Just in time for the Holidays, iRobot released their prized Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner to the masses. With rival Neato lately releasing their slightly improve Botvac 蘡D 虁 set, it was theorized that iRobot might be following suit. Yet, it has been a relatively long time since the Roomba 880 and 870 debuted. I really didn虡t know what to expect. Clearly, iRobot is not interested in ceding any market share to competitors, and rightfully so.
As with all preceding Roomba虡s there are things that I don虡t like and things to enjoy. It 虡s going to be hard for me to not gift a couple of Roomba 980虡s this year.
In this Roomba 980 review, I虡ll get into the crucial features (what虡s new) as well as the Benefits and Drawbacks. At the bottom, I虡ll suggest a few choices and make an overall recommendation.
Key Features 蚁
The following are notable attributes on the 980, and some of the new, upgraded:
The Roomba 980 is now capable of running fro a complete 2 hours before needed to recharge. On some of my older 700 series vacuums I虡ve come close to this with after market third party replacement batteries, but this really is the greatest factory default option (out of the carton) battery life thus far. It虡s still not Lithium-ion (for people who enjoy that), but it is an improvement.
iRobot DWELLING App: For me, this is the game changer. I虡ve been waiting for robot vacuums to become fully incorporated into the bright house experience. iRobot is the first robot hoover firm 蚁 to my knowledge 蚁 that's an app similar to this. It's possible for you to press on 蘡Clean虁 from anywhere and the 980 will start/stop as wanted. This can be perfect for individuals who are on the go (like me). If I虡m at work or from your house, I can get things began while I虡m away. The program is simple enough basically functions as an advanced remote control and to use. On the older Roomba虡s you could have a pre-determined schedule to run each day, but not instant control in this way!
It虡s really more of an upgrade. As well as the traditional 蘡fender虁 sensors, the Roomba 980 now features the 蘡VSLAM虁 (Visual Simultaneous, Localization, and Mapping) technology. This can be a big deal. Basically it enables the visual localization map the room and enables the Roomba to 蘡look虁 out and up to help navigate. This can be the type of groundbreaking betterment that significantly enhances the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean almost? Less bumping into a more organized 蚁 and efficient 蚁 cleaning course and things at random.
Happily, iRobot wasn虡t content with just a few features that are new. Additionally they upped their game in the power department. The AeroForce cleaning system is per cleaning cycle the same base technology, but 2 times more efficient at picking up debris. Additionally, it has 蘡carpet boost虁 which maximizes air power when it detects a carpet or rug beneath. The outcome is a vacuum that is traditional that is extensive clean, reproducing a higher standard.
Enhanced Virtual Wall Lighthouse: The 980 has stepped up lighthouse game is 虡sed by it. They truly are now smaller and take AA batteries (in contrast to the hulking 蘡D虁 batteries for previous collection). Because who has extra 蘡D虁 batteries lying around this is a nice advancement?
Pros and Cons 蚁 Things I like and Things I Don虡t
Better on Carpets: Robots hoovers consistently have a tendency to perform better on hardwood floors and tough floor options (tile, etc蚡). The newly redesigned motor is not specially bad at conforming to carpeting surfaces too. After discovered, the 980 will engage a bit more muscle to thoroughly clean carpets the manner they should be cleaned. It was a subtle difference, an important difference nonetheless, although t that is challenging tell from standing up even.
The new app, the more powerful battery and the automatic recharging/resume attribute makes the Roomba 980 more hands free than both previous versions and the contest. Slowly but surely, home robotics is living up to it虡s assurance. If you hate vacuuming physically or 蚁 cannot do it this is the quintessential solution that is outsourced. Short of hiring cleaning help, the Roomba 980 is the best option out there.
Navigation is Apparently Enhanced: I will hardly tell the difference and Sometimes new features are added. For cleaning in a randomized, haphazard pattern in the recent past, Roomba虡s have had the knock. While the end result was clean floors, how it happened wasn虡t rather. However, it was also a little wasteful. This was among the comparisons I liked about most Neato versions. Now, the 980 is efficient, methodical, and much more organized.
It bumps into matters to gain its impacts, particularly in rooms with lots of furniture. Just not nearly to the degree it did previously. On careful observation it appears the 980 will remember these 蘡lumps虁 for future cleans and WOn't keep doing it with the same wild abandon.
Brighter Algorithm: For all you geeks out there, this robot is really smarter than it虡s the opposition and predecessors.
Powerful Secondary Parts Marketplace: As a longtime Roomba owner, I know that it虡s simply a matter of time before I should replace a battery, brush, or filter (among other items). Unlike other robot businesses, the Roomba has a deluge of after market firms specializing in creating components and better replacement accessories. For instance, I虡ve been able to find replacement batteries that are better than the factory default ones. This really is only somewhat true for companies like Neato (smaller market share) and this market is virtually non existent for the other small players.
Outstanding Customer Service: iRobot is still the leader as it pertains to customers service. This more of a general 蘡pro虁 and particular to this model, but worth noting. Every time I虡ve needed to replace a Roomba, I虡ve had no problems. They are also good at walking you through diagnosing difficulties.
Better Suction Complete: My two quasi scientific means of measuring this are that A) I can feel a lot more wind/atmosphere coming out of the device and B) those larger particles of grit that only high powered vacs often get are being caught in the dust bin. This really is an upgrade over the Roomba 880 which I was comparing it too as my baseline.
Use Could be More: because I虡m thrilled with the new app This isn虡t actually a legit gripe. Like to fully incorporate my Roomba with the rest of my dwelling that is smart I虡d. It'd be nice in order to handle everything from one app (and one controller like the SmartThings Hub and others). It likely wouldn虡t be hard to do and it may be something iRobot intends to do anyhow.
Still Not 蘡Perfect虁: It虡s a clear progress, but it虡s still not perfect. It occasionally gets confused by power cords and can have problem with brinks that were ample. It虡s simple to 蘡Roomba evidence虁 your house once in a while it'll get stuck, but once you figure out the problem areas. It虡s not quite like an individual蚡.yet.
Both the Neato Botvac Joined and the Dyson Eye are rumored to be coming out 蘡 soon. How? I can虡t actually tell. The Botvac Joined (which features similar program controls) will likely be out sometimes this season, but no firm release date has been set. The Dyson Eye continues to be rumored to be in the works for years, but I 'ven虡t heard much lately about an anticipated release date. It could still be 6-12 months away. What this means is the Roomba 980 could have some stiffer competition on the horizon. At this time, the 980 is the finest robot in the marketplace, but that could change. Especially if the price points are more affordable, Roomba could be severely undercut. UPGRADE: The Dyson 360 Eye has been released. Generally speaking, it has a vacuum that is more powerful, but less room that is competent -to-room navigation. It's possible for you to read my complete review for additional information.
Doesn虡t Work in Entire Darkness: As long as there's some light i.e. you can see your way around, the 980 should function good. Yet, for pitch black rooms you'll necessarily get an error code. If cleaning at night or in a cellar with no lights, this could be a concern. My simple solution would be to keep on in every room that wants it.
Don虡t plan on sleeping in the exact same room.
Only Available in One Location: So far as is frequently the case with new releases 蚁 the Roomba 980 is ONLY accessible via the iRobot shop here. That is likely because they would like to control pricing as long as possible. When it虡s released to other marketplaces like Amazon and box retailers, I虡ll make sure to upgrade this post. UPDATE 10/8#158/15: It虡s merely been released to Amazon (see here for the listing)!
Price: As always, iRobot is the price leader. All their robots are often marginally to moderately more expensive as opposed to competition. The 980 is no distinct. Actually, it虡s not pretty darn cheap! At RM 4850 per unit, that is probably not something that虡s easy to spring for. It's possible for you to check out this listing for more detailed pricing info. In this instance, you do get what you buy. This generation actually HAS improved many significant aspects. Hands down, this can be the best robot vacuum now available. Still, if that is your first robot, you may want to look into some less pricey 蚁 but still capable 蚁 options (see below)
Occasionally last years model is the best value around. Sure, it虡s not the latest and greatest, but it still can offer many of the exact same benefits. You get 3 virtual Lighthouses which allow for setting up a margin for larger dwellings and spaces. The Roomba 880 WAS the cream of the crop, until the 980 was released. You can have a look at my review of it here. At the time, it was the most effective robot hoover money could purchase. The patented AeroForce cleaning system is 50% more effective at cleaning up debris compared to the 700 series. This, joined with a larger dust bin, an improved battery, and a remote control made it the most hands free device at the time. It doesn虡t have the groundbreaking use, but it's all the other essential characteristics for a runner that is true up. Most significantly, it虡s a complete cheaper in relation to the 980 (check this listing for even steeper reductions). Still costly, but a lot.
The new 蘡D虁 string has made some improvements that are helpful, although I wasn虡t overly impressed with the original Botvac release. Notably, they虡ve repaired a problem with the brush (by shifting a bearing) to ensure it is less susceptible to becoming tangled (especially with individual and pet hair, in my experience). The Botvac D80 doesn虡t just look better, it also functionally performs better than previous Neato versions. The suction power is comparable to the new Roomba 980 and the best yet. However, you won虡t get the app controls, but it虡s still not too hard use and to schedule. The patented laser navigation technology means more organized routes and it generally works quite nicely. Where it normally sells for less compared to the top line Roomba虡s, you can see this listing here.
It trusted, although it虡s been around for some time. It虡s also MUCH more affordable. You are able to read my full take here. Try the 650 out to see if it to your needs, if budget can be your top concern. Yes, it虡s missing a bunch of fine extras虁 that is 蘡 but the core cleaning technology is till there. The 650 is perfect for people who have modest dwellings, flats, or just a small space they need often cleaned. Generally, this can be a fantastic robot for those just getting started, curious to see if the technology works due to their needs. On top of that, you are able to find the 650 for an extremely affordable cost at this listing.
The long rumored Dyson Eye is formally under development as I mentioned previously. Who knows when it will be released. Only at that stage it will not be likely to hit before the 2015 Holiday season, although they still haven虡t discussed release dates. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may really cause them to delay launch until the core attributes can be matched by them.
The option that is more intriguing is the the Neato Botvac 蘡Connected虁 robot which aims to add WiFi capacity that is similar to the Roomba 980. You'll be able to read more here. It would seem sensible about them to release it but they虡ll have to do it shortly to capitalize entirely.
UPGRADE: The Botvac Linked has formally been released in early Novemeber 2015! See my full review.
Thinking Cleaner Faceplate
I was a little skeptical of this 蘡work-around虁 at first, but it actually works reasonably well. Thinking Cleaner was the outcome of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It functionally adds any Roomba 500 or 600 series robot and WiFi capability. Disbelieving? I was too. Essentially, you attach a 蘡faceplate虁 that changes your Roomba. It虡s simple enough to attach. It is possible to do most of the same functions in a polished虁 and intuitive way, merely as the Roomba 980 WiFi. If you need to find your lost Roomba the app is quite strong and will let you schedule remotely, alert you when your Roomba needs help and plays a song. It虡s accessible just for a fraction of the price of a new Roomba here.
Presuming Cleanser is working on a brand new faceplate for the 700/800 series, but as of yet it only as a Kickstarter job here.
Who is this a good option for? 1) Existing owners of a 500 or 600 series Roomba. 2) Prospective buyers who need WiFi capacity, but can虡t manage/don虡t need to spend $899 on the 980. For instance, by buying a brand new Roomba 650 and Thinking Cleaner Faceplate, you will be run .
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Joined
I虡ll be writing the full comparison up soon, but I desired to touch on this briefly because I虡ve been getting a lot of questions about it.
Both the Roomba 980 and Botvac Linked feature WiFi enabled management. This is clearly the headline characteristic for both. I personally favor the Roomba app better, but both are similar when it comes to characteristics/use.
What are the Essential Differences? 2) The Botvac now has 蘡Eco虁 and 蘡Turbo虁 mode. 3) The Roomba 980 has 蘡carpet boost虁 and the Botvac doesn虡t.
UPGRADE: You are able to read my complete comparison (recently completed) right here.
Ultimate Call 蚁 Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The brief reply: Yes! The longer reply? This can be arguably the best robot vacuum cleaner available on the market, if you might have the money. At the minimum, it虡s definitely the finest roomba version to date. Whether or not it's 蘡worth it虁 comes down to what your unique needs are.
But if you might have a small apartment, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: it doesn虡t matter, If you are a geek like me. This really is a MUST own!
The 980 is the best robot for the occupation if you've a bigger house or office/business that needs to be cleaned frequently. It can cover the ground and recharge own as needed. The 980 has the finest cleaning technology of any robot and the most power/suction if you need a vacuuming occupation that strongly resembles a conventional upright vacuum clean.