“ Brand: AEG / Design: Bagless „
After about ten years experience with my Cayenne pepper Electrolux Ergorapido cordless stick vac, I was soon on the hunt for a viable replacement. I was quite annoyed when the battery on my original cordless stick vac just died one day and it was irreplaceable - and poorly shows up Electrolux's so call "eco" friendliness when they couldn't even send me a new battery. It is all very well if you have a brand who tries to be Eco-friendly but when you have to spend extra money to send an otherwise trustworthy appliance away for a new eco-battery, it kind of doesn't make it economical! I was a little disappointed that this otherwise excellent cordless dust buster had died but less upset with its carpet performance over the years due to its "fine paint brush" blue brush strips located in the beater bar with alternative rubber squeegee strips that did nothing but offer resistance to sweep properly on thick carpet. Id have happily replaced the battery myself as the hand held dust buster part the comes out of the main body has seen better service than the complete stick vac that this design allows.
Then, in February this year, I saw the AEG Ergorapido priced at £99 reduced from £129 at a local Currys store - I had only been waiting the best part of two years for the price to fall -I guessed that the stick vac at the time would have been a great helper to my mum and other elderly relatives who have handling difficulties. With quite a few rainbow of metallic colours on offer, it looked like Electrolux have made a few improvements and the model here is the original model that was launched two years ago as Electrolux/AEG have brought out a newly improved 2012 year model with a higher cost price to match - but with the same short 20 minutes of total performance time before the vacuum has to be installed into the charger unit.
==Quality, Design & Assembly==
As with the first, the whole enterprise of owning an Electrolux or now, AEG Ergorapido rechargeable, cordless stick vacuum is helped along by the same, smooth and modern design that befits the original - and it won universal approval both from my own mother and other family members who took to the AEG very quickly. It was no surprise. This is a classy looking piece of equipment, very modern and the AEG branding is supposed to incite buyers that they are buying a German piece of quality engineering and fit - even if outwardly you can find the rating plate on the machine to see that it has been produced in China! So much for brand customer loyalty and later as I was about to find out, useless UK customer services. The classy experience of purchase continues with only a few minor differences to what has occurred before. You still get a beautifully smoothly painted stick vacuum that looks and feels like a thin walking stick, the same rubberised and ribbed handle at the top that makes this stick vac a luxurious, premium quality product to hold onto and all the while, endless nods to slim line, flush fitting and smoothly painted tactile surfaces with excellent attention paid to seals and joints with a curved, non-sharp look. Decked out in a dark cassis/purple with silver accents including silver activation buttons and the same honey comb style grill on the hand held cordless dust buster, what you are getting here for the original price of £129 is somewhat justifiable to the eyes and touch.
Out of the box though assembly is kept to quite the minimum and it all involves just taking the machine out of the plastic bag it comes in and the dust buster bag before installing the dust buster part back in. The handle is already attached by way of a single power cord flowing through the handle and spine internally and you get one holding screw to lock the top half into the main part of the body lower down. After that, you're kind of ready to go even though some power has already been charged up in the stick vac, AEG do suggest that you charge the stick vacuum for at least 16 hours before it can be properly used.
The charger stand has to be slotted together that makes up a stand suitable for the stick vacuum to be locked into when this vacuum needs to be charged, even though this time it lacks the twin LED blue lights "towers" either side of the stand that used to light up part of my hallway whenever the old stick vac was charging - thus the need to look for another purchase later on for LED safety night plugs. However, this time AEG have gone to the bother of putting the battery charger indicator on the stick vacuum itself, just above the main vent exhaust of the cordless dust buster part. There are three bars that show up in orange when the battery is losing power or when it has completely charged up.
Out of the box however I couldn't find a user manual and contacted AEG customer services as well as looking at their well laid out website, thinking that I would be able to download a user manual. Duly finding the section and searching for the model number, I was a little disappointed to find that the link for the PDF user manual did not exist and iver the next couple of weeks online at AEG UK, the link still didn't work! In desperation I send AEG UK another three emails until the company responded TWO MONTHS later with a free user manual response - and even now if you go online, you'll find the user manual for the AG902 impossible to download! The kind of service I have got from AEG isn't expected, certainly from a company who consider themselves to be "premium," and not really helped by the fact that this stick vacuum only comes with a 2-year guarantee!
I was interested however to see how this newer stick vac was like on carpets and hard floors, especially with the now proper brush roll on board and the smoothly designed floor head looks like it is up to the job. Past experience was a slow progress, but AEG have gone to the bother of adding and sprucing up the brush roll with proper stiff bristle tufts that groom carpets rather well, although what you get here is a gentle performance brush roll as opposed to the continuous "high" power from a mains powered upright vacuum. That's not to say that the 12 volt battery in this baby isn't powerful - the Ergorapido quickly takes up pet hair, threads and almost all kinds of dirt you choose to steer this stick vacuum through - and the Ergorapido will give your carpets a lovely groomed appearance that seems to delightfully treat each carpet pile thread with kindness - down to its lower brush roll speed, again no due part in thanks to its cordless, battery design.
There's even a classy strip of four LED spot lights that switch on automatically as soon as you activate the main part of the stick vacuum, via a slide down two part slider switch located right at the top of the handle. Although it is clearly an American idea, LED lights do create a good path of spreading light, handy to let you see where dust is hiding and the AEG is a fantastic little stick vac that remains very light to handle, helped along somewhat by the brush roll adding to the sweeping performance and a darkened half-acrylic panel that shows the brush roll off, just to check that its spinning in use and nothing has wrapped around the bristles.
However, this machine is one very noisy stick vacuum though and it is a pity that AEG haven't given this model a bit more sound insulation like my original stick vacuum. Although it is noisy, the actual rolling brush bar in the floor head has a thinner roll that allows bulkier dust to actually get through it rather than clog up in an instant. However, you may require to clean the brush roll from time to time if cleaning up pet hair or straggling paper bits and it is good here that AEG have retained two push in locks on the underside that reveals the entire brush roll internally as well as it being able to be taken out if you need to clean the bristles and untangle it completely. The main rectangular ribbed dust channel at the back also pops off by a release button should you require to clean out the main dust channel.
On hard floors, the AEG AG902 glides so lightly thanks to its rubberised wheels on the floor plate underneath, it also swivels from left to right and the whole slim design is a neater and faster approach than taking out a back-saver dust pan long handle and brush appliance. Unlike some owners online, my AEG has never fallen down once - the rubberised handle at the back ensures the upright will not fall over - provided you put the Ergorapido at an acceptable angle with the rubber resting on the wall if you need to place it temporarily in between cleaning.
If you require a cordless stick vacuum for hard floors alone, the AEG Ergorapido could be just your thing!
==Emptying & Filtration==
The beauty of the AEG Ergorapido is that it carries on with the same design as before with minor differences. I like the fact that the AEG Ergorapido has the same twin drop in and lock HEPA filter dust cup that my original Electrolux had but with a push-release to the main HEPA filter cone that sits inside an outer wipe or brush proof mesh filter - similar to the kind of mesh you'd find in a strainer fitted tea pot. You can't help but be impressed with AEG's thinking here, even if it's the same Electrolux model under one of many Electrolux umbrella companies and like the last, there's a handy flap at the bottom of the dust buster hand held that slips out at the touch of a button release, to suck out the dirt collected either with your mains power vacuum cleaner or simply empty the entire bin into the refuse bin by shaking the dust buster out, or by opening the main release mouth of the hand held dust buster where the whole assembly opens up like the bonnet of a car for even wider dust emptying. It is the versatile options you have to empty the dust that make the Ergorapido by its cordless dust buster part, all the more worthwhile and Electrolux have gone onto just selling the hand held cordless dust buster under the "Rapido" name, as a result. The versatile touches lead into the internal dust cup again, with an outer mesh filter that can either be brushed clean or washed (but must be dried fully before installing again) with an inner lift out paper pleated HEPA ring that traps the "last" of the dust if it has perforated the mesh filter. Thus, long term the HEPA ring filter doesn't really require that much cleaning - unless you end up swapping your Ergorapido to your main vacuum cleaner and end up using it more for main home vacuuming.
Sadly though where the original bugbears remain from my old Electrolux, the AEG AG902 cannot seem to lay its floor head flat. This is because the main rectangular dust channel from the suction floor head to the bagless bin at the top of the stick vac is viewable from the rear, and often if you try to lay the stick flat, the floor head juts up in protest. This effectively means that although there is a swivel from its generic design built in, you have to twist your whole hand on the handle to get the stick vac to do awkward angles under kitchen tables and such like, to avoid the flipping up floor head in the process. Edge cleaning can be done normally like an upright vacuum cleaner and I found it generally easy to use this stick vacuum on hard floors, even if it doesn't have a switch off brush roll function - the bristles are gentle enough with a low RPM speed built in that protects hard floors without damage.
AEG's argument of its short running power also began to make me think if I required all of its total 20 minute run time - and in a medium to large home I certainly ran out of power after just doing 2 rooms out of 5! Unless you go around your home spot cleaning with the Ergorapido, AEG's argument of less cleaning versus short performance time kind of shoots itself in the foot! If this stick vacuum wasn't so short on run time, the whole principle of using the machine both on carpet and hard floor would simply be a revelation and, indeed it begs the question as to why you would want the AEG AG 902 Ergorapido that only gives a 20 minute total running time in the first place when you could effectively buy two or three Gtech sweepers that give a lot more run time individually, with the only emission lost out would be the cordless dust buster. The AEG thereafter requires an 8 to 12 hour charge time until the LED's show a full battery - which is comparative to a lot of cordless vacuums these days unless you pay out even more for higher NI-CAD batteries that only require 4 hours of charge time compensated by a longer run time.
Well, if only everything in life was that simple when it comes to using just the cordless dust buster from the AEG! Unbelievably though, I found it a bit harder to use the cordless dust buster alone without the rest of the stick vacuum. It slips out easily by the touch of a button and it is very easy to lock back into the main body after use. However, I was disappointed to find that the AEG cordless dust buster isn't very lightweight, probably not helped by the heavy motor that lays inside at the top of the hand held part before the dust bin. Unlike other hand held cordless dust busters that offer the same, large design the handle doesn't get very hot in use but it is quite a weight to put up with - about 2kg from its total 3.7kg total weight - which can be downside for anyone who needs a light hand held cordless vacuum for quick pick ups - and who may well have a cordless dust buster lying around that can do the same job but offer a better lighter weight for the hands. Like before though, at least a very handy pull out crevice tool slips out from underneath the hand held unit, making it fairly easy to use the secondary machine from the stick vacuum, if you need to clean in awkward areas. There is also a handy snap on dust brush tool and another extendable crevice tool that both fit on the battery charger stand - making it a bit of a disadvantage that I have to return to the charger stand just to get the extra tools out. The cordless dust buster is however quite a wide machine and I found it can be tricky to get into corners because of its wide "egg" like shape, more often than not allowing the front of the bin to get scratched in continuous use whilst only being able to suck out top soil dust from carpeted stairs against the far simpler and deeper removing brush roll on my Gtech sweeper when the main handle is taken off.
For all that the performance this cordless stick vacuum gives, the total 3.7kg weight feels very agile from my hands and it only requires a slight twist of the wrist to get around corners. The floor head is also squat enough to get through kitchen tables and like wise narrow chairs or stools - only at times will the egg shape of its dust bin get in the way. However, if you need to get into awkward corners and push the handle too far to the left or right, the floor head juts up in protest again and despite the rubberised protection all around the base of the floor head, I find it is easy to mark hard floors with this vacuum due to the hard plastic at the back of the floor head! Although the rubber markings on hard floors are easily removed by wiping them up, I certainly didn't expect to find this issue from something that's relatively too expensive judged by its so-called premium name.
Despite its glorious smooth feeling paint on the body and the way in which its colour looks wonderful, the AEG Ergorapido concept hasn't really moved away from its original concept by Electrolux launched more than 10 years ago. Yes it has an improved brush roll and yes it looks ultra modern and hip. However, when it comes to actual performance, it lets itself down from its jutting floor head, damaging rubber bumper, noise levels, heavy cordless dust buster part and an awkward design that isn't as easy as other cheaper alternatives and all the while, its short run time must be brought into question. The downsides sadly outweigh the positives and even with a newly improved model that promises to cut down pet hair or threads through a more easily removable press button release - with the same total 20 minutes run time matched by an even more expensive £149 pricing, the AEG Ergorapido should be purchased with caution. Compared to the much simpler, easier to use and longer lasting Gtech cordless dust sweepers, AEG really need to brush up on their choice of power here as well as offer a better online website and a much lengthier guarantee after purchase. Otherwise there's more aggro with the Ergorapido than being agile. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2012.
For an easy way to deal with one of life's more taxing household tasks, take a look at the Electrolux AG902 Ergorapido 2 in 1 Bagless Vacuum Cleaner ! Boasting an almighty 12-volt motor, this cordless tool will become one of the most useful appliances in your home! The cassis-coloured Electrolux AG902 Ergorapido stands apart from other vacuum cleaners because of its convenient 2 in 1 functionality / The handheld cleaner can be easily detached from the main unit, allowing you to effortlessly clean small spills or nooks in the car to larger living room and kitchen spaces / The 3.65 kg bagless vacuum cleaner is easy-to-use after a mere 16-hour charging time and easy to store as well with its sleek upright design / This vacuum cleaner comes with useful accessories like the dusting brush for those delicate china vases and an integrated crevice tool for those stubborn kitchen corners / An LED headlight function lights up the floor while you clean and the easy emptying function makes it clean and hygienic / Other attractive features on the Electrolux AG902 Ergorapido is its Cliff Hanger parking strip, which makes sure the cleaner doesn't fall to the floor when you lean it against a table while cleaning / The flexible nozzle and the instant cordless grab and go functions make vacuuming a pleasure / Packed with the latest in intelligent vacuum cleaning, the Electrolux AG902 Ergorapido 2 in 1 Bagless Vacuum Cleaner will become an invaluable addition to your household! Characteristics Type Bagless upright vacuum cleaner Power (Watts) 12 V Indicator for bag content Visible transparent collector capacity level Ergonomy Telescopic tube No Cable length Cordless Others Colours Blackcurrant Included accessories Dusting Brush Integrated crevice tool Bag reference Bagless Weight (Kg) 3.65 kg / Short name: AEG AG902