The day after I wrote my last post, I actually did get off my hiney and go to my local brick-and-mortar Target to see what they had in way of hand held vacuums. Compared to the amount of regular upright vacs, the selection was rather small. If memory serves, there were about 5 to choose from, ranging from $20.00 to over $200.00 in price.
Wanting to stay in the under $50.00/the-less-the-better category, my choices were then narrowed down to 4. (The over-the-top $200.00 one was made by Dyson. A little overkill if you ask me.) I literally spent no less than 1 1/2 hours standing there, hmmm-ing and haw-ing over my options, looking up the model names with my iPhone trying to find reviews. I tend to be a bit ridiculous when it comes to researching a product before I buy.
In the end, after much anguish and soul-searching, (please know that I am being facetious, I'm not that insane!) I choose the cheapest option available, the Dirt Devil 7.2 Volt Easy Lite Hand Vac. It's cordless, lightweight, has an attached (aka non-losable) crevice tool, and- that's about it. Truthfully, that's all I want.
During my review-reading I started to get a little bogged down with all the options out there, wondering if I was missing out should I not purchase a vac with features that sounded cool but had never even thought of needing before. Some had motorized brushes optimal for pet hair removal, some were corded for MORE POWER (cue Tim Allen manly grunt here), some had hoses, some had cyclonic suction, some had X-amount of volts vs. Y-amount of volts, and on and on and on.
Finally I had to step back and remind myself what it was I wanted this hand vac for. The list included:
1. Picking up kitty litter tracked outside the box, as this has to be done on a daily basis.
2. Picking up cat hair/my hair from the white bathroom floor, as this also has to be done on a daily basis. The three of us all have dark hair and tend to shed.
3. Picking up any other little bits of dirt or fuzz that annoy me in between regular vacuuming.
That's it. That's all I needed a hand vac to do. None of the stuff I wanted to suck up is overly heavy requiring MORE POWER (grunt grunt grunt), nothing required any of the other fancy features available on other models. In reality, I need something very basic, so basic is what I choose.
There wasn't very much out there in way of reviews on the Easy Lite, though I did come across one blogger who mentioned it's excellent bug-sucking abilities which made me laugh. I also realized something about reviews- in a way they are all skewed. If someone bought this hand vac wanting something that would be great at picking up pet hair from the couch or carpet, they would be sorely disappointed and give it 1 star. But since I want it for getting the hair off the laminate bathroom floor, I would give it 4 stars, since it's great for that. It all depends on what the purchaser's original expectations for the product were, not necessarily what the product itself was meant to do.
Anyway, I have been enjoying my Easy Lite thus far. It does not have a mounting base for charging, but does come with a charging cord. I have not used it continuously enough to drain the battery so I cannot comment on how long it lasts, but I can say I have gotten at up to least 10 minutes of use at a time. The attached crevice tool is handy, and emptying the dirt cup isn't a huge chore. The suction is great for what I am cleaning, in fact, more suction would actually hinder cleaning the litter box area. It sits on a re-purposed purple yoga mat in the corner of a closet, and when trying to clean up the tracked litter with a hose attachment from a regular vacuum the mat gets pulled up and stuck to the hose because the suction is too strong. With the Easy Lite, the litter gets sucked up, the mat does not.
For $20.00 I am more than happy with my purchase. If I were to voice any concerns it would be about the battery life. I have had chargeable products stop taking a charge within months before, and I sincerely hope the Easy Lite does not let me down by dying soon. I've already gotten a little attached.