The biggest problem with the previous models of Dyson Vacuum Cleaners was the poor battery life. That has been greatly improved in two ways. This model of Dyson Vacuum Cleaners has doubled the battery life and it has a better charger. It is so easy to grab and use, we were able to keep corners clean, crumbs out of the grout lines in the furniture, computer keyboards clean, drawers clear of all that little stuff that seems to get in them, particularly the 1m by 1m mess the husband makes during the football games. 30 seconds with this vacuum and the mess is gone. We also use this for a quick vacuum of the couch. Also great for anywhere our in-home can't reach (like the stairs). In short the house was just cleaner in multiple ways that are normally challenging. We loved the trigger on/off action that made its short battery life tolerable and the dependable strong Dyson power, plus the easily dump able canister is really convenient. The Dyson DC31 is somewhat smaller in the line of Dyson Vacuum Cleaners, lighter weight and quieter, plus has a dual power setting. The normal power setting is fine for most things; in fact we haven't needed the strong setting at all except to get dog hair out of the crevices of the stair treads. The DC31 of Dyson Vacuum Cleaners is designed to give 6 to 10 minutes of constant suction which we have found to be the right amount of time to pick up small amounts of dust and debris around the home or in the car. This 10 minute run time is longer than it seems because the trigger action means the unit is on only when you're squeezing the trigger to actually vacuum something, not when moving to another location or shifting position. That's not only easier on the ears, it also makes the work go more smoothly. You can vacuum an area, then set the unit down (because it sits upright it has a relatively small footprint) and move stuff, clean out the next drawer, sort the papers you gathered, whatever, and then vacuum the next bit without any pressure to get all the vacuuming done in one shot, or perpetually turning the thing on and off. We've been able to clean out and vacuum the entire car including the 'way back', a process that certainly took longer than 10 minutes, but because the vacuum is not on continually we had no problem, in fact it shows no indication it's near the end of the charge. We can clean out all the kitchen drawers or the entire linen closet or all the nooks and crannies in a room on a charge with no problem. On a rare occasion when using the Dyson Vacuum Cleaners keeps shutting off, when pressing the ON switch it comes back on again. This indicates that the DC31 battery may require a charge. This simply is what happens to your DC31 since it is designed to never fade in its power but to stop when the battery is close to requiring a re-charge. Your DC31 will cut the power and then can sometimes start up again for a small burst. This is our "no-fade" technology at work. You should be getting 6-10 minutes on a full charge. The Dyson DC31 doesn't have a bulky charger like the old one. It has a plug-in cord like a laptop and apparently some technology in the wall plug part that somehow knows to shut itself off after 3.5 hours so it's not 'tiring' the fully charged battery. We are expecting this battery to last far longer than the earlier model. This vacuum also has a quicker on/off time and generally seems handier. The directions are minimal and almost entirely pictures. They are well done and self-explanatory. So far we are delighted with this hand vacuum. It is better than its predecessor. It comes with a normal length crevice tool, in addition to a two-position brush tool. We also purchased the longer flexible crevice tool, but have found it heavy and awkward so we almost never use that accessory. We love this little Dyson hand vacuum cleaner so much more than the other choices available (several of which we have tried in the past) and highly recommend it even given the high price. You can find lots of information at our online cleaning portals like http://www.newdysonvacuumcleaners.com that specializes in Dyson Vacuum Cleaners and http://www.floorsteamersshop.com that has full of information about Floor Steamers.