The Gtech AirRam is a cordless vacuum cleaner with a whopping 40 minutes of battery life. It weighs only 3.6 kg and has an ultra-low profile, so it should be a doddle to whizz around the house, easily cleaning all floors, stairs and under furniture that has around 10 cm clearance. There’s no need to change settings when moving between floor types and only one power setting on the vacuum itself.
With AirRam’s edge cleaning technology, floors are cleaned up to the edge of the wall and the rotating brush bars pick up hair and pet fur from carpets. Suction is good for a cordless, especially on low pile carpets, and the dust doesn’t have to travel far, it is compressed in 600 ml bagless dust compartments in the vacuum head and easily emptied without causing dust clouds. The washable filters do not need replacing, so there are no running costs on consumables.
The 22v Lithium Ion battery charges fully in about 4 hours. That’s pretty fast for the battery life. There are four LED bars to indicate the battery power, giving you plenty of warning so you can get around to the most important areas if it’s waning. It can also be ‘topped up’ for an hour in order to provide additional vacuuming time if you haven’t quite got everything. This is a very low power vacuum cleaner, just 100W for 40 minutes of vacuuming, so there might be a small reduction in your electricity bills compared to mains cleaners that can use up to 1600W.
Gtech are marketing the AirRam as a main vacuum cleaner; there are no attachments for the AirRam, though, which can be fine but some owners get a handheld vacuum cleaner to spot clean narrow crevices, furniture and curtains, etc.
A unique and perhaps slightly gimmicky feature is that if you order a separate Data Bridge Cable, the AirRam can be connected to a Windows PC and, via the software available for download from Gtech’s site, interact with your vacuum cleaner. This will give you cleaning and usage information, tell you the condition of the battery and allow you to change the power setting from the default high to medium or eco – which cannot be done on the cleaner itself. It can also calculate how much electricity you have saved and even claims to be able to tell you the amount of calories you’ve burnt off whilst vacuuming.
The AirRam is very popular with owners who appreciate its light weight, manoeuvrability, suction power and easy maintenance in particular. Some have had problems with hard floors and thick pile carpets not being cleaned properly and very long pile carpets not getting on with the brush bars. Others have found the rotating brushes to be too sparse and have a tendency to wind hairs around them, though they are easy to clean; there’s good access to the brush bars and with a pair of sharp scissors it’s a quick job. Gtech seems to deal with problems quickly and efficiently. From owners’ experience, within the guarantee period, if Gtech can’t fix it, they send back a new vacuum cleaner, unusually, even the battery is covered.
The Gtech Air Ram cordless vacuum is innovative, very light, easy to carry around and doesn’t have the restriction of a long cord. Design wise it looks very much like an old-fashioned carpet sweeper, but in use it is thoroughly modern and certainly a great contender, watch out Bosch, Dyson, AEG, et al.
Here’s a demonstration from a very satisfied owner and her helpful son:
The battery lasts 40 minutes, that's more than enough for most homes.
Very easy to use, light, manoeuvrable and with no on-board controls other than the power button.
Bagless with washable filters means you won't have to spend money on it.
Battery charges quickly.
Low energy use - only 100W for a full cleaning session.
Good customer service from Gtech within the guarantee period.
Small dust containers - it will need to be emptied more frequently than most bagless vacuums.
Not the best on hard floors and thick or long pile carpets.
There are no attachments included for cleaning crevices and other surfaces.
No power settings on the actual vacuum cleaner - only via Data Bridge on a PC.