. We find it no problem for our G-tech. Having no chord and terrific power saves us much time-considering purchasing one?? Don't even think about n
ot doing it--you will love it.


March 29, 2014, 1:37 pm

It does have suction like a conventional vacuum, the clue is in the same !!! your report is incorrect !! please ignore what this lady says, if hers does not suck it must be faulty.

Sandy Beech

June 2, 2014, 8:38 pm

Ahhh yes, i too think similarly, It's got a warranty..they'll send you a new vac and all the paperwork and needed materials to return the broken vac...you'll be delighted if you give it a go...good luck


June 12, 2014, 12:25 pm

The obvious solution is to get rid of the unsuitable rug.


July 20, 2014, 3:46 pm

We are elderly and live in a flat in England. The first Gtech Air Ram we bought a couple of months ago arrived already damaged. We had only had it for 3 hours but the phone call to Gtech met with a somewhat obstructive response when told about the specific damage, and they demanded photographic evidence, which was difficult to achieve since I did not have the means of sending a photo attached email. Eventually I sorted this problem out with a little help from my more technically knowledgeable son, and within a few days and after a couple of chase up emails, I received some help from a lady and a replacement machine was delivered and the damaged one collected.
We have only used the new one on a few occasions in the short time we have had it, and found it to be very satisfactory allowing for some of the adverse comments below. But we are a little distressed by the unresponsive result of a letter sent directly to the c.e.o (who we assumed to be Nick Grey), plus emails expressing our dissatisfaction with the way in which our original attempt at obtaining a replacement for the damaged machine was dealt with. So, the conclusion is, don't bother to write in and complain about anything as given our experience it will probably be ignored. I am rather dreading the prospect of having to contact Gtech in the guarantee period should it become necessary.

Sam Heven

September 19, 2014, 11:18 am

Has anyone seen/used this Vax Air Cordless vacuum cleaner? http://www.vax.co.uk/air-co... It looks like a traditional upright cleaner but also has a hose and seven year warranty. It's recieved very positive reviews http://www.slinkystudio.inf... and looks technically better than the Gtec I think.

Jan Tibbles

November 21, 2014, 3:37 pm

I phoned customer services on Saturday 15th Nov., spoke to a very helpful girl who arranged to have it collected on Mon. 17th Nov., which it was.
Today, Friday 21st, I received a brand new machine.
Totally brilliant customer service! I'm more than happy with this outcome and would recommend the product and the company to anyone.

alan chapman

January 2, 2015, 1:08 pm

Good vacuum but filters very difficult to change modification in design is required


May 6, 2015, 2:25 pm

Totally agree as new filters will not allow lid to close. GTECH's advice was to rinse them and leave to dry under a heavy weight when they are then supposed to be compressed enough to allow lid to close. Trying this now so have 2 sets of wet filters and can't use the vac til all dry! Also told by customer service that you can remove the brush bar by undoing the four screws holding it in place. Why is this not in the Instruction manual as the brushes soon get full of hairs. Also emptying the dust is a really horrid job as dust flies everywhere and the filter boxes are also very dirty. Not impressed!


May 6, 2015, 3:41 pm

I have been told by Customer Service to wash the new filters and leave to dry under a heavy weight which will compress the foam and therefore fit in position. The original filters are in the machine when purchased so have already been compressed. Pity these instructions are not given in the handbook! It is a very dirty dusty performance emptying the filters so make sure you do it outside and NOT on your carpet!


May 19, 2015, 9:23 am

jeff Disappointed as bought both vac + handheld Not as good as advert on tv filters very messy to clean and assemble Vac sounds like a knackered car engine exceptionally noisy does not like thick carpet Should have bought Dyson anyone want GTECH going cheap

Heather MacBryde

June 1, 2015, 4:29 pm

how much are you selling it for?

severn sea

July 2, 2015, 9:51 am

Surely it's obvious you don't put wet filters back in, that's the same with any vac. We didn't have any problems, filters are a bit tight but that's good in my opinion. The last thing you want is a loose filter that lets dust through, and many vacs do. I wouldn't have thought it was rocket science to work out you have to undo the screws holding the bar in place either.

Tip: Slice horizontally across the bar 3-4 times with a Stanley knife and it cuts the hairs right down which can be easily removed then, works for any vac. We never had a problem emptying the dust bales on the Air ram - hold over the bin and drop them straight in. You sure we're talking about the same machine? I think they're brilliant.

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