Next up in my Dyson comparison series are the V12 Detect and V10 Absolute, two vastly similar but (also) different products in various aspects.
The V10 Absolute was the starting point in Dyson’s switch to the horizontally aligned dustbin, offering more capacity and a longer run time than its predecessors.
The V12 Detect is one of their latest offerings with a lighter frame than the full-sized options [V10, V11, Outsize, and V15].
Both have roughly the same run time and power output, but the V12 is lighter, albeit with a smaller dustbin, so which option is better?
I’ve put both through rigorous tests to find out and let’s get into it.
An Overview of the Dyson V12 Detect and V10 Absolute
Dyson V10 Absolute
- Airflow: 59.71 CFM
- Dust bin size: 0.77 liters
- Sand on hard floor: 100%
- Deep Cleaning: 97.03%
- Weight: 5.9 lbs.
- Run time: up to 61:59 mins.
- Recharge: 4.5 hrs.
- Battery: 3600 mAh Li-ion
- Noise: 76.7 dB
Dyson V12 Detect
- Airflow: 58.74 CFM
- Dust bin size: 0.35 liters
- Sand on hard floor: 99.9%
- Deep Cleaning: 94.1%
- Run time: up to 63 mins.
- Recharge: 5.2 hrs.
- Battery: 2500 mAh Li-ion
- Weight: 5.2 lbs.
- Noise: 80.7 dB
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Jump to: Introduction, Similarities, Differences, Ergonomics, Interface, Run Time, Airflow, Cleaning, Noise, Maintenance, Noise, Maintenance, Product Specifications, Where to Buy, Which is Better, Verdict
While the model numbers may indicate that these products are similar, they have far more variety.
The Dyson V12 Detect and V10 Absolute are a few generations apart and have some critical variances we’ll look at in a bit.
Yes, both utilize the same framework that has made Dyson so popular over the years, but the differences can make or break your decision between them, which is my primary goal for this comparison.
Link Between Old and New: Dyson V10 Absolute
- Lower cost than the more premium Dyson stick vacuum options
- Decent-sized dustbin
- It has surface-specific tools for hard floors and carpets
- Above-average pick-up on surface and embedded debris
- 60-minute run time is decent on small to medium-sized homes
- Non-detachable battery
- Chunk soft roller won’t fit under low clearance overhangs
- It doesn’t have Dyson’s latest features
Before the influx of Dyson’s latest offerings – the V11 Torque Drive and V15 Detect, there was the V10 Absolute, formerly a flagship but now closer to the entry-level.
This model is Dyson’s first with the horizontally aligned dustbin, a departure from the vertical orientation found in older models like the V7 and V8.
You can see traces from the previous generation, notably the slide switch for toggling between three power settings.
It’s the first with the new filter configuration where the pre and post-motor are fused.
The photo above shows the V10 and V11 filters side-by-side.
So (in a way), the V10 was a turning point in Dyson’s product development history.
It has 8% more power than the V8 and (more importantly) runs 34% further on a single charge.
This variant is the first model with extended range, especially on hard surfaces, thanks to the improved battery technology.
It’s inferior compared to the V15, V11, and Outsize, but these figures were impressive during its release.
Cleaning performance is above average for a cordless stick vacuum, especially on surface debris, since it used the same fluffy attachment from the V8, which was highly efficient on hard floors.
Another innovation introduced by Dyson with the V10 is the adjustable gates in the standard nozzle, enabling it to clean large dirt piles without snowplowing them.
Lightweight V15 Option: Dyson V12 Detect
- The lighter frame offers better ergonomics
- A detachable battery makes it easy to remove it without using any tools
- It has Dyson’s latest technology, like the laser slim roller and Piezo sensor
- Some options have two batteries (plus chargers), doubling the run time to over 120 minutes
- The push-button switch is less tiring to use
- Laser slim roller accentuates dust particles better than any LED-equipped stick vacuum
- The hair screw tool excels at cleaning long hair on upholstery
- Smaller dustbin capacity (more than 50% smaller than the V10)
- Utilizes the older standard brush roll design of the V8
Before testing the V12, I thought it was only a variation of the V15 with a push button switch, but after purchasing one and putting it beside the V15, this variant is much smaller and lighter and thus has better ergonomics.
The photo above shows a side-by-side comparison with the V11 Torque Drive, which is close to the V10 in size.
This model is a purpose-built option for folks looking for something lighter and less tiring to use with the enhancements.
It’s the first full-sized Dyson cordless stick vacuum I’ve tested with a push-button switch.
When I say full-sized, I’m talking about products using Dyson’s traditional design configuration.
Dyson downsized all elements and prioritized ergonomics in the V12 Detect, and the weight reduction makes it more usable above floors.
It utilizes the same piezo sensor as the V15 Detect, showing the debris size and quantity picked up in real-time.
The only variance is the red button for toggling between the three power settings.
The laser slim roller is another technology that bled from the V15 Detect, helping it track dust better than any stick vacuum I’ve reviewed.
Next, we’ll look at the similarities between these Dyson stick vacuums a few generations apart, starting with the framework.
The V12 Detect and V10 Absolute utilize the same framework with the dustbin, motor, and filter on top.
One variance is the size difference, where the V12 is the smaller option. Again, it’s by design because Dyson prioritized ergonomics over power and cleaning performance.
2. Purpose-Built Nozzles
I’m not talking about the design similarities but the surface-specific tools. Both options have a soft roller and standard nozzle for cleaning hard floors and carpets, but the similarity ends there.
The V12 Detect has the newer laser slim roller with a thinner profile and the green laser for tracking dust, while the V10 utilizes the chunkier fluffy attachment.
However, the V10 uses the updated standard nozzle with adjustable gates, whereas the V12 reverted to the older V8-style brush roll.
These products have interchangeable tools, and consumers can use them in various configurations, primarily as a handheld or stick vacuum.
One advantage of the V12 is its got the latest tools, which will vary depending on where you purchase it.
It has the torque screw tool, an excellent option for cleaning long hair on upholstery.
4. Hygienic System
Another similarity between the V12 and V10 is the hygienic system, where folks can use a trombone-like lever to push the dirt down.
The Dyson V10 was the first to utilize this design in the current V-Series lineup, and it’s pretty effective at emptying debris, except for hair that tends to stick on the inner walls.
The V10 (right on the photo) hygienic system works best on heavier debris.
5. Claimed Run Time
Despite having a smaller battery, the V12’s claimed run time equals the V10 at 60 minutes.
And these claims are accurate as it lasted over 60 minutes (63 to be exact) with the laser slim roller.
The V10’s run time is also accurate as it lasted around 61 minutes, but with the crevice tool.
So I’d give the V12 the advantage in this category because it uses Dyson’s latest battery technology.
Next, we’ll look at the variances between the V12 Detect and V10 Absolute, and there are plenty, starting with the size disparity.
The most obvious difference is the size disparity; this photo shows how much bigger the V10 is.
It’s by design as the V12 Detect is biased toward ergonomics and usability over range and cleaning performance, though it has an above-average range per battery.
2. Dustbin Capacity
With the downsized frame, the V12’s dustbin is much smaller than the V10 at 0.35 liters (versus the V10’s 0.77 liters).
It’s one unavoidable downgrade with the smaller body, but it shouldn’t be an issue for tiny homes since the dustbin will not fill up unless it’s filthy.
3. Power Switch
Along with the smaller body, the V12 introduced the push-button switch into the V-Series, departing from the trigger mechanism used in most other Dyson products.
Dyson is leaning towards this feature as the newer Gen5 Detect also has a button switch, not a trigger.
4. Battery Detachability
Another enhancement of the V12 Detect, aside from the improved battery performance, is its detachability, making it easy to replace or extend its range.
The V10 Absolute doesn’t have the quick-release latch. Folks will need to unfasten (three) bolts to remove the battery, so extending the range is out of the question.
5. Nozzle Design
While the V12 and V10 have an identical soft roller and standard brush roll combo, their designs differ.
The V12 has the latest laser slim roller with the bright green laser, excelling at tracking dust, while the V10 has the chunky fluffy roller attachment – similar to the V8.
One aspect determining cordless vacuum ergonomics is the weight or lack thereof.
This is a significant reason why the V12 Detect is better in this category. The smaller frame feels much lighter than the 0.7-pound difference.
Adding the push button switch enhances its usability because there’s no need to squeeze a trigger continually, blessing arm and wrist fatigue.
The Dyson V10 is lighter than the newer options, the V15, and V11, but the large dustbin is much heavier.
Another win for the Dyson V12 Detect is the interactive LCD screen showing various data like run time, Piezo sensor readout, error codes (if any), and current power mode.
Unfortunately, the Dyson V10 doesn’t have this feature since this model was a transition between the old and new generation V-Series variants – you could see traces of the old and new technology baked into it.
The photo above shows a side-by-side photo of the V10 (left) and V11 (right) – the latter was the first with the interactive LCD screen, while the V10 doesn’t.
Despite having a smaller capacity battery (2500 mAh vs. 3600 mAh), the V12 Detect ran longer than the V10 with the soft roller attachment.
|Dyson V10 Absolute|
|Non-powered||61:59 mins.||31:33 mins.||5:07 mins.|
|Cleaning Nozzle||46:45 mins.||25:37 mins.||5:42 mins.|
|Dyson V12 Detect|
|Hard Floor||63:00 mins||37:50 mins||N/A|
|Carpet||42:00 mins||27:31 mins||6:25 mins|
One reason is Dyson’s newer battery technology in the V12 with energy-dense batteries.
I tested the V10 with the soft roller and the crevice tool, and it lasted just under 62 minutes with the crevice tool and under 47 minutes with the fluffy attachment.
Factoring in the two batteries (at least with select options), the V12’s run time extends to over 120 minutes, which is impressive for a cordless stick vacuum at this price bracket.
The Dyson V10 has slightly more airflow, based on experiments using an anemometer.
|Dyson V10 Absolute|
|Wand||28.57 CFM||36 CFM||59.71 CFM|
|Cleaning Head||26 CFM||31.37 CFM||49.27 CFM|
|Dyson V12 Detect|
|Wand||27.43 CFM||32.23 CFM||58.74 CFM|
|Cleaning Head||24 CFM||28.52 CFM||48.38 CFM|
However, the variance doesn’t seem to affect the cleaning performance of these products except for embedded debris, so it shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
Both are capable of cleaning surface and embedded dirt efficiently, but I don’t recommend either for cleaning carpets exclusively because of the need to use the max setting.
|Model||Dyson V12 Detect||Dyson V10 Absolute|
|Hard Floors (Surface Test)||99.8%||98.84%|
|Sand on Hard Floor||99.9%||100%|
|Carpet (Surface Test)||99.45%||98.4%|
Like the airflow results, there isn’t much variance between the V12 Detect and V10 Absolute (only a few percentage points).
Even with deep cleaning, the difference isn’t enough to put one model above another.
So consumers will need to look at other features like whether they’ll need the dust-tracking-ability of the laser slim roller or the adjustable gates to clean large dirt piles.
Which option is better on hard floors?
Based on the sand on hard floor test, which I use for determining a cordless vacuum’s hard floor competency, the V10 Absolute would be the winner.
However, the difference between these products is so tiny that it shouldn’t be a factor.
First, look at the before and after photos for the V12 Detect.
And the V10 Absolute.
You’ll notice I used the V10’s standard brush roll for the test, but it’s only part of it. I also used the fluffy attachment, which got the same 100% score, so debris pick-up is excellent for both tools.
One factor to consider is if you’ll need the laser slim roller and its bright green laser illumination for its dust-tracking properties.
Hair Wrap Comparison (on Hard Floors)
Surprisingly, despite the lower airflow, the Dyson V12 Detect performed better in the hair wrap experiments on both surfaces.
Both don’t have an active anti-tangle system, so I don’t recommend either for heavy-duty hair cleaning, but these experiments may give you an idea of which is better.
- 5-inch strands: 96%
- 7-inch strands: 100%
- 9-inch strands: 92.5%
- 11-inch strands: 98%
- 13-inch strands: 100%
However, one issue with the V12 is hair wrapping on the axle, which can be tedious to clean because of the location (or the difficulty cutting hair strands off).
The V10 Absolute didn’t do as well with longer hair strands, only picking up 46% of eleven-inch hair (versus the V12’s 98%).
- 5-inch strands: 100%
- 7-inch strands: 95%
- 9-inch strands: 91%
- 11-inch strands: 46%
Edge Cleaning Comparison
These cordless stick vacuums efficiently clean debris at the edges, needing only a few passes to pick up everything.
Here’s a before and after shot for the Dyson V12 Detect.
And V10 Absolute.
Which option is better on carpet?
The Dyson V10 Absolute, with its higher airflow, picked up more embedded sand in the deep cleaning experiment, but the variance is low (only 3%) to be a deciding factor (97% vs. 94%).
Consumers must look at other features rather than the cleaning test results to decide which is better.
Both tools have their pluses and negatives.
The V10’s torque drive nozzle has adjustable gates, so there’s less snowplowing when cleaning large dirt piles, while the V12’s brush roll has a rubber blade behind the brush roll, enabling it to pick up more after the initial pass.
Hair Wrap Comparison (on Carpets)
Again, the Dyson V10 Absolute fared better, picking up a higher percentage with longer eleven-inch hair.
This could be the higher airflow and chunkier brush roll since these are factors outside an active anti-tangle system.
- 5-inch strands: 96%
- 7-inch strands: 100%
- 9-inch strands: 92.5%
- 11-inch strands: 30%
The V12 did well between five and nine inches but struggled with eleven-inch hair, only picking up 30%.
Likewise with the V10 – not much issue with shorter five, seven, and nine-inch strands, but it didn’t resist long hair strands above the nine-inch threshold.
- 5-inch strands: 100%
- 7-inch strands: 95%
- 9-inch strands: 91%
- 11-inch strands: 46%
As I’ve said earlier, the V10 picked up more eleven-inch hair than the V12 Detect because of the higher airflow and thicker brush.
But I don’t recommend either for heavy-duty pet hair cleaning since cleaning the brush can be tedious.
The V12 Detect is better at cleaning hair on upholstery because of the torque screw tool with the tapered roller, and nothing wraps on it, even with large quantities of long hair.
|Model||Dyson V10 Absolute||Dyson V12|
|Low||64.1 dB||70.1 dB|
|Auto/Mid||71.6 dB||72.5 dB|
|Max||76.7 dB||80.7 dB|
Despite having more airflow, the V10 Absolute recorded lower decibel levels with the noise test using a sound meter, ranging between 64 and 76 decibels, while the V12 Detect maxed out at over 80 decibels.
Nonetheless, Dyson cordless vacuums aren’t quiet, especially in the auto and boost (or max) settings.
If you’re cleaning carpets extensively, expect the decibel levels to creep into the high 70s and low 80s.
Next, we’ll look at an underrated aspect of cordless vacuum ownership: maintenance, specifically what parts to clean and when.
I’ll enumerate a list and the suggested intervals.
- Brush Roll: This component is the most abused, so check it once a week and clean any hair and dust built-up to prevent unnecessary friction from hampering its performance.
- Dustbin: Empty it after every cleaning cycle to prevent dirt from clogging the exterior filter component and dust mites from breeding inside.
- Filter: Dyson recommends cleaning the filter monthly using room-temperature water under the faucet. Don’t use detergents or chemicals, as these will degrade the filter material.
- Battery: Avoid using the max (or boost) setting for extended periods to prevent battery degradation from constant overheating.
- Mini turbo brush: Remove any hair buildup on the brush, especially on the V10 tool, since it only uses a standard-shaped brush.
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Considering the current pricing of these products, it’s hard to recommend the V10 Absolute over the V12 Detect because the latter has Dyson’s latest technology without the premium cost.
It was a transition period when the V10 was released as Dyson shifted their R&D efforts from corded to purely cordless products.
Regardless, it’s still a decent product with excellent surface debris cleaning, but without the bells-and-whistles or the V11, Outsize, and V15 Detect.
5 Reasons to Choose the Dyson V12 Detect
- Latest Dyson technology: The V12 Detect possesses all of the latest technology from Dyson without the premium price tag – it’s one of its best value-for-money options.
- Tracks dust: The slim roller nozzle’s green laser accentuates dust particles, helping folks track dust and increasing efficiency at cleaning hard floors.
- Detachable battery: This feature makes removing or extending the range easier (by purchasing extra batteries).
- Better ergonomics: The V12’s lighter frame and push-button switch give it better ergonomics than the full-sized V10.
- Torque screw tool: It is a game-changer because nothing wraps on it, even with extremely long hair strands.
3 Reasons to Choose the Dyson V10 Absolute
- Larger dustbin: The V10’s 0.77-liter capacity is more than double the V12.
- Slightly better deep cleaning: It picked up a better (only 3% more) score in the deep cleaning test.
- Adjustable gates: The V10 standard nozzle has adjustable gates, enabling it to clean large dirt piles without plowing them forward.
These models represent different phases of Dyson’s product development history.
The V10 Absolute was a “transition model” from the older V8 series to the next-generation models. Thus, it blends old and new technology, while the V12 Detect represents the next phase, where ergonomics and usability are prioritized.
I don’t recommend it over the V12 Detect unless you need the large dustbin capacity.
Aside from that and the (slight) deep cleaning pick-up, the V12 Detect offers more for your dollar.
It has the latest technology, two batteries (in select models), and comparable surface cleaning performance at around the same price point (always check first before purchasing).