Pros: Good suction, lightweight, generous cord, pet hair power brush.
Cons: No on-board storage for pet hair power brush.
I think I have the ideal situation to test the overall capabilities of a vacuum.
I have hardwood floors, some carpeting, upholstered couch and chair and a REALLY long haired cat.
Here are my impressions:
EASE OF USE:
Setting up the vacuum out of the box is easy and takes about 10 minutes.
The Navigator is very light at 15 pounds. It glides effortlessly over hardwood floors and carpeting and needs no height adjustment when on carpets which is a real bonus.
The hoses and attachments are easy to use and access. The cord is very generous at 30 ft so I only have to plug it in twice to do the 1200 square feet of my main floor.
Emptying the bag-less canister is very neat and easy.
First of all, the suction power is pretty impressive. It was able to clean up some of the dirt my other vacuum left behind. Because of the cyclone technology, it never loses suction so you don't have to worry about losing suction as you go along.
The pet hair brush is definitely worth having. To really remove pet hair from furniture, you need some kind of rotating brush like the one on this vacuum.
This power brush was able to effectively remove the bulk of the pet hair from my upholstered couch and chair. I also use this on small area rugs if I'm afraid they might get sucked into the vacuum when using it the traditional way.
The other attachments work as they should.
I paid about $140 for this vacuum on sale. You can also get it on an informercial at $199 but you get the steam mop with it. While this is a LITTLE more expensive than some budget vacuums, it is well worth it in my opinion. And as far as other vacuums such as the dyson, etc. I really see how any vacuum could do much better than this one and many of them are priced much higher.
The vacuum, like most vacuums, is mostly plastic. However it has a very 'tight' feel to it and seems well built with no rattles or loose pieces.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY THINGS:
This vacuum, although powerful, seems to me to be remarkably quiet. It also seems to be more forgiving on hardwood than my dirt devil was.
The only drawback is that the pet power brush cannot be stored on board the vacuum as it is quite bulky. For me, the benefits of having such a device outweigh the need to store it directly on the vacuum so I don't find it too much of a drag.
Overall the vacuum stores away quite nicely and takes up very little space in the closet.