I tried Shark's most intelligent vacuum yet, and it's perfect for lazy cleaners like me

The Shark Detect Pro being demonstrated at IFA 2023
(Image credit: Future)

Update: we have now reviewed this model. Find out how we got on in our Shark Detect Pro Cordless review.

If you want a vacuum that takes a chunk of the hard work out of cleaning, you're in for a treat. At IFA 2023, Shark announced a slew of new floorcare products, from a new range of deep-cleaning vacuums to its most intelligent range yet, the Shark Detect Pro.

The latter stands to finally remedy my long-standing detestation of vacuuming, thanks to some clever features and an auto-emptying dock similar to those on some of the best robot vacuums.

To my mind, vacuuming is a necessary evil to keep your home clean, improve air quality, and reduce the effects of mold and mildew. Still, it's just such a drag for me; it's hard work, even with the best vacuums, and especially if you've got a heavier vac. Plus, between emptying the dust bin and battling with unwieldy form factors, I'm just too lazy to ever enjoy the art of floor care.

However, when I tried the Shark Detect Pro at SharkNinja's IFA 2023 stand, I saw a future in which, at the very least, vacuuming becomes tolerable.

The Shark Detect Pro base at IFA 2023

(Image credit: Future)

Ace of base

The Shark Detect Pro will be available in three models: the IW3611, IW3510, and IW1511, the former two of which will come with an auto-emptying base.

This is easily my favorite thing about the Shark Detect Pro, and while it's not exactly groundbreaking (we've seen it before in vacuums like the Ultenic FS1 and the LG CordZero), Shark has gone to great lengths to innovate with the feature. 

Shark's first-ever auto-empty base will activate whenever the vacuum is docked, drawing out all of the dust and debris from the vacuum's canister without generating any mess. Better yet, the IW3510 base can hold dirt and debris for up to 45 days, and will compress the mess as it fills to maximize the space.

That means you'll only need to empty the base 6-8 times per year, depending on the size of your home and the frequency of cleaning. Shark has also removed the guesswork with its on-screen indicator for debris volume, and the base dustbin can be easily removed, meaning you don't have to lug the whole base to your trash can every time.

To keep your home smelling fresh, the base can also be fitted with Shark's Odor Neutralizing Cartridges, which need replacing twice a year.

Now granted, the vacuum's capacity isn't enormous, and the runtime is only 60 minutes, so larger homes might need to make more frequent trips to the base, but it's so quick and easy to use that it's barely a problem.

The Shark Detect Pro at IFA 2023

(Image credit: Future)

One smart sucker

Outside of the base, there's lots to admire about the Shark Detect Pro. One of the main things I was most impressed by when testing the vacuum was how incredibly lightweight it is, even when held overhead for cleaning hard-to-reach surfaces and corners.

The cordless vacuum can also detect and react to its surroundings, empowered by four deep-cleaning technologies, some of which may be familiar to previous Shark owners. 

The first is DirtDetect, which automatically boosts suction power for deep cleaning on carpets, even when dirt is invisible to the human eye. FloorDetect works in tandem to automatically detect the floor type and optimize performance, and can increase the multi-surface brush roll speed up to 2x.

LightDetect will illuminate the floor head when the vacuum detects low-light areas, helping you spot dust and debris, and EdgeDetect will intelligently identify edges and double suction on the corresponding side of the floor head, offering a more thorough clean.

And, of course, the vacuum features Shark's beloved Anti Hair Wrap Technology, which reduces tangling and brush roll damage by removing hair as you clean.

By lightening the load when it comes to manual maintenance and also reducing the overall unit's weight, the Shark Detect Pro makes cleaning a whole lot easier. I'm not convinced I'll ever be excited about vacuuming, but at the very least, I might hate it a little less when I'm not having to battle with a cloud of dust and arm ache after every clean. 

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Josephine Watson
Managing Editor, Lifestyle

Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.