As with all preceding Roomba's there are things that I don't enjoy and things to like. It 's going to be hard for me to not gift a few Roomba 980's this year.
In this Roomba 980 review, I'll get into the key features (what's new) as well as the Advantages and Disadvantages. At the bottom, I'll make an overall recommendation and suggest several options.
Key Characteristics –
The following are remarkable features on the 980, and some of the new, updated:
The Roomba 980 is capable of running fro a full 2 hours before needed to recharge. It's still not Lithium ion (for people who like that), but it's an improvement.
iRobot DWELLING Program: For me, this really is the game changer. I've been waiting for robot vacuums to become fully incorporated into the house encounter that is intelligent. iRobot is the first robot hoover company – to my knowledge – that has a program similar to this. You can press on “Clean” from everywhere and the 980 will start/stop as desired. This really is perfect for people who are on the go (like me). I will get things began while I'm away if I'm at work or from the house. The app is simple enough to use and basically functions as an advanced remote control. On the older Roomba's you could have a pre determined program to run each day, but not instant control in this way!
It's actually more of an upgrade. This really is a big deal. Essentially it lets the visual localization enables the Roomba to “look” up and out to help navigate and map the room. This can be the sort of ground-breaking betterment that significantly enhances the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean practically? Bumping into things at random and a more organized efficient and – – cleaning path.
More Suction Power: Mercifully, iRobot wasn't content with just a couple of new features. Additionally they upped their game in the power section. The AeroForce cleaning system is per cleaning cycle exactly the same base technology, but 2 times far better at picking up debris. Additionally, it has “carpet boost” which maximizes air power when it discovers a carpet or rug beneath. The outcome is a more thorough clean, duplicating a higher level hoover that is traditional.
Improved Virtual Wall Lighthouse: The 980 has stepped up lighthouse game is 'sed by it. They have been now smaller and take AA batteries (in contrast to the hulking “D” batteries for preceding collection). Because who has extra “D” batteries lying around this is a nice progress?
Things I like and Things I Don't
The Program is Awesome: It's pretty simple 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 home family that is smart. Picking up on where tools like Ecobee smart thermostats and the Nest have left off, iRobot has actually produced on a smart, web-joined, roomba vacuum. I thinking about the possibilities for future integration with my various smart dwelling apps and controllers.
App Helps Screen Care: There's a really cool “diagnostics” part of the program that tracks distinct parts of the Roomba and uses straightforward bars to let you know when things need to be changed or serviced (think emptying the bin, changing extractors, filters, etc...). It also tells you precisely how you can perform the care requirement that is desired.
Better on Carpets: Robots hoovers always have a tendency to perform better on hardwood floors and tough floor alternatives (tile, etc...). Now, the recently redesigned motor is especially good at adjusting 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. 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 distance, but the 980 actually could pick up more of the crumbs that had filtered down to the underparts of the the carpeting. It was a subtle difference, an important difference nonetheless, although hard t tell from standing up even.
The new app, 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, house robotics is living up to it's promise. If you hate vacuuming – or physically cannot do it this is the quintessential alternative that is outsourced. Short the Roomba 980 is the smartest choice out there.
Navigation is Clearly Enhanced: Occasionally new features are added and I will scarcely tell the difference. Not so with the new navigation technology. For cleaning in a randomized, haphazard pattern in the recent past, Roomba's have had the knock. While the ending result was clean floors, how it happened wasn't rather. Still, it was also a bit inefficient. This was among the comparisons I liked about most Neato models. Now, the 980 is much more organized, methodical, and efficient.
It bumps into things to gain its bearings, especially in rooms with lots of furniture. Merely not nearly to the degree it did in the past. On careful observation it WOn't keep doing it with exactly the same wild abandon and even appears the 980 will remember these “bumps” for future cleans.
Brighter Algorithm: For all you geeks out there, this robot is actually smarter than it's the competition and forerunners.
Generally, I discovered the 980 spent much less time than both my 880 and Botvac's (comprised the new Connected Botvac) pausing and calculating as it creates the map of the room.
Exceptional Customer Service: iRobot continues to be the leader when it comes to customers service. This more of a general “pro” and less particular to this model, but still worth noting. They may be also good at walking you through diagnosing issues.
Strong Secondary Parts Market: Unlike other robot businesses, the Roomba has a deluge of after market companies specializing in creating parts and better replacement accessories. For example, I've been able to find replacement batteries that are better in relation to the factory default ones. This can be only somewhat accurate for businesses like Neato (smaller market share) and this market is virtually non existent for the other small players.
Better Suction Total: My two quasi scientific means of quantifying this are that A) I can sense a lot more wind/atmosphere coming out of the device and B) those bigger particles of grit that only high powered vacs have a tendency to get are being caught in the dust bin.
App Could be More: This isn't really a legit gripe, because I'm thrilled with the new app. It's more of a wish. Like to totally integrate my Roomba with the rest of my smart house I'd. It'd be pleasant to be able to manage everything from one app (and one controller like the SmartThings Hub and others). It probably wouldn't be hard to do and it may be something iRobot plans to do anyway.
Still Not “Perfect”: It's a definite progress, but it not perfect. Power cords occasionally confused it and can have problem with considerable thresholds. Once in a while it'll get stuck, but once you figure out the issue areas, it's simple to “Roomba evidence” your house. It's not quite like a human....yet.
Both the Neato Botvac Joined and the Dyson Eye are rumored to be coming out “ soon”. How soon? I can't actually tell. The Botvac Linked (which features similar app managements) will probably be out sometimes this season, 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 be 6-12 months away. What this means is that the Roomba 980 could have some stiffer competition on the horizon. Right now, the 980 is the finest robot in the marketplace, but that could change. Particularly if the price points are more affordable, Roomba could be seriously undercut. UPDATE: The Dyson 360 Eye has recently been released. Generally speaking, it's a vacuum that is more powerful, but less room that is capable -to-room navigation. You'll be able to read my full review for additional information.
Doesn't Work in Entire Darkness: As long as there is some light i.e. you can see your way around, the 980 should work good. Nonetheless, for pitch black rooms you are going to necessarily get an error code. My simple solution is to keep on in every room that needs it.
Carpet Boost is Loud: It picks up more dirt, so I'm a happy customer, but it worth noting. Don't plan on sleeping in exactly the same room.
Just Accessible in One Place: So far as is often the case with new releases – 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's released like box retailers and Amazon to other markets, I'll be sure to update this post.
Price: As always, iRobot is the price leader. All their robots usually are somewhat to moderately more costly as opposed to contest. The 980 is different. Actually, it's pretty darn pricey! At RM 4850 per unit, this can be probably not something that's simple 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 actually HAS enhanced many important features. Hands down, this can be the best robot vacuum now accessible. However, if that is your first robot, you might want to look into some less expensive – but still capable – choices (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Options to Contemplate
If the cost is too much of a sticking point, never to stress. There are other great hoovers with considering.
Sometimes last years model is the best value. You get 3 virtual Lighthouses which allow for creating a perimeter for bigger dwellings and spaces. Until the 980 was released, the Roomba 880 WAS the cream of the crop. At some time, it was the best robot vacuum cash could purchase. The AeroForce cleaning system that is patented is 50% more successful at cleaning up debris than the 700 series. This, joined with a a better battery, a larger dust bin, and a remote control made it the most hands free apparatus at the time. It doesn't have the ground-breaking app, but it has all the other essential characteristics for a runner that is true up. Above all, it's a total cheaper than the 980 (check this listing for even steeper reductions). Still pricey, but a lot.
I wasn't too impressed with the original Botvac release, but the new “D” string has made some helpful developments. Notably, they've repaired a problem with the brush (by shifting a bearing) to allow it to be less susceptible to becoming tangled (particularly with person and pet hair, in my own experience). The Botvac D80 doesn't just look better, it also performs better than previous Neato versions. The suction power is the finest yet and arguably comparable to the new Roomba 980. Still, you won't get the program managements, but it not too hard to schedule and use. The patented laser navigation technology means more organized routes and it generally works quite nicely. Where it generally retails for less as opposed to top line Roomba's you can see this listing here.
It's not still false, although it's been around for a while. It's also MUCH less expensive. Try the 650 out if it enough for your needs to see if budget is the top concern. Yes, it's missing a group of nice extras” that is “ but the cleaning technology that is center is till there. The 650 is perfect for individuals who have flats, modest homes, or only a little space they desire consistently cleaned. On the whole, this really 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 few replacement batteries). Best of all, you're able to locate the 650 for a really affordable price at this listing.
New Robots on the Horizon?
As I mentioned previously, the long rumored Dyson Eye is formally under development. Who knows when it will be released. Only at that stage it will not be likely to strike before the 2015 Holiday season, although they still haven't discussed release dates. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may actually cause them to delay release until they could fit the core characteristics.
The possibility that is more fascinating is the the Neato Botvac “Joined” robot which aims to add WiFi capability that is similar to the Roomba 980. It is possible to read more about it via the official press release here. It'd seem sensible for them to release it but they'll have to get it done soon to capitalize entirely.
UPDATE: The Botvac Connected has formally been released in early Novemeber 2015! See my complete review.
Presuming Cleaner Faceplate
I was a little skeptical of this “work around” at first, but it really works reasonably well. Thinking Cleanser was the outcome of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It functionally adds or 600 series robot and WiFi capacity. Disbelieving? I was also. Basically, you attach a “faceplate” that changes your Roomba. It's simple enough to attach. You can do most of the same functions in intuitive manner and a polished”, just as the Roomba 980 WiFi. The app is pretty strong and will let you schedule remotely, alert you when your Roomba needs help and even plays a song if you must find your lost Roomba. It's accessible just for a fraction of the cost of a brand new Roomba here.
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 Cleaner is working on a fresh faceplate for the 700/800 series, but as of yet it only exists as a Kickstarter job here.
Who is this a good option for? 1) Present owners of a 500 or 600 series Roomba. 2) Prospective buyers who need WiFi capability, but can't afford/don't desire to spend $899 on the 980. For example, buying a fresh Roomba 650 and Thinking Cleaner Faceplate will run you no more than $500 total.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Connected
I'll be writing up a full comparison soon, but I needed to touch on this briefly because I've been getting lots of questions about it.
Both Botvac Connected and the Roomba 980 attribute WiFi enabled control. This really is certainly the headline characteristic for both. Personally, I favor the Roomba program but both are similar when it comes to attributes/usage.
What are the Key Differences? 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 house.
UPGRADE: It's possible for you to read my full comparison (recently completed) right here.
Final Call – Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The brief reply: Yes! The longer reply? This can be arguably the best robot vacuum cleaner on the market if you might have the cash. At the very least, it's certainly the best roomba model to date.
The 980 is the best robot for the job if you have a larger home or office/business that needs to be cleaned often. The ground can be covered by it and recharge on it's 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 traditional upright vacuum clean.
But if you have a little apartment, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: it doesn't matter in case you are a geek like me. This is a MUST possess!