As with all previous Roomba's there are things that I don't like and things to enjoy. It 's going to be tough for me to not gift a few Roomba 980's this year.
In this Roomba 980 review, I'll get into the essential attributes (what's new) as well as the Advantages and Disadvantages. At the bottom, I'll make an overall recommendation and suggest several options.
Key Features –
The following are noteworthy characteristics on the 980, and some of the new, updated:
More Battery Charge Life: The Roomba 980 is capable of running fro a complete 2 hours before needed to recharge. On some of my older 700 series vacuums I've come close to this with after market third party replacement batteries, but this is the best factory default option (out of the box) battery life up to now. It's still not Lithium ion (for individuals who like that), but it's an advancement.
iRobot HOME App: For me, this really is the game changer. I've been waiting for robot vacuums to become more completely incorporated into the intelligent house experience. iRobot is the first robot vacuum business – to my knowledge – that has an app similar to this. You'll be able to press “Clean” from anyplace and the 980 will start/stop as wanted. I can get things started while I'm away if I'm at work or from the home. The program is simple to use and essentially functions as an innovative remote control. On the older Roomba's you could have a predetermined schedule to run every day, but not immediate control like this!
New Navigation System: It's actually more of an upgrade. As well as the conventional “fender” detectors, the Roomba 980 now features the “VSLAM” (Visual Coincident, Localization, and Mapping) technology. This really is a big deal. Basically it enables the visual localization allows the Roomba to “look” up and out to help navigate and map the room. This really is the sort of groundbreaking enhancement that greatly enhances the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean practically? Bumping into things at random and a more organized – and efficient – cleaning course.
More Suction Power: Mercifully, iRobot wasn't content with just a couple new attributes. They also upped their game in the power section. The AeroForce cleaning system is exactly the same base technology, but 2 times more effective at picking up debris per cleaning cycle. It also has “carpet boost” which maximizes air power when it finds a carpet or rug underneath. The outcome is a conventional hoover that is more comprehensive clean, reproducing a greater rank.
Improved Virtual Wall Lighthouse: The 980 has stepped up it's lighthouse game. They truly are now smaller and take AA batteries (compared to the hulking “D” batteries for preceding collection). This really is a nice advancement because who has spare “D” batteries lying around?
Things I enjoy and Things I Don't
The App is Amazing: It's reasonably simple and straightforward, but it means everything to me. Being able to control my robot from my telephone means the Roomba is currently part of my home 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, net-linked, roomba vacuum. I eagerly thinking about the options for future integration with my various smart house programs and controls.
Program Helps Screen Maintenance: There's a very cool “diagnostics” portion of the app that tracks different parts of the Roomba and uses straightforward bars to inform you when things must be altered or serviced (believe emptying the bin, altering extractors, filters, etc...). Additionally, it tells you precisely how you can perform the care demand that is desired.
Better on Carpeting: Robots vacuums constantly tend to perform better on hardwood floors and tough floor alternatives (tile, etc...). The recently redesigned motor is particularly good at conforming to carpeting surfaces too. Once detected, the 980 will engage a little more muscle to completely clean carpeting the manner they should be cleaned. In a side by side test with my Roomba 880 (and a bunch of spilled crushed cheerios), both “seemed” to clean the same at a space, but the 980 truly was able to pick up more of the crumbs that had filtered down to the underparts of the the carpet. It was a subtle difference, t that is hard tell from standing up but an important difference nonetheless.
More Hands Off/User Friendly: In short, it's more of a robot! The new program, the more powerful battery and the automatic recharging/resume attribute makes the Roomba 980 more hands free than both previous versions and the contest. Slowly but certainly, home robotics is living up to it's promise. If you hate vacuuming – or physically cannot do it anymore – this is the option that is outsourced that is quintessential. Short of hiring cleaning help, the Roomba 980 is now the best option out there.
Navigation is Noticeably Enhanced: I can barely tell the difference and Occasionally new attributes are added. Not so with the new navigation technology. For cleaning in a randomized, haphazard pattern before, Roomba's have had the knock. While the ending result was clean floors, how it happened wasn't quite. Still, it was also a bit ineffective. It was among the comparisons I liked about most Neato versions. Now, the 980 is methodical, much more organized, and efficient.
It bumps into things to gain its bearings, especially in rooms with tons of furniture. Only not nearly to the amount it did in the past. On careful observation it will not keep doing it with exactly the same wild abandon and even appears the 980 will recall these “bumps” for future cleans.
Smarter Algorithm: This robot is actually smarter than it's forerunners and the opposition.
In general, I noticed that the 980 spent much less time than both my 880 and Botvac's (comprised the new Connected Botvac) pausing and computing as it creates the map of the room.
Strong Secondary Parts Market: Unlike other robot firms, the Roomba has a deluge of after market companies specializing in creating components and better replacement accessories. For instance, I've been able to find replacement batteries that are better in relation to the factory default ones.
Excellent Customer Service: iRobot remains the leader when it comes to customers service. This more of a general “ace” and less unique to the model, but still worth noting. They're also not bad at walking you through diagnosing difficulties.
Better Suction Total: My two quasi scientific ways of quantifying this are that A) I can feel a lot more wind/air coming from the unit and B) those larger particles of grit that only high powered vacs tend to get are being caught in the dust bin. This really is an upgrade over the Roomba 880 which I was comparing it too as my baseline.
Use Could be More: because I'm thrilled with the new program This isn't actually a legit gripe. I'd like to fully incorporate my Roomba with the rest of my home that is smart. It'd be nice in order to handle everything from one program (and one controller like the SmartThings Hub and others). It probably wouldn't be tough to do and it may be something iRobot already plans to do anyhow.
Not “Perfect”: It's a definite improvement, but it not perfect. Power cords sometimes confused it and can have trouble with sizable brinks. Once in a while it will get stuck, but once you figure out the problem areas, it's not difficult to “Roomba evidence” your house. It's not quite like a human....yet.
Competition on the Way? The Dyson Eye and the Neato Botvac Connected are rumored to be coming out “ soon”. How soon? I can't really tell. The Botvac Linked (which features similar app controls) will probably be out occasionally this year, but no firm release date has been set. I haven't heard much recently about an anticipated release date, although the Dyson Eye continues to be 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 finest robot on the market, but that could change. Especially if the price points are more affordable, Roomba could be seriously undercut. UPDATE: The Dyson 360 Eye has been released. Generally speaking, it's a more powerful vacuum, but less room that is qualified -to-room navigation. You can read my full review for additional information.
Doesn't Work in Complete Darkness: As long as there's some light i.e. you can see your way around, the 980 should work good. However, for pitch black rooms you'll inevitably get an error code. If cleaning at night or in a cellar with no lights, this could be a concern. My easy alternative is to keep on in every room that wants it.
Don't plan on sleeping in the exact same room.
Only Available in One Place: So far – as is often true for new releases – the Roomba 980 is ONLY available via the iRobot store here. That is likely because they want to control pricing as long as possible. As soon as it's released like Amazon and box retailers to other marketplaces, I'll be sure to upgrade this post.
Cost: As always, iRobot is the cost leader. All their robots are usually marginally to moderately more costly as opposed to contest. The 980 is different. In fact, it's pretty darn pricey! At RM 4850 per unit, this can be probably not something that's not difficult to spring for. It's possible for you to check out this listing for more detailed pricing information. In this case, you do get what you buy. Many important aspects actually HAVE enhanced. Hands down, this is the best robot vacuum now available. Still, if this really is your first robot, you might want to look into some less expensive – but still competent – options (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Alternatives to Contemplate
If the cost is too much of a sticking point, not to worry. There are with considering other great vacuums.
Sometimes last years model is the best value around. Sure, it's not the latest and greatest, but it still can offer many of the exact same advantages. The Roomba 880 WAS the cream of the crop, until the 980 was released. You are able to check out my review of it here. At some time, it was the best robot hoover money could purchase. The AeroForce cleaning system that is patented is 50% more successful at cleaning up debris compared to the 700 series. This, joined with a a much better battery, a larger dust bin, and a remote control made it the most hands free device at the time. It doesn't have the ground-breaking app, but it's all the other key attributes for a real runner up. Most importantly, it's a complete cheaper compared to 980 (check this listing for even steeper reductions). Still costly, but a lot less so.
I wasn't overly impressed with the first Botvac release, but the new “D” chain has made some improvements that are helpful. Notably, they've repaired a problem with the brush (by shifting a bearing) to allow it to be less susceptible to getting tangled (especially with individual and pet hair, within my experience). The Botvac D80 doesn't only look better, it also functionally performs better than preceding Neato models. The suction power is arguably comparable to the new Roomba 980 and the best yet. However, you won't get the app controls, but it's still not too hard to schedule and use. The patented laser navigation technology means more organized courses and it normally works quite nicely. You can see this listing here, where it normally sells for less compared to the top line Roomba's.
It's been around for a little while, but it's not still false. It's also MUCH more affordable. If budget can be your top concern, try the 650 out if it enough for your own needs to see. Yes, it's missing a group of fine extras” that is “ but the heart cleaning technology is till there. The 650 is perfect for people that have merely a little area they need often cleaned, apartments, or small homes. Overall, this really is an excellent robot for those just getting started, interested to see if the technology works for his or her needs. I still have mine running to this day after 3 years (and a few replacement batteries). On top of that, you are able to find the 650 for a very affordable cost at this listing.
Thinking Cleaner Faceplate
I was a bit skeptical of this “work-around” at first, but it actually works reasonably well. Presuming Cleaner was the consequence of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It functionally adds any Roomba 500 or 600 series robot and WiFi capability. Skeptical? I was too. Essentially, you attach a “faceplate” that changes your Roomba. It's easy to attach. It is possible to do most of the exact same functions in intuitive manner and a less “ polished”, merely as the Roomba 980 WiFi. If you have to find your lost Roomba the app is pretty solid and will let you schedule remotely, alert you when your Roomba wants help and plays a song. It's available just for a fraction of the cost of a new Roomba here.
Thinking Cleaner is working on a new faceplate for the 700/800 chain, but as of yet it only as a Kickstarter endeavor here.
Who's this a good option for? 2) Prospective buyers who desire WiFi ability, but can't manage/don't want to spend $899 on the 980. As an example, purchasing Thinking Cleaner Faceplate and a new Roomba 650 will run you no more than $500 total.
The rumored Dyson Eye is officially under development, as I mentioned previously. Who knows when it will be released. At this period it'll be unlikely to hit before the 2015 Holiday season, although they haven't discussed release dates. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may really cause them to delay launch until the core characteristics can be matched by them.
UPGRADE: See my complete review.
The possibility that is intriguing is the the Neato Botvac “Joined” robot which plans to add WiFi ability 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 prior to the 2015 Holiday season, but they'll have to do it shortly to capitalize fully.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Joined
I wanted to touch on this briefly because I've been getting lots of questions about it, although I'll be writing up the full comparison shortly.
What are the Key Differences? 1) The Botvac Associated is significantly more affordable (normally about $200 less), but see this listing for up to date info. 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 comprise the robot) whereas the Botvac still relies on laying down “magnetic tape” to define boundaries around your dwelling.
Both Roomba 980 and Botvac Connected feature WiFi enabled control. That is definitely the headline attribute for both. Both are similar with regards to characteristics/use, although Personally, I prefer the Roomba program better.
UPDATE: 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 response? This is arguably the greatest robot vacuum cleaner on the market, if you've got the cash. At the very least, it's certainly the best roomba model to date.
But if you've got a little apartment, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: in case you are a geek like me, it doesn't matter. That is a MUST possess!
The 980 is the greatest robot for the occupation, if you've got a bigger home or office/company that needs to be cleaned regularly. It can cover the ground and recharge own as needed. The 980 has the most electricity/suction and the finest cleaning technology of any robot if you'll need a vacuuming occupation that strongly resembles a conventional upright vacuum clean.