Shark ION P50 Lift-Away – A Game Changer?

The Shark ION P50 is not your typical upright vacuum by any stretch of the imagination. Sure it has enough power for deep cleaning carpets as well as several tools for other surfaces, but there is much more. If you know anything about the Shark company it’s that they are known for pushing the limits of technology to the benefit of their customers. Let’s take a look at what this vacuum cleaner has to offer with some recommendations for who this model makes sense for.

Cordless Design – Latest Lithium Ion Technology

The biggest feature that sets the P50 apart from other full sized vacuums is it has a completely cordless design! It comes standard with 1 removable lithium ion battery pack that they claim will get you 50 minutes of run time which is true but under lower power use. Expect the time to go down when using as an upright or in ‘powered lift-away’ mode (more on that later). One very key aspect of these batteries is they don’t fade as they drain down, the power output remains fairly constant. So the vacuum will keep on picking up dirt just like it was fully charged, even as it becomes drained. This technology is a big upgrade over prior generation of batteries and the main reason Shark can offer a large vacuum equipped this way.

While this is unique to the industry, if you have a larger home or use the P50 often you should consider purchasing a second battery power pack. This will allow you to always have 1 charging while you are using the other during your cleaning session. Keep rotating them and you will have an almost endless supply of power. This is the main reason Shark offers 2 battery packs with their IONFlex DuoClean lightweight uprights, and I’m not sure why they didn’t do that with the larger and more powerful P50.

Powered Lift-Away Mode – Portable Power

While this operating mode is not unique to the P50 in the Shark lineup, it is unique among vacuum cleaner brands. This is one of those features that once you see it (and try it) you realize how innovative the engineers that work at Shark are. In order to reach tight spaces like under chairs and tables, or even high places like bookshelves and cabinets you can remove or lift-off the canister to operate the wand at full power. It essentially turns the P50 into a lightweight or handheld vacuum but with the power of a full sized machine. Here is a quick video demonstrating how this works so you can see all of the possibilities:

DuoClean – One Powerhead And Two Different Brushrolls

Several of their vacuum cleaners come with their uniquely design head called DuoClean™. It actually consists of two different brushrolls that can clean smooth floors like tile, linoleum, and hardwood as well as carpets without any modifications to the machine. The large bristle brush is designed to agitate and help pickup embedded dirt and dust from carpeting. This larger brushroll sits directly behind the smaller soft brush that is made for hard floors. It has a unique composition that attracts fine dust while also compressing down so it can pull up larger pieces of debris. The front of the P50 is open where the powerhead meets the floor which allows for larger items to come into contact with this soft brush, without being pushed around at all. This is a major improvement over traditional upright vacuums that can struggle with larger particles like cereal, stones, and hard pet food.

The DuoClean head serves two purposes by cleaning both hard flooring and carpeting, without the need to swap attachments or change settings. Shark has gone out of their way to make it easy to transition from room to room no matter what surface you are vacuuming. And since this model is cordless you really can clean your entire home with much less effort than you are used to.

3 Different Cleaning Modes

The Shark P50 Powered Lift Away can operate in either Upright, Stick, or Handheld mode which opens up a lot of possibilities around the house. There really isn’t a surface you cannot clean, either above the floor or at floor level.

  1. Upright Mode – This is perfect for large open areas as well as deep cleaning carpets. This is what you will typically use when it is time for your weekly ‘complete home’ cleaning.
  2. Stick Mode – It’s easy to remove the main canister to operate it as their Lift-Away™ with the wand attached. You can reach under items and move around your home with ease, cleaning a variety of flooring types.
  3. Handheld Mode – This is similar to Stick mode but with the wand removed. Add one of their cleaning tools to reach such items as shelves, curtains, and cabinets. You can also take it outside to vacuum your car interior.

Other Notable Features

  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal – A HEPA filter and seal internal system work together to trap 99.99% of allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores. A sealed system is important because it not only traps them but keeps them from escaping back into your home.
  • Large Capacity Dust Bin – The large collection chamber actually has twice the capacity of their ION F80 to allow you to complete your entire household cleaning jobs with fewer trips to the garbage can.
  • Long Running Lithium Ion Batteries – Shark claims you will get 50 minutes of runtime when vacuuming in their ION Power mode. This is impressive since some other brands will claim long battery runtimes, but they measure in the lowest power setting. This IS NOT the case with Shark.

Final Thoughts And Recommendation – Who Is The P50 For?

The Shark P50 with Powered Lift-Away is another step forward in the cordless vacuum industry. There now is a full sized (or close to full sized) upright vacuum that has a fairly long runtime of fade-free power. It can handle just about any type of floor and can operate in handheld mode for those hard to reach places. This is the type of vacuum cleaner that the industry is evolving towards: a machine that is easy to use and flexible enough to handle just about anything you can throw at it.

However, if your home has mostly thick carpets with a high pile then it isn’t going to be the best vacuum for you. You would actually want something heavier that can really push the brushroll down into the fibers. That’s the only way to pull embedded dust up and out. This would be the only situation where we wouldn’t recommend the P50 as the best choice.

For the average home with a variety of floors like carpet, tile, hardwood, and laminate the Shark P50 is a great choice. Click here for current pricing and to read consumer reviews at our recommended supplier.