I am very picky when it comes to vacuums and I did a lot of research before purchasing the Shark NV681 model. I looked at Shark due to a recommendation from a friend. Growing up as a kid we always either had Kirby or Hoover, however, I've owned mostly the Bissell brand when it was time to buy my own. I have had very good luck with the last two Bissell machines (both were Healthy Home models). I had considered another Bissell (the Pet Hair Eraser) and possibly one of the top Hoover models (Windtunnel 3 High Performance Pet). I read bad reviews about the Hoover and many people praised the Bissell, so I chose to compare both the Bissell and the Shark on the floor at Best Buy.
NV681 Pros: Works very well on carpet, is very maneuverable due to the rotating heads and is very light weight so it's easy to push, canister lifts off to enable portability, can be used with hard floors using the Dust Away Genie hard floor attachment, can shut off the beater bar with a button on the handle, can be cleaned easily, is more quiet than many other vacuums, decent length power cord, long 7 year warranty
NV681 Cons: Hose is short, dust cup extremely small
Overall I am impressed with this Shark model. It does have the few quirks I mentioned. Previous vacs I've used had longer hoses and it really bugs me that this one is so much shorter. Because the canister lifts off the heads/hose it's not as big of a deal as I make it seems, just something to get used to that's different. The floor head is powered and has LED lighting on both sides. The lights are effective and the beater bar works very well as it needs no adjustment, it levels itself automatically. The hose can retract from everything at the handle or at the floor nozzle (which provides you with a long wand to reach up high). You can also remove the canister and use the machine kind of like a canister vacuum using the powered head in this configuration. I found this to be very useful vacuuming under a bed. Included attachments are the combo crevice tool/brush, basic pet multi tool and the basic Genie dust away attachment with one dust pad.
I am disappointed at how this model is advertised on Best Buy's web site, in the store and even on Shark's own web site. All three places suggest this model should also include the Pet Power Brush (which is a suction powered hair tool for pet hair) and the Dust-Away Pro head (which has wheels, LED lights and the place to attach the vac's main motor to the head). Neither of these items were included in the box yet they are marketed as being part of the purchase and were also displayed on the store's shelf in the local Best Buy I purchased from. I contacted Shark support directly via email and they claim neither is supposed to be included in the box! I decided to keep the vacuum because I am impressed with it's other features, however, the other parts are available for purchase from Shark if needed at an additional cost, which is very unfortunate considering the cost of this model.
Other reviewers claim that Shark's support is slow or poor. Based on my support with them, it did take several days for them to communicate back with me on my questions about what was included with this model. If you do get parts from them as I did, they were on backorder for almost two months! My concern is if the vac ever has an issue under warranty, their customer may be subject to long delays in parts and/or repairs. Hope I don't have to worry about that!