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I've had this model for almost two years now and have not encountered any problems so far. The variable suction is first rate, it's extremely light weight and easy to move around and the added tools, although minimal, make for a complete job all around the house. Mine was purchased from John Lewis on-line for under £40.00 and so I'd have to give it 4/5 for all round performance and reliability (5/5 and they may be complacent) I would certainly recommend it to anyone who's after a low cost, light weight practical appliance.
I've found my Electrolux Powerlite hoover to be effective overall and good value for money - I paid about £35 for it from Argos about 21 months ago.
It has different suction speeds, all effective, which is a useful feature for hoovering different surfaces or furniture and it is fairly easy to change the hoover bags although they don't actually need to be changed very often as they seem to last for ages! I think the hoover came with 2 or 3 bags and you can buy more in sets of 5 when you need them.
The hoover is very light which makes it very easy to drag across the floor but I do get irritated sometimes when the extension part of the hoover just falls off when I'm carrying the hoover into another room. The positives of the hoover - the lightness, also seem to be a bit of a negative - the flimsiness. And it might be difficult to use this hoover on stairs ( i live in a flat so don't have any) as it can quite easily topple over when you stand it up vertically.
I would recommend this to someone living in a smaller property like myself as it is very compact and does have great suction but I'm not sure I would recommend it to use on stairs as I can't imagine it staying put.
The colour is very nice though!
I have had my Electrolux Z3318 Powerlite for almost a year now. I bought it from Amazon for the bargain price of £29.99 after reading a review written by a professional cleaner stating it was the best cheap vacuum she has ever used.
The price was the main reason I purchased this model. I had previously I spent over £50 on a vacuum that lasted less than 6months. The Electrolux Z3318 Powerlite has not only cost less but has last longer and performed a more superior job.
It has exceeded all my expectations, including being very small and extremely light (about 4/5kgs) so it makes for makes for easy manoeuvring - esp. staircases. The only down side I can think of is the bag capacity of 2 litres. This means I have to change it more often than my last model and therefore go through additional dust bags but on the bright side it doesn't get smelly and it is easy to tell when the bag needs changing using the dustbag change indicator, it also comes with spears dustbags when you purchase and a textile bag that can be washed and reused but I have not personally never used this.
I would therefore recommend it to anyone who wants a reliable compact vacuum that is easy to use, carry up and down stairs and can be stored in the smallest of spaces.
I haven't had this very long so it's not really fair of me to make any grand claims about this but so far, I've been really impressed with this.
I got change from £40 when I bought this which I thought was amazing for a hoover that's rated four stars both on dooyoo and on Amazon too. You can buy it from either Amazon or Tesco so it's probably widely available in general and worth looking out for.
What attracted me to this was the price to be honest. We needed a new upstairs vacuum as the Mrs insists on having one up and one down. The one she was looking at was £80 so I thought this was a real find and the Mrs agreed it was worth giving a go considering how well it rated in the reviews and that it was 1800w, 200w more than the £80 one my Mrs had been looking at.
The suction on this has been excellent to date. There's even a control so you can turn the suction down which is excellent for the Mrs as she likes to hoover curtains and the like (women, huh).
The only problem I've had with this is that I have to remember to be gentle with it because it's amazing light and small for a vacuum. When it was delivered at first I wasn't even sure it was the vacuum because the package was so small! Moving something so light across the floor is easy to get carried away with and the problem with that is you don't get all the dirt up if you don't make the effort to really push the vacuum head down and make it harder work than it feels like it should be.
The retractable plug is handy and the bag is easy to change. There's even a reusable bag included in this so you don't have to keep buying new ones! I have to go for five stars for this because I don't think there's better to be had with change from £40.
So far this year I have been surprised by Electrolux products; their excellent £40 Powerlite white upright vacuum is one of the best bargains going, even if it is made of cheap plastic, for the price and power it certainly seems to do a better job than Hoover's hellish Purepower range which is outdated, heavy, noisy and has the same specification and yet priced £30 more. Then there is the Eco Vac by Electrolux which has to have some accolade of being low powered for the environment concerned consumer, even if I don't think its really that powerful; at least it exists...
** Nar's Quick Skip Product Spec **
* 1800 watt motor with variable power suction control (308 air watts apparently, but it is strong and the motor isn't too noisy)
* Bag fill indicator (large mechanical type)
* 3.7 kg; lighter than Hoover Studio and Panasonic.
* Multi-filtration micro filters; washable or replaceable.
* Metal extension tubes (2), crevice tool and snap on upholstery brush.
* 5 metre power cord with auto cord rewind pedal.
* Price from £39-95 (John Lewis)
* Fitted with washable reusuable fabric dust bag or optional paper bags (2) included. Code U66 costs usually £5-99 for a pack of 5 which also includes new filters.
* Universal 2 way standard floor brush.
* Park positions for hose and tubes.
* 2 metre hose length.
* Available at John Lewis, Comet, Argos, also EBay at reduced costs of £14 to £20!
** Design **
Over the Panasonic and Hoover Studio (I had one briefly) which are almost identical save for the front of bodies, the Powerlite model is slightly more modern with a proper and welcomed larger lift handle located sensibly at the top where you can actually put your hand through to lift from room to room. What a lightweight factor too, helped along by the fact that there are two park positions for the hose and tubes with the floor head stuck on at the end. The hose however is bigger than my old Hoover Studio, slightly more with 2 metres of hose before the easy to remove metal pipes. It is a pity here that despite the excellent price, Electrolux don't fit telescopic height adjustable tubes just to make that extra bargain price more of a sweetener. However the pipes are easy to remove whilst the small cleaning tool is adequate rather than good because it is noisy when in use whilst a separate upholstery flat tool with an optional clip on brush is a welcome extra. And if it wasn't enough for the variable power contrl there is also an air outlet valve on the comfortable enough handle easy to grip and easier to loosen although the variable power control can be controlled simply by sliding your foot down on the slider control - unlike Hoover or Panasonic which push the owner to bend down to adjust the suction.
Unfortunately it is with regret that due to its roots, the Powerlite's main motor at the back means that it can't be put into the upright position for an hour unless you want burnt carpets. With the fact that the motor is at the back Electrolux have however coloured the little Powerlite in a least offensive blue colouring whilst the pedals are clearly marked and it easy to see which one does what.
Access to the bag is a lot easier than my Hoover Studio, with the fact that the lid opens up to a higher angle whilst access to the fabric bag is a lot easier because of the wider opening. Consumers on a budget hoping to get the latest Tesco vac may like to take note here; the plastics on this model are better made, feel longer lasting and because of its park positions located on the underside and at the back, it is easy to store this little vacuum away at the end of the day.
** Performance **
The performance however is very good for such a small capacity vacuum. I found it very easy to pull this lightweight machine behind me with my control on the suction through its easy to slide up and down suction controler. On the lowest power the Electrolux is very eager to gobble up dirt whilst at the top end where the floor head refused to come off the floor, the noise of the motor isn't very loud which may point to extra sound proofing regardless of the actual design underneath and like every cylinder vac on the market there is an additional air outlet hole slider on the handle should you want to reduce even more suction. The floor head isn't of Morphy Richards origin, so what you get is a slightly better made floor head; Electrolux branded and has the same two way pedal action for hard floors and carpets. The pedal here however is softer to the touch and much more weak than Hoover's Studio version whilst the whole body is so streamlined, I found it easier to put on my car seat than my larger Sebo K1 cylinder.
If there is one other downside to the Powerlite then it is the filtration factor. For those with allergies, you have to look at something else because this vacuum is only good at the level of fitting micro pleated cloth filters, one at the back and one inside just near the fabric bag. They are both washable however and must be dried until they can be installed again. Unlike my Studio access to the back of the Powerlite is very easy to do with a defying logically placed vent door that is easy to unhook and take off.
One of the reasons to why the Powerlite is such a befitting name is the initial weight and radius of which this machine can get by on. Despite being fitted with a 5 metre power cord I found the Powerlite deceptive in its size as well as being fitted with two larger wheels, rubber and most viewable coated so to protect flooring whilst the underside of the cleaner has a proper castor wheel fitted to stop the machine from sliding around.
** Bag Capacity and Options **
One of the reasons to why this machine is cost effective isn't just because it may well come with two extra paper bags or that it has a reusable washable dust bag. Electrolux set the standard for selling their own bags and in this respect a box of Electrolux bags will set you back the usual £5-99 for 5 bags. Each bag can take a capacity of 2 litres, and although that sounds miniscule I was really surprised by the capacity of the Electrolux bag; normally after one month's use a bag has to be replaced, but not with the Powerlite! It has taken around two months with everyday use that the bag has now had to be replaced. As with the washable bag like others on other vacuums, it's a take out, undo the clip and shake into a bin affair. Not the most hygienic but for most, the first infancy of how to go bagless without touching the dirt. Although not cyclonic the Powerlite does a mighty fine job of sealing the dirt in.
And I've said it before and I'll say it again, until Dyson can bring a £40 cylinder vacuum to the market, models such as this Electrolux Powerlite cylinder make a lot of sense, particularly for people who started on cheap budget names or a Tesco vacuum and want a little more style with better quality. Although largely plastic the Powerlite doesn't embarrass itself in terms of its all round soft design.
** Conclusion **
And for most consumers this is all they need to know; the Powerlite Z3318 has all the basics of a bagged cylinder vacuum cleaner but it is also lightweight made of reasonable plastic, not designed to excite in anyway but to bloody well get on with cleaning and do it sufficiently without much stress. Tie in its reasonably modern design, a higher motor with an excellent rate of variable suction and you have quite a little Powerhouse here. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2008
Powerlite / easy to manoeuver and has a microfiltration system that helps to reduce dust and allergen / Short name: Electrolux Z3318