iRobot, the autonomous robotic vacuum company that developed the Roomba series, recently started shipping the Roomba i7+. The iRobot Roomba i7+ makes a huge leap in robotic vacuuming technology as it comes with a number of sophisticated features.
With the ability to map out rooms, respond to commands via smart speakers, and empty itself, the Roomba i7+ is arguably one of the best robotic vacuums that you can buy today.
The i7+ is considered the successor to the Roomba 980 from three years ago. And while the 980 also had mapping capabilities, the i7+ pushed this feature forward by making it cloud-based.
Pro 1: Improved Design
The iRobot Roomba i7+ made improvements to the rubber rollers with more refined grooves to efficiently pull in the dirt. And the dustbin that is attached to the Roomba i7+’s base was designed in a way that is easier to empty automatically and manually.
How does it empty automatically? The Roomba i7+ empties the dust through a vacuum port as it docks. Once the Roomba i7+ docks, it attaches to a vacuum port in the dock that sucks the trash into the dustbin into the Clean Base.
Because of these added features, the Clean Base is larger than the Roomba’s standard charging base. This can be tricky if you live in a tighter space.
In terms of functionality, it works very well. The i7+ effortlessly picks up crumbs, debris, hair, and dirt as soon as it comes in contact with it.
The trash is stored in disposable bags, which are able to hold up to 30 bins. Once it hits the capacity, then you will be alerted to replace the bags via the iRobot app for iOS and Android.
iRobot sells the “Dirt Disposal” bags for $14.99 per pack of three bags. If you do not want to pay for these disposable bags, then you can always empty out the robot manually.
You can also schedule cleanings using the iRobot app. And the app also has battery monitoring.
The app tells you how many square feet the i7+ cleaned, how long it took, and the “dirt events” that were addressed.
In terms of size, not much has changed with the i7+. The i7+ is 13 inches wide and 3.6 inches high. And the “home,” “clean,” and “spot clean” buttons remain on top of the robotic vacuum.
Pro 2: Better Navigation
iRobot has also improved the smart navigation features on the Roomba i7+. The Roomba i7+ uploads maps of all the rooms in your home to iRobots cloud servers so it can remember how to navigate around. But it has to be used several times in each room for this feature to work.
After the Roomba i7+ gains a better understanding of your home layout, it gets better at vacuuming in straight lines. This feature is known as “Imprint Smart Mapping.” This feature saves both energy and time.
Even if you have multiple floors in your home, the app detects the rooms on each floor. So if you place the robot on a different floor than where its base is located, it is still able to use the built-in sensors to pull up the right maps.
Up to ten floor plans can be saved at a time using the Imprint Smart Mapping feature. And you can customize the names of each room. So you can have the Roomba i7+ automatically vacuum a specific room.
And the i7+ cleans that room before it moves to the next room. Plus if it starts running low on battery or its bin fills up, then it returns to that same spot after recharging and emptying the full bin.
Pro 3: Smart Speaker Controls
You can use your smart speaker device powered by Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to control the Roomba i7+. So you can say “Hey Alexa, clean the living room” and then the Roomba i7+ will automatically start doing it (assuming you configured it correctly).
Con 1: The Price
The Roomba i7+ was not priced for those of you who are on a budget. It costs $699 for the standalone vacuum or $949 as a bundle with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal dock.
This price is slightly more than what the Roomba 980 cost when it was released at $899. And it is priced the same as the Roomba 960 when that vacuum was released. So compared to previous models, the Roomba i7+ is definitely worth the price.
Even though the i7+ comes with two disposable bags, the $14.99 price for three replacements could add another recurring expense to your cleaning budget every year. For those of you who have larger spaces to keep clean, I would recommend you to use the disposable bags.
Con 2: Loud Noises
When the dirt is pulled out of the i7+, the noise can be pretty loud. Eventually, you get used to it. But it is jarring the first few times you hear it. And I would not recommend scheduling the i7+ to run at night.
The i7+ also has ten times the suction power than its predecessor. This extra power also makes the i7+ noisier than other robotic vacuums.