As with all previous Roomba's there are things that I don't like and things to like. It 's going to be challenging for me to not gift a few Roomba 980's this year.
In this Roomba 980 review, I'll get into the essential features (what's new) as well as the Advantages and Disadvantages. At the base, I'll propose a few alternatives and make an overall recommendation.
Key Features – What's New with the Roomba 980
The following are some of the new, updated, and notable features on the 980:
More Battery Charge Life: The Roomba 980 is now effective at running fro a full 2 hours before needed to recharge. It's still not Lithium ion (for people who enjoy that), but it is an improvement. Like the 800 series robots, the 980 will automatically return to the docking station base, but it will recharge, and resume cleaning where it left off.
iRobot HOME Program: For me, this is the game changer. I've been waiting for robot vacuums to become more fully integrated into the intelligent home experience. iRobot is the first robot hoover firm – to my knowledge – that's an app similar to this. You'll be able to press on “Clean” from anyplace and the 980 will start/stop as desired. I can get things began while I'm away if I'm at work or out of the house. The app is easy to use and basically functions as an advanced remote control. On the Roomba's that is older you could have a predetermined program to run every day, but not instantaneous control like this!
New Navigation System: It's actually more of an upgrade. This really is a big deal. Essentially it lets the visual localization map the room and allows the Roomba to “look” out and up to help browse. This is the type of ground-breaking enhancement that significantly improves the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean almost? Bumping into things randomly and a more organized efficient and – – cleaning path.
More Suction Power: Happily, iRobot wasn't content with just a couple of features that are new. Additionally they upped their game in the power section. The AeroForce cleaning system is per cleaning cycle the same base technology, but 2 times far better at picking up debris. It also has “carpet boost” which maximizes air power when it finds a carpet or rug beneath. The end result is an extensive clean, replicating a higher level conventional vacuum.
Enhanced Virtual Wall Lighthouse: The 980 has stepped up lighthouse game is 'sed by it. They are now smaller and require AA batteries (compared to the hulking “D” batteries for preceding series). Because who has extra “D” batteries this is a nice improvement?
Matters I enjoy and Things I Don't
It means everything to me: It's reasonably simple and straightforward, although the App is Amazing. Having the ability to control my robot from my phone 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 provided on a smart, net-joined, roomba vacuum. I'm already eagerly thinking about the possibilities for future integration with controllers and my various smart house programs.
Program Helps Screen Care: There is a really trendy “diagnostics” part of the app that monitors distinct parts of the Roomba and uses simple bars to tell you when things need to be changed or serviced (think emptying the bin, shifting extractors, filters, etc...). It also tells you just the way to perform the desired care demand.
Better on Carpets: Robots vacuums consistently often perform better on hardwood floors and hard floor choices (tile, etc...). The recently redesigned motor is not specially bad at adjusting to carpet surfaces as well. Once found, the 980 will engage a bit more muscle to thoroughly clean carpets the way they should be cleaned. It was a subtle difference, t that is difficult tell from standing up but an important difference however.
More Hands Off/User Friendly: in summary, it's more of a robot! The new app, the battery that is more powerful and the automatic recharging/resume attribute makes the Roomba 980 even more hands free than both previous models and the competition. Slowly but certainly, home robotics is living up to it's promise. If you hate vacuuming physically or – cannot do it this is the quintessential solution that is outsourced. Short the Roomba 980 is now the best option out there.
Navigation is Noticeably Enhanced: Occasionally new features are added and I can hardly tell the difference. In the recent past, Roomba's have had the knock. While the ending result was clean floors, how it occurred wasn't pretty. Still, it was also somewhat wasteful. It was among the contrasts I enjoyed about most Neato versions. The 980 is efficient, methodical, and much more organized.
It bumps into matters to gain its relevance, particularly in rooms with tons of furniture. Only not nearly to the degree it did previously. On careful observation it will not keep doing it with the same wild abandon and seems the 980 will remember these “lumps” for future cleans.
Brighter Algorithm: This robot is actually smarter than it's the competition and forerunners.
Powerful Secondary Parts Marketplace: As a longtime Roomba proprietor I know that it's merely a matter of time before I need to replace a battery, brush, or filter (among other items). Unlike other robot firms, the Roomba has a deluge of after market businesses specializing in creating better replacement accessories and components. For example, I've been able to find replacement batteries that are better than the factory default ones.
Excellent Customer Service: iRobot is still the leader as it pertains to customers service. This more of a general “ace” and less specific to this model, but worth noting. Every time I've needed to replace a Roomba, I've had no issues. They truly are also good at walking you through diagnosing problems.
Better Suction Overall: My two quasi scientific methods for measuring this are that A) I can feel a lot more wind/atmosphere coming out of the unit and B) those bigger particles of grit that only high powered vacs tend to get are being captured in the dust bin.
Use Could be More: because I'm thrilled with the new program, This isn't actually a legit gripe. Like to totally incorporate my Roomba with the rest of my house that is smart I'd. It'd be pleasant to be able to handle everything from one program (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.
Still Not “Perfect”: It's a definite progress, but it not perfect. Power cords occasionally confused it and can have problem with sizable brinks. Once in a while it'll get stuck, but once you find out the problem areas, it's simple to “Roomba evidence” your house. It's not quite like a person....yet.
Competition on the Way? Both the Neato Botvac Connected and the Dyson Eye are rumored to be coming out “ soon”. How? I can't actually tell. The Botvac Connected (which features similar program managements) will likely be out occasionally this year, but no firm release date continues to be set. I 'ven't heard much lately about an anticipated release date, although the Dyson Eye continues to be rumored to be in the works for years. It could still be 6-12 months away. What this means is the Roomba 980 could have some stiffer competition on the horizon. Right now, the 980 is the best robot available on the market, but that could change. Especially if the price points are more affordable, Roomba could be seriously undercut. UPGRADE: The Dyson 360 Eye has recently been released. Generally, it's a vacuum that is more powerful, but less room that is qualified -to-room navigation. You are able to read my complete review for additional information.
Doesn't Work in Entire Darkness: As long as there is some light i.e. you can see your way around, the 980 should work fine. However, for pitch black rooms you are going to necessarily get an error code. My simple solution would be to keep on in every room that wants it.
Just Accessible in One Location: So far as is often true for new releases – the Roomba 980 is ONLY available via the store that is iRobot here. This really is likely because they would like to control pricing. As soon as it's released like box retailers and Amazon to other markets, I'll make sure to update this post.
Cost: As always, iRobot is the price leader. All their robots are often slightly to moderately more costly than the competition. The 980 is no distinct. Actually, it's not fairly darn cheap! At RM 4850 per unit, that is likely not something that's easy to spring for. It's possible for you to take a look at this listing for more detailed pricing info. In this instance, you do get what you buy. Many significant facets actually HAVE enhanced. Hands down, this really is the best robot vacuum currently available. Still, if this really is your first robot, you might want to look into some less expensive – but still capable – choices (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Alternatives to Contemplate
If the cost is too much of a sticking point, never to stress. There are other great hoovers with contemplating.
Occasionally last years version is the best value. Sure, it's not the latest and greatest, but it still can offer many of the exact same advantages. You get 3 virtual Lighthouses which allow for creating a margin for larger houses and spaces. At the time, it was the most effective robot vacuum money could buy. The patented AeroForce cleaning system is 50% more successful at cleaning up debris than 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 has all the other crucial characteristics for a real runner up, although it doesn't have the ground-breaking app. Most importantly, it's a complete cheaper than the 980 (check this listing for even steeper discounts). Still pricey, but a lot less so.
I wasn't too impressed with the original Botvac release, but some helpful developments have been made by the new “D” series. Notably, they've fixed a problem with the brush (by altering a bearing) to allow it to be less susceptible to getting tangled (especially with human and pet hair, in my experience). The Botvac D80 doesn't only look better, it also functionally performs better than previous Neato models. The suction power is the greatest yet and arguably comparable to the new Roomba 980. Still, you won't get the app managements, but it's still relatively easy to schedule and use. The patented laser navigation technology means more courses that are organized and it usually works fairly well. It's possible for you to see this listing here, where it normally sells for less than the top line Roomba's.
It's still trusted, although it's been around for some time. It's also MUCH cheaper. It is possible to read my full take here. Attempt the 650 out if it's good enough for your needs to see if budget can be your top concern. Yes, it's missing a bunch of fine “extras” but the center cleaning technology is till there. The 650 is ideal for people that have merely a small area they need regularly cleaned, flats, or small houses. Overall, this is a terrific robot for those just getting started, interested to see if the technology works for his or her needs. Best of all, you're able to locate the 650 for a really affordable cost at this listing.
Presuming Cleaner Faceplate
I was a little skeptical of this “work-around” at first, but it really works reasonably well. Presuming Cleanser was the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It adds or 600 series robot and WiFi ability. Disbelieving? I was too. Essentially, you attach a “faceplate” that modifies your Roomba. It's simple to attach. You can do most of the exact same functions as the Roomba 980 WiFi, only in intuitive way and a polished”. The program is quite solid and will let you schedule remotely, alert you when your Roomba needs help and even plays a tune if you have to locate your lost Roomba. It's accessible for just a fraction of the price of a new Roomba here.
I'll caveat by saying that 1) it's still “laggy” 2) reduces average run-time by about 10-15% and 3) it's not native to iRobot (third party app). Believing Cleanser is working on a fresh faceplate for the 700/800 chain, but as of yet it only as a Kickstarter job here.
Who is this a good option for? 2) Prospective buyers who want WiFi ability, but can't manage/don't want to spend $899 on the 980. By way of example, purchasing Believing Cleaner Faceplate and a fresh Roomba 650 will run you no more than $500 total.
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 have but only at that stage it'll be unlikely to strike before the 2015 Holiday season. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may really lead them to delay release until they are able to fit the core characteristics.
The option that is intriguing is the the Neato Botvac “Linked” robot which aims to add similar WiFi ability to the Roomba 980. You are able to read more here. They'll have to get it done soon to capitalize entirely, although it would make sense about them to release it prior to the 2015 Holiday season.
UPDATE: The Botvac Linked has formally been released in early Novemeber 2015! See my complete review.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Joined
I desired to touch on this briefly because I've been getting a lot of questions about it, although I'll be writing up a complete comparison shortly.
The Roomba 980 and Botvac Joined attribute WiFi enabled management. This is certainly the headline attribute for both. Personally, I favor the Roomba program but both are comparable with regards to attributes/usage.
What are the Key Differences? 1) The Botvac Joined is significantly more affordable (normally about $200 less), but see this listing for up to date advice. 4) The Roomba uses virtual wall's (invisible ray to include the robot) whereas the Botvac still relies on laying down “magnetic tape” to define boundaries around your house.
UPDATE: It is possible to read my complete comparison (recently completed) right here.
Ultimate Call – Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The brief answer: Yes! The longer response? If you have the money, this can be arguably the greatest robot vacuum cleaner available on the market. At minimum, it's definitely the best roomba version to date.
But if you might have a little flat, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: it doesn't matter, if you're a geek like me. This is a MUST possess!
If you have a larger house or office/business that must be cleaned often, the 980 is the greatest robot for the occupation. It can cover the earth and recharge on it's own as needed. The 980 has the most power/suction and the best cleaning technology of any robot to get the job done if you'll need a vacuuming occupation that strongly resembles a traditional upright vacuum clean.