As with all preceding Roomba's there are things to like and things that I don't enjoy. Regardless, it 's going to be tough for me to not gift a couple of Roomba 980's this year.
In this Roomba 980 review, I'll get into the crucial characteristics (what's new) as well as the Pros and Cons. At the bottom, I'll make an overall recommendation and suggest a few choices.
Essential Attributes – What's New with the Roomba 980
The following are some of the new, upgraded, and remarkable characteristics on the 980:
More Battery Charge Life: The Roomba 980 is capable of running fro a full 2 hours before needed to recharge. It's still not Lithium ion (for those that enjoy that), but it really is an improvement.
iRobot HOME Program: For me, this really is the game changer. I've been waiting for robot vacuums to become completely incorporated into the house experience that is bright. iRobot is the first robot hoover company – to my knowledge – that's a program similar to this. You'll be able to press “Clean” from anywhere and the 980 will start/stop as wanted. This is perfect for individuals who are on the go (like me). If I'm at work or from the home, I will get while I'm away things started. The program is simple enough basically functions as an innovative remote control and to use. On the older Roomba's you could have a predetermined program to run each day, but not instant control in this way!
New Navigation System: It's really more of an upgrade. This really is a big deal. Essentially it allows the visual localization map the room and allows the Roomba to “look” up and out to help navigate. This really is the sort of ground breaking betterment that greatly improves the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean practically? Less bumping into a more organized – and efficient – cleaning course and things at random.
More Suction Power: Happily, iRobot wasn't content with just a couple new attributes. In addition they upped their game in the power section. The AeroForce cleaning system is per cleaning cycle the same base technology, but 2 times more effective at picking up debris. It also has “carpet boost” which maximizes air power when it discovers a carpet or rug underneath. The outcome is a traditional vacuum that is more thorough clean, duplicating a higher grade.
Improved Virtual Wall Lighthouse: The 980 has stepped up it's lighthouse game. They are now smaller and take AA batteries (in contrast to the hulking “D” batteries for previous set). This really is a nice improvement because who has spare “D” batteries?
Matters I like and Things I Don't
The Program is Amazing: It's reasonably easy and straightforward, but it means everything to me. Being able to control my robot from my telephone means the Roomba is now part of my house family that is smart. Picking up on where tools like the Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats have left off, iRobot has actually produced on a smart, web-linked, roomba vacuum. I eagerly considering the options for future integration with my various smart dwelling programs and controllers.
Program Helps Screen Care: There is a really cool “diagnostics” part of the program that tracks distinct parts of the Roomba and uses straightforward bars to inform you when things need to be changed or serviced (think emptying the bin, changing extractors, filters, etc...). Additionally, it tells you just the way to perform the desired care demand.
Better on Carpeting: Robots vacuums consistently tend to perform better on hardwood floors and tough flooring choices (tile, etc...). Now, the newly redesigned motor is not specially bad at conforming to carpet surfaces as well. Once discovered, the 980 will engage a bit more muscle to thoroughly clean carpets the manner they should be cleaned. It was a subtle difference, t that is challenging tell from standing up even, but an important difference however.
The new app, the more powerful battery and the automatic recharging/resume attribute makes the Roomba 980 even more hands free than the contest and both previous models. Slowly but surely, dwelling robotics is living up to it's assurance. If you hate vacuuming physically or – cannot do it anymore – this is the option that is outsourced that is quintessential. Short of hiring cleaning help, the Roomba 980 is the smartest choice out there.
Navigation is Noticeably Improved: I will hardly tell the difference and Occasionally new attributes are added. Not so with the new navigation technology. In the recent past, Roomba's have had the knock for cleaning in a randomized, haphazard pattern. While the end result was clean floors, how it occurred wasn't rather. However, it was also a little inefficient. It was among the comparisons I liked about most Neato versions. The 980 is efficient, methodical, and considerably more organized.
It bumps into matters to gain its relevance, particularly in rooms with lots of furniture. Merely not nearly to the level it did previously. On careful observation it will not keep doing it with the same wild abandon and appears the 980 will recall these “lumps” for future cleans.
Brighter Algorithm: For all you geeks out there, this robot is actually smarter than it's the competition and predecessors.
In general, I detected that the 980 spent much less time than both my 880 and Botvac's (contained the new Joined Botvac) pausing and calculating as it creates the map of the room.
Powerful Secondary Components Market: As a longtime Roomba proprietor I understand that it's merely a matter of time before I need to replace a battery, brush, or filter (among other things). Unlike other robot firms, the Roomba has a deluge of after market firms specializing in creating components and better replacement accessories. For example, I've been able to find replacement batteries that are not worse in relation to the factory default ones.
Superb Customer Service: iRobot is still the leader when it comes to customers service. This more of a general “ace” and particular to this model, but still worth noting. They are also not bad at walking you through diagnosing difficulties.
Better Suction Complete: My two quasi scientific means of quantifying this are that A) I can feel a lot more wind/air coming from the device and B) those larger particles of grit that only high powered vacs often get are being captured 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 actually a legit gripe, because I'm thrilled with the new program. It's more of a wish. Like to fully incorporate my Roomba with the rest of my smart dwelling I'd. 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 hard 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 occasionally gets confused by power cords and can have trouble with ample brinks. Once in a while it will get stuck, but once you figure out the issue areas, it's not difficult to “Roomba proof” your house. It's not quite like an individual....yet.
Both the Neato Botvac Joined and the Dyson Eye are rumored to be coming out “ soon”. How? I can't actually tell. The Botvac Connected (which features similar app controls) will likely be out occasionally this year, but no firm release date has been set. I haven'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 be 6-12 months away. What this means is that the Roomba 980 could have some harder competition on the horizon. At this time, the 980 is the greatest robot out there, but that could change. UPDATE: The Dyson 360 Eye has recently been released. Generally, it has a vacuum that is more powerful, but less room that is competent -to-room navigation. You are able to read my full review for additional information.
However, for pitch black rooms you will necessarily get an error code. My simple solution would be to keep night lights on in every room that needs it.
Carpet Boost is Loud: It picks up more dirt, so I'm a happy customer, but it's still worth noting.
Only Accessible in One Location: So far as is frequently true for new releases – the Roomba 980 is ONLY accessible via the store that is iRobot here. This is likely because they want to control pricing. As soon as it's released to other marketplaces like Amazon and box retailers, I'll be sure to upgrade this post. UPDATE 10/8#158/15: It's only been released to Amazon (see here for the listing)!
Price: As always, iRobot is the cost leader. All their robots are usually marginally to moderately more expensive than the competition. The 980 is distinct. In fact, it's not pretty darn cheap! At RM 4850 per unit, this really is probably not something that's not difficult to spring for. You'll be able to check out this listing for more detailed pricing info. In this case, you do get what you buy. This generation really HAS enhanced many significant features. Hands down, this is the best robot vacuum currently accessible. However, if this is your first robot, you might want to look into some less pricey – but still competent – choices (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Options to Contemplate
If the cost is too much of a sticking point, not to worry. There are with contemplating other great vacuums.
Occasionally last years version is the best value around. Sure, it's not the latest and greatest, but it nevertheless can offer many of exactly the same advantages. 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. At some time, it was the most effective robot vacuum cash could buy. The AeroForce cleaning system that is patented is 50% more effective at cleaning up debris in relation to the 700 series. This, combined with a a remote control, a much better battery, and a larger dust bin made it the most hands free apparatus at the time. It doesn't have the app that is ground-breaking, but it has all the other crucial characteristics for a real runner up. Most of all, it's a complete cheaper in relation to the 980 (check this listing for even steeper reductions). Still expensive, but a lot less so.
I wasn't overly impressed with the initial Botvac release, but some helpful improvements have been made by the new “D” series. Notably, they've repaired a problem with the brush (by altering a bearing) to ensure it is less susceptible to becoming tangled (especially with human and pet hair, within my experience). The Botvac D80 doesn't simply look better, it also performs better than previous Neato versions. The suction power is the finest yet and comparable to the new Roomba 980. It's still not too hard to schedule and use, although still, you won't get the app controls. The patented laser navigation technology means more courses that are organized and it normally works fairly nicely. Where it normally retails for less as opposed to top line Roomba's, it's possible for you to see this listing here.
It's been around for a little while, but it trustworthy. It MUCH less expensive. You are able to read my full take here. If budget can be your top concern, try the 650 out to see if it for your own needs. Yes, it's missing a bunch of extras” that is “ that is pleasant but the center cleaning technology is till there. The 650 is perfect for people who have merely a little area they desire consistently cleaned, apartments, or small dwellings. It will not come with the typical HEPA filter (great for those with allergies and pet owners) like the 880 and 980, but the AeroVac filter does a good enough job. Overall, this really is a great robot for those just getting started, interested to see if the technology works for his or her needs. Best of all, you're able to locate the 650 for a very affordable price at this listing.
Believing Cleaner Faceplate
I was somewhat skeptical of this “work-around” at first, but it really works pretty well. Presuming Cleaner was the consequence of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It adds or 600 series robot and WiFi ability. Skeptical? I was too. Basically, you attach a “faceplate” that alters your Roomba. It's simple enough to attach. You can do most of the exact same functions in intuitive way and a polished”, just as the Roomba 980 WiFi. The program will let you schedule remotely, alarm you when your Roomba needs help and even plays a tune if you have to locate your lost Roomba and is pretty strong. It's accessible just for a fraction of the price of a Roomba that is new here.
Who's this a great option for? 1) Existing owners of a 500 or 600 series Roomba. 2) Prospective buyers who need WiFi ability, but can't manage/don't desire to spend RM 5000 on the 980. As an example, by buying a brand new Roomba 650 and Believing Cleaner Faceplate, you will be run .
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 app). Believing Cleanser is working on a fresh faceplate for the 700/800 series, but as of yet it only exists as a Kickstarter job here.
The rumored Dyson Eye is formally under development, as I mentioned previously. Who knows when it will be released. As of this stage it will not be likely to hit before the 2015 Holiday season, although they still haven't discussed release dates. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may really cause them to delay release until the core features can be matched by them.
The more interesting possibility is the the Neato Botvac “Connected” robot which aims to add WiFi ability that is similar to the Roomba 980. You can read more here. They'll have to take action soon to capitalize fully, although it would seem sensible about them to release it prior to the 2015 Holiday season.
UPGRADE: See my full review.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Joined
I'll be writing a full comparison up soon, but I needed to touch on this briefly because I've been getting a lot of questions about it.
The Roomba 980 and Botvac Linked attribute WiFi enabled management. This really is clearly the headline characteristic for both. Both are similar with regards to features/use, although Personally, I prefer the Roomba program better.
What are the Essential Differences? 4) The Roomba uses virtual wall's (invisible beams to feature the robot) whereas the Botvac still relies on laying down “magnetic tape” to define borders around your dwelling.
UPDATE: It's possible for you to read my full comparison (recently finished) right here.
Ultimate Call – Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The short reply: Yes! The longer response? This is arguably the greatest robot vacuum cleaner available on the market if you've the money. At minimum, it's definitely the best roomba version to date.
If you've got a larger home or office/company that needs to be cleaned frequently, the 980 is the best robot for the job. It recharge own as needed and can cover the earth. If you'll need a vacuuming occupation that strongly resembles a traditional upright vacuum clean, the 980 has the most power/suction and the best cleaning technology of any robot to get the job done.
However, if you have a small apartment, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: if you're a geek like me, it doesn't matter. This is a MUST possess!