Anyone at all familiar with robot vacuum cleaners has heard of Roomba, and probably for several years. It might make you wonder what iRobot could possibly create that’s new. The look is settled, the function is clear. What could they add or improve to justify the new Roomba 980, especially one that’s definitely on the high end, price-wise?
It’s a little mysterious why iRobot chose to produce the Roomba 870 vacuum cleaner at all. It’s so similar to other recent models you have to wonder where they thought the market niche might lie. Still, if you look at the details, the answer becomes – if not plain, at least plausible.
iRobot has been in kind of a rut lately. They still make great robot vacuum cleaners but there hasn’t been anything radically new for quite a while, just gradual improvements. Until now, that is. That’s all changed with the introduction of the Roomba 880. This is, to use the cliché, a game changer.
I openly confess I’m a fan of robot helpers and of iRobot products in particular. As a long-time techno-geek and all-around lazy person when it comes to housecleaning, I love them. So, it’s with some enthusiasm that I observe the launching of a new one: the Scooba 450. However, in this case, my joy soon turned to confusion. Here’s why.
iRobot has long been a leader in robot vacuum and floor cleaners. They’ve added to that lineup in a new way this time around. In 2012 they acquired rival robot maker Evolution Robotics and its Mint line – now renamed Braava for all products. That has allowed the company to bring robot floor mopping technology not available before into the fold. The result – the Braava 380t – will give both iRobot and Mint lovers something to cheer.
The Braava 320 bears many close similarities to Evolution Robotics’ Mint robot floor cleaner. That shouldn’t be surprising since iRobot acquired the company not long ago and renamed their products. There hasn’t been time to make too many changes. What’s here performs well, though.
Lots of people are familiar by now with the iRobot line of robot vacuum cleaners. Fewer know that iRobot also makes a robotic floor washer line. Let’s take a look at the Scooba 230. Naturally, like iRobot’s vacuum cleaners, it’s not cheap. So let’s see if the price tag even for this relatively low end model is worth it.
For a long time now I’ve been using a robot to vacuum my carpet. But I also have a pretty big tiled kitchen floor and two tile-floor bathrooms. So naturally, being often too busy with other things, they’ve been neglected more than I wanted. iRobot to the rescue! The Scooba 390 floor washing robot was just what I needed.
The Neato XV-21 is one of my favorite robot vacuum cleaners. It isn’t hard to see why. Stylish, functional, and just fun. That sums it up. But I couldn’t feel right without explaining in detail. Like the Neato XV-11, the XV-21 case is a semi-circle on one end and a rectangle at the other. It measures 13″ x 12.5″ x 4″. That shape gives it the best of both worlds.
The Roomba 630 may not have all the bells and whistles of the Roomba 790, but what it does have makes it a truly effective robot vacuum cleaner. The 630 has most of the features that have made iRobot one of the leaders in robot vacuum technology. That includes a three stage cleaning system, the company’s AeroVac technology, and the intelligent iAdapt algorithms.