First, let me say I'm no stranger to vacuums, I've owned/used just about every make or model on the market - as far back as my vintage 1972 Electrolux canister vac.
Based on the TV commercials, I was hoping to get a general purpose home model that was relatively easy to use, transport, and maintain. What I got was just that... sort of.
When I first brought the box indoors, I was a bit surprised at its weight (a hair over 15 pounds). Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting a featherweight stick vac (or a "half-ton" commercial model), but this vac has a bit of heft to it. That's encouraging from the standpoint of quality and longevity, but a little unnerving when considering carrying it up a staircase to do the second floor.
Next was unpacking and assembly. Packaging was substantial - no chance of shipping damage here (unless run over by the delivery van). "Some assembly required" is a bit of an understatement. It was kinda like a jigsaw puzzle and almost mandated looking at the user's manual to get it right.
Figuring out how it worked was also a bit time-consuming - sort of like getting behind the wheel of someone else's car - it takes a few minutes to find the windshield wiper and headlight switches - not to mention the radio and A/C controls.
The on/off switch is atop the canister, not on the handle - a slider switch on the handle simply adjusts the amount of suction for hardwood, short, and higher pile carpeting.
Eager to try it out, I first started with a low pile area rug and was immediately disappointed. Not due to low suction... just the opposite, suction was great, but the brushes were too close to the ground and rotated too fast. Combined with the good suction, the vacuum literally walked away from me (well, more like RAN away) - kinda like walking an eager dog pulling on the leash. In response, I lowered the slider switch to the lowest ("bare floors") setting and tried again. This time it worked a little better, but still had a noticeable "tug" which made it tend to run away and more difficult to pull back toward me.
This problem became much more noticeable when I tried to vacuum a small rug in the kitchen - this time the vacuum literally latched onto the rug and sent it flying back toward me.
At this point I deduced vacuuming my rugs (an obvious mainstay of a home vac) was out of the question (sigh!!). If a little more "engineering" was put into the brush head (like a simple, mechanical, height adjustment) this problem could be totally eliminated.
Since I have no medium or high pile carpeting, testing that was a no-go, but I do have plenty of tile floor space and more than my share of litter (kitty litter, that is) and a few random chunks of cat treats which proved to be no problem for the vac. The higher front lip and the fine primary brush worked perfectly - all such debris was cleaned up without incident.
During these tests I also found a rather noticeable imbalance to the unit - caused by the mounting of the canister on top/front of the wand - rather than on the back - like most other vacs. When I attempted to turn the head to vacuum around a corner (which it does nicely, by the way) the canister tended to "flop" to the side and prevent an easy reverse pull.
I also noticed that tipping the vac to the side to get the head over the edge of a carpet didn't work at all - it simply turned the vac head as if I were turning a corner. I had to either cram the vac over the carpet edge (not terribly difficult, with that raised front lip) or physically pick up the unit (which was both heavy and awkward).
On the "clever" side, I thought using suction to power the handheld rotating brush attachment was genius - no need for a power cord down the suction tube (I've had them go bad in the past). My only complaint would be the slight awkwardness of that large handle which tends to restrict the brush attachment a bit - the neck of the brush doesn't pivot so you must jockey the handle (and associated tube) to reach anything but a flat horizontal surface. (No biggie, just a bit inconvenient.)
Another clever feature is the "flip top" cover on the main set of brushes. It not only allows for easy cleaning, but also allows both the large and small brushes to easily pop out for more extensive cleaning. And if that wasn't enough, there's even a small tool (similar to a seam ripper) buried in the brush chamber that can be used to remove hair or thread that can become entangled in the brushes.
To continue with the "pro's", the cord length is a bit longer than the typical upright - a VERY nice feature to help offset the nuisance of re-plugging the cord in order to reach further into an area or another room. And speaking of that cord, the swivel hook at the top allows for easy removal of the entire cord all at once (vs. unwrapping it one loop at a time).
Unhooking the canister, although relatively easy, completely ties up one hand - and it's not as lightweight as you would think. It's definitely a short-term task in order to make use of the long "wand" to reach under furniture. I would also comment that the way the flexible suction tube attaches to that wand leaves something to be desired. The tube is relatively sturdy (AKA it has some weight to it) and the ball-and-socket attachment easily pops loose. Perhaps a hook-and-eye attachment would have worked better.
To lighten the load, as it were, of the canister - you might want to invest in the optional caddy which turns it into a more traditional canister-type unit. It's essentially a small cage-type device on wheels which will hold the canister (so you don't have to). It sounds like "over-kill", but it would make lugging around the canister easier (and leave a free hand for re-positioning the cord or moving furniture and other obstacles).
There are a range of attachments (brushes, crevice tool, etc.) that all fit onto the end of the handle (as does the "powered" brush discussed above). The main vacuum allows on-board storage of two, but only a specific two - and one (the basic un-powered brush) actually gets in the way of that nice long power cord.
The various attachments can also be used at the end of the main wand - simply detach it from the primary brush head and slide on an attachment. The wand, however doesn't extend beyond what you see when it's part of the fully-assembled upright vac. It also has several plastic "fittings" that tend to make it look, and behave, a bit kludgy. Can you reach the "dust bunnies" behind a chair, or possibly a low-hanging A/C vent - yes, can you reach cobwebs near the ceiling - not easily, the wand is just a bit too short.
Bottom line - jack of all trades, master of only some. If you have only one vacuum, this unit will do just about every job around the house - some better than others. If you have mainly solid floors (tile, vinyl, wood, etc.) you'll love how well it picks up almost every type of debris - from simple dust, to all those little "chunky" tidbits that elude other vacuums.
If you have large area rugs or wall-to-wall carpeting, this might not be the best unit to purchase. Vacuuming such areas is a bit more like a mild workout at the gym than a simple household chore.