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The Mountain Goats - In League With Dragons Music Album Reviews

John Darnielle explores the humanity of wizards, sports legends, Ozzy Osbourne, and other folk heroes and beacons of hope.
“Old wizards and old athletes are the same,” John Darnielle said during a Facebook live stream at the headquarters of Wizards of the Coast, the game company that owns Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. He was there to announce the latest record from the Mountain Goats, In League With Dragons, and his rhetoric was appropriately fanciful: “They were once magic,” he offered by way of explanation.

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Shark DuoClean Lift-Away Vacuum Cleaner Review

Shark DuoClean Lift-Away Vacuum Cleaner Review
PRICE WHEN REVIEWED
  • £329.99
Buying a vacuum cleaner is bit of a pain. How much should you spend, and are some models overpriced? Aside from Dyson, it’s hard to know which other brands to pay attention to.


After using this Shark vacuum cleaner, we can confidently recommend it as a versatile but slightly pricey option for several types of cleaning around the home.

Here’s our review of the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner – model number NV801UK.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The UK RRP for the Shark DuoClean is £329.99, and at the time of writing was on sale for an amazing £199.99. 

It is just about worth it at full price, so this much off is a steal.

You can also buy it from Amazon UK, Currys and Argos in the UK.
DESIGN AND BUILD
When you first unbox the Shark, it feels a tad lightweight but don’t let that first impression fool you. The parts need to be this slight for the unit to be modular, and isn’t a sign of bad craftsmanship. It weighs in at 6.1kg.

The in-box instructions make it easy to assemble the wired unit, and it takes less than five minutes. You then have an upright lift-away vacuum cleaner with easy to use controls for hard floor and carpet, three different nozzle attachments and suction control.

You can release the handle, or the full upright section (called the wand in this case) to reach up to corners of rooms or under furniture, bookcases and beds. The physical clips are easy to use, and stand out in their orange, white and black colours.

This vacuum cleaner is well-labelled and while you may not fall in love with the colour scheme, it makes it easy to work out how to use without a manual (although one is included).

FEATURES AND USE
Detaching these parts makes it easy to clean ledges, curtains and more, and the tube is robust enough not to feel like it’s going to detach or break. You can either remove the handle or wand from the body, or lift away the entire dust cup itself with the wand.

The DuoClean tech on display here though is in the main floor cleaning unit, and it works very well. Most vacuum cleaners use one brush bar, but Shark has two here working in tandem – a soft velvety brush that works best on hard wood floor to pick up ground in dirt, and a normal brush roll that works best on carpets to pick up hair and dirt.

A physical switch on the wand lets you quickly switch between these two modes, which is great if you have hardwood floors and rugs. There’s also a suction control that is necessary on some carpet – the Shark is so powerful that it’s hard to push if suction is turned fully up, belying its 750W power.

The vacuum is very responsive to turning and we found ourselves pulling off angled cleans that we couldn’t on rival products. Just remembered it’s corded, but with 8m slack you shouldn’t have to move the plug about too much in one room.

A neat touch are the headlights (yes, really) on the front of the main roller. They proved surprisingly helpful in dingy corners to make sure you’ve cleaned properly, and means you don’t leave streaks of dirt behind. It’s good for spotting cobwebs, too.

It’s a relatively quiet vacuum cleaner too compared to some, with a noise level of 80db.

The Shark DuoClean is also a bagless vacuum, which is great. The dust cup is easily detached and you can then empty it from either end. It’s quite slim but you won’t need to empty after every clean (it has 1.1L capacity), but you might need to get your hands a bit dirty getting some debris out given the tall design.

The NV801UK also has (wait for it) Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, a tech that supposedly seals in nasty dust and allergens in the unit rather than kicking them back out into your house. We’ll take Shark’s word for it, and the vacuum is one of the better we’ve ever used, with exceptionally good pick up that doesn’t rely solely on suction – power drives the brush roll for an amazingly effective experience.

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