Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart
Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart stick vacuum Jeff Li/IBTimes US

Since Dyson made the revolution of cutting the cords on vacuum cleaners, many smaller companies have followed suit and focused on rechargeable Lithium battery powered hand-held vacuum cleaners. Many have tried to echo the cyclone technology, while adding their own twist to the design. I recently found that there are also companies that believe going the opposite way - instead of adding, subtracting and simplifying the design is their way of choice.

The Proscenic P11 Smart Vacuum is one such cordless stick vacuum, which went for a much simpler design. Is elaborate barrel design better, or is a simpler barrel better? Let's dive in to find out what a simpler design might mean for vacuuming.

Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart
The large array of accessories came in a compact package Jeff Li/IBTimes US

Simpler Package

The first thing I noticed is that the packaging that the Proscenic P11 Smart vacuum came in was much smaller than other brands. Initially I wondered if that would mean less accessories, but I was soon proven to be mistaken. The P11 Smart has all the accessories you'd expect, including a motorized mini-head, thin nozzle, brush tool, charging dock with matching screws and even a hair removing cutter. Somehow the company found a way to innovate and offer a full package while reducing the size of the package to two-thirds or even half of other brands. This seems good for the environment as well as keeping costs down.

Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart
The biggest difference the P11 Smart has with other leading brands: it's internals can be completely taken apart for thorough cleaning Jeff Li/IBTimes US

Simplified Cyclone Design

Upon a closer look at the actual vacuum unit, which initially seemed like all the other cyclone barrel-centric designs. Once I disassembled the barrel the difference became very obvious: it's a much simpler design.

The overall premise is the same, where the air is sucked through a port and enters the barrel along the inner surface, creating a vortex that acts like a centrifuge, separating larger particles from the air. However, instead of having an array of mini-cyclones - which is usually contained in a sealed complex structure that cannot be opened up, the P11 Smart just has one perforated stainless steel 'drum'.

Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart
When the internal cyclone components are assembled Jeff Li/IBTimes US

As a result, the separation of dust may not be as effective as the more complex design, but the advantage is that the entire structure can be taken apart, giving you full access to clean every part of the vortex barrel. This means instead of having dust that is almost permanently stuck in the cyclone channels, with the P11 Smart you ensure the internal components are always clear from dust buildup.

Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart
Removal battery is a great plus. The weight distribution is also that the vacuum is easy to maneuver. Jeff Li/IBTimes US

Lighter Weight for Easier Maneuverability

The main body of the Proscenic P11 Smart vacuum looks bulky at first, but on-hand the weight is actually lighter than expected - which might have something to do with the simple internal design that it took on. The overall aesthetics of the P11 Smart is amusingly like a rifle from a sci-fi movie, and before you dismiss this as tacky, it got my teenage sons interested in vacuuming - a much welcomed collateral. The futuristic 'weapon' comes complete with the removal battery like a 'magazine', and an angled 'pistol grip' with a 'gun trigger' to finish the look.

Some companies these days choose to make batteries unremovable in order to make the device smaller, but Proscenic P11 Smart chose to head in the opposite direction. By making the body of the vacuum slightly larger, but keeping the battery removable, this vacuum won't need to retire after the battery is worn out, just put in a new battery. The trade off for the slightly larger body, in my opinion, is definitely worth it.

Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart
Ai controlled suction strength and touch screen at the rear. Jeff Li/IBTimes US

Smart Selection

The Prosenic P11 Smart stick vacuum design may be simple, but it's smart. It has retained the AI controlled variable suction power, where the motorized roller brush sends feedback to the control chip which then adjusts the suction strength automatically.

If you prefer to adjust the suction strength manually, it can also be done through the touch screen LED on the rear of the main unit. Here you will also find the battery indicator and the current strength of suction.

Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart
Easy to remove roller with soft bristles Jeff Li/IBTimes US

Best Suited for Uncarpeted Floors

The main roller brush uses a very fine and soft bristle that is effective in picking up dust. I have yet to encounter any serious hair tangling - given I'm not in a house with pets, nor people with long hair. But if any hair tangle does occur, the roller is designed to be easily removed without needing any tools. The included hair cutter can then be used to cut away any stubborn tangles.

Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart
Vacuum head with headlights. Jeff Li/IBTimes US

In front of the main head, there is a line of four LEDs that illuminates where the vacuum is headed. This is quite useful to light up dark areas like under the sofa or cabinets, plus on hard floors, it can reveal dust on the surface by casting a shadow on it.

Overall while the P11 Smart works well on both carpeted and hard floor surfaces, its design probably leaned towards hard surfaces. The soft bristles and LED headlights are great enhancements that would benefit a tiled, linoleum or wood floor best.

Hands-on with the Proscenic P11 Smart
The P11 Smart is a simple vacuum cleaner that can be thoroughly cleaned Jeff Li/IBTimes US

Final Verdict

I remember the time when cordless stick vacuum cleaners hit the market, the idea of using a cordless vacuum as the main house or office vacuum seemed preposterous. Fast forward to 2022, the tables have turned and it's now the traditional corded vacuums that have become the rarity, on the verge of becoming obsolete, to be replaced by cordless stick vacuums and robot vacuums.

Companies like Proscenic that might not yet be a household name, can now produce well designed and built vacuums like the P11 Smart which seemed out of reach not so long ago. The great twist that was put into its design is the simplified cyclone barrel that can be stripped and cleaned ensuring that you're always starting out with a thoroughly empty barrel. If that's the most important factor for you, then the Proscenic P11 Smart is one of the few stick vacuums on the market with this feature.

Sam is a production engineer turned tech writer who specializes in seeking out gadgets that enhances productivity while still looking sharp. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Home Productivity.