Shark Apex UpLight Reviews: Strong Suction In A Compact Body
Even though robot vacuums have become popular and gained a significant market share, there are some areas where they still fall short. People with pets or those who need to vacuum high places will know this, and this makes manual models like upright vacuums still essential for their homes.
But one of the most common complaints about uprights is that powerful models are often cumbersome and bulky to handle. Shark - a popular brand known for its amazing upright models - has come up with a new solution - the Apex UpLight LZ601.
Shark Apex UpLight infomercials claim it can give you excellent suction power like that of an upright vacuum, while you can still enjoy the easy maneuverability (and many other features) of a compact machine. Can it really deliver this promise? Let's find out in our Shark Apex UpLight review.
The Shark Apex UpLight Lift-Away Duoclean LZ601 is an interesting bagless vacuum cleaner from Shark as it's not really an upright or stick model but something in between.
It's packed with many high-end features and technologies that we will usually only find on premium vacuum series. This model comes with both signature DuoClean and Zero-M technologies, Lift-Away feature, LED headlights, and a HEPA filter in a completely-sealed filtration system.
It even has unique self-standing wheels that will pop out whenever the machine is in the upright position, which makes it stand on its own.
The only major issue of the Apex UpLight comes from its small dust canister, which is not an ideal solution for those who want to vacuum a large area.
• Weight: 10.7 pounds
• Dimensions: 11.4W x 10.4L x 46.2H
• Dust canister capacity: 0.68 quarts
• Power: 700 watts
• Filtration system: foam and HEPA filters
• Power cord length: 30 feet
• Hose length: 4.2 feet
• Strong suction
• Works well on both bare floors and carpet
• Lift-Away feature for more portability
• Self-cleaning brushroll
• Can stand on its own
- • Small dust canister
- • Heavy top
- • Not able to change the suction power
- • Can't turn off the brush rolls
- • Average maneuverability
Shark Apex UpLight Review
Packaging and Assembly
When you open the box, you will find a pod that houses the dust cup, filtration system, and the motor. This pod is also connected to the hose. Shark also includes a pet multi-tool, a crevice tool, a holder for the accessories, a nozzle, and a wand to connect this nozzle to the pod.
Assembling the Apex UpLight is incredibly simple and intuitive, and it won't take you more than 5 minutes.
It's time to dig in and find out what all the fuss is about when Shark boasts about its technologies again and again. For example, Zero-M technology is claimed to be able to get rid of pet hair effectively. But how does it work in reality?
The main mechanism behind this technology is the specialized brushroll that can prevent human and pet hair from wrapping around it. There is also a comb-like component that removes the hair from this brushroll, even when it's spinning. The hair will then move along with the airflow to the canister.
DuoClean is another popular technology on Shark vacuums that sets them apart from other models on the market. This design adds another (soft) brushroll to the cleaner head. Its job is to remove large pieces of dirt from bare floors where it keeps spinning to pick up stuck-on debris and dust.
There is a common concern when people hear about the dual brush rolls: it may make it harder to push on carpeted surfaces. But luckily for you, this is not the case.
The second brush roll may result in some drag, but this is not too much. The Apex UpLight moves just as easily as other machines on carpets. If you face any difficulty on those surfaces, the real culprit may come from other issues.
DuoClean technology from Shark allows the soft brush to clean and polish floors while another brushroll clean carpeted areas. To be more specific, the soft brush roll of the Apex UpLight grabs small particles and dust from bare floors, and the second self-cleaning one deep cleans and removes hair from carpets.
The brush rolls in DuoClean technology Via: Amazon
You may wonder how this self-cleaning feature works. The principle is actually simple.
When you start the machine, the comb-like mechanism will go over this brush roll and clean all debris and hair on it to keep it in the best condition. This brush roll also has four metal wires across it to prevent hair from tangling.
You can disassemble the Shark Apex UpLight corded Lift-Away completely and only carry the main pod around. This will come in handy when you need to vacuum stairs, curtains, or furniture. You can attach a brush to the wand, or remove the nozzle and use the wand with the pod.
This only exists on the upgraded version of the Shark Apex UpLight, and some people find this detached Lift-Away pod heavy. But if you consider its weight, even when we count the power cord and an additional tool, it's just around 5 pounds - not too big of an issue for most people.
It can become a portable machine with the Lift-Away feature Via: Amazon
Detaching this pod is pretty straightforward, but you may find it harder to put it back for a few first times. This isn't as easy as lifting the pod and may need some fiddling. But again, once you get used to it, you won't find it that big of a challenge.
On the other hand, the short hose can cause some issues for people without long arms as it can't reach as far as they'd like. But there is always an extra wand when you want some additional reach.
This cleaner head is where you will find a lot of modern and useful features and technologies from Shark, which include DuoClean, Zero-M, indicator light, LED headlights, and the self-standing wheels.
These LED lights are placed on the front of the nozzle. This helps illuminate dirt, dust, and pet hair on your floors, even in low light conditions. You may also find dirt particles, dog hair, and tiny crumbs that are not possible to see with other units or the bare eye.
But there is one thing that you must always remember when coming from other vacuums: you can’t turn off the brush rolls in the Apex UpLight. This might be annoying if your previous model allows you to do this.
On top of that, this machine also only provides one speed for the brush rolls, so there is no hope if you want to slow them down on some surfaces. Since these brush rolls run fairly fast, it may become an issue for delicate surfaces like hardwood floors.
The Shark Apex UpLight comes with three filters: two before the motor and one after it.
By removing the canister, you can access the pre-motor filters easily, which consist of a felt filter and a sponge filter. If they become dirty, you can rinse and wash them in water without issue.
Remember to let them dry completely (which takes at least 24 hours) before placing them back into the machine. From our tests, the sponge filter gets dirty quicker, so you may need to clean it more often.
Meanwhile, you can find the post-motor filter, which is also easy to access just below the canister. It's a HEPA filter, and just like the pre-motor ones, you can rinse and clean it with water. But since this filter doesn't get dirty as easily as the sponge and felt filters, you don't actually have to wash it frequently.
The best part about the filtration system of the Apex UpLight is that it's completely sealed. Shark calls this Anti-Allergen Complete Seal, meaning the entire vacuum machine is sealed, and no unfiltered air can get out.
Shark LZ601 comes with the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Via: Amazon
This is good news from people with allergic conditions since all air entering the machine is filtered before coming out of it, which increases air quality tremendously. This design is so great that a completely-sealed vacuum can produce clean air even though it doesn't feature high-grade filters.
This canister is easy to remove and empty. With a capacity of 0.68 quarts, it's not an ideal choice if you're in need of a big dust canister in order to clean a large area. This small capacity means you will need to empty it more often than other models.
There are some grumblings about the position of this power button. Shark placed it in an odd spot - where you place your hand in the handle, which may cause some people to press it accidentally.
This is a rare feature that not many vacuums have. But these wheels are a nice upgrade when you consider other Shark stick series like the Rocket, which can't stand by themselves.
On the back of the cleaner head of the Shark LZ601, there are some retractable wheels, which will extend when the vacuum is in the upright position. This helps the entire machine stand on its own, so you don't need to lean it against your furniture or the wall.
And when you start vacuuming and lean the machine back, these wheels will retract automatically.
By always innovating with unique and useful features, Shark is always an answer when people want to know what brand of vacuum cleaner is the best.
The well-designed accessories can be conveniently attached to the wand of the machine to extend its capacity further.
There is a brush tool on the 8-inch crevice tool, which you can slide along the shaft, depending on whether you want to use the crevice tool with or without the brush.
The upholstery tool can also fit perfectly into the brush, which you may need to use to deal with stubborn pet hair on your couch.
Warranty and User manual
Shark provides a 5-year limited warranty for the customers of the Apex UpLight. It also includes a user manual in the box.
Although it's quite short, you can find almost every information you need to know: troubleshooting, maintenance issues, emptying the canister, cleaning the filters, using the accessories, and assembly.
One of the most common positive feedback customers give this vacuum is its strong suction. Most of them are pleased, or even surprised, by how much debris and dust it can collect. This is even more impressive if you consider its compact size, which may cause some to underestimate its power.
The Apex UpLight produces great results on tile floors. The cleaner head can pick up large debris thanks to the dual brush roll design.
This vacuum handles bare floors pretty well Via: Amazon
On carpet surfaces, this model also impresses us. On both low-pile and high-pile carpet, it can vacuum most of the debris, from fruit loops, green peas, chili flakes, flax seeds, and powdered cheerios.
But the most spectacular thing about the Apex UpLight is its ability to get rid of pet hair, especially on carpets. You will be surprised by how much hair it can pick up, even when it's embedded deeply in the fibers of your carpet. And thanks to the self-cleaning feature, the amount of tangled hair is minimal.
The Shark Apex UpLight has a 30-feet power cord. Even though there are other vacuums with a similar length, it's considered long for a compact machine like this model.
An under-30-feet power cord is sometimes a deal-breaker for those who don't want to switch between power outlets often while vacuuming.
On the other hand, the length of the hose is significantly shorter, but it's not really an issue because this hose is intended to be used with the Lift-Away feature. While you can stretch it beyond its original length (4.2 feet), it's quite hard to do in practice.
The Apex UpLight weighs around 10.7 pounds. For an upright model, this is often considered lightweight. But when you compare it to the stick vacuums, it's actually a bit heavier.
Whether it's heavy or lightweight is totally up to you. While many customers are fine with the weight, others say it's indeed too heavy for them.
Since Shark wants to provide the portable Lift-Away feature, most of the weight of the machine - the motor and canister - is placed on the top of the vacuum. This makes the vacuum a bit unbalanced and top-heavy.
The maneuverability and movement of the Apex UpLight are quite average.
Even though it's a compact model, pushing and pulling it on carpet needs more effort than you might expect. And without the swivel steering feature, turning the vacuum around is not smooth or easy. This doesn’t get any easier, even on bare floors. This may be the result of the heavy top.
But at the end of the day, moving it around is still okay to deal with, even though you may expect it to be a lot easier.
Though not the most popular vacuum of this brand, the Apex UpLight LZ601 still is one of the best Shark vacuum models and receives mostly positive compliments from customers. It scores 4.4/5 stars on Amazon, with many finding it a perfect replacement for their heavy upright vacuums.
Overall, this is really a solid choice for general customers, especially when you don't need to vacuum a big house. As our Shark Apex UpLight review has pointed out, there aren't many machines that come with so many handy features as this one. If you're tired of heavy upright models and want a lighter machine with a host of useful technologies, this is our recommendation.