Gtech AirRam review

By Ced Yuen



Our Score:


Editor's note: This is a review of the original Gtech AirRam, tested in September 2013 with a score of 9/10.

What is the Gtech AirRam?

The Gtech AirRam isn't like most cordless vacuums you'll find in the shops. It looks a lot more like a slim upright vac. That's what it looks like, but it's actually a very different proposition all together. The AirRam is a simple, energy-efficient floor cleaner looking to steal some of Dyson’s innovative thunder and carve a niche for itself in a popular market.

That’s no easy feat, and the AirRam certainly won't replace your vacuum. This is, rather, an extension to your floor care arsenal, but with a sleek design and cordless functionality the Gtech AirRam is a very useful one at that.

Gtech AirRam – Cleaning Performance & Suction

The Gtech AirRam is not a like vacuum cleaners you might be used to. In fact it's not really a vacuum cleaner at all. Normal vacuums have a motor that powers a fan. The pressure drop, caused by the fan, creates a vacuum, which sucks up all the nasty things on your floor or carpet. Most vacuums also have a rotating brush that helps feed dirt into the intake. The AirRam differs in its cleaning methods by using the rotating brush as both a sweeper and the fan that helps creates suction and pull up dirt. There's a small, separate fan that helps increase suction and pull up more dirt. The first thing you'll notice is that the AirRam doesn't "stick" to your floor like traditional vacs.

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 previous experience with stick and cordless vacs suggested it wouldn’t deal too well with tough chores. That's all changed with Dyson's nifty cordless DC59, but the AirRam is again a different proposition from hand-held vacs.

We didn't hold back in our testing. We set it to work on 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.

Related: Lightweight Vacuum Cleaners

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, but at least you know there's something stuck that you need to deal with.

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. One slight issue is that it sometimes drops some larger pieces behind it so you need to go back and forth a bit more often than you normally would.

Buy Now: Gtech AirRam from Amazon (£229) | Gtech from (£199)

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 could be a struggle if the gap is less than 5 inches. 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. As we've already mentioned Gtech's floor cleaner isn't meant as a complete replacement for a traditional vacuum. It's more for giving your pad a daily spruce, while a normal vacuum should be used when you want to get clean 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 and we see this as a key advantage for people who may struggle with heavy objects or have limited mobility.

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.

Gtech AirRam – Running Costs & Battery Life

Gtech claims 40 minutes of battery life for the AirRam. In our tests it lasted for just over 31 minutes on a difficult floor with lots of debris, close enough to the 40 minute claim, and more than enough for a daily once over. Four LED lights in a panel on the front let you know how much juice is left, however this is a little imprecise as our AirRam ran out of steam while 2 lights were still on.

The most frustrating aspect of battery-powered devices, aside from how quickly they run out of power, is how long they take to charge. Gtech has considered this is and equipped the AirRam with 'fast charging'. In our tests it took around 4 hours to charge from empty, which stretches the definition of fast a little but its much better than most stick vacs. Unfortunately, the AirRam can’t be used while plugged in but extra batteries are available to buy for £40.

One of the Gtech’s biggest and boldest claims about the AirRam regards its efficiency, 100W for 40 minutes of cleaning. Gtech claims the AirRam can pay for itself in five years based on 20 minutes of use a day with an energy cost of 14p per KWh, as compared to a 2400W traditional vacuum. While the cost of a KWh and 20 minutes of use are accurate, it should be noted that only the least efficient or most heavy-duty vacuums use 2400W. Most Dyson or Miele vacuums run between 800W-1500W although upright vacuums, such as those from Hoover, do run at 2200W-2400W.

The AirRam is still brilliantly energy-efficient, particularly considering its cleaning performance, but savings will depend on how much you vacuum. It's good news for your carbon footprint, too, if that's a concern.

You can calculate exactly how much you’re saving by plugging the AirRam into a PC (there’s no current OSX app) via a USB cable that can be ordered for free. In addition to power used, the software tells you the condition of the battery and even how many calories you’ve managed to shed while vacuuming.

Gtech AirRam – Design & Build Quality

The AirRam is a good-looking vac and comes in white (version tested) and graphite (otherwise known as dark grey). It’s very simple to put together - the aluminium handle slots into the main stem and locks securely into place. Similarly the battery slides into the back with ease.

As we’d expect for a vacuum costing £200 build quality is good and the AirRam looks and feels solid, particularly the handle, brush and wheels. The lengthy five-year guarantee provides additional peace of mind.

At 3.5Kgs the AirRam is lighter than traditional vacuums, but heavier than most stick ones. If you have back problems or struggle with heavy objects then the AirRam is the perfect vac.

Buy Now: Gtech AirRam from Amazon (£229) | Gtech from (£199)


At £200 the AirRam isn’t cheap; it also isn’t as functional as other vacuums that come with multiple attachments or that can tackle thick carpet. But that’s not the point of the AirRam. It's an addition to your cleaning aresnal not a replacement for a vacuum. It's also good looking and easy to use and the efficiency means it pays for itself in the long-term.

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.

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'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? 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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