As with all previous Roomba's there are things to enjoy and things that I don't enjoy. It 's going to be challenging for me to not gift a couple of Roomba 980's this year.
In this Roomba 980 review, I'll get into the key features (what's new) as well as the Benefits and Drawbacks. At the base, I'll suggest several choices and make an overall recommendation.
Key Attributes – What's New with the Roomba 980
The following are some of the new, updated, and remarkable attributes on the 980:
The Roomba 980 is effective at running fro a full 2 hours before needed to recharge. On some of my older 700 series hoovers I've come close to this with after market third party replacement batteries, but this really is the best factory default (out of the carton) battery life up to now. It's still not Lithium-ion (for those that like that), but it really is an advancement. Like the 800 series robots, the 980 will return to the docking station base, but now it will recharge, then resume where it left off cleaning.
iRobot HOME App: For me, this is the game changer. I've been waiting for robot vacuums to become completely integrated into the intelligent house encounter. iRobot is the first robot hoover company – to my knowledge – that's a program like this. It's possible for you to press on “Clean” from anywhere and the 980 will start/stop as desired. That is perfect for individuals 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 simple to use and essentially functions as an advanced remote control. On the older Roomba's you could have a pre determined schedule to run every day, but not immediate control in this way!
New Navigation System: It's actually more of an upgrade. This is a big deal. Basically it enables the visual localization map the room and allows the Roomba to “look” up and out to help navigate. This really is the kind of ground breaking improvement that vastly enhances the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean almost? Less bumping into things randomly and a more organized – and efficient – cleaning course.
More Suction Power: Mercifully, iRobot wasn't content with just a couple attributes that are new. In addition they upped their game in the power section. The AeroForce cleaning system is per cleaning cycle exactly the same base technology, but 2 times more effective at picking up debris. It also has “carpet boost” which optimizes air power when it finds a carpet or rug beneath. The end result is an extensive clean, duplicating a rank that is higher conventional vacuum.
Enhanced Virtual Wall Lighthouse: Roomba uses these small towers to signal where to clean (and where not to clean...acting as an invisible wall impediment). The 980 has stepped up lighthouse game is 'sed by it. They truly are now smaller and require AA batteries (in contrast to the hulking “D” batteries for previous series). This is a fine development because who has extra “D” batteries lying around?
Pros and Cons – Matters I like and Things I Don't
The App is Amazing: It's reasonably 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 house family. Picking up on where tools like the Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats have left off, iRobot has really produced on a smart, net-joined, roomba vacuum. I'm already eagerly considering the options for future integration with controllers and my various smart dwelling apps.
App Helps Monitor Care: There's a very cool “diagnostics” portion of the program that monitors distinct parts of the Roomba and uses straightforward bars to tell you when things must be changed or serviced (think emptying the bin, shifting extractors, filters, etc...). Additionally, it tells you precisely the way to perform the maintenance requirement that is desired.
Better on Carpeting: Robots hoovers always have a tendency to perform better on hardwood floors and hard flooring choices (tile, etc...). Now, the newly redesigned motor is specially great at adjusting to carpeting surfaces as well. After found, a bit more muscle wills engage to completely clean carpets the manner they should be cleaned. In a side by side test with my Roomba 880 (and a group of spilled crushed cheerios), both “seemed” to clean the same at a space, but the 980 actually was able to pick up more of the crumbs that had filtered down to the underparts of the the carpeting. It was a subtle difference, hard t tell from standing up even, but an important difference however.
More Hands Off/User Friendly: in summary, it's more of a robot! The new app, the more powerful battery and the automatic recharging/resume attribute makes the Roomba 980 even more hands free than the competition and both previous models. Slowly but certainly, home robotics is living up to it's promise. If you hate vacuuming physically or – cannot do it anymore – this is the quintessential option that is outsourced. Short of hiring cleaning help, the Roomba 980 is now the best option out there.
Navigation is Noticeably Enhanced: Sometimes new attributes are added and I will hardly tell the difference. For cleaning in a randomized, haphazard pattern before, Roomba's have had the knock. While the ending result was clean floors, how it occurred wasn't quite. However, it was also a bit inefficient. It was one of the contrasts I enjoyed about most Neato models. The 980 is much more organized, methodical, and efficient.
It bumps into matters to gain its relevance, particularly in rooms with tons of furniture. Only not nearly to the degree it did in the past. On careful observation it even seems the 980 will remember these “lumps” for future cleans and will not keep doing it with precisely the same wild abandon.
Smarter Algorithm: For all you geeks out there, this robot is really smarter than it's the competition and predecessors.
Exceptional Customer Service: iRobot continues to be the leader as it pertains to customers service. This more of a general “ace” and particular to the model, but still worth noting. Every time I've needed to replace a Roomba, I've had no issues. They may be also not bad at walking you through diagnosing problems.
Strong Secondary Parts Market: As a longtime Roomba proprietor I know that it's merely a matter of time before I need to replace a battery, brush, or filter (among other things). Unlike other robot companies, the Roomba has a deluge of after market firms specializing in creating better replacement accessories and components. For example, I've been able to find replacement batteries that are better than the factory default ones.
Better Suction Overall: My two quasi scientific ways of quantifying this are that A) I can sense a lot more wind/air coming from the unit and B) those bigger particles of grit that only high powered vacs often get are being caught in the dust bin. This is an upgrade over the Roomba 880 which I was comparing it also as my baseline.
Use Could be More: This isn't really a legit gripe, because I'm thrilled with the new app. It's more of a wish. I'd like to completely incorporate my Roomba with the rest of my smart dwelling. It'd be pleasant to be able to manage everything from one app (and one control like the SmartThings Hub and others). It likely wouldn't be tough to do and it may be something iRobot plans to do anyway.
Not “Perfect”: It's a clear improvement, but it not perfect. Power cords sometimes confused it and can have problem with sizable thresholds. It's simple to “Roomba proof” your house, once in a while it will get stuck, but once you determine the problem areas. It's not quite like a human....yet.
Both the Dyson Eye and the Neato Botvac Connected are rumored to be coming out “ soon. How soon? I can't actually tell. The Botvac Linked (which features similar app controls) will probably be out sometimes in 2013, but no firm release date continues to be set. I 'ven't heard much lately about an anticipated release date, although the Dyson Eye has been rumored to be in the works for years. It could still be 6-12 months away. What this means is the Roomba 980 could have some stiffer competition on the horizon. At the moment, the 980 is the greatest robot out there, but that could change. Especially if the price points are more affordable, Roomba could be seriously undercut. UPGRADE: The Dyson 360 Eye has recently been released. In general, it's a vacuum that is more powerful, but less room that is competent -to-room navigation. You can read my full review for more details.
Nonetheless, for pitch black rooms you are going to necessarily get an error code. My simple alternative is to keep night lights on in every room that needs it.
It's still worth noting, although carpet Boost is Loud: It picks up more dirt, so I'm a happy customer.
Just Available in One Area: So far – as is often true for new releases – the Roomba 980 is ONLY accessible via the shop that is iRobot here. This is likely because they want to control pricing. When it's released like box retailers and Amazon to other marketplaces, I'll make sure to upgrade this post.
Price: As always, iRobot is the cost leader. All their robots usually are somewhat to somewhat more expensive as opposed to contest. The 980 is different. In fact, it's not fairly darn cheap! At RM 4850 per unit, this can be probably not something that's not difficult to spring for. You can check out this listing for more detailed pricing information. In this case, you do get what you buy. Many significant facets actually HAVE enhanced. Hands down, this is the best robot vacuum currently available. Still, if this is your first robot, you may want to look into some less expensive – but still qualified – options (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Alternatives to Contemplate
If the cost is too much of a sticking point, never to stress. There are other great hoovers with contemplating.
Sometimes last years model is the best value. You get 3 virtual Lighthouses which allow for establishing a perimeter for larger homes and spaces. At the time, it was the best robot hoover money could purchase. The patented AeroForce cleaning system is 50% more effective at cleaning up debris in relation to the 700 series. This, joined with a larger dust bin, an improved battery, and a remote control made it the most hands free apparatus at the time. It doesn't have the use that is groundbreaking, but it's all the other crucial attributes for a runner that is true up. Most of all, it's a total cheaper in relation to the 980 (check this listing for even steeper discounts). Still pricey, but a lot less so.
I wasn't overly impressed with the initial Botvac release, but the new “D” string has made some helpful progress. Notably, they've repaired a problem with the brush (by changing a bearing) to allow it to be less susceptible to getting tangled (particularly with human and pet hair, within my experience). The Botvac D80 doesn't merely seem better, it also performs better than preceding Neato versions. The suction power is comparable to the new Roomba 980 and the finest yet. It's still relatively simple use and to schedule, although however, you won't get the program managements. The patented laser navigation technology means more courses that are organized and it normally works quite well. Where it normally sells 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 not still false. It's also MUCH cheaper. If budget is the top concern, attempt the 650 out to see if it's good enough for the needs. Yes, it's missing a group of nice extras” that is “ but the core cleaning technology is till there. The 650 is perfect for individuals who have only a small space they want consistently cleaned, flats, or small houses. On top of that, you can locate the 650 for a really affordable cost at this listing.
Believing Cleaner Faceplate
I was somewhat skeptical of this “work-around” at first, but it really works fairly well. Thinking Cleaner was the effect of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It functionally adds or 600 series robot and WiFi ability together. Disbelieving? I was also. Basically, you attach a “faceplate” that modifies your Roomba. It's easy to attach. Best of all, it can synchronize with other smart home apps (like SmartThings, etc...), something that I've criticized the Roomba 980 for not doing. It is possible to do most of the same functions as the Roomba 980 WiFi, just in intuitive manner and a polished”. The app will let you schedule slightly, alarm you when your Roomba needs help and even plays a song if you have to locate your lost Roomba and is fairly stable. It's available for just a fraction of the price of a Roomba that is new here.
Who is this a great option for? 1) Present owners of a 500 or 600 series Roomba. 2) Prospective buyers who need WiFi ability, but can't afford/don't need to spend $899 on the 980. For instance, buying Thinking Cleaner Faceplate and a new Roomba 650 will run you .
Believing Cleaner is working on a brand new faceplate for the 700/800 chain, but as of yet it only as a Kickstarter endeavor here.
The long rumored Dyson Eye is formally under development, as I mentioned previously. Who knows when it'll be released. At this period it will not be likely to hit before the 2015 Holiday season, although they haven't discussed release dates. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may actually lead them to delay launch until they're able to fit the core attributes.
UPDATE: See my complete review.
The more fascinating 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. It'd make sense for them to release it prior to the 2015 Holiday season, but they'll have to get it done soon to capitalize completely.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Connected
I'll be writing up the full comparison shortly, but I desired to touch on this briefly because I've been getting lots of questions about it.
What are the Essential Differences? 2) The Botvac now has “Eco” and “Turbo” mode. 3) The Roomba 980 has “carpet boost” and the Botvac doesn't.
Both Botvac Linked and the Roomba 980 attribute WiFi enabled management. That is undoubtedly the headline characteristic for both. Personally, I prefer the Roomba app but both are comparable when it comes to attributes/use.
UPGRADE: You are able to read my full comparison (recently finished) right here.
Ultimate Call – Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The brief reply: Yes! The longer reply? If you might have the money, this really is arguably the greatest robot vacuum cleaner available on the market. At the minimum, it's definitely the finest roomba model to date.
If you've got a bigger home or office/business that must be cleaned regularly, the 980 is the best robot for the occupation. The ground can be covered by it and recharge own as needed. The 980 has the most power/suction and the finest cleaning tech of any robot to get the job done if you need a vacuuming occupation that closely resembles a traditional upright vacuum clean.
But if you might have a little flat, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: it doesn't matter if you're a geek like me. This really is a MUST possess!