Thinking about vacuum cleaners as smart objects was not, at least at the beginning, the main objective of the writer's imagination and certainly of many of our readers: yet iRobot Roomba i7 + appears today as a particularly advanced object, interesting and with a lot of good ideas to its internal.
Of course, you need a little attention in its use and certainly need to understand what you are buying, but the investment is undoubtedly concrete both from a personal point of view and also for those who have commercial activities, where cleaning is sometimes underestimated.
We used iRobot Roomba i7 + for some time in our house, letting it manage itself in complete autonomy, with all the difficulties of an apartment in the city, where every square meter used to the maximum and there is little space for everything, probably the most difficult place where to do such a test.
iRobot Roomba i7 +, the review
When we open the box we find inside iRobot Roomba i7 +, complete with the support base, which we will detail later even if we have already seen it during the presentation and a small sheet indicating the first operations, plus a hygienic bag for dust collection (already installed) and another in reserve.
Not much else is needed because, basically, everything is done from the App for iOS and Android, however universal, both the configuration phase and that of managing the device, operations that in detail we left to his wife, whose use of technology usually very more practical than ours.
The most delicate phases, those relating to the first match, were carried out in perfect transparency, without the slightest perplexity: the simply delicious app, with enviable ease and autonomy. Note of merit for the ability to connect to a 5Ghz Wi-Fi network, a factor not to be taken for granted on this category of device.
Once installed, iRobot Roomba i7 + lives essentially of its own life: in practice like having a cat in the house, only that this obeys orders where the cat usually ignores them clearly. For the rest, the Roomba is crouched in its base of recharge all the time until we call it up manually via the App, telling it which rooms to clean (or all) or program it for one hour in particular, in the same way.
Once the work has started, the small, completely independent vacuum cleaner wanders the house going to operate on all the available space, trying to enter the corners, under the table, over the carpets and in the various rooms with the door open, where the difference in height does not exceed approximately one centimeter.
The noise is that of a running vacuum cleaner, but more muffled: a loud noise appears when iRobot Roomba i7 + returns to the base to dump the dirt on the base, transferring all the dust from its tank to the larger one of the base where the bag is , which can be removed by hand by touching only the outside. It must be said that the presence of the bag in the base is not strictly necessary, because iRobot Roomba i7 + capable of operating even in the absence of a bag (but must be emptied by hand), however this is the most important factor in its design, the ability to empty itself by increasing in fact autonomy.
We have not done such detailed tests, both for a matter of time and for the impossibility of establishing the typical house, however we can admit that for an apartment of about 100 square meters, the duration of an approximate bag per month, with a strong variability based on the number of passes and the amount of dirt but according to those who write even in critical conditions it is difficult for them to drop below two weeks.
How does it work
During operation, we said, iRobot Roomba i7 + totally autonomous: the software inside creates a map of the surface and updates it constantly, and via Wi-Fi, it communicates with the App (the captured map visible from smartphone or tablet).
Manageable noise, of course you cannot watch TV when it goes to the same room (but you could not do it even with a normal vacuum cleaner) but not so annoying (apart from when it carries dirt in the pan, where the compressor is important, but lasts a a few seconds).
Our opinion that iRobot Roomba i7 + gives its best where there is more space to move: a chair, a wall, a low table limit its space, while a carpet or a doll on the ground are ignored objects.
During some passages it happened that we ate a couple of cables, so it is better to pay some attention before letting it go freely: obviously it is possible to limit its action space with obstacles (to prevent access to some critical areas) physical or virtual (from the App) but otherwise it is better to let it go as much as possible by letting it make all decisions independently.
Where in fact it fails to arrive the first time, in the following steps it tries to pass anyway, continuing to search for new areas that have not been explored before.
Needless to say, near the end of the charge, it returns by itself to the base (if reachable) for recharging (and cleaning the tray), and then resumes work if not finished.
The level of cleanliness is quite good and, they tell us, better than the other previous Roomba models, especially thanks to the new brushes and the new rotation system. The comparison with a manual vacuum cleaner would be wrong, because on one hand Roomba does not have such a complete vision, on the other hand while the vacuum cleaner needs our time during the pass, Roomba does the work independently and where it cannot clean the first time, he can do it a second time.
In the age of 2.0 devices, iRobot Roomba i7 + certainly a higher level than its predecessors in the sector for several reasons: the App made very well and perfectly profiled for the target audience, the mechanics of the vacuum cleaner good because it does its duty without any intervention human (unless you have to move it manually, an operation provided by the app but for which, in the end, you need to bring it back to the base by hand) the idea of the promising base because it extends the life of a project that makes its autonomy the winning weapon.
Consider these premises, it is clear that the user must understand exactly if the iRobot Roomba i7 + is the definitive solution: if you have a small house, with many furniture and narrow corridors, the potential of the intelligent vacuum cleaner is lacking, because the continuous attempt to reach where it is difficult to reach an effort often spent unnecessarily , although the results in the small are the same.
If, on the other hand, you have a house of breath, or a living room, an office, a shop or places where large rooms need constant cleaning, then iRobot Roomba i7 + the dream come true: maybe you plan it at night or in the morning, it depends on the situation, and he does his job and you only check it when he shows you on the iPhone display that the tray is full.
And if in the meantime children play in the room or a cat or dog walks near him patiently, take a few more turns, nothing to worry about.
The important price, because if we compare it to a vacuum cleaner, we need a comparison with well-established brands, however the presence of an App, the delightful analysis of the spaces and the operation that it willingly does without you justify its effort, but as said only as long as you understand what you are buying.
Pro: App done very well Excellent space analysis Use of the tray makes it much more independent
Versus: Not suitable for small spaces The trays are purchased separately
Price: 1,199.00 Euros
At the time of writing iRobot Roomba i7 + available exclusively at all Unieuro dealers on the peninsula, or directly through the iRobot online store at a cost of 1,199.00 Euros. The i7 version, identical in mechanics but without the base with drawer for emptying dirt (which is available online but should arrive in stores later) has a cost of 899.00 Euros.