Robot vacuums are a dime a dozen nowadays, with new manufacturers and names hitting the market seemingly weekly. iRobot popularized the concept with the Roomba, which has become a household name over the years. Roomba is as synonymous to robot vacuums as Ziplock bags or Tupperware are to kitchen storage, and there's a very good reason for that. The uptick in less expensive Chinese brands has helped lower the overall price of most robot vacuums, but the feature set of many of these vacuums remains identical to that of just about every other robot vacuum on the market.
iRobot is hoping to differentiate its latest flagship vacuum with its headliner feature: the ability for the vacuum to empty its own dustbin, which creates a fully automated robot vacuuming experience. Full automation isn't just some buzzword though, it's a paradigm shift that's difficult to go without once you start using it. The robot vacuuming experience has been the same for a long time now, and while navigation is significantly better on flagship vacuums than it used to be, there's still a lot of day-to-day maintenance that needs to be done in order to use a robot vacuum.
While you'll still need to pick up loose odds and ends around the house before vacuuming, you'll no longer have to deal with the hassle of constantly emptying your robot vacuum's dustbin. While this seems like pure laziness at first, the positive effects stemming from this change are numerous. First off, you'll find the vacuum runs better for longer, as dust is pulled from the bottom of the machine, sucking out not just the large particles that the vacuum grabbed while it was cleaning your home, but also the dust that accumulates on the air filters over time as well. There's also no longer a chance that you won't be able to vacuum your home due to a full dustbin, which is certainly an annoyance that's sure to strike more than one robot vacuum owner out there.
The redesign of the dustbin also includes moving the motor inside of the vacuum rather than in the dustbin itself. This both helps increase suction as well as decrease noise, making this the best cleaning and quietest Roomba to date. Much of the rest of the outward appearance looks similar to the Roomba 980, but the changes continue to sensors and even the roller brushes themselves. The silicone roller brushes underneath have been redesigned and now feature an automatic lowering mechanism to keep them at the same height as your floor.
You'll also find a new dirt and edge detection sensor underneath which can now properly tell the difference between a cliff (i.e. stairs) and a dark area rug; something that was a big problem with previous generations of Roomba, which would have trouble cleaning darker rugs.
Check out all the rest of the changes as well as our verdict in the video below, and don't forget to subscribe to us on YouTube to see the latest as it goes live!