As with all previous Roombaꎩs there are things that I donꎩt like and things to like. Regardless, it ꎩs going to be tough for me to not gift a few Roomba 980ꎩs this year.
In this Roomba 980 review, Iꎩll get into the crucial features (whatꎩs new) as well as the Pros and Cons. At the bottom, Iꎩll make an overall recommendation and propose several alternatives.
Essential Attributes ꐩ Whatꎩs New with the Roomba 980
The following are noteworthy features on the 980, and some of the new, upgraded:
The Roomba 980 is now effective at running fro a full 2 hours before needed to recharge. Itꎩs still not Lithium ion (for people who like that), but it is an advancement.
iRobot HOME App: For me, this really is the game changer. Iꎩve been waiting for robot vacuums to become fully integrated into the intelligent house experience. iRobot is the first robot vacuum business ꐩ to my knowledge ꐩ that's an app such as this. You'll be able to press ꏉCleanꏩ from anyplace and the 980 will start/stop as desired. If Iꎩm at work or out of the home, I will get things began while Iꎩm away. The program is simple enough to use and essentially functions as an advanced remote control. On the Roombaꎩs that is older you could have a predetermined schedule to run every day, but not instant control like this!
New Navigation System: Itꎩs actually more of an upgrade. This is a big deal. Basically it lets the visual localization allows the Roomba to ꏉlookꏩ out and up to help navigate and map the room. This can be the kind of ground-breaking improvement that significantly improves the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean practically? Less bumping into things at random and a more organized efficient and ꐩ ꐩ cleaning route.
More Suction Power: Happily, iRobot wasnꎩt content with just a couple of new attributes. In addition they upped their game in the power section. The AeroForce cleaning system is the same base technology, but 2 times more effective at picking up debris per cleaning cycle. It also has ꏉcarpet boostꏩ which optimizes air power when it discovers a carpet or rug beneath. The outcome is a traditional hoover that is thorough clean, replicating a rank that is higher.
Improved Virtual Wall Lighthouse: The 980 has stepped up lighthouse game is ꎩsed by it. They have been now smaller and require AA batteries (compared to the hulking ꏉDꏩ batteries for preceding series). This is a fine development because who has extra ꏉDꏩ batteries lying around?
Pros and Cons ꐩ Things I enjoy and Things I Donꎩt
The App is Wonderful: Itꎩs reasonably easy and straightforward, but it means everything to me. Having the ability to control my robot from my phone 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-joined, roomba vacuum. I considering the possibilities for future integration with my various smart home apps and controllers.
App Helps Monitor Maintenance: There's a very cool ꏉdiagnosticsꏩ part of the app that monitors distinct parts of the Roomba and uses straightforward bars to inform you when things have to be changed or serviced (think emptying the bin, shifting extractors, filters, etcꊉ). It also tells you just the way to perform the desired care requirement.
Better on Carpeting: Robots vacuums consistently have a tendency to perform better on hardwood floors and tough flooring options (tile, etcꊉ). The recently redesigned motor is not especially bad at adjusting to carpeting surfaces too. After detected, the 980 will engage a little 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 difficult tell from standing up even.
More Hands Off/User Friendly: in summary, itꎩs more of a robot! The new program, the battery that is more powerful and the automatic recharging/resume feature makes the Roomba 980 even more hands free than the competition and both previous models. Slowly but surely, house robotics is living up to itꎩs assurance. If you hate vacuuming physically or ꐩ cannot do it this is the quintessential outsourced solution. Short of hiring cleaning help, the Roomba 980 is now the best option out there.
Navigation is Plainly Improved: Occasionally new features are added and I can barely tell the difference. Previously, Roombaꎩs have had the knock. While the ending result was clean floors, how it occurred wasnꎩt rather. Still, it was also somewhat ineffective. This was one of the comparisons I liked about most Neato models. Now, the 980 is efficient, methodical, and much more organized.
It bumps into things to gain its bearings, especially in rooms with tons of furniture. Just not nearly to the amount it did in the past. On careful observation it appears the 980 will remember these ꏉbumpsꏩ for future cleans and WOn't keep doing it with exactly the same wild abandon.
Brighter Algorithm: For all you geeks out there, this robot is really smarter than itꎩs the competition and predecessors.
Strong Secondary Components Marketplace: Unlike other robot companies, the Roomba has a deluge of after market businesses specializing in creating better replacement accessories and parts. For example, Iꎩve been able to locate replacement batteries that are better in relation to the factory default ones. This is just somewhat accurate for firms like Neato (smaller market share) and this market is almost non existent for the other small players.
Superb Customer Service: iRobot continues to be the leader when it comes to customers service. This more of a general ꏉproꏩ and particular to the model, but still worth noting. They may be also not bad at walking you through diagnosing issues.
Better Suction Overall: My two quasi scientific means of measuring this are that A) I can sense a lot more wind/atmosphere coming from the unit and B) those bigger particles of determination that only high powered vacs have a tendency to get are being caught in the dust bin. This really is an upgrade over the Roomba 880 which I was comparing it also as my baseline.
Use Could be More: because Iꎩm thrilled with the new program This isnꎩt really a legit gripe. Like to totally incorporate my Roomba with the remainder of my smart home Iꎩd. It'd be nice to be able to manage everything from one app (and one controller like the SmartThings Hub and others). It probably wouldnꎩt be difficult to do and it may be something iRobot intends to do anyway.
Not ꏉPerfectꏩ: Itꎩs a definite improvement, but it not perfect. It occasionally gets confused by power cords and can have problem with brinks that were considerable. Itꎩs simple to ꏉRoomba evidenceꏩ your house once in a while it'll get stuck, but once you determine the problem areas. Itꎩs not quite like an individualꊉ.yet.
Competition on the Way? Both the Neato Botvac Joined and the Dyson Eye are rumored to be coming out ꏉ soon. How soon? I canꎩt really tell. The Botvac Joined (which features similar app managements) will probably be out sometimes this season, but no firm release date continues to be set. The Dyson Eye has been rumored to be in the works for years, but I havenꎩt heard much lately about an anticipated release date. 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 on the market, but that could change. UPDATE: The Dyson 360 Eye has recently been released. Generally speaking, it has a vacuum that is more powerful, but less capable room -to-room navigation. You can read my complete review for more details.
Nevertheless, for pitch black rooms you will necessarily get an error code. If cleaning at night or in a basement with no lights, this could be a concern. My simple alternative would be to keep night lights on in every room that needs it.
Itꎩs still worth noting, although carpeting Boost is Loud: It picks up more dirt, so Iꎩm a happy customer.
Only Available in One Area: So far ꐩ as is often true for new releases ꐩ the Roomba 980 is ONLY available via the iRobot store here. That is likely because they would like to control pricing. As soon as itꎩs released to other markets like carton retailers and Amazon, Iꎩll make sure to upgrade this post.
Cost: As always, iRobot is the cost leader. All their robots are usually slightly to somewhat more costly than the contest. The 980 is no distinct. Actually, itꎩs fairly darn expensive! At RM 4850 per unit, this can be likely not something thatꎩs easy to spring for. You are able to check out this listing for more detailed pricing information. In this case, you do get what you buy. Many important aspects actually HAVE improved. Hands down, this can be the best robot vacuum currently accessible. Still, if this is your first robot, you might want to look into some less expensive ꐩ but still qualified ꐩ options (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Choices to Contemplate
If the price is too much of a sticking point, not to worry. There are other great hoovers with considering.
Occasionally last years model is the best value. Sure, itꎩs not the latest and greatest, but it nonetheless can offer many of the exact same benefits. The Roomba 880 WAS the cream of the crop, until the 980 was released. At time, it was the most effective robot vacuum money could buy. The AeroForce cleaning system that is patented is 50% more effective at cleaning up debris in relation to the 700 series. This, joined with a a remote control, a much better battery, and a larger dust bin made it the most hands free apparatus at the time. Now it ꎩs the 2 nd. It doesnꎩt have the use that is revolutionary, but it has all the other key attributes for a true runner up. Most importantly, itꎩs a complete cheaper in relation to the 980 (check this listing for even steeper discounts). Still expensive, but a lot.
The new ꏉDꏩ series has made some developments that are helpful, although I wasnꎩt overly impressed with the initial Botvac release. Notably, theyꎩve repaired a problem with the brush (by shifting a bearing) to make it less susceptible to becoming tangled (especially with person and pet hair, in my experience). The Botvac D80 doesnꎩt merely look better, it also performs better than previous Neato models. The suction power is arguably comparable to the new Roomba 980 and the greatest yet. Still, you wonꎩt get the program controls, but itꎩs still relatively simple use and to schedule. The patented laser navigation technology means more courses that are organized and it usually works fairly well. This listing can be seen by you here, where it usually sells for less as opposed to top line Roombaꎩs.
Itꎩs been around for a while, but itꎩs not still false. Itꎩs also MUCH more affordable. Try the 650 out if it enough for your own needs to see if budget can be your top concern. Yes, itꎩs missing a group of extrasꏩ that is ꏉ that is pleasant but the cleaning technology that is heart is till there. The 650 is perfect for individuals who have modest homes, apartments, or just a little space they desire often cleaned. Generally, this can be a terrific robot for those just getting started, curious to see if the technology works for their needs. Best of all, you are able to find the 650 for an extremely affordable cost at this listing.
Believing Cleaner Faceplate
I was a bit skeptical of this ꏉwork aroundꏩ at first, but it actually works pretty well. Thinking Cleanser was the outcome of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It adds or 600 series robot and WiFi ability together. Disbelieving? I was too. Basically, you attach a ꏉfaceplateꏩ that alters your Roomba. Itꎩs easy enough to attach. Additionally, it can synchronize with other smart house programs (like SmartThings, etcꊉ), something that Iꎩve criticized the Roomba 980 for not doing. You can do most of the same functions in a less ꏉ polishedꏩ and intuitive manner, just as the Roomba 980 WiFi. The program is fairly sound and will let you schedule slightly, alarm you when your Roomba wants help and plays with a song if you need to locate your lost Roomba. Itꎩs accessible just for a fraction of the cost of a Roomba that is new here.
Who's this a good option for? 1) Existing owners of a 500 or 600 series Roomba. 2) Prospective buyers who want WiFi ability, but canꎩt afford/donꎩt want to spend RM 5000 on the 980. For instance, purchasing a fresh Roomba 650 and Thinking Cleaner Faceplate will run you .
Thinking Cleaner is working on a brand new faceplate for the 700/800 series, but as of yet it only exists as a Kickstarter endeavor here.
The long rumored Dyson Eye is officially under development, as I mentioned previously. Who knows when it will be released. They still havenꎩt discussed release dates, but at this period it will not be likely to strike before the 2015 Holiday season. The new features on the Roomba 980 may actually lead them to delay release until the core features can be matched by them.
UPGRADE: See my full review.
The fascinating possibility is the the Neato Botvac ꏉLinkedꏩ robot which plans to add similar WiFi ability to the Roomba 980. You can read more here. It would seem sensible for them to release it but theyꎩll have to do it soon to capitalize entirely.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Joined
Iꎩll be writing up the full comparison soon, but I desired to touch on this briefly because Iꎩve been getting lots of questions about it.
What are the Key Differences? 1) The Botvac Joined is significantly more affordable (usually about $200 less), but see this listing for up to date advice. 3) The Roomba 980 has ꏉcarpet boostꏩ and the Botvac doesnꎩt. 4) The Roomba uses virtual wallꎩs (invisible ray to include the robot) whereas the Botvac still relies on laying down ꏉmagnetic tapeꏩ to define borders around your house.
Both Botvac Linked and the Roomba 980 characteristic WiFi enabled control. This really is certainly the headline characteristic for both. Both are similar in terms of attributes/use, although I personally favor the Roomba app better.
UPGRADE: You are able to read my full comparison (recently finished) right here.
Final Call ꐩ Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The brief answer: Yes! The longer reply? This really is arguably the greatest robot vacuum cleaner available on the market if you might have the cash. At the very least, itꎩs definitely the best roomba model to date. Whether or not it is ꏉworth itꏩ comes down to what your unique needs are.
The 980 is the greatest robot for the occupation if you have a larger house or office/company that must be cleaned regularly. It recharge own as needed and can cover the ground. If you'll need a vacuuming occupation that closely resembles a conventional 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've got a little apartment, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: in case you are a geek like me, it doesnꎩt matter. That is a MUST own!