Roomba is probably the first name that pops into peoples head when they think of robot vacuums. The iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum is similar to the traditional Roomba, circular in shape with black edges and a sleek look that makes one feel like they’re living in the future. The specifications of the Roomba 980 include HEPA filtration, a diameter of 13.9 inches and 3.6 inches in height. It’s weight stands in at 8.7 pounds, and it has a built-in handle for carrying it around. On the front, there are three buttons: Home button present on the left, a large Clean button in the middle, and a “Spot Clean” button on the right side. This particular feature is for when you want to preserve the charge and make sure the Roomba cleans only when there’s something to be cleaned, like litter spills. You can set up an automatic time for it to start cleaning, however, the Roomba comes with an app on both iOS and Android so that you can take care of the Roomba’s schedule manually.
Above the Clean button, there are “indicator lights”, and a Wi-Fi symbol will light up to tell you the connectivity status. If something goes wrong, there will be a troubleshooting symbol, and the Roomba will announce an error number that one can Google. Coming to the battery indicator, it will light yellow if it needs to be charged, and the standard green once its ready to get to work. A red trash icon means the dustbin needs to be emptied. Under the Roomba, there are 6 cliff sensors. These “cliff sensors” are light detectors designed for the robot to stop and back away at stairs or places where it might fall off.
If you’re buying powers are influenced by ratings, Amazon users rated this product an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars. Generally, users reported that they prefer the ease of use of the iRobot Roomba 980, with it being a great option for daily routine cleaning, especially for families who have a lot of pets. A longer-than-average battery life was also reported to be a plus in favor of the newer model, with users mentioning how the iRobot Roomba 980 can go on for 2 hours at a time without a recharge on “Eco-Mode”. With the carpet boost mode on, however, the battery life is almost cut in half, not viewed lightly by some Amazon users. It takes 90 minutes for it to fully recharge. When it does require a recharge, it leaves off cleaning to go to its dock, then goes back to clean where it left off. The biggest pro of this model as told by satisfied customers is that it is exceptional in performance when it comes to cleaning up debris and pet fur. This may be due to several factors. One factor most often mentioned was the addition of rubber extractors instead of traditional bristles or brushes. Another reason was the navigation system the robot uses. The iRobot Roomba 980 uses VSLAM technology, which is Visual Simultaneous Location and Mapping. That means the robot utilizes location and mapping to make a virtual map out of where it goes and refers back to it for future cleanings. The machine is very easy to clean up and doesn’t require a lot of time or effort, as well as cutting down considerably on your daily cleaning time. With the iRobot Roomba 980, you can get away with vacuuming your house weekly, instead of daily. It also manages to get under hard-to-reach places via a regular vacuum, like under beds and cabinets.
The app that the Roomba comes with was a highly touted plus, with ease of scheduling being the highlight. The clean button can also be pressed remotely in order to let the robot do its job. It also tells you if the bin needs to be emptied, and the robot will not clean if the bin isn’t emptied. Regular maintenanace requirements can also be checked from the app, like changing debris extractors.
When it comes to cons, users mentioned that the circular shape of the iRobot Roomba 980 is a setback because it does not allow the robot to clean corners effectively. The cliff sensors also hinder its ability to clean carpets, as complained most frequently by customers. The robot mistakes darker colored carpets for a cliff drop because the dark color cannot reflect any IR light. So the robot avoids carpet cleaning, even those with dark colored patterns on them. Some buyers also feel it isn’t quite worth the higher price tag, as they feel that such a high price should have minimal to no cons. Users said that alternatives like taping up sensors so the robot would clean carpets, but risk it falling over stairs, was not worth it on a Roomba with such a price tag. One of the most frequent complains from dissatisfied users was the Roomba dying before it can reach the charging dock. Other reports included buggy Roombas saying the bin was full even after it had been emptied. Some people have complains that once you plan on cleaning, it requires a little bit of prep which means you will need to move any solid objects, wires, curtains and the like out of the way, which didn’t sit well with some buyers who couldn’t set up daily cleaning due to the initial prep required. Some upkeep is also needed in order to make sure the Roomba is efficient, where the bin needs to be cleaned regularly, usually after every cycle.
Overwhelmingly, buyers believe it is well worth the price and ultimately the pros far outweigh the cons. Most users have said that they are extremely happy and satisfied with their iRobot Roomba 980 and the quality of cleanliness it provides in a busy lifestyle, with people being frequently impressed by how the robot managed to pick up dirt and debris from places they had already cleaned beforehand with a regular vacuum.