iRobot Roomba i7+ review: expensive, but comfortable
By Jocelyn Longoria 2019-05-24 314 0
Unlike the Kobold VR300 (test report) or the Botvac D7 Connected (test report), the Roomba i7+ does not have a D-shape, but is round. In practice, the Neato and Vorwerk robots actually drive into a corner as far as the baseboard. But their side brushes are too short and don't always sweep all the dirt away from the vacuum cleaner. With the Roomba i7+, the side brush is long, but the robot does not make it into the corner due to its shape. Nevertheless, the result with the iRobot vacuum cleaner is better than with the Neato. Even more effective is the Eufy Robovac 30C (test report) with its two brushes on each side, they also arrive better under the baseboards.
iRobots vacuum cleaner robot has a weight of 3.4 kg, which makes it just as heavy as the Botvac D7 Connected from Neato and thus corresponds to mediocrity. The S5 Robot Vacuum Cleaner (test report) from Roborock weighs 3.2 kg and is technically similarly equipped and more attractively priced.
The user may carry the Roomba i7+ back and forth and freely place it on several floors, whereby the integrated carrying handle on the upper housing surface is a help. Anyone who has a lot of furniture at home and wants the robot to drive and vacuum under it should check in advance whether the 9.2 cm high Roomba i7+ has enough space. Other vacuum cleaner robots are sometimes less high, but technically they can't quite keep up: The Deebot Ozmo Slim 10 (test report) with its 5.7 cm masters the furniture discipline well - but it lacks the laser measuring device for precise navigation.
The workmanship of the Roomba i7+ is good. Although the case is largely made of plastic, the implementation is flawless. The flawless workmanship and the high quality indicate, among other things, that this is iRobot as the manufacturer. During the ride on hard ground nothing wobbles or rattles, as it is the case with the Neato or the beginner robots up to 300. The Roomba i7+ has a bumper bar at the front and rarely or not at all touches obstacles such as furniture or open doors - so there are no scratches.
The Roomba i7+ has a powerful suction power of up to 1800 Pa. Beginner units range from 1000 to 1500 Pa, while other models reach up to 2000 Pa. Be that as it may, the suction power is formally sufficient for any floor: carpet, hardwood, PVC, tiles and more should theoretically not be a challenge. In practice, this looks different: The Roomba i7+ is not suitable for high-pile carpets. This is due to the two bristleless plastic rollers placed directly in front of the suction slot. But there is a big advantage: long human and animal hair hardly gets caught. Otherwise, the Roomba i7+ absorbs both coarse and fine dirt perfectly. The iRobot has an intelligent carpet detection system, which boosts its performance at short notice. In addition, the device should have a special detection for heavy dirt, especially at entrance doors of the living space. This function was not shown in the test.
The iRobot Roomba i7+'s two wheels are large and heavily profiled. This allows the robot to go almost anywhere in the household and rarely stops because of the drive. The Roomba i7+ can cope with high edges without any problems: just like the Roborock S5, it climbs to heights of up to 1.9 and sometimes 2 cm. This is better than the average of 1.5 cm.
In the Roomba i7+ iRobot uses a 3300 mAh battery. Officially, it should drive for up to 90 minutes at a time before it charges itself and, if necessary, continues the work from the point it notices. In the test, the robot has an average running time of 78 minutes. This means that the iRobot robot offers the lowest running time in the previous test series. Even the 300-Euro vacuum cleaners without navigation from Eufy and Deebot take over 90 minutes. The S5 from Robock has the longest operating time of 147 minutes. The iRobot systematically processes a living space of 75 m2 in one hour and nine minutes. The charging time is three hours.
The vacuum cleaner robot's container is relatively small at 0.45 litres. However, this is not an aberration, because the robot can be emptied automatically at the charging station - but more about this later.
In the test, the Roomba i7+ behaves somewhat quieter than its competitors: It reaches a noise level of 66 dB at a measuring distance of one meter. 68 dB can be measured directly on the housing. The quietest robot is the Eufy Robovac 30C with 57 dB in the same test scenario.
The iRobot Roomba i7+ has a bumper to absorb collisions that rarely occur in the test. It has a wide-angle camera for detecting obstacles, similar to the Dyson 360 Eye (test report). The iRobot does not have a rotating laser measuring device on the top. Although the camera enables the robot to perform many intelligent functions, such as precise map display, exact position determination or a continuation mode if the battery runs out, there are also concerns about data protection. In the past, the manufacturer had to take a lot of criticism because it wanted to market the digitally displayed living space to advertisers. This did not happen, but the rights to the data are still reserved.
Back to the product: The Roomba i7+ works by system because of its more accurate environmental mapping and uses its resources efficiently. This means it covers the area better than robots that suck according to the chaos principle and stop at some point. In the automatic mode, the iRobot travels its path until the entire living space has been used at least once. Zones and rooms that are not to be cleaned can be marked using the supplied light barrier or defined as such in the app.
iRobot mainly uses the app, which is available free of charge for iPhone and Android smartphones. Unfortunately a remote control is missing. In some situations this is faster and more intuitive than having to get your smartphone out first. The Smart-Home integration with Google Home or Amazon Alexa provides a little help. Cleaning can be initiated with a simple voice command. Because the robot knows each individual room by name, it can also start a targeted zone cleaning process. For example: "Hey Google, clean the kitchen!" The iRobot Roomba i7+ requires two to three cleaning processes to depict a living room. Only then can the so-called Smart Map with rooms be defined.
The app is clearly arranged and self-explanatory. With it up to 10 iRobot devices can be managed and controlled. Different cleaning modes are available on the start page. Days and times for routine cleaning (for individual rooms) can also be scheduled in the application. After cleaning the entire living space, the app provides an overview of where the robot has vacuumed everything. The map display is quite precise, it also shows the cleaned area and the time needed for it.
Some vacuum cleaner robots, like the Roborock S5, vacuum and wipe, this is their peculiarity. With the iRobot Roomba i7+, it's the charging and suction station that sets it apart from the competition. iRobot is certainly not the only manufacturer and the Roomba i7+ is also available with a normal charging station. Nevertheless, the implementation of the function is best and cleanest solved.
In practice, the automatic emptying of the 0.45 ml dust container proves to be convenient. Up to 30 cleaning operations can be carried out by the suction station. However, there is one costly disadvantage: the dirt gets into a non-recyclable vacuum cleaner bag manufactured exclusively by iRobot. A 3-pack of these special bags costs about 20 euros. Per cleaning procedure that is in approximately 0.22 euro. But who can afford a vacuum cleaner robot for 1199 euro, that will certainly have a sixtieth for the regular acquisition of new vacuum cleaner bags. All in all, this is a fairly sustainable business model for iRobot.
At the almost 50 cm high loading and extraction station, the loud noise during extraction is noticeable, comparable to a hairdryer. Fortunately, the process only takes a few seconds.
Maintenance and scope of delivery
As far as maintenance is concerned, the Roomba i7+ is well positioned. Almost all parts can be removed and cleaned without any manual skills. According to the operating instructions, the user should replace the rolling brushes with new ones after twelve months. The same applies to the filter and the side brush. Differently than the vacuum cleaner bags there are these spare parts also from different third manufacturers and do not cost 15 to 20 euro. A spare filter and a vacuum cleaner bag are included in the delivery.
By the way, the manual emptying of the dust container is of course possible. The mechanism for opening the dust container is simple and without much force. Although the manual emptying is not as clean as the automatic emptying via the suction station, a cloud of dirt does not occur.
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