Proscenic S1 cordless vacuum review: a new featherweight champion?

We put this powerful but wallet-friendly handheld vacuum to the test.

Proscenic S1 vacuum and a Volvo XC40 it just cleaned

by Adam Binnie |

Your car’s interior is full of awkwardly shaped crevices that can soon fill up with all sorts of dust and crumbs if not regularly vacuumed or protected by a cover.

Compact, cordless cleaners used to offer such little suction and runtime that it was often more effective to haul the large upright vacuum out from your understairs cupboard and awkwardly try to stretch the accessory nozzle into the far corners of the car’s interior.

Now though there’s a range of lightweight, portable and powerful gadgets designed with just this job in mind – and in the case of the Proscenic S1, affordable too.

How we tested the Proscenic S1 vacuum cleaner

I have two young children and a problem with buying mountain bikes, so I’m always fighting a losing battle against sand, mud, crumbs and other unidentified objects. My Volvo XC40 long termer is the ultimate vacuum testing ground.

Keeping these things at bay up until this point has been our household handheld Dyson cleaner – powerful enough, but buried in a cupboard and with a crevice tool that is just a bit too wide to fit into the gaps in my car’s interior. There must be a better solution.

What’s good about the Proscenic S1?

This cleaner caught my attention because it’s the same price as the favourite lightweight car vac from our roundup, the Hoover H-Handy 700, but offers more impressive statistics.

Not only does it weigh just 630g but it uses three 2200mAh batteries for a 30-minute run time, and a brushless motor for 12,000 Pa suction power. So on paper at least, it looks impressive.

Proscenic S1 crevice tool gets into all the nooks and crannies
©Photo: Parkers

Granted, neither can compete with the 25,000 Pa offered by my household vacuum, but this is an arena where convenience, rather than suction power, is the bigger priority.

Is it any good at vacuuming a car?

To get the full half an hour run time you’ll need to first charge the vacuum for two hours and that’s done in a plastic dock that also houses the tools. This is powered either by a domestic three pin plug or a USB-C port, so you could conceivably keep it in your boot and plugged into an accessory outlet.

That said, there’s no Velcro on the bottom to stop it sliding around, and a USB charge takes up to four hours, so it’s probably better off inside your house or garage, ready for deployment at a moment’s notice.

With only 630g of heft it feels lightweight and balanced in your hand, but the Proscenic S1 is more powerful and quieter than you’d think thanks to a brushless motor offering either 8,000 or 12,000 Pa depending on which of the two modes you use.

What tools do you get?

A rectangular nozzle for cleaning large surfaces and a two-in-one nozzle with brushes that can be slid out of the way to reveal a narrow crevice tool.

The latter is great for getting into awkward spots such as between the seat and door sill, while the former speeds up cleaning the large boot floor.

Proscenic S1 vacuuming the boot
©Photo: Parkers

A filtration system with a washable H12 HEPA filters claims to capture 99.99% of what the vacuum sucks up. Meanwhile, the 120ml dust container was large enough to cover the inside of my car without needing to be emptied.

The container on the Hoover H-Handy 700 is marginally larger but given the nature of what you’ll be cleaning with it, this doesn’t feel like a downgrade.

Verdict

I’ve found the Proscenic S1 vacuum cleaner really good for keeping on top of weekly mess that accumulates in my car. Anything more substantial than that requires the additional power of my household vacuum though, so it’s a job worth keeping on top of.

It feels very solid and the majority of the weight is centred near your hand so it’s easy to wield in tight spaces, although the charging dock is made from cheaper-looking plastic than the vacuum and tools. That said, it’s a charging dock and it sits in my garage. So arguably, aesthetics are less important.

Best of all the crevice tool is the perfect size for getting right into all the tight spaces in the car’s interior, so no crumb is safe from its surprisingly powerful suction.

Overall I’m really satisfied and reckon the Proscenic S1 offers a lot for its £79 price tag, which undercuts its major rivals. Cheaper vacuums are available, but few with as much power or runtime as this one.

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