The surprising Tineco A11 Master vacuum cleaner has passed through our lab doors, with its host of accessories, including the famous filter cleaning tool. With its price positioning and its technical sheet, this model seems formidable.
The Tineco A11 Master is a stick vacuum cleaner whose heavy components (motor, collector, filtration system) are placed near the user's wrist. This allows the user to turn the unit in any direction, with the suction tube attached - or not - to clean the most inaccessible corners, such as the back of furniture or corners of the ceiling. It adopts monocyclonic filtration to separate air from dust and redirect it to the 0.6 liter collector. Its removable battery provides 50 minutes of autonomy, without any accessory connected and at the lowest level of suction, of course.
Convenience of use
Unlike hob manufacturers, for example, vacuum cleaner designers have some freedom in the design of their products. And the Tineco team is not lacking in audacity since it chose transparent plastics to dress the main body of its new A11 Master. We like it or not, but at least, this vacuum cleaner doesn't look like any other. Good point, these famous plastics seem to be of good quality and ready to take many hours of cleaning. The accessories also seem solid, but we regret that the clips that hold them to the different suction ports are not as good.
The Tineco A11 Master weighs 1.51 kg in handheld configuration. When you attach the tube and the suction head, the weight increases to 2.54 kg, which is in the middle of the weight of the other vacuum cleaners in our comparison. Of course, the A11 Master is not as agile as the Dyson Omni-glide, the all-time champion in this field. Nevertheless, even if we noticed a slight tendency to skid in the tightest of turns, the plastic tubes and the head joints are flexible enough to not overly complicate the cleaning session.
Handling the A11 Master should not be a problem either. The suction starts as soon as the trigger is pressed and stops as soon as the pressure is released, as on most other models of vacuum cleaners. However, in order not to tire the muscles of the index finger, Tineco has provided a trigger locking system, as Hoover did before on the H-Free. This way, you can switch from fractional vacuuming - which artificially prolongs the life of the battery by stopping the appliance as soon as it is no longer in use, to move a piece of furniture or a piece of knick-knack on a shelf, for example - to continuous vacuuming in a jiffy.
The Tineco also has a power variator, which you just have to press several times to select one of the three proposed levels. Finally, on the batteries, a trio of LEDs informs about the remaining autonomy level; it is difficult to be less precise.
As a stick vacuum, the Tineco A11 Master comes with a wall-mounted base for storage and recharging, since it has electrical connectors. While the use of this accessory is optional on all the other upright vacuums in our comparison, it is not the case here. To recharge the batteries, you must place the main body of the A11 Master or a battery pack on the base. There are no sockets on these or on the vacuum cleaner itself. The less handy people won't necessarily appreciate having to take out the drill and the plugs to fix the station. It is still possible to use it without fixing it to the wall, but it would have been easier to connect the transformer directly to the A11 Master or its batteries.
Tineco is particularly generous with accessories. In fact, in addition to the main body and the suction tube, the box contains two heads (one with a soft brush, another with a hard bristle roller), a long nozzle and a soft brush for textiles, which is not very surprising. There is also an extendable nozzle, a mini flat brush, a mini electrobrush, a flexible tube, a bent tube, an extra battery, an extra foam filter and finally the famous accessory to clean the foam filter.
In fact, all you have to do is place the latter in the tube and vacuum. We have known more complicated, but a simple passage under water seems just as effective, even if you have to wait 24 hours to dry.
The Tineco A11 Master performs surprisingly well, regardless of the type of floor it is used on or the brush used.
On long pile carpet, the soft roller is extremely efficient as after 2 minutes in normal mode, only 10% of the rice remains in the loops. You can even expect to reach an efficiency rate of 93% by using the boost mode for two minutes. By putting on the hard brush, which beats the fibers to extract the detritus, we reach a score of 98% in normal mode and the carpet is impeccable in two minutes if we engage the turbo mode.
On fine carpets, 100% of the rice is vacuumed in one minute, regardless of the chosen configuration, soft or hard brush, normal or turbo mode. However, the best result is obtained in turbo mode with the hard brush, since our test surface is immaculate in 30 seconds.
Finally, on hard floors and using the soft brush, we picked up 100% of the waste in 30 seconds, in normal or turbo mode. The hard brush is less efficient since it takes 60 seconds to vacuum all the debris, regardless of the power level chosen; in fact, it tends to cling to the floor and push the debris behind it.
The emptying of the collector of the Tineco A11 Master is done by means of a button placed on the walls of the collector. By pressing it, the hinged bottom opens and the dust falls into the garbage can. Admittedly, this method is a little less convenient than the "Point&Shoot" system designed by Dyson for the V10, but it still avoids having your hands smeared with dust during the operation.
Full maintenance of the unit requires removing the manifold to access the filtration system. Again, the process does not require superhuman effort and the various parts can be cleaned relatively easily. However, the tank is far from being easy to clean as it has so many corners, nooks and crannies in which fine dust gets stuck. And as it is made of completely transparent plastic, the slightest dirt or water drop is visible like a nose in the face. Of course, the Tineco A11's appearance quickly loses its beauty.
The Tineco A11 Master's monocyclone filtration is quite efficient. After having made the machine swallow 20 grams of cocoa powder, we found 0.157 grams on the foam filter, in the center of the cyclone. It is therefore necessary to clean it from time to time, either by running it under water or by using the cleaning system provided by Tineco. This operation prevents the pores of the filter from becoming blocked, which reduces the suction power. The HEPA filter, on the other hand, has not changed its mass. This means that no fine dust particles have reached it and that it does not get saturated too quickly.
Tineco doesn't really make it easy to remove the rotating brush from the vacuum head. You need a tool (coin or spoon handle) to turn a latch and release the plastic part that holds the roller in its housing. What does not help is that this famous piece comes off completely and you have to be careful not to lose it.
If the Tineco A11 Master masters something, it is probably not the management of its efforts.
Indeed, its autonomy is more than reduced since it sucks only during 13 min 20 s in normal mode, with an electric brush connected. When you switch to maximum speed, you lose even more suction time since it runs out of steam in 10 minutes.
Fortunately, the box contains a second battery to double the autonomy. It should be noted that a full charge takes 2 hours and 10 minutes.
The Tineco A11 Master is not an ear-splitter. At normal power, the noise level reaches 65 dB(A) and 66 dB(A) in boost mode. If the difference is noticeable, it is mainly due to the slightly louder noise in boost mode than in normal mode.
If it surprised us with its appearance, the Tineco A11 Master charmed us with its performance. At ease on any type of floor, equipped with a high-performance cyclonic filtration system, it also has the luxury of being extremely versatile thanks to the impressive array of accessories it comes with. Its limited autonomy (compensated by the presence of a second battery, it is true), but especially the impossibility of recharging it outside its base prevents this excellent performance/price ratio from being on a par with the best upright vacuums in our comparison.