Just in time for the Holidays, iRobot released their prized Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner. With competition Neato recently releasing their slightly improve Botvac “D ” collection, it was theorized that iRobot might be following suit. Yet, it continues to be a comparatively long time since the Roomba 880 and 870 debuted. I honestly didn’t know what to anticipate. Certainly, iRobot is not thinking about ceding any market share to rivals, and rightfully so.
As with all previous Roomba’s there are things to like and things that I don’t like. It ’s going to be difficult for me to not gift a few Roomba 980’s this year.
In this Roomba 980 review, I’ll get into the crucial features (what’s new) as well as the Benefits and Drawbacks. At the bottom, I’ll suggest a few alternatives and make an overall recommendation.
Essential Attributes –
The following are noteworthy features on the 980, and some of the new, upgraded:
More Battery Charge Life: The Roomba 980 is now effective at running fro a complete 2 hours before needed to recharge. This really is a personal best for Roomba. On some of my older 700 series hoovers I’ve come close to this with after market third party replacement batteries, but this really is the best factory default option (out of the carton) battery life thus far. It’s still not Lithium ion (for those that like that), but it’s an advancement.
iRobot HOUSE App: For me, this is the game changer. I’ve been waiting for robot vacuums to become fully incorporated into the smart house encounter. iRobot is the first robot vacuum firm – to my knowledge – that has an app such as this. It’s possible for you to press “Clean” from anywhere and the 980 will start/stop as wanted. I can get things began while I’m away, if I’m at work or out of the house. The app is simple basically functions as an advanced remote control and to use. On the older Roomba’s you could have a pre determined program to run every day, but not instant control like this!
It’s actually more of an upgrade. That is a big deal. Essentially it allows the visual localization map the room and allows the Roomba to “look” out and up to help browse. This is the sort of groundbreaking improvement that vastly enhances the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean almost? Bumping into a more organized – and efficient – cleaning route and things at random.
Mercifully, iRobot wasn’t content with just a few new attributes. Additionally they upped their game in the power department. The AeroForce cleaning system is per cleaning cycle exactly the same base technology, but 2 times more efficient at picking up debris. It also has “carpet boost” which maximizes air power when it finds a carpet or rug beneath. The outcome is a traditional hoover that is more comprehensive clean, reproducing a higher standard.
Enhanced Virtual Wall Lighthouse: The 980 has stepped up lighthouse game is ’sed by it. They truly are now smaller and take AA batteries (compared to the hulking “D” batteries for preceding collection). This is a fine progress because who has spare “D” batteries?
Things I like and Things I Don’t
The App is Wonderful: It’s reasonably easy and straightforward, but it means everything to me. Having the ability to control my robot from my phone means the Roomba is currently part of my dwelling family that is smart. Picking up on where tools like Ecobee smart thermostats and the Nest have left off, iRobot has really delivered on a smart, internet-connected, roomba vacuum. I considering the options for future integration with controls and my various smart home programs.
App Helps Screen Care: There is a really trendy “diagnostics” portion of the program that monitors 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 desired maintenance demand.
Better on Carpeting: Robots vacuums constantly often perform better on hardwood floors and tough flooring alternatives (tile, etc…). The newly redesigned motor is not specially bad at adapting to carpet surfaces too. After discovered, a bit more muscle wills engage to thoroughly clean carpets the way 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 really 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 even, but an important difference however.
The new program, the more powerful battery and the automatic recharging/resume attribute makes the Roomba 980 even more hands free than the contest and both previous versions. Slowly but certainly, dwelling robotics is living up to it’s promise. If you hate vacuuming physically or – cannot do it anymore – this is the alternative that is outsourced that is quintessential. Short the Roomba 980 is now the smartest choice out there.
Navigation is Noticeably Enhanced: Sometimes new features are added and I will barely tell the difference. Previously, Roomba’s have had the knock for cleaning in a randomized, haphazard pattern. While the end result was clean floors, how it happened wasn’t rather. Nevertheless, it was also a little wasteful. This was one of the contrasts I enjoyed about most Neato versions. Now, the 980 is efficient, methodical, and much more organized.
It still bumps into matters to gain its impacts, particularly in rooms with tons of furniture. Merely not nearly to the degree it did in the past. On careful observation it WOn’t keep doing it with precisely the same wild abandon and appears the 980 will remember these “lumps” for future cleans.
Brighter Algorithm: This robot is actually smarter than it’s the competitors and forerunners.
Generally, I discovered the 980 spent much less time than both my 880 and Botvac’s (comprised the new Connected Botvac) pausing and calculating as it creates the map of the room.
Exceptional Customer Service: iRobot is still the leader as it pertains to customers service. This more of a general “ace” and unique to the model, but still worth noting. They’ve been also not bad at walking you through diagnosing issues.
Strong Secondary Parts Market: Unlike other robot businesses, the Roomba has a deluge of after market businesses specializing in creating better replacement accessories and parts. For instance, I’ve been able to find replacement batteries that are not worse than the factory default ones.
Better Suction Complete: My two quasi scientific means of quantifying this are that A) I can feel a lot more wind/atmosphere coming out of the device and B) those bigger particles of determination that only high powered vacs often get are being captured in the dust bin. This really is an upgrade over the Roomba 880 which I was comparing it also as my baseline.
Use Could be More: This isn’t really a legit gripe, because I’m thrilled with the new program. It’s more of a wish. I’d like to fully integrate my Roomba with the rest of my smart home. 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 challenging to do and it may be something iRobot already intends to do anyhow.
Not “Perfect”: It’s a clear progress, but it’s still not perfect. Power cords occasionally confused it and can have trouble with thresholds that were sizable. Once in a while it’ll get stuck, but once you find out the problem areas, it’s not difficult to “Roomba proof” your house. It’s not quite like an individual….yet.
Both Dyson Eye and the Neato Botvac Connected are rumored to be coming out “ soon. How? I can’t really tell. The Botvac Linked (which features similar program controls) will likely be out occasionally this season, but no firm release date has been set. The Dyson Eye was rumored to be in the works for years, but I ‘ven’t heard much lately 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 this time, the 980 is the greatest robot in the marketplace, but that could change. UPGRADE: The Dyson 360 Eye has recently been released. In general, it’s a vacuum that is more powerful, but less competent room -to-room navigation. It’s possible for you to read my full review for additional information.
Nonetheless, for pitch black rooms you’ll necessarily get an error code. If cleaning at night or in a basement with no lights, this could be a concern. My easy alternative is to keep on in every room that wants it.
It worth noting, although carpet Foster is Loud: It picks up more dirt, so I’m a happy customer. Don’t plan on sleeping in the exact same room.
Just Available in One Area: So far as is frequently the case with new releases – the Roomba 980 is ONLY accessible via the shop that is iRobot here. That is likely because they would like to control pricing as long as possible. When it’s released to other marketplaces like Amazon and carton retailers, I’ll be sure to update this post.
Price: As always, iRobot is the cost leader. All their robots are often slightly to moderately higher priced than the competition. The 980 is no distinct. Actually, it’s pretty darn pricey! At RM 4850 per unit, this really is probably not something that’s not difficult to spring for. You’ll be able to take a look at this listing for more detailed pricing information. In this case, you do get what you pay for. This generation actually HAS improved many aspects that were significant. Hands down, this can be the best robot vacuum now accessible. However, if this is your first robot, you might want to look into some less expensive – but still capable – choices (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Options to Contemplate
If the price is too much of a sticking point, never to worry. There are with contemplating other great vacuums.
Sometimes last years model is the best value around. Sure, it’s not the latest and greatest, but it nonetheless can offer many of the exact same advantages. It’s possible for you to have a look at my review of it here. At the time, it was the most effective robot hoover cash could buy. The AeroForce cleaning system that is patented is 50% more effective at cleaning up debris in relation to the 700 series. This, combined with a a much better battery, a larger dust bin, and a remote control made it the most hands free apparatus at the time. Now it ’s the 2 nd best. It doesn’t have the revolutionary app, but it’s all the other essential characteristics for a runner that is true up. Most significantly, it’s a total cheaper compared to 980 (check this listing for even steeper reductions). Still costly, but a lot.
Some helpful progress have been made by the new “D” string, although I wasn’t overly impressed with the first Botvac release. Notably, they’ve fixed a problem with the brush (by shifting a bearing) to ensure it is less susceptible to becoming tangled (especially with person and pet hair, in my own experience). The Botvac D80 doesn’t only look better, it also 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 relatively simple use and to schedule. The patented laser navigation technology means more organized routes and it generally works fairly nicely. You can see this listing here, where it normally retails for less as opposed to top line Roomba’s.
It’s been around for a little while, but it’s not still false. It’s also MUCH less expensive. It is possible to read my full take here. If budget is your top concern, attempt the 650 out to see if it for the needs. Yes, it’s missing a bunch of nice “extras” but the cleaning technology that is core is till there. The 650 is ideal for people that have only a small space they need often cleaned, flats, or small houses. I still have mine running to this day after 3 years (and a couple replacement batteries). On top of that, you can find the 650 for a really affordable cost at this listing.
Thinking Cleaner Faceplate
I was a bit skeptical of this “work-around” at first, but it really works pretty well. Believing Cleanser was the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It adds or 600 series robot and WiFi capability. Skeptical? I was also. Essentially, you attach a “faceplate” that alters your Roomba. It’s easy enough to attach. You can do most of the same functions only in a polished” and intuitive manner. The app is pretty strong and will let you schedule slightly, alarm you when your Roomba needs help and plays with a song if you need to locate your lost Roomba. It’s available just for a fraction of the cost of a new Roomba here.
Who is this a good option for? 2) Prospective buyers who want WiFi capacity, but can’t manage/don’t desire to spend $899 on the 980. As an example, buying Believing Cleaner Faceplate and a brand new Roomba 650 will run you no more than $500 total.
Believing Cleaner is working on a fresh faceplate for the 700/800 chain, but as of yet it only exists as a Kickstarter project here.
New Robots on the Horizon?
The rumored Dyson Eye is formally under development, as I mentioned previously. Who knows when it’ll be released. They haven’t discussed release dates, but only at that period it’ll be unlikely to hit before the 2015 Holiday season. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may really lead them to delay launch until the core features can be matched by them.
The possibility that is interesting is the the Neato Botvac “Linked” robot which aims to add similar WiFi ability to the Roomba 980. You can read more about it via the official press release here. It’d make sense for them to release it but they’ll have to get it done soon to capitalize completely.
UPGRADE: The Botvac Joined has formally been released in early Novemeber 2015! See my full review.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Joined
I needed 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 soon.
What are the Crucial Differences? 2) The Botvac now has “Eco” and “Turbo” mode. 3) The Roomba 980 has “carpet boost” and the Botvac doesn’t.
Both Botvac Joined and the Roomba 980 attribute WiFi enabled management. This is undoubtedly the headline attribute for both. Both are similar in terms of characteristics/use, although Personally, I prefer the Roomba program better.
UPDATE: You can read my complete comparison (recently completed) right here.
Ultimate Call – Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The short answer: Yes! The longer reply? If you’ve got the money, this really is arguably the greatest robot vacuum cleaner on the market. At the minimum, it’s definitely the best roomba version to date.
If you’ve a larger home or office/company that must be cleaned regularly, the 980 is the greatest robot for the occupation. It recharge on it’s own as needed and can cover the ground. The 980 has the most electricity/suction and the best cleaning tech of any robot to get the job done if you’ll need a vacuuming job that strongly resembles a conventional upright vacuum clean.
But if you’ve got a small flat, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: If you are a geek like me, it doesn’t matter. This really is a MUST own!