With competition Neato lately releasing their marginally improve Botvac “D ” series, it was supposed that iRobot might be following suit. Nevertheless, it continues to be a comparatively long time since 870 debuted and the Roomba 880. I honestly didn't know what to anticipate. Clearly, iRobot isn't thinking about ceding any market share to rivals, and rightfully so.
As with all preceding Roomba's there are things that I don't like and things to like. Regardless, it 's going to be hard for me to not gift a couple of Roomba 980's this year.
At the bottom, I'll make an overall recommendation and suggest a few choices.
Essential Features – What's New with the Roomba 980
The following are notable features on the 980, and some of the new, upgraded:
More Battery Charge Life: The Roomba 980 is now capable of running fro a full 2 hours before needed to recharge. This is a personal best for Roomba. It's still not Lithium-ion (for those that enjoy that), but it really is an advancement.
iRobot HOME App: For me, this really is the game changer. I've been waiting for robot vacuums to become more fully integrated into the house encounter that is smart. iRobot is the first robot hoover firm – to my knowledge – that has an app such as this. It's possible for you to press “Clean” from everywhere and the 980 will start/stop as desired. This is perfect for people who are on the go (like me). If I'm at work or from your house, I can get things started while I'm away. The program is easy to use and basically functions as an innovative remote control. On the Roomba's that is older you could have a pre-determined program to run each day, but not instant control like this!
It's really more of an upgrade. Along with the traditional “bumper” detectors, the Roomba 980 now features the “VSLAM” (Visual Simultaneous, Localization, and Mapping) technology. This really is a big deal. Basically it lets the visual localization map the room and allows the Roomba to “look” up and out to help navigate. This can be the sort of groundbreaking betterment that greatly improves the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean practically? Less bumping into things randomly and a more organized efficient and – – cleaning path.
More Suction Power: Happily, iRobot wasn't content with just a couple of new attributes. In addition they upped their game in the power department. The AeroForce cleaning system is the same base technology, but 2 times more effective at picking up debris per cleaning cycle. Additionally, it has “carpet boost” which optimizes air power when it detects a carpet or rug underneath. The outcome is a more thorough clean, replicating a higher standard traditional hoover.
Enhanced Virtual Wall Lighthouse: Roomba uses these little towers to indicate where to clean (and where not to clean...acting as an invisible wall obstacle). The 980 has stepped up it's lighthouse game. They're now smaller and take AA batteries (compared to the hulking “D” batteries for previous set). Because who has extra “D” batteries this really is a fine advancement?
Matters I enjoy and Things I Don't
The App is Wonderful: It's fairly simple and straightforward, but it means everything to me. Being able to control my robot from my phone means the Roomba is now part of my smart dwelling family. Picking up on where tools like the Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats have left off, iRobot has actually produced on a smart, net-connected, roomba vacuum. I eagerly thinking about the possibilities for future integration with controls and my various smart home programs.
App Helps Monitor Care: There is a very cool “diagnostics” part of the program that tracks distinct parts of the Roomba and uses straightforward bars to let you know when things have to be changed or serviced (think emptying the bin, changing extractors, filters, etc...). It also tells you precisely how you can perform the maintenance demand that is desired.
Better on Carpeting: Robots vacuums always have a tendency to perform better on hardwood floors and tough floor choices (tile, etc...). Now, the recently redesigned motor is specially good at adjusting to carpeting surfaces as well. Once detected, the 980 will engage a bit more muscle to completely clean carpeting the way they should be cleaned. In a side by side test with my Roomba 880 (and a bunch of spilled crushed cheerios), both “appeared” to clean the same at a space, but the 980 really could pick up more of the crumbs that had filtered down to the bottom of the carpet. It was a subtle difference, difficult t tell from standing up but an important difference however.
The new program, the stronger battery and the automatic recharging/resume feature makes the Roomba 980 more hands free than both previous models and the contest. Slowly but certainly, dwelling robotics is living up to it's promise. If you hate vacuuming physically or – cannot do it anymore – this is the quintessential outsourced alternative. Short the Roomba 980 is now the smartest choice out there.
Navigation is Noticeably Improved: Occasionally new attributes are added and I will scarcely tell the difference. For cleaning in a randomized, haphazard pattern previously, Roomba's have had the knock. While the ending result was clean floors, how it occurred wasn't fairly. However, it was also somewhat inefficient. It was one of the contrasts I liked about most Neato models. Now, the 980 is much more organized, methodical, and efficient.
It still bumps into things to gain its impacts, especially in rooms with tons of furniture. Just not nearly to the degree it did previously. On careful observation it appears the 980 will recall these “bumps” for future cleans and will not keep doing it with the same wild abandon.
Brighter Algorithm: This robot is actually smarter than it's the opposition and predecessors.
Generally speaking, I discovered the 980 spent much less time than both my 880 and Botvac's (included the new Linked Botvac) pausing and computing as it creates the map of the room.
Superb Customer Service: iRobot remains the leader as it pertains to customers service. This more of a general “ace” and specific to the model, but worth noting. Every time I've needed to replace a Roomba, I've had no issues. They truly are also good at walking you through diagnosing issues.
Powerful Secondary Parts Marketplace: As a longtime Roomba proprietor I know that it's only a matter of time before I have to replace a battery, brush, or filter (among other items). Unlike other robot companies, the Roomba has a deluge of after market businesses specializing in creating components and better replacement accessories. For example, I've been able to locate replacement batteries that are better in relation to the factory default ones.
Better Suction Overall: My two quasi scientific means of measuring this are that A) I can feel a lot more wind/atmosphere coming from the device and B) those bigger particles of grit that only high powered vacs often get are being caught in the dust bin.
Use Could be More: because I'm thrilled with the new app, This isn't actually a legit gripe. I'd like to totally integrate my Roomba with the rest of my smart home. It'd be nice to be able to handle everything from one app (and one controller like the SmartThings Hub and others). It likely wouldn't be difficult to do and it may be something iRobot intends to do anyhow.
Not “Perfect”: It's a clear improvement, but it's still not perfect. It sometimes gets confused by power cords and can have problem with sizable thresholds. Once in a while it will get stuck, but once you determine the problem areas, it's not difficult to “Roomba proof” your house. It's not quite like a human....yet.
Competition on the Way? Both the Neato Botvac Joined and the Dyson Eye are rumored to be coming out “ soon”. How? I can't really tell. The Botvac Joined (which features similar program managements) will likely be out occasionally this year, but no firm release date has been set. The Dyson Eye was rumored to be in the works for years, but I haven'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 harder competition on the horizon. At this time, the 980 is the best robot out there, but that could change. UPGRADE: The Dyson 360 Eye has recently been released. Generally speaking, it's a more powerful vacuum, but less room that is qualified -to-room navigation. You'll be able to read my complete review for more details.
However, for pitch black rooms you will inevitably get an error code. If cleaning at night or in a cellar with no lights, this could be a concern. My easy solution is to keep night lights on in every room that needs it.
Carpeting Foster is Loud: It picks up more dirt, so I'm a happy customer, but it's still worth noting. Don't plan on sleeping in exactly the same room.
Just Available in One Place: So far as is frequently true for new releases – the Roomba 980 is ONLY accessible via the iRobot shop here. This really is likely because they want to control pricing. When it's released like carton retailers and Amazon to other marketplaces, I'll be sure to update this post.
Price: As always, iRobot is the cost leader. All their robots are usually slightly to somewhat more costly than the contest. The 980 is no different. Actually, it's fairly darn expensive! At RM 4850 per unit, this can be likely not something that's not difficult to spring for. It's possible for you to take a look at this listing for more detailed pricing information. In this instance, you do get what you pay for. Many significant facets actually HAVE improved. Hands down, this really is the best robot vacuum now accessible. Still, if this is your first robot, you may want to look into some less pricey – but still competent – choices (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Alternatives to Consider
If the price is too much of a sticking point, never to worry. There are other great vacuums with contemplating.
Sometimes last years version is the best value. You can have a look at my review of it here. At time, it was the best robot vacuum money could purchase. The patented AeroForce cleaning system is 50% more effective at cleaning up debris than the 700 series. This, joined with a a remote control, an improved battery, and a larger dust bin made it the most hands free device at the time. It 's the 2 nd best. It doesn't have the groundbreaking use, but it's all the other essential attributes for a runner that is true up. Most significantly, it's a full cheaper than the 980 (check this listing for even steeper reductions). Still expensive, but a lot.
I wasn't overly impressed with the first Botvac release, but the new “D” chain has made some developments that are helpful. Notably, they've repaired a problem with the brush (by altering a bearing) to allow it to be less susceptible to getting tangled (particularly with human and pet hair, in my experience). The Botvac D80 doesn't simply seem better, it also performs better than previous Neato models. The suction power is the finest yet and comparable to the new Roomba 980. It's still relatively simple to schedule and use, although however, you won't get the app managements. The patented laser navigation technology means more organized courses and it generally works fairly well. Where it normally retails for less in relation to the top line Roomba's, it's possible for you to see this listing here.
It's been around for a little while, but it's still dependable. It MUCH cheaper. It's possible for you to read my full take here. If budget is your top concern, attempt the 650 out to see if it enough to your needs. Yes, it's missing a bunch of “extras” that is fine but the cleaning technology that is heart is till there. The 650 is ideal for people that have just a small space they desire routinely cleaned, flats, or small dwellings. It will not come with the conventional HEPA filter (good for those with allergies and pet owners) like the 880 and 980, but the AeroVac filter does a good enough job. Generally, this is an excellent robot for those just getting started, curious to see if the technology works because of their needs. I still have mine running to this day after 3 years (and a couple of replacement batteries). Best of all, you are able to find the 650 for a very affordable cost at this listing.
New Robots on the Horizon?
As I mentioned previously, the long rumored Dyson Eye is officially under development. Who knows when it'll be released. They have but only at that stage it'll be unlikely to hit before the 2015 Holiday season. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may really lead them to delay launch until they are able to match the core characteristics.
The more intriguing option is the the Neato Botvac “Linked” robot which plans to add WiFi ability that is similar to the Roomba 980. You are able to read more here. They'll have to do it shortly to capitalize fully, although it'd seem sensible for them to release it prior to the 2015 Holiday season.
UPDATE: The Botvac Joined has formally been released in early Novemeber 2015! See my full review.
Thinking Cleaner Faceplate
I was a little skeptical of this “work-around” at first, but it actually works reasonably well. Presuming Cleanser was the effect of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It functionally adds or 600 series robot and WiFi ability together. Skeptical? I was too. Essentially, you attach a “faceplate” that alters your Roomba. It's easy to attach. On top of that, it can synchronize with other smart home programs (like SmartThings, etc...), something that I've criticized the Roomba 980 for not doing. You can do most of exactly the same functions in intuitive manner and a polished”, just as the Roomba 980 WiFi. If you have to locate your lost Roomba the program is pretty solid and will let you schedule remotely, alert you when your Roomba wants help and plays a tune. It's accessible for just a fraction of the cost of a Roomba that is new here.
Who's this a great option for? 2) Prospective buyers who need WiFi ability, but can't afford/don't want to spend $899 on the 980. For instance, by purchasing a new Roomba 650 and Believing Cleaner Faceplate, you will be run no more than $500 total.
I'll caveat by saying that 1) it's still “laggy” 2) reduces typical run-time by about 10-15% and 3) it's not native to iRobot (third party program). Thinking Cleanser is working on a fresh faceplate for the 700/800 chain, but as of yet it only exists as a Kickstarter project here.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Connected
I'll be writing up a complete comparison soon, but I wanted to touch on this briefly because I've been getting lots of questions about it.
What are the Crucial Differences? 1) The Botvac Associated is significantly more affordable (usually about $200 less), but see this listing for up to date information. 2) The Botvac now has “Eco” and “Turbo” mode. 3) The Roomba 980 has “carpet boost” and the Botvac doesn't. 4) The Roomba uses virtual wall's (invisible ray to contain the robot) whereas the Botvac still relies on laying down “magnetic tape” to define boundaries around your dwelling.
Both Botvac Joined and the Roomba 980 feature WiFi enabled management. That is clearly the headline characteristic for both. Personally, I favor the Roomba app better, but both are comparable with regards to attributes/usage.
UPGRADE: You'll be able to read my complete comparison (recently completed) right here.
Final Call – Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The short answer: Yes! The longer reply? This can be arguably the greatest robot vacuum cleaner on the market if you might have the cash. At the minimum, it's definitely the best roomba model to date. Whether or not it's “worth it” comes down to what your unique needs are.
However, if you might have a little apartment, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: it doesn't matter If you are a geek like me. This really is a MUST possess!
The 980 is the greatest robot for the occupation if you have a larger house or office/business that needs to be cleaned frequently. It recharge own as needed and can cover the earth. The 980 has the finest cleaning technology of any robot to get the job done and the most electricity/suction if you need a vacuuming job that closely resembles a conventional upright vacuum clean.