It’s a testament to the success of iRobot that its Roomba brand is becoming interchangeable…
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My first experience with the Roomba 980
Out of your box, I was struck by the heft of the 980. It weighs about nine pounds. The vacuum can be 3.5″ high and 13.5″ in diameter so that it includes a taller profile than many robot vacuums, which can make it hard for this to get under your furniture. I had just a little trouble with the 980 getting stuck under my radiators.Advertisement
As well as the vacuum and charging dock, the Roomba 980 includes two virtual wall barriers (batteries included), a supplementary side brush, and a supplementary filter. And, as parts wear out through regular use, you can order replacements through the iRobot website and app.
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The unpackaging and setup process took 5 minutes. Initially, you’re likely to allow unit charge for three hours. So, I did so. Next, I spent 5 minutes downloading the iphone app and connecting to the robot. I was then all set.
The way the Roomba 980 performed
The application is very cool. One of the best features may be the Clean Map Reports. This shows a map of where Roomba cleaned, just how many square feet, and where in fact the most dirt was located. If your Roomba gets caught somewhere and you can’t think it is, you can press the “Locate Roomba” button, and it’ll play music until you think it is. This was useful in my own son’s cluttered room. In the app, you can even tend to run Roomba on eco-mode. Roomba operates great without the app, too. You merely press the “Clean” button and allow it do its thing.Advertisement
Scheduling the Roomba 980 is pretty simple with the app. Though, I’d like it easily could just set it to completely clean as well each day. Since it is, daily of the week is scheduled separately. For example, I set it to completely clean every Sunday at 3 p.m., every Monday at 3 p.m., every Tuesday at 3 p.m., and so forth.
I was impressed with the 980’s capability to avoid getting stuck. I’d say about 80% of the cleaning cycles, it could get the job done and return to the house base without needing me to intervene and free it from obstacles. That is despite my kids’ and pets’ best efforts to trip it up.
To check the 980’s cleaning abilities, I scattered flour, coffee grounds, and kitty litter on carpet and hardwood. Advertisement
Then, I estimated just how much it picked up in a single cleaning cycle. On the carpet, I’d estimate Roomba found 95% of the kitty litter and grounds and 75% of the flour. On the hardwood, it got 90% of the flour and 75% of the kitty litter and grounds. I also sprinkled some flour in right-angle corners to observe how close it could reach the corner. On both surfaces, it got about an inch away.
With regards to pet hair, the 980 is excellent but not perfect.
I’ve two cats and a vintage long-haired dog. Each of them shed quite a bit. After a cleaning cycle, there would only be trace levels of fur left on to the floor. A large proportion was in the dustbin.Advertisement
iRobot offers a maintenance schedule detailing when to completely clean the filter, the entire bin sensors, leading caster wheel, and many different other areas. I didn’t adhere to the schedule. I’m not that organized. I continued a personal “Oh, I will probably do this” schedule, and the vacuum continues to work effectively.
The application can help you operate and locate your Roomba.
Some concerns about the robot vacuum
My biggest beef with the Roomba 980 is how loud it really is. Advertisement
From approximately 12 feet away, it registers about 77 decibels. We home based. And, whenever we have video conferences and calls, we can not have the Roomba running anywhere near us because it’s distracting. My kids also complain when it drowns out their screen time.
I experienced what every robot vacuum and dog owner fears: a “poopocalypse.” You see, my children moved to a fresh home some time ago, and the cats remain looking to get acclimated. I had the 980 on a strict schedule of cleaning at 3 p.m. each day. Well, one day, among the cats left just a little “present” on to the floor outside of his kitty litter box. The Roomba found it before I possibly could and spread everything over. The ground was chaos, and the Roomba was ruined.
I contacted the iRobot’s customer care (without flashing my media credentials) on a Sunday night and had a reply waiting for me in my own inbox Monday morning. The representative explained that as the Roomba’s warrantee doesn’t cover damage due to pet waste, they might replace it for me personally cost-free anyway. The replacement arrived a couple of days later. It’s clear that iRobot aims to manage its customers.Advertisement
The bottom line
I’ve tried my fair share of robot vacuums, and the only person I’ve found that’s much better than the 980 may be the recently released Roomba i7+ (keep tuned in for my full review), which is approximately $50 more. The main element difference between your two may be the i7+ automatically empties its dustbin. Both are exceptional machines that produce cleaning simple for folks who don’t possess time to vacuum each day.