- Smart machine, good clean, not too loud.
- A little temperamental at times, not deep enough clean
As a piece of modern technology it’s a great talking piece for the home but if a powerful deep vacuum is required, the little Roomba might not be right for the job.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
When we heard about the iRobot Roomba we instinctively looked to the skies to see if people were flying around on jetpacks or if hover cars were whizzing by. Apparently, the future is not quite here but the Roomba is, at the very least, a little glimmer of it.
The first thing we noticed about the Roomba was the design. It is circular, small, cute and adorable and was the source of much bickering regarding who got to "test" it first. The Roomba has a rechargeable battery which clips into its belly and lasts about two hours per charge. It takes quite a while to recharge via the dock but you can also plug the power adapter directly for a quicker result. When you turn on the unit and press the clean button, the Roomba lets out a little call to arms alert sound and heads off on its merry way on a quest for dirt.
Compared to a regular vacuum cleaner our little friend isn't too loud but we soon found out why this is. As far as we could tell, it isn't actually a vacuum cleaner at all. The Roomba cleans via a series of brushes which work in unison to collect dirt from the surface of the carpet. Whilethe unit does a good job of cleaning the carpet, it doesn't have the suction necessary to draw the dirt out of the carpet pile. Still, the cleaning process does bring some of it to the surface which is effectively eliminated. While roaming around the room the Roomba is actively searching for dirt and dust. When it finds some, it concentrates on that area until it is done and then moves on. It the unit bumps into an object or a wall, a quick about-face sends it off in another direction.
When the Roomba comes to some stairs, it detects them then turns around and continues working. The system comes with two virtual walls which can be set up to create invisible barriers for the Roomba so it doesn't venture into places people may not want cleaned. This little machine is smart and performs the set tasks very well. If the battery is running low The Roomba will automatically seek out its recharging dock and guide itself in. Once docked, the unit lets out a triumphant "DaDa" sound. Never before has having your house cleaned been so entertaining.
It is mind boggling to think that a product like this actually exists; it's the stuff of science fiction, brought to life by clever technology in a tight package that works well. There are also various optional extras you can buy for it including a scheduler with which you can tell your new pet to clean the house at a certain time on a certain day. While you are off at work, your house is being cleaned, an idea that is obviously appealing to pretty much anyone.
All the techno-cool appeal aside, there are a couple of drawbacks to the Roomba. Apart from a lack of serious vacuuming power it can also be a little temperamental at times, especially after a full battery drain and recharge. This will annoy some people, especially when they remembered that they spent a pretty penny on their Roomba and it doesn't always want to work. But we think advantages far outweigh the negatives and since its such a great idea, well made, well programmed and a lot of fun to watch we loved the product and look forward to future iterations.
As a side note, the Roomba is soon going to be getting a friend. Scooba is on its way to our shores mid next year, we are told, and is another robotic cleaning system but this time it will wash and dry your kitchen floors. We will keep a close eye on the iRobot Corporation and take a look at a Scooba as soon as we are able.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- IBM's hub for wearables could have you out of the hospital faster
- HoloLens Spectator View makes it easier to show off AR creations
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Google revamps Voice with long overdue makeover, new features
- Mozilla's new corporate logo evokes URL lingo
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - Tivoli Storage SpecialistNSW
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- TPTechnical WriterQLD
- TPVB6 DeveloperVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- TPAgile Project Manager. Sharepoint / PeoplesoftNSW
- CCBusiness/Process AnalystQLD
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)NSW
- TPFront End DeveloperWA
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperVIC
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPJunior Project ManagerVIC
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW