Product: Oreck Ultra XL
Nutshell Review: While not the most attractive member of the 2008 vacuum club, the Oreck XL Ultra is, nevertheless, a very pleasing standout. It's motor delivers huge sucking power, it's frame is very light and it has the old fashioned simplicity of a bagged vacuum with NO attachments that will appeal to the minimalists among us. Think of it as the Buddy Holly of vacuums...
Full Review: We tested the Oreck XL Ultra in our offices on dirty floors and were pleasantly surprised. Despite looking like a machine that's been behind the Iron Curtain for 30 years, it was a powerful brute that handled super easily due to it's overall lightness.
The Oreck XL Ultra is surprisingly agile, moves under and around furniture with ease, and the box-like head that houses the roller brush hugs the floor to provide a very focused sucking area. Bags are used, which Oreck claims are a crucial part of the "odor control system." They also claim that their bagged model cuts down more on microbes, is lighter than bagless vacs and is therefore superior. While we agree that that the lightness was pleasing, we were not able to find any sucking or odorific difference from other bagless machines tested.
Bags cost $55 for 20.
The Oreck XL Ultra has no attachments, a significant part of it is made out of metal and seems incredibly sturdy. While many might find these qualities limiting, it has the appeal of simplicity and gives one the sense that it will last for years and years. Indeed, Oreck has been in business since 1963 and got their start making machines for use in the hotel industry. Think of these things at commercial grade machines with no bells or whistles that will take a beating and keep on ticking.
Product Pitch: IntellaShield Technology™ creates a bacteria-fighting barrier around the Oreck XL Vacuum, combining antimicrobial protection to resist the growth of odor and stain causing bacteria plus powerful odor control. First, Microban®, an antimicrobial agent, is built right into the vacuum cleaner. It actually penetrates microbes and inhibits their growth and ability to multiply in and on the vacuum. And this lifetime antimicrobial protection is infused into places where microbes accumulate, like the handle, roller brush, and base plate - never washing off or wearing away. Intellashield technology featuring Microban protection works 24/7, even when the vacuum is off! Plus, the odor controlling inner bag and odor shield in the outer bag work to eliminate everything from pet odors to other stubborn smells. This powerful odor control system makes your home fresher and cleaner than ever before, easily and effortlessly. And all that performance is packed into a vacuum that weighs just nine pounds.