* Prices may differ from that shown
When it comes to hoover's I'm no expert and all I want it to do is pick up all the dirt and dust quickly and easily. I moved into my own flat last year which cost a fortune having to furnish it. After a couple of days of living there I suddenly realised I'd forgot to buy a hoover. I live 5 minutes from an Asda store and decided to have a look there for a cheap one.
I bought the Genie Cyclonic GUV-01 1400W Express, which I paid £35 for. I got the hoover home and at first thought gosh its tiny! Its really really small compared to most hoover's but I'm a small person so its amount the right height for me. My partner is over 6 foot and he looks ridiculous pushing it around the room which is just the perfect excuse for him to let me do all the hoovering!
The genie hoover only weighs 4.9kg so its really easy to carry and push around. It comes with Dusting brush and crevice tool and is also bagless. It is really easy to empty, you just presh a button which unclips the middle section, take it over to the bin, press the button at the bottom and it releases the lid and all the dirt falls in the bin. The filter is easy to remove as well so you can shake all the dust off of there.
The middle part is clear so you can see all the dirt been picked up. It is also very quiet which I like as most hoover's are really loud and as I live in a flat I like to respect my neighbours and be as quiet as possible. The only negative thing I have found is the wire isn't as long as I would have hoped and I do have to unplug and take into a different room when I am hoovering the whole flat.
Its a great little hoover for a bargain price. I have had it 15 months and haven't had any issues with it. I would like something more powerful and bigger when I get a house but at the moment its doing a great job.
I have no idea why I have managed to accumulate so many vacuum cleaners but I've just done a head count in my utilities room and found no less than seven different models, all in good working order. Amongst these is a Genie Cyclonic GUV-01 1400W Express, which is the current everyday machine I've been using for quite a long time now. Faced with much more expensive models to choose from you might well wonder why I'm favouring this one, which I picked up from Asda for under £40 a couple of years ago.
I have two cats, which include a short haired Pedigree that moults constantly and as a result she leaves clumps of white fur on my living room carpet, sofa and chairs. I end up whipping round with the vacuum cleaner at least twice a day and sometimes more. For this purpose the Genie Cyclonic is perfect as its much lighter than any of the other upright models that I have to chose from. It is very easy to push and glides easily across the carpet with very little effort.
The base and upper parts of the Genie are a rather bright purple colour and whilst its inevitably made from rather cheap looking plastic I feel that this bright colour helps to make it more visually appealing. The rest of the appliance is grey in colour, including the expandable hose part and plug wire. The front of the machine is of clear plastic allowing you see the dirt that you've vacuumed up, which is either a good thing or not, depending on your point of view, but personally I like the idea of being able to see the dirt inside. Not only does this allow me to easily know when it needs emptying it also mentally makes me believe that I've successfully eradicated all of this filth from my upholstery.
My Genie stands just over a metre tall and weights under 5 kilos (4.9 kgs to be precise). The plug cord is 6 metres long making it long enough to vacuum all of the areas I need to on a regular basis, without having to change plug sockets. Another handy feature is the length of the hose which at around 2 metres long, is more than adequate for reaching the corners of my room and doing the chairs and sofa cushions. Unlike many more expensive models its accessories are rather minimal and it just has a brush attachment and a tapered tool for reaching narrow crevices like down the back of the sofa, both of which fit onto the end of the hose.
From experience many cheap vacuum cleaners can be quite noisy but for an appliance with 1400 watts of power this is reasonably quiet. According to the instruction booklet that came with it the suction power is 210 watts, which I can only convert into layman terms by saying that it easily picks up everything I need it to with minimal effort. The bagless design saves the expense of having to buy re-usable bags and to empty it you simply press the top of the container and it lifts straight off and then after its been emptied it easily clips back into place. The dust container holds up to 1.5 litres of dust so I only need to empty it about once a week and even then it is seldom more than half full. That said I do use this almost exclusively for vacuuming up my pet's hair and my whole house is cleaned weekly with a much more robust Dyson. I guess if you was using this as your sole vacuum cleaner then it would need emptying quite regularly.
Overall this model is perfect for my quick regular bursts of cleaning and its still going strong despite such heavy, albeit brief, daily use. Therefore I have to say to day that it is excellent value for money and I'm struggling to find any real notable faults with it as I feel it is unfair to compare it with larger, much more expensive models. I can't say I have ever come across other electric goods from Genie or even seen this model on sale other than when I bought it from my local Asda but a quick search online has proved it is still available from Asda and currently priced at £44.95.
As a final point it is easy to clean and has a removable filter that can be easily cleaned. Replacement belts and other components are available, but I as yet I haven't had the need to replace anything.
Good hoover but fan belt snapped in less than 2 weeks!
BRIEFLY, when I returned home after being away on a job contract that lasted 6 months, my flat was in a heck of a state due to weather damage yet again and the neighbour upstairs who thought it wise to put a new floor in above my living room. The continual shaking to the external walls meant that something had to give and what a sight to behold when I arrived home one week before Christmas to find my fireplace surround and mount on the floor. Complete with smashed Yankee Candle jars that had sat on top of the surround and a smashed fake solid fuel look fireplace fan heater (well at least God answered my prayers on that one!) the mess was quite substantial and also the very expensive marble tiles that had also come off in the process. So whilst it all came down to the insurers of our land lord to get the paper work and money established, my Miele cylinder vacuum also got broken in the process whilst being used for the "Great Grate Clear Up" when one of the builders had tripped and balanced a couple of the tiles on top of the machine resulting in the entire body and cradle underneath being cracked. Final cost after lengthy chats with Miele customer service? A cool £189 excluding surcharge of £55 for Miele's preferred courier. Good bye expensive Miele, hello cheap vac time!
Three Stars And A Wish?
So the search began for a cheap vacuum cleaner just to do the job of cleaning up and in my vast experience, you'd have thought by now I'd know what to pick! After looking at 3 alternatives and despite Argos, Currys and John Lewis offering models priced between £60 to £80, the final consideration was to visit my local ASDA and against the decision of going for the same £60 bulky Bissell Powerforce that kept cropping up per shop, I spied a bag-less "cyclonic" upright vacuum I had not seen for a good couple of years, because the last time I owned the same model in 2007, I totally despised it! Dressed in cool purple with grey inserts and with a green label name called "Genie," I was pleasantly surprised to find that this budget vacuum only cost £35 (it has now risen to £45 for 2012) and the carry box was so light and easy, it was great to be able to get on the bus without anyone batting an eye lid! The other deciding factor was that out of 113 ASDA buyer reviews, only 7 owners have been unhappy with the Genie and it comes with a 2-year guarantee (1 year on parts, 1 year on labour), should anything go wrong.
Assembly & Features
Out of the box, the Genie Vacuum is very similar to the U.S Dirt Devil Vibe and in the U.K when it was first sold, appeared as a Hoover Alyx JC2145 in red. What does that mean to you? Well it's not a full size upright vacuum that will take up a lot of space for starters, or offer a massive dustbin capacity that you can forget about. The Genie only has a 1.6 litre dust capacity to prove its micro dimensions - 0.1 litres more than the premium priced £140 to £199 priced Vax Mach Air. This time however, the Genie seems to be an exclusive ASDA model and it has a much better filter on board compared to the "bare" paper pleated cones you'd find on many a budget brand offering. I was delighted to find that unlike Argos Value upright vacuums, assembly only takes a few seconds by screwing the main handle to the machine, (you'll need a cross head screwdriver, here!) simply by dropping it into the retainer hole and away you go! There's a nifty tool storer that has already been added to the brushed metal neck pipe and can be slid up and down depending on your need, or just screwed to the neck. This sits permanently at the top and you get a crevice tool and a proper upholstery brush that sits on the opposite side.
The 2 metre hose however has received a much more appreciated hike in plastic quality compared to my Hoover original whilst there is no straight extension tube supplied, that was the least of my worries on the basis that most upright vacs have less than 2 metres of hose on board, anyway (sorry Vax, but the 1.1 metre on your Vax Mach Air is shockingly poor!) The on switch is a tiny little rocker button just above the main carry handle at the front of the vacuum. To minimise further breakages in general long term ownership, there is no pedal to pull down the handle, but rather a la Dyson style, your foot on the front of the floor head will release the floor head, provided your other hand pulls on the newly improved handle and this vacuum already swings down to a 180° angle if required, as an option with no need to pedal again to clean flat to the floor, even if at times the round bin does get in the way. This means a quicker way to clean, rather than having to adjust stuff all the time!
Performance & Capacity
Good news first then! The performance from the Genie's 1400-watt motor isn't as noisy as I expected with not-so-fond memories of the Hoover Alyx that could never be used at night. The Genie pulls very strongly with 130 air watts of suction and over a period of time, it doesn't seem to loose suction compared to other bagless uprights I've had in the past. This "Dream" Genie seems to have an appetite for dust, pet hair, bits of paper, general fluff and the brush roll just gets it up first time without having to go over anything. But! The bonus of the Genie is that it has a very nice light gliding action since there is no manual height adjustment dial to worry about breaking off - the Genie adjusts automatically - as if by magic! There's also a removable rubber squeegee built in on the underside and it copes well with having to clean up dust off hard laminate flooring with good edge cleaning ability to boot too, though evidently at this price you won't get an upright vacuum where the brush roll turns off. What I did find surprising is that there are no beater bars set in the brush roll - so hard floor damage is kept to a minimum even if the brush roll keeps spinning. If you don't have hard floors you can remove the squeegee strip for an even lighter gliding experience!
Another unexpected surprise is the lack of air thrust - so many modern vacuums these days with higher motors than 1000 watts have a tendency to blow papers off tables and such like - but the Genie has a low wave of air thrust as well as a lower positioned front exhaust, so it's very welcomed and thus doesn't tend to blow dust around the room, or loose papers flying off low level tables.
Initially then, I was really pleased to find that none of the glass fragments I had to clean up pierced the mesh filter in the cyclone bin. You can't always rely on that with a paper cone filter alone! You may well find yourself having to empty the Genie's bin canister instantly if your home hasn't been cleaned in 6 months (ahem!). I only used it for a couple of minutes before the bin had to be emptied as it was jam packed with different coloured layers of dust, wooden fragments and ever so glittery with the glass fragments from the smashed jar candles!
Three months on however and the performance has just been utterly reliable with only the filter on board requiring to be washed just once! I was very sceptical at first since my own experience of the Hoover Alyx was generally poorer and the Hoover also had a tendency to collect dust on the outside of the bin canister, but the Genie just doesn't seem to have this associated problem - for all that it's a carbon copy with improved build.
Quality and Accessibility
Quality wise, the Genie has the same kind of slippery plastic that the Hoover Alyx had in abundance - but whoever produces the Genie vac has given the plastic a slightly better feel in terms of no hard edges whilst the rotating cord hooks at the back that allow the 6 metre power cord to fall off move easily whilst also being able to be locked in and thankfully at last, a proper handle set into the top of the dustbin at the front that allows you to carry the vacuum with ease and comfort - the Hoover Alyx never had that - but rather a daft handle that upon lifting up, released the bin from the body of the machine - and made you look like a right twit standing at the top or bottom of the stairs with the bin in one hand and the vacuum falling down the stairs unless you remember it's not a carry handle! Indeed a lot of brands seem to be doing this, putting a lock release right on top of the bin, where weight wise a proper carry handle lessens the weight ratio when trying to carry a vacuum up a stair if you need to as opposed to carrying it from the rear and the Genie is magic in this respect as this machine only weighs a total of 5kg, making it far lighter than my 7kg Miele ever was.
Accessibility on the Genie is also well designed. Everything is so readily easy to locate from access to tools, cord and even releasing the hose! The bottom hose partition is permanently locked at the bottom, so it's easy to see if anything has clogged or got caught up. There's even a handy hook just under the handle for locking the power cord up to so that it doesn't get run over with the vacuum in use and lastly, even if you don't get an extension tube on this model, the crevice pipe at 18cm gives you just enough length without the straight tube, although it's a pity that for all the upholstery brush is fantastic at picking up dust and hair, the actual brush can't be slid onto the crevice pipe for even extra reach. The glossy plastic coating on the body of this vacuum ensures sharp edges are kept to a minimum but it's shiny plastic also means scrapes are largely evident through thorough use - it isn't a vacuum you will want to show off for its plastic quality!
Storage & Emptying
Beautifully micro in its size though, this is one vacuum that is suited for small flats since it is small enough to be stored easily without anything getting in the way. It measures 29cm by 27cm and a height of 106cm, so it takes up little space if you are stuck for storage.
You get an external swirl filter that has a washable primary mesh behind it covering a secondary HEPA filter that can be taken off and washed. Unlike other brands when it comes to emptying you don't have to pull off the top of the bin to empty it and then watch in horror as the dirt gets stuck between the filter cone and the opening. None of that messy drama here - this much smaller machine has a more modern trap door release at the bottom of the dustbin - so it only takes seconds to push the button release and the dirt naturally falls down into your kitchen bin. Because this is a compact upright, it has a compact bin, and I haven't felt the need to lift off the top of my bin to let the Genie's bin in when emptying. This is another upside to a mini-vacuum cleaner style that the Genie is appropriately so-named, and again, it's a darn sight quicker when you have the ability here to position the whole dust bin inside your kitchen bin after the lid (if you have a Swing bin style) rather than on top of a bin's opening with the lid removed and then find dust flies up at you!
The downsides to this vacuum are harder to spot, though for the price it lacks any small turbo tool and well, let's be honest, more importantly most buyers will run a mile since they won't know who Genie, the brand are. Whoever they are, it doesn't really matter because the price of this vacuum is first and foremost not expensive to buy and has the kind of throwaway factor like a disposable razor if it doesn't work out. Certainly if it costs £70 or more, then perhaps you would be justified to feel that you are throwing away good money. But what can £45 buy you effectively these days in terms of an appliance that has to clear up the worst dirt possible from carpets? The model has also been in the UK sold as a Hoover, and thus if you need spares you only need to email Hoover or check at EBAY to see what you can get. The Genie's hose dimension measures 3.5cm or 35mm and Miele's smaller cleaning tools all fit on! This also means for buyers that if you want to upgrade this vacuum to accept a mini turbo brush stair cleaning tool you can buy any tool off EBAY.co.uk provided it measures 35mm, regardless of whether it's a Miele tool or not! This also applies to a straight suction tube if you require one.
Another downside is that the power cord of 6 metres could do with being a bit longer. Great for small flats, but medium sized flats and homes may well feel wanting for a bit more.
Although the hose wraps around the back of the Genie at the top, the main function of suction comes from the centre of the vacuum and it can make this machine fall over if you pull the hose roughly. There have only been a few upright vacuums with a hose design that doesn't allow the machine to fall over - but not at a price under £45! Without an additional straight suction pipe though, it just means the vacuum needs to be nearer to me even though the crevice pipe supplied gives me sufficient stretch.
Also, the 2 metre stretch hose will never quite clean a whole flight of say, 10 stairs. Two metres of hose just don't do stairs unless it's three steps at the most. So the Genie isn't the kind of vacuum that you can rely on for stretching beyond its means. What it can do, unlike so many other, larger upright vacs on the market is retain the magical ability to site the whole machine on a step whilst you pull the hose out and clean- again this is because it is much smaller than a larger upright vacuum and the floor head has a smaller width compared to 12"/14" widths of most other uprights. No wonder some owners report this as being a toy vacuum - on size and looks alone, I completely agree!
Where consumables are concerned, the machine will take replacement drive belts from the Hoover Alyx JC2145 since it is the same model. The price of the drive belts cost on average £5-99 for a pack of two and replacing a single belt, if it snaps isn't too difficult. This is even cheaper than the £7-99 cost that ASDA currently sell their replacement drive belts for and I've yet to snap the original belt that this machine uses.
Where filter care is concerned, the Genie isn't complicated and that's a delight, especially when most budget priced vacuums tend to have older filters with difficult to release mechanisms! There's a secondary HEPA filter ring that can be tapped or brushed clean using the dusting brush that you get with the Genie or, the filter can be washed after 5 empties of the dust bin are done and left to dry over a 24 hour period before installing it back in. However since I've owned the vacuum for three months, the bin has been emptied far more than 5 times and the filter has only been washed once when I noticed that the power started to weaken and probably down to the plaster and dry cement the vacuum had to pick up! The main filter unlocks from the bin assembly easily enough whilst the inner filter can be pulled out and cleaned and there are helpful alignment guides on the body that show you how to lock and unlock the top from the main dustbin assembly.
Put simply, if you need an upright vacuum cleaner that is powerful yet small, the Genie Express vacuum is a fantastic bargain. Due to its size and capability, this is an ideal vacuum for anyone including elderly people who may find lifting difficult. Don't expect the Genie to sustain the same amount of dust that your larger vacuum could probably handle - the Genie will require frequent emptying and if you're not used to that then this machine isn't for you. However, I'm very happy with the Genie - it is easy to push, easy to use, easy to store and with strong power, the Genie is magic at cleaning and at a price that is largely a miracle - in this recession depression, it definitely deserves a consideration! Thanks for reading. Another exclusive review for Dooyoo! ©Nar2 2012
Product Code: 156-5142.
Short name: Genie GUV-01