Just in time for Christmas, iRobot released their prized Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner to the masses. With competitor Neato lately releasing their marginally improve Botvac “D ” collection, it was theorized that iRobot might be following suit. Nevertheless, it has been a relatively long time since 870 debuted and the Roomba 880. I actually didn’t know what to expect. Certainly, iRobot isn’t interested in ceding any market share to rivals, and rightfully so.
As with all previous Roomba’s there are things that I don’t enjoy and things to like. It ’s going to be challenging for me to not gift a couple of Roomba 980’s this year.
At the bottom, I’ll make an overall recommendation and suggest several options.
Essential Attributes – What’s New with the Roomba 980
The following are remarkable characteristics on the 980, and some of the new, updated:
More Battery Charge Life: The Roomba 980 is capable of running fro a full 2 hours before needed to recharge. This can be a personal best for Roomba. On some of my older 700 series vacuums I’ve come close to this with after market third party replacement batteries, but this really is the best factory default (out of the carton) battery life thus far. It’s still not Lithium ion (for people who like that), but it really is an improvement. Like the 800 series robots, the 980 will automatically return to the docking station base, but it’ll recharge, and resume cleaning where it left off.
iRobot HOUSE Program: For me, this is the game changer. I’ve been waiting for robot vacuums to become more fully incorporated into the home encounter that is bright. iRobot is the first robot hoover firm – to my knowledge – that has an app similar to this. It’s possible for you to press on “Clean” from anyplace and the 980 will start/stop as wanted. This really is perfect for people who are on the go (like me). If I’m at work or out of your house, I will get things started while I’m away. The app is simple enough basically functions as an innovative remote control and to use. On the Roomba’s that is older you could have a predetermined program to run each day, but not immediate control like this!
New Navigation System: It’s really more of an upgrade. This 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 is the kind of ground breaking enhancement that significantly enhances the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean almost? Less bumping into a more organized efficient and – – cleaning course and things randomly.
Thankfully, iRobot wasn’t content with just a couple attributes that are new. In addition they upped their game in the power department. The AeroForce cleaning system is per cleaning cycle the same base technology, but 2 times more efficient at picking up debris. Additionally, it has “carpet boost” which optimizes air power when it finds a carpet or rug beneath. The outcome is a more extensive clean, repeating a grade that is higher traditional hoover.
Enhanced Virtual Wall Lighthouse: Roomba uses these little towers to indicate where to clean (and where not to clean…acting as an invisible wall barrier). The 980 has stepped up lighthouse game is ’sed by it. They are now smaller and take AA batteries (in contrast to the hulking “D” batteries for previous series). Because who has spare “D” batteries this is a nice progress?
Pros and Cons – Matters I like and Things I Don’t
It means everything to me: It’s reasonably simple and straightforward, although the Program is Awesome. Being able to control my robot from my telephone means the Roomba is currently part of my dwelling 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 thinking about the options for future integration with controllers and my various smart dwelling programs.
Program Helps Monitor Maintenance: There is a really trendy “diagnostics” part of the app that monitors different parts of the Roomba and uses straightforward bars to let you know when things must be altered or serviced (think emptying the bin, changing extractors, filters, etc…). It also tells you just how you can perform the maintenance demand that is desired.
Better on Carpeting: Robots hoovers constantly tend to perform better on hardwood floors and tough floor options (tile, etc…). The recently redesigned motor is particularly good at conforming to carpet surfaces as well. Once found, 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 challenging t tell from standing up even.
More Hands Off/User Friendly: In short, it’s more of a robot! The new program, the battery that is more powerful and the automatic recharging/resume feature makes the Roomba 980 more hands free than both previous models and the competition. Slowly but surely, dwelling robotics is living up to it’s assurance. If you hate vacuuming physically or – cannot do it anymore – this is the quintessential outsourced alternative. Short the Roomba 980 is the best option out there.
Navigation is Noticeably Enhanced: Occasionally new attributes are added and I will barely tell the difference. In the recent past, Roomba’s have had the knock. While the ending result was clean floors, how it happened wasn’t pretty. However, it was also a little ineffective. It was one of the contrasts I enjoyed about most Neato versions. Now, the 980 is methodical, considerably more organized, and efficient.
It still bumps into matters to gain its relevance, particularly in rooms with lots of furniture. Merely not nearly to the degree it did previously. On careful observation it seems the 980 will recall these “lumps” for future cleans and will not keep doing it with exactly the same wild abandon.
Smarter Algorithm: This robot is really smarter than it’s forerunners and the competitors.
Generally, I detected the 980 spent much less time than both my 880 and Botvac’s (contained the new Joined Botvac) pausing and calculating as it creates the map of the room.
Strong Secondary Parts Marketplace: As a longtime Roomba proprietor I understand that it’s only a matter of time before I need to replace a battery, brush, or filter (among other things). Unlike other robot companies, the Roomba has a deluge of after market firms specializing in creating parts and better replacement accessories. For instance, I’ve been able to find replacement batteries that are not worse than the factory default ones.
Superb Customer Service: iRobot remains 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 are also not bad at walking you through diagnosing issues.
Better Suction Complete: My two quasi scientific means of quantifying this are that A) I can feel a lot more wind/air coming from the unit and B) those bigger particles of determination that only high powered vacs tend to get are being captured in the dust bin.
App Could be More: This isn’t actually a legit gripe, because I’m thrilled with the new program. I’d like to completely integrate my Roomba with the remainder of my smart house. It would be pleasant in order to handle everything from one app (and one controller like the SmartThings Hub and others). It probably wouldn’t be difficult to do and it may be something iRobot already plans to do anyway.
Not “Perfect”: It’s a certain improvement, but it’s still not perfect. It occasionally gets confused by power cords and can have trouble with brinks that were substantial. Once in a while it’ll get stuck, but once you figure out the issue areas, it’s easy to “Roomba proof” your house. It’s not quite like a person….yet.
Competition on the Way? Both Dyson Eye and the Neato Botvac Connected are rumored to be coming out “ soon”. How soon? I can’t really tell. The Botvac Joined (which features similar program controls) will probably be out sometimes in 2013, but no firm release date continues to be set. The Dyson Eye continues to be rumored to be in the works for years, but I ‘ven’t heard much recently about an anticipated release date. It could still be 6-12 months away. What this means is the Roomba 980 could have some stiffer competition on the horizon. At the moment, the 980 is the greatest robot on the market, but that could change. UPGRADE: The Dyson 360 Eye has been released. Generally speaking, it has a vacuum that is more powerful, but less qualified room -to-room navigation. You’ll be able to read my complete review for more details.
However, for pitch black rooms you may necessarily get an error code. If cleaning at night or in a basement with no lights, this could be a concern. My simple solution is to keep night lights on in every room that needs it.
It’s still worth noting, although carpet Foster is Loud: It picks up more dirt, so I’m a happy customer.
Only Accessible in One Area: So far – as is frequently true for new releases – the Roomba 980 is ONLY accessible via the store that is iRobot here. This really is likely because they would like to control pricing as long as possible. As soon as it’s released like Amazon and carton retailers to other markets, I’ll be sure to update this post.
Cost: As always, iRobot is the price leader. All their robots are usually slightly to somewhat more expensive as opposed to competition. The 980 is distinct. In fact, it’s fairly darn pricey! At RM 4850 per unit, that is probably not something that’s not difficult to spring for. You can take a look at this listing for more detailed pricing info. In this instance, you do get what you buy. Many features that were important really HAVE improved. Hands down, this really is the best robot vacuum currently accessible. However, if this is your first robot, you may want to look into some less pricey – but still competent – choices (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Alternatives to Consider
If the cost is too much of a sticking point, never to worry. There are other great hoovers with contemplating.
Occasionally last years model is the best value. Sure, it’s not the latest and greatest, but it nonetheless can offer many of exactly the same benefits. You get 3 virtual Lighthouses which allow for establishing a perimeter for larger houses and spaces. You can have a look at my review of it here. At the time, it was the most effective robot hoover money could purchase. The patented AeroForce cleaning system is 50% more effective at cleaning up debris than the 700 series. This, joined with a larger dust bin, an improved battery, and a remote control made it the most hands free device at the time. It ’s the 2 nd best. It doesn’t have the revolutionary use, but it has all the other key characteristics for a runner that is true up. Above all, it’s a total cheaper in relation to the 980 (check this listing for even steeper discounts). Still costly, but a lot less so.
I wasn’t too impressed with the first Botvac release, but some helpful progress have been made by the new “D” string. Notably, they’ve fixed a problem with the brush (by shifting a bearing) to make it 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 greatest yet and arguably comparable to the new Roomba 980. Still, you won’t get the program controls, but it not too hard use and to schedule. The patented laser navigation technology means more routes that are organized and it normally works quite well. Where it normally retails for less compared to the top line Roomba’s you can see this listing here.
It’s been around for some time, but it’s not still false. It’s also MUCH more affordable. If budget can be your top concern, try the 650 out to see if it’s good enough for your needs. Yes, it’s missing a group of fine “extras” but the core cleaning technology is till there. The 650 is perfect for people that have merely a small area they need frequently cleaned, apartments, or small dwellings. I still have mine running to this day after 3 years (and a couple replacement batteries). Best of all, you’re able to locate the 650 for an extremely affordable cost at this listing.
New Robots on the Horizon?
The rumored Dyson Eye is officially under development, as I mentioned previously. Who knows when it will be released. They still haven’t discussed release dates, but at this period it’ll be unlikely to strike before the 2015 Holiday season. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may actually cause them to delay launch until they could fit the core features.
The more interesting possibility is the the Neato Botvac “Joined” robot which aims to add similar WiFi capacity to the Roomba 980. You can read more here. They’ll have to do it shortly to capitalize completely, although it’d make sense about them to release it prior to the 2015 Holiday season.
UPDATE: The Botvac Joined has officially been released in early Novemeber 2015! See my complete review.
Presuming Cleaner Faceplate
I was somewhat skeptical of this “work around” at first, but it really works pretty well. Presuming Cleanser was the outcome of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It functionally adds WiFi ability to any Roomba 500 or 600 series robot. Disbelieving? I was also. Essentially, you attach a “faceplate” that alters your Roomba. It’s simple enough to attach. Best of all, it can synchronize with other smart dwelling apps (like SmartThings, etc…), something that I’ve criticized the Roomba 980 for not doing. You can do most of the exact same functions merely in intuitive manner and a polished”. The app is fairly solid and will let you schedule remotely, alert you when your Roomba wants help and plays a song if you have to find your lost Roomba. It’s available just for a fraction of the cost of a Roomba that is new here.
Presuming Cleaner is working on a new faceplate for the 700/800 chain, but as of yet it only as a Kickstarter project here.
Who is this a good option for? 1) Present owners of a 500 or 600 series Roomba. 2) Prospective buyers who want WiFi capacity, but can’t manage/don’t want to spend $899 on the 980. For instance, you will be run by buying a brand new Roomba 650 and Believing Cleaner Faceplate no more than $500 total.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Linked
I’ll be writing the full comparison up soon, but I wanted 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 definitely the headline feature for both. Both are comparable in terms of characteristics/usage, although Personally, I favor the Roomba program better.
What are the Essential Differences?
UPGRADE: It is possible to read my complete comparison (recently finished) right here.
Final Call – Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The short answer: Yes! The longer response? This really is arguably the greatest robot vacuum cleaner available on the market if you’ve the cash. At minimum, it’s definitely the finest roomba version to date.
But if you’ve got a little apartment, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: If you are a geek like me, it doesn’t matter. This really is a MUST possess!
The 980 is the greatest robot for the occupation if you have a bigger home or office/company that needs to be cleaned regularly. It recharge own as needed and can cover the ground. The 980 has the finest cleaning tech of any robot to get the job done and the most power/suction if you’ll need a vacuuming job that closely resembles a conventional upright vacuum clean.