iRobot’s “budget” robot vacuum cleaner?

In recent years, the market for robot vacuum cleaners has democratized. They are no longer luxury products and there are increasingly cheaper bets that place them within the reach of more people. We have tested the latest iRobot launch, the Roomba i3 + which, despite being a mid-range model, has very interesting aspects such as the automatic emptying station.

iRobot is the quintessential company in the robot vacuum market. They were the first and each launch they make brings significant innovations in both software and hardware to the industry. However, in recent years, has had to see how other manufacturers have eaten market share, with much cheaper robot vacuum cleaners and others with very high performance. Xiaomi, Conga or Roborock on the one hand, and Dyson, mainly, on the other.

To reduce the price, iRobot has also dispensed with elements such as the camera and the option, through the app, to clean a specific room or area.

IRobot’s latest release wants to hit both of them directly. We are talking about the Roomba i3 +, a robot vacuum cleaner that has, among other things, great performance and one of the aspects that has most revolutionized the world of autonomous aspiration: the automatic emptying station.

Its price? Although it is one of the cheapest iRobot models, it goes up to 699 euros (with the station included), although we can find offers for a lower price, around 600 euros. Can this purchase be justified? In Hypertextual we have been testing it for several weeks and here we leave you the main conclusions.

Roomba i3 + new on the outside, known on the inside

The new iRobot vacuum cleaner has undergone a redesign that suits you best. While you lose the camera that allows you to better identify objects to avoid them (main factor to reduce the price), now we find a device covered by a lattice that simulates (very well) being fabric, and that minimizes the appearance of dirt, mainly generated by footprints. In some houses, where the robot vacuum cleaner is another element of decoration, this type of redesign is appreciated.

As for the interior, the Roomba i3 + also offers a great suction capacity. Like the rest of the brand’s models, It has a high efficiency filter capable of capturing up to 99% of the pollen from the environment, mold, dust mites, and cat and dog allergens.

This is achieved thanks to the rubber brushes located in the central part that, added to the brush on the side, allow to better reach every corner. These rubber brushes also have an anti-tangle design that works surprisingly well, preventing elements such as loose threads or hair from getting caught in them.

It must be borne in mind, of course, that the new Roomba i3 + does not work miracles, and there will be places where it never arrives, such as behind a closed door or under a piece of furniture where it does not enter, so it will always be necessary to combine it. with a more traditional cleaning. This, of course, is the case for all models of robot vacuum cleaners, of any brand, existing today.

Roomba i3 + looks to beat up its direct competition: a lower price and the intelligence of the iRobot app.

With respect to other robots from iRobot, superior in price, there are some things that, of course, it does not include. In addition to having eliminated the chamber, its suction power is lower than that of other models and, more importantly, it does not include the option to clean a particular area.

Although with the Roomba i7 + or s9 + model you can send the vacuum cleaner to the kitchen, to pick up some crumbs of bread that we have dropped, and return to the base, with the Roomba i3 + it will not be possible and we will have to send it to start its task complete cleaning and, when you have finished in the area you want, from the application, with your voice or with the physical button, send it back home.

Dump station

Without a doubt, One of the key functions of this Roomba i3 + is its emptying station, which eliminates (or at least greatly reduces) one of the most tedious tasks of other robots: emptying the tank. Although it is not a new function, it was only found in models with a price above 1,000 euros, such as the Roomba i7 + and Roomba s9 +. There is also a cheaper version of the Roomba i3, without the +, which does not include the emptying station; But after a month with the “plus” model, we consider that the option with the Clean Base tower is the most recommended.

The robot performs its vacuuming function and when it finishes, or its tank is full, it returns alone to its charging base, emptying it and being ready for the next one. In case you have to interrupt your work, you pick it up from where you left off.

Although it all depends on the level of dirt in a house, especially if there are pets, we can easily spend two months without having to empty the tank from the base with a daily work of the Roomba i3 +.

At this point, iRobot continues to maintain its distance with its main competitor within the high-end range, Dyson. The Dyson 360 heurist, while offering better vacuuming performance than the Roomba i3 +, does not have an emptying station.

More integrated into the smarthome

There is one fact that is obvious: you do not realize how lacking a robot vacuum cleaner does until you have tried it. When we delegate the work of vacuuming to a robot, programming the days and hours in which we want it to act, living without it afterwards is tedious to say the least.

Roomba i3 + by iRobot

One of the areas that iRobot has placed the most emphasis on is improving its software. Although the main novelty of the Roomba i3 + is its emptying station, both the application and the software of the robot itself is the same as that of its higher-priced brothers. Smarter, more learnable and better integrated into the connected home ecosystem. In addition to its compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant, the iRobot Home App powered by iRobot Genius deserves a stop.

The self-emptying station is undoubtedly one of the greatest innovations in robot vacuum cleaners. Roomba i3 + can go up to two months without having to empty the tank.

Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, the Roomba i3 + learns how, when and where we want to clean or emphasize. What’s more, includes a recommendation system based on our cleaning habits and the current situation of the house, with personalized schedules and functions, for example, in times of allergy or shedding seasons of our pets.

In summary. Like the phrase “my phone does the same as a high-end but for half the price” has many nuances, in the world of robot vacuum cleaners the same thing happens. Of course a robot that costs 300 euros can keep the house clean, but including new product improvements and innovations carries a premium price. The Roomba i3 + is not cheap, remember that it is a starting price of 699 euros, but it undoubtedly contributes to making the vacuuming experience more comfortable, becoming a more independent and invisible device in our day to day life.