Pros: Lighter, quieter, more suction power, easier to use, easier to clean.
Cons: Pet attachment and 24" crevice wand must be carried separately, waste bin smaller than Dyson.
Is the Shark Navigator REALLY as good or even better than Dyson vacuums? As a Dyson owner, user and advocate for years, I found it hard to believe the infomercials proclaiming that a $200 vacuum could match or surpass Dyson.
Today I found out I was wrong. There is truth in the Shark Navigator infomercials.
Weight. One of my motivations to seek a new vacuum is the 19 pound weight of my Dyson DC07. Hauling it up and down stairs in my home is not fun. The Shark weighs 16.4 pounds but the handle placement on it seems to make it feel much lighter for carrying.
Design. Both vacuums are radical designs if you compare them to any older style vacuums. Both are mostly silver but I prefer the light purple accents of the Shark to the mustard yellow of my Dyson.
Width. Sitting the 2 vacuums side-by-side, the Shark appears to be much narrower than the Dyson but when I measured the vacuum heads (part that vacuums floors) I was surprised to see that the Dyson is 13" wide and the Shark is 11" (only 2" narrower).
Noise. My dog is guaranteed to leave the room when I turn on the Dyson. Simply put, it's loud. I am amazed at how much quieter the Shark runs.
Suction Power. The real test came when I took the Shark to carpet that I had just vacuumed with my Dyson. Frankly I expected Shark to fail so I hadn't even removed any of the store tags so it would be easy to rebox and return. Dyson was a genius for creating the cyclone "no-clog" design but Shark has made it even better. Aside from filling the waste bin with lots of dirt that Dyson missed, the beater brush of the Shark Navigator did a better job of raising the carpet pile. I could see and feel the difference looking at and walking across my 10 year old carpet which felt more like new again.
Ease of use. The Dyson rolls pretty easily but the Shark even won this contest. When you have it in the carpet mode (beater brush power on) it practically pulls itself which brings me to another difference. The Shark power switch has 2 different ON positions so changing from bare floors (no motorized beater brush) to carpet is as easy as clicking the switch. Dyson forces you to reach down to the floor to change a large dial.
Emptying waste. Both vacuums work pretty much the same way but the Shark has a smaller diameter bin so I can now dump the giant dust balls into the waste bin of my paper shredder or a small plastic shopping bag instead of having to carrying the entire bin down to a trash barrel.
Pet hair tool. My American Eskimo sometimes looks like a 30 pound rabbit and sheds quite a bit. Until I got my Dyson, I sometimes sat on the floor and ran my fingers through carpet to remove pet hair. Dyson solved the problem in rooms and hallways but vacuuming stairs was always a hassle. The Dyson pet attachment works OK but just never seemed to have enough power going to the beater brush. Kudos again to Shark for creating a powerful pet attachment that makes my Dyson look like a toy. Pet hair attachement works great at sucking up all the dog hair that clings to my bed comforter.
Construction. Both vacuums are mostly plastic but they appear to be equally solidly built. My Dyson has withstood years of use so I'm expecting Shark Navigator will do the same. Time will tell. Shark includes a 5 year guarantee and I know the company has been around for a while so I'm not worried. I also know Target Stores stand behind what they sell.
Day 2. Shark Navigator impressed me so much, today I gave away my Dyson for $1. I then proceeded to tackle 2 flights of carpeted stairs which were always a hassle to clean. Shark let me do something I could never do with the Dyson. I can turn the head sideways because it's the same width as steps. The amount of dirt it picked up is really impressive. As I was vacuuming I also noticed the Navigator has a clear cover over the beater brush so you can see if anything is snagged on it. However, even if that weren't the case, Shark gives you a GREEN indicator light when the beater brush is on. If it gets clogged the light turns to RED. Dyson has nothing like that.
MAY 9, 2010 UPDATE: After 3 weeks of regular use, I am 100% convinced that the Shark Navigator has more suction power & is easier to use than any Dyson. However, I realized today that there are 2 compartments to open & dump when the vacuum starts to get full. The one at the bottom of the tank visibly shows when it's getting full. Second one at the top has a metal filter that seems to gather about 1/10 the amount of dust so I'll probably only open and clean it every few weeks.
JUNE 6, 2010 UPDATE: I still believe after almost 2 months (having just vacuumed half my home), it's better than Dyson vacuum cleaners.
SEPT. 12, 2010 UPDATE: Shark still working so well that I took advantage of a recent Costco discount coupon and bought a spare for $129. Also realized yesterday that lots of dog hair was accumulating around a cone-shaped part near the top of the cannister. Shark did an excellent job of designing this vacuum so you can simply click-open the top of the cannister, remove the piece and wipe off the cone. Still amazes me how the Shark beater brush doesn't seem to get stuff wrapped around it like it always did with my former Dyson and other vacuums. If the Shark Navigator was a SWF around 40 I'd probably get married again.
NOV. 12, 2010 UPDATE: Last time I removed the cannister to dump waste, I noticed a round foam filter under where it sits. Removed it and rinsed it out in my kitchen sink. Let it dry and replaced in the vacuum. Everything still working perfectly except maybe a slight increase in suction power after removing a ton of gray dust & dirt from that foam filter. There's also a 2nd foam filter below the first one which I washed. After 8 months of use, still glad I ditched my Dyson for this excelent product.
Mr. Dyson deserves a great deal of credit for inventing the cyclonic concept but in my opinion, Shark has surpassed it. The Shark Navigator is now the vacuum of choice and at a fraction of the price. Only reason I'd buy a Dyson today is if I had too much money in the bank and had to spend it.
Almost 1 year later ... Still loving my Shark. Still has same suction power as day 1, no signs of wear & tear despite hauling up and down stairs, stretching the hose, cord, etc. This product is very well designed, built well and worth every penny.
JUNE 26, 2011 UPDATE: Last week I had 185 yards of new carpet installed in my home. The installers vacuumed all of it with a Bissel industrial machine to remove loose fibers. Out of sheer curiosity, as soon as they left my home I pulled out my Shark. I expected to get more loose fibers but never expected to fill a 40 GALLON trash bag full of loose fibers! Aside from that, the beater brush seems to have raised the pile so the carpet feels noticeably better under my bare feet. I must mention that I had to empty the waste bin about 2 dozen times but even when it was packed to the top with carpet fibers, it never lost suction power. I also had to remove a thick layer of carpet 3 times from the beater brush but even doing that by hand only took less than a minute. Thanks to the clear cover over the beater brush, I could see when I needed to stop and clean it.
JULY 18, 2011 UPDATE: Recent visits to Target and Wal-Mart revealed that there is a 2nd Shark Model NV-22 aimed at pet owners (picture of dog on the box). Upon close examination I found there are a few diferences between the original NV-22 and NV-22LWM:
1. Shorter power cord. Looks like they reduced the length from 30 feet down to about 24 feet.
2. 24 inch crevice tool is not included. Instead you get a 6 inch crevice tool. However, the shorter tool attaches to back of the vacuum.
3. Power brush attachment has a clear cover vs. the silver cover on original NV22.
OCTOBER 23, 2011 UPDATE: Just finished vacuuming my entire home and happy to report that my Shark NV-22 still works & looks as good as new.
NOVEMBER 19, 2011 UPDATE: Curiosity made me buy the NEW white Shark Lift Away model with head that pivots. Having a 2-story home with lots of stairs also made me want a device that would be easier to use on my double starirway. After only one use of the newer model, I discovered the following differences (PROs & CONs compared to older NV-22 purple model):
* More powerful. After vacumming with the older model, I went over the same carpet with new white model and was amazed at how much loose carpet fibers and dirt it collected.
* Lift-Away feature makes it easier to do stairs and even using the much smaller pet attachement, it picked up more loose carpet & dirt than the older model.
* Pivoting head makes it slightly easier to manuever around furniture.
* Stronger beater brush in the head pulls the vacuum forward, so less pressure needed to move forward.
*Waste bin removal requires unlocking 2 side latches that are down low vs. pushing one handy top-side button on the older model.
* Waste bin on white model does poor job of emptying itself. Had to stick my hand in the fuzzy mess 5 or 6 times and also open the top latch to manually remove all the waste.
* New white model will cost you $40 to $60 more than the basic purple model.
NOTE: Both white & purple models have exact same head width, power cord length and according to my 4legged son (American Eskimo) sound better than the Dyson that made him run & hide.
BOTTOM LINE: If you have stairs or want the most powerful, buy the white one. If you want one that's easier to clean and cheaper, pick purple.
JULY 21, 2012 UPDATE: Still loving my Sharks that get weekly workouts!
Even though Dyson has lowered their prices for the holiday season, you can still buy 2 Shark's for every 1 Dyson. Makes me smile every time I pass the vacuum sections in stores!