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Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E
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- Lift-Away. Press a button to lift the canister away and easily clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Hard Floor Hero. Picks up surface litter and stuck-on debris, providing superior bare floor cleaning.
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + a HEPA filter. Traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum.
- Powerful and lightweight. Portable and versatile at 13.7 lbs.
- Brushroll Shutoff. Deep carpet and gentle bare floor cleaning.
- Includes: Hard Floor Hero, Pet Power Brush, Dusting Brush and 8 inch Crevice Tool
- Either of the hard floor or microfiber may be included. NOTE: The NV356E is part of the NV355 series.Refer page 4 on the owner’s manual for the model details.
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From the manufacturer
|Product||Shark Navigator Lift-Away||Shark Navigator Professional Lift-Away||Shark Rotator Lift-Away|
|Product Weight and Pod Weight (Without Cord)||12.5 pounds; 7.5 pounds||13.7 pounds; 8 pounds||15.5 pounds; 8.4 pounds|
|Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA||✓||✓||✓|
|Swivel Steering||✓||✓||Yes, with LED Lights|
|Finger Tip Controls||-||-||-|
|Included Accessories||(1) Wide Pet Upholstery Tool, (1) Dusting Brush, (1) 24" Crevice Tool, (1) 5.5" Crevice Tool||(1) Hard Floor Hero Attachment, (1) Pet Power Brush, (1) Dusting Brush, (1) 8" Crevice Tool||(1) Premium Pet Power Brush, (1) Wide Pet Upholstery Tool, (1) Straight Suction Nozzle, (1) Dusting Brush, (1) 12" Crevice Tool|
|Dust Cup Capacity (Max Fill Line)||1.2 dry quarts||2.2 dry quarts||1.3 dry quarts|
|Hose Length (Compressed) and Cord Length||5 feet; 25 feet||5 feet; 30 feet||8.4 feet; 30 feet|
|Cleaning Path Width||9.25 inches||9.5 inches||9.5 inches|
A lightweight 2-in-1 Lift-Away upright vacuum with a detachable canister for portable cleaning power. With the push of a button, Lift-Away technology allows you to lift the canister away and easily clean in hard-to-reach areas. This vacuum is also equipped with a completely sealed system and a HEPA filter to trap dust and allergens. It also includes a Brushroll Shutoff button so you can easily switch between carpet and bare floor cleaning, and the Hard Floor Hero attachment to pick up debris and dust your bare floors.
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The product is fairly well constructed; however, it is not as heavy duty as the dyson. The clips are a little flimsier, and a little smaller. The Dyson is no champion in this department either as it’s entirely plastic and I’ve replaced pieces many times over the years. This seems to be rugged enough in places that matter, and I’m pleased to find the extension tube is made of metal. Parts snap together well and easily, and it seems to require far less effort to reconfigure. Size-wise it’s closer to the ball vacuum, power-wise the larger DC07. The powered floor brush is the same width as the Dyson ball, which is to say not very wide. It does have a window at the top so you can see if something is beginning to wind around the brush before it can cause trouble. Overall the weight and size make it an excellent choice for those with petite builds or senior citizens.
I’ll say this right up front though, this is not a particularly good looking vacuum cleaner. It’s decent enough, and certainly that’s not what you buy them for. Some parts are quite handsome, but the general appearance of the tank is industrial at best, and just a bit cluttered over all.
Here is a bit of a mixed bag. Ergonomically the Dyson has obviously had some top flight industrial engineers working on it, as everything is snug, streamline and compact in the ways all the parts fit together. Once you know how to reconfigure the Dyson to extend the hose, it makes sense but does have a bit of a learning curve. The Shark by contrast is simpler in many ways, if a bit fussier.
The “Lift-Away” canister allowing it to detach from the base is absolutely brilliant, and makes cleaning things like stairs, blinds, ceiling cobwebs etc. much easier. It’s far lighter than the Dyson, and easier to use. The swivel feature is similar to the ball vacuum, less sexy but works just as well. Basically, this is like having a canister and upright vacuum cleaner in one unit.
There are certain aspects that nearly appear to be tacked on, such as the cord holder. The Dysons have this on the back, and it’s quite easy to access and use. Here it’s on the side, and winding the cord really works best only going one direction as the lower clip is tucked in and a bit out of the way. The tool holder as well is not really integrated, rather a small ring with 2 friction holders for the crevice tool and brush that you put onto the upright extension during assembly. Assembly BTW is a very simple and straightforward proposition, and helps you to understand how to reconfigure. Additionally, the red 2 position on/off rocker switch looks like it came right off the parts rack of a radio shack.
The handle is well placed, well configured and comfortable to use. The main roller head is easy to tilt and the balance is quite good. Removing the tank is straightforward, and definitely one of the biggest selling points of this machine. I never liked having the hose stretch from the Dysons, which would inevitably fall over.
One thing the Shark is definitely lacking is the one hand or one finger type of ergos of the Dyson. For instance, the canister must be released via 2 flip style clips at the bottom vs the pushbutton release of the Dyson. When it comes to cleaning the Shark wins, but when it comes to those extra little amenities, you’ll have to pony up a few extra hundred dollars. However, I believe the Shark does have some advantages beyond aesthetics.
This is one of the highlights of the Shark. The Dysons have a HEPA filter which consists of a little flat filter that rests on a ribbed plate and sits at the base of the canister unit. Comparatively the Shark may seem overly complex with its multi-step filter system in 2 different locations. With the very first use it was obvious how insufficient the Dyson was in this regard. It always smelled like I was vacuuming before. With the Shark, it smells clean. There is nothing going back into the air. One look at the base filter and you know how well it’s working, it was positively filthy. Luckily these filters are made to be cleaned. The base “pre motor” filter consists of a felt filter with a foam filter on top, and then the “post motor” air return filter is a HEPA filter inside of an egg crate style frame. This is the grill you see on the front, and is easily accessed. The pre motor filter is accessed when you remove the canister. For allergy sufferers this is 5-star stuff.
I have a couple of issues when comparing to the Dyson. The first being potentially important for allergy sufferers. Typically, the bag-less canisters have a little door at the bottom you open up to empty it. On the Dysons, the release for the door is at the top of the tank. You can lower the tank into a trash receptacle with one hand and pull the little release ring with your index finger, releasing the contents well away from your face and hands.
With the Shark, the release tab for the door is at the bottom of the canister opposite the hinge, which means you can’t drop the tank down into the trash can to release it, it needs to be up high enough so you can press the button. This means potential to get your hands dirty, or some of the dust and dirt to miss the can. Normally I’d go outside and do this right into the garbage can – if you do the same just make sure it’s not windy!
Additionally, the interior design of the canister has a flaw compared to the competition. Towards the top of the unit there is an inverted tube which comes close to the outside wall similar to the Dyson. However, the Shark has interior braces that trap dog fur. It can be easily dislodged by banging it, but you might not have that option. Again, this means you might be having to deal with potential contamination and sort of nullifies the excellent filtering of the unit.
The first thing I noticed when I switched it on was how quiet it is! I was positive that something like this would have to be far noisier. It’s most likely that newer models of Dyson are quieter, but I’ve had experience with 4 now and they all sound about the same. A higher pitched whirring sound with the Shark can be heard opposed to the deeper Dyson Roar on the carpet. As far as real cleaning, this positively outperforms the large Dyson. It’s easier to use and maneuver, and pulled far more out of the carpet than the Dyson did. Yuck! I had no idea. We have a medium pile carpet throughout the upstairs, and 2 long haired dogs. It was obvious that this thing was digging down much deeper than the Dyson from the tracks. The motorized brush also has an indicator light on it that lights green when the brush is working, and turns red if there is a blockage or jam. Another nice feature the Shark has is a little ring you can turn to cut down on the suction if it’s becoming too hard to push.
One thing worth mentioning could bother some people. On my cut pile carpet the Shark leaves brush marks, think of a rake on sand opposed to just the flat sweep I'm used to with a Dyson. I'm not sure if this really bugs me or not, and it probably varies from carpet to carpet. I don't have any other similar type to check this on. You can certainly tell in an instant that it has been vacuumed however.
The supplied Dust Away attachment with the detachable pad is a clever little extra that acts like a Swiffer on steroids. It works quite well right up to the wall, as well as sucking up all that dust and grit that manages to make its way in between gaps of the plank style hardwood floors. There is basically an open section in front of the pad to get the big stuff, and behind it is the pad which gets the dust and fine stuff that is usually missed by a vacuum even with a beater bar. You will still need to do the occasional wet mopping as things just get stuck on the floors, but for regular cleaning this is a nice option to have.
This is a smaller attachment with a beater bar that is powered by suction. It’s rather cleverly constructed and works well on upholstery or stairs. It’s much smaller than the Dyson Animal attachment, and far more useful. The Dyson was too large to use for pretty much anything I ever found. It’s about 4 ½ inches wide so it’s perfect for chairs and sofas. I was actually sort of surprised at how much it actually got off of the upholstery compared to just a regular brush attachment. This was a pleasant surprise inclusion; I didn’t know it would be in the package.
- easy to use
- swivel base easy to maneuver
- incredibly powerful
- suction control
- fantastic filter system
- bag free design
- 2 position power switch (motorized brush head on/off)
- motorized brush head with blockage/jam indicator light
- motorized brush head viewing window
- portable lift-away canister for easy cleaning of stairs or hard to access areas
- hardwood/tile floor attachment
- pet upholstery attachment
- 30’ cord
- easy cord release
- 5 year warranty
- questionable aesthetics/ergonomics
- fussy design
- some materials a little flimsy
- no soft brush attachment
- dustbin door release at bottom means possible contact with contents
- motorized head only 11” wide
Wow, that’s it. I suppose one more con would be this is not a proven commodity. After a year I’ll check back in, but I would imagine Shark would have another model out by then. I can say in the last few days this little thing has really impressed me. Enough to write a review about a vacuum cleaner, which I never thought I would. But for $180, I honestly thought I was making a mistake. Instead it’s one of the smartest things I’ve done, thanks to the excellent reviews from Amazon customers.
In summary, besides the astounding power and cleaning performance of the Shark, there are 2 things I really love about it. The first is the Lift-Away design. I can’t say enough about how cool this is. It’s like having a canister vacuum you can carry around and get cobwebs, stairs etc. with without having to drag something around behind you. The second is the fantastic filter system. While I’m not a huge allergy sufferer, I had no idea how much crap was being blown back in the air with the Dyson. Combine these features with a lightweight, easy to maneuver and hard-sucking product they’ve fulfilled their promise.
While ergonomically lacking behind the Dyson, they’ve hit a good balance of features and performance, cutting corners where it would be least noticed and giving the consumer every bit from their hard earned dollar. I was dubious of Shark because of infomercials etc., but now I know they’re not throwing their money away on fancy packaging or industrial design with questionable returns.
5 stars, highly recommended.
I really like the new Lift Away Pro. For about one-third the cost of a Dyson, you get virtually the same performance. Dyson still has an advantage in the quality of the engineering and materials used, but Shark is catching up. Like the two earlier versions of the Navigator, the Lift Away Pro has Pros and Cons.
- Price. You can buy about 3 Lift Away Pros for the cost of one upright Dyson. Cleaning performance is comparable (I have 3 Dysons, so I know).
- Excellent suction. If you have never used a vacuum with suction this good, you are going to be appalled at how much dirt comes out of your carpet. It makes me laugh when I read reviews where people complain about how often they have to empty the dust canister. That means this vacuum is actually cleaning the dirt out of your carpet that your old vacuum left behind. Be happy.
- Easy to assemble.
- Larger dust cup that empties easily and cleanly almost every time. You had to reach into the dust canister on the older Lift Away and yank out dirt-encrusted clumps of hair and carpet fibers every time you tried to empty it.
- HEPA filter. Even though the original Lift Away was advertised as having a HEPA filter, until people started complaining, it did not come with one unless you bought it directly from Shark. This one has a HEPA filter.
- 30 foot long power cord - 5 feet longer than the original Lift Away. You don't have to keep moving the plug around to vacuum. Shark is finally using better quality electrical cord so it no longer bends and kinks.
- Light weight: about 14.5 pounds. In Lift Away mode, it weighs about 8 pounds.
- Bagless. A real time and money saver not to have to go buy bags.
- Tolerable noise level. It's a lot quieter than most vacuum cleaners.
- Swivel head. You can easily maneuver around things with just a twist of your wrist. It functions just as well as the Dyson Ball.
- Excellent cleaning of hard floor surfaces and carpeting.
- Adjustable suction. You can vacuum smaller rugs without pulling them up off the floor.
- Beater bar on/off control. Turn the beater bar off when you are cleaning solid surface flooring so you don't mar the finish. When the vacuum is turned on and in the upright position, the beater bar is automatically disengaged. No more carpet burns or scratched wood floors.
- The pet hair turbo-brush. It easily removes pet fur from furniture, stairs, bedding, etc., and is great for cleaning your car.
- Picks up chunky dirt. My Dysons snowplow anything larger than dust. I can vacuum up chunks of dry dog food without having to use the wand.
- The short hose that leads from the body of the vacuum to the beater bar head and provides the suction no longer comes loose like it does on the first Lift Away. You'd finish vacuuming only to realize the hose had detached and all you really did when you thought you were vacuuming was rearrange the dirt on the carpet.
- Better quality clips securing the dust canister to the body of the vacuum.
- The Lift Away function is simple (one press of a button) and works great.
- Easy release wand. With the press of a button, you can use the shorter hose with your attachments or the longer extension wand.
- Washable felt and sponge filters. Rinse them out and let them air dry and you're good to go again. A spare set would be nice since it can take a while for the filters to dry and you can't vacuum without them.
- Small cleaner head. It's not a space hog, so it's easy to store. You can also get into tighter spaces more easily when you vacuum.
- The hose that leads to the wand is way too short and has no give to it. You can stretch it all you like, but it won't loosen up. Turn on the vacuum, and the suction pulls it even more tightly back on itself. Cleaning with the wand and attachments is like wrestling with the vacuum. It tips over every single time and makes using the Lift Away mode a real workout. You hold the wand in one hand and have to lift the vacuum body up with the other in order to have any reach at all. If I want to lift weights, I'll go to the gym.
- The vacuum tips over really easily. If you use the wand or attachments, the slightest pull will make the vacuum fall over.
- No on-board storage for the turbo brush or another extension wand - two essential attachments. If the vacuum had a telescoping wand instead of the heavy clunky one it has now (it is covered by some of the heavy white outer shell of the vacuum), it would be easier to use and lighter, too.
- Once again, Shark has given us 2 crevice tools (a small one stored on board and a long one that you can't attach anything to) instead of just giving us another wand we can use with any attachment.
- Poor edge cleaning.
- Cord placement. To use the longer, built-in cleaning wand, you have to completely unravel the power cord and detach it from the cord hook. How about a telescoping wand that detaches above the hook?
- You still can't clean carpeted surfaces under furniture. The Dust Away attachment with the microfiber pads is for solid surface flooring under furniture, not for carpets. The hose and wand are too short, and there still is no attachment you can use to clean carpets under furniture.
- No light. A couple of LED lights would help in dark areas without adding a lot of weight.
- The turbo brush. It's my favorite attachment and it's so cheaply made that I usually have to order replacements (maybe that's the idea). This tool does an outstanding job getting pet hair off of furniture and stairs and it's terrific for cleaning your car. I spend far too much time unwinding hair from the beater bar and dislodging caked on dander and dust from the guts of the turbo brush. Yuck. Shark should take a good long look at the Dyson mini turbine brush (smaller, lighter, better designed, and better built) and learn something. That brush doesn't break or clog. It costs more, but it's worth every penny. If it fit on my Lift Away, I'd use it instead.
- The Lift Away needs a soft-bristled dusting brush like Dyson's. The stiff-bristled brush is fine for upholstery, but not for dusting or electronics.
- Customer Service. Shark finally appears to have noticed the years of negative reviews of their abysmal customer service. I called recently and they actually listened to my problem and were quite pleasant about it (huge improvement right there), but nothing was resolved. So no change overall. The call ended with an automated customer satisfaction survey where I could now rate my unsatisfactory experience.
- Worthless warranty. The Lift Away Pro is a decent quality vacuum cleaner, so you just have to hope that you won't need to deal with customer service. It has been my experience that they have no intention of solving your problem unless there is a way to charge you exorbitantly for it or seriously inconvenience you, or both. Buy your Lift Away Pro locally and give it a real workout while you can still return it to the store if you have problems. You can exchange it or get your money back without having to pay huge shipping costs or go without a vacuum cleaner for weeks like you would if you dealt directly with Shark. If it breaks, buy a new vacuum cleaner. Life's too short to deal with the hassle of trying to make Shark honor a warranty.
Bottom line: this is a really good vacuum cleaner for the price. It performs well, and it's lightweight and easy to maneuver. The dust collection bin empties easily and usually completely. There is still room for improvement, but I haven't found a perfect vacuum cleaner yet, including the much-hyped Dyson. Despite all of the cons, I would give the Lift Away Pro a solid 4 stars. I've been using it daily for close to two months, and it works great so far. There is no way to assess durability or reliability until this model has been out longer. I would recommend this vacuum cleaner as a moderately-priced alternative to other expensive cyclonic vacuums on the market. I see no difference in performance, so why overpay just for the cachet of owning a more expensive brand? If the reliability holds up, this less expensive model will prove to be the smarter choice.