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Product Review: VGamingHoovers

6 September, 2022 - 9:00 am by
About 10 mins to read

If you have ever read one of our reviews, most end with a little blurb that says we’ve been given a copy of the game in return for a fair and honest review. What you might not know is that sometimes we have to approach publishers and sometimes they come to us asking to try a game they have been working on, and we always try to get games that we think our readers will enjoy learning about. When the team at Hoover got in touch with the site about a product review, I was initially very confused since we a) are a video game site and b) review video games. After a to-and-fro with the team and by being assured that gamers love vacuuming, I somehow ended up with a DPD driver knocking on my door at an ungodly hour to present me with a Hoover HF500STP. Once I unboxed the thing, I had no idea how to frame a relevant review. Then a wave of inspiration hit me.

I realised that at some point in their lives, most people who play video games have wished their lives to be enriched by the fantastical elements of what they play on the screen. We’ve all waxed lyrical about being able to explore the grandeur of Hyrule or being able to dive from the highest tower with nothing but a hay bale to catch you. Relying on our imagination in order to wield impossible powers is all most of us will ever be capable of doing but over the last few weeks dear readers, I have been able to live out a video game that has been in my heart since 2002…

I got to be Luigi from Luigi’s goddamn Mansion.

I must say while I adore Nintendo’s series revolving around one of the Mario Bros’ side hustles, the reality doesn’t exactly match the expectation. I’m certainly not a winner of a contest I didn’t even enter, nor was there a creepy old man in strange spectacles talking nonsense when presenting me with the product. Instead, it was me and my strapless Poltergust vs the haunted mansion, which in this case is my three-bed new-build that substitutes King Boo with two cats.

Unboxing the Hoover brought about the familiar joy of receiving a new limited edition game. Shiny new plastic, various attachments and way too much cardboard and wrapping is sure to excite anyone who loves gadgets. There’s a nozzle for the smaller areas like skirting boards and bannisters, the main brush head which works on both carpeted and laminate flooring, along with a smaller head for the stairs and sofa. They all clunk together in a way that made me feel like Sylvester Stallone in Rambo 2 where he meaningfully assembles his rifle before setting off to kill the baddies.

One annoying aspect of the design is that the smaller pet head isn’t stored on the Hoover at all meaning there’s a potential for it to be lost around the house. It’s a shame Hoover couldn’t work a way around this as it’s particularly useful for clearing out the cat bed and preventing awkward cleaning of the stairs, but while the attachments were cumbersome to carry about, it is light enough and small enough to store easily thanks to the small form factor.

When in use, the HF500STP whirs into action instantly. It may not be a PlayStation powering on but the Hoover sounds like a futuristic jet engine that sets about sucking all the detritus that has collected on the floor since your last run around. On the main brush head is a fancy anti-hair wrap roller that is meant to keep long strands from causing issues. With a normal clean up operation, expect zero issues as it works every time, but if hair did wrap around the brush, there is a simple clasp that unclips the roller, and it would be a case of cleaning it and putting it back. 

The rest of the setup work equally as well; the more precise tools of the HF500STP are useful after a long hard session of repairing consoles and routinely performing maintenance on my PC and keyboard. My keyboard especially attracts crud and the Hoover does a great job of sucking out the bits of biscuits and hair that find their way behind the keys. This particular machine is marketed towards those with pets, and a flick of one of the buttons activates a boost mode, or as I like to call it Kirby’s Mouthful Mode, which drives up the engine speed, introducing more power to really get into all of the nooks and crannies and clear up even the most embedded cat hair. I did have to be careful with Mouthful Mode however, as it swallowed up one of the cat toys, causing a blockage in the pipe. This was relatively easy to fix but it did mean I had to keep a watchful eye on what was being inhaled, which takes more time on a task I really don’t want to be doing.

My biggest bone of contention though is the battery life which is set at a paltry 45 minutes – just enough time to give the house a quick once-over, but not enough to suck up those pesky Boos. A word of caution, using Kirby mode drastically drops the lifespan to around 10 minutes so make sure you use it sparingly. For such a high ticket product, this runtime is simply not good enough; not only does it last less time than it takes to cook a pie, the thing takes 2.5 hours to fill up. I’ve not seen efficiency this bad since the Game Gear, and unlike Sega’s battery chewing portable, the Hoover HF500STP cannot be used when plugged into the mains. I guess this could be seen as an upside, as my excuse for neglecting the cleaning and picking up the controller of my Switch becomes a very reasonable point, but given the cost of electricity rising faster than Sonic hitting a spring, it’s certainly a consideration for anyone on a budget.

Along with the battery life, I did find myself scratching my head over the tiny collection bin that is attached to it. After dragging the vacuum across the kitchen and living room, it was full and while the HF500STP certainly lived up to the expectation of collecting fine pet hairs, it was almost at its tipping point after hardly any run time. Stopping to empty the bin every five minutes meant cleaning the house took longer than usual and it added another layer of annoyance to an already tedious chore. This problem isn’t solely limited to this particular vacuum, as most handhelds I’ve experienced have the small bins to keep them compact, but it would certainly be nice if they could be expanded from something bigger than a pint glass.

The Hoover HF500STP is a neat little vacuum cleaner but that’s all it is. For those who want to spend £300 on a video game system, you’re probably better off spending it on a Nintendo Switch. The vacuum doesn’t have any screens so it can’t play Doom (yet), and it’s not the T-1000 who sets off to find John Connor after it’s cleaned the landing floor. It simply sucks up dirt and crud from whatever surface you point it at and that’s it.

That said, it’s portable and light enough to be carried around the house with ease and storing it away is rather easy. It works surprisingly well when removing dust from the inside of my PC and around the workstation and the boost mode still makes me feel like a Power Ranger activating his Megazord, even after a few weeks. The pet version removes some of the most stubborn cat hair embedded into the carpet as promised, but the things holding the Hoover HF500STP back are unfortunately deal breakers for me. The pitiful battery life and the comically small collection bin mean that this is perfect for those who live in flats, assuming there’s no sizeable furry animals that need cleaning up after. It does have its uses but is definitely not perfect for those who are trying to live their best Luigi’s Mansion life.

In the interest of full disclosure, VGamingNews was provided with a Hoover in order to conduct this review. We’ve not been paid for the review. Any links to the product may be affiliated, this means we earn a small commission from the vendor if you purchase the product but you don’t pay any extra.