Pros Intelligent coverage algorithm; good size for access under furniture; good batterly life
Cons Not enough suction; clogs quickly;
Summary Bought for use in an 1,800sf condo with all hardwood and wool oriental rugs. Needed for daily floor dusting between weekly cleaning service visits. While the unit accessed beneath couches and shelves easily, it quickly became clogged with dust and debris that a full-size vaccuum would not even blink at. As a result, it lost suction and collected dust bunnies underneath that it would then leave behind randomly.
In the end, by the time I clipped the curtains up off the floor so it wouldn't get caught on them, moved the dog bowls, put the chairs up on the table, put up the bar stools, set up the invisible walls, and cleaned out the dustpan, brush and filter, I might as well have used a $13 Swifter during the same amount of time.
Not as automatic and hands-off as I would like. Returned to Sharper Image after five days.
If you do buy one, make sure it is manufactured after 6/1/05 as these have enhanced logic and better hardware underneath to avoid getting stuck in odd situations. The one I had (built 7/15/05) still got stuck on the edge of an oriental rug regularly.
Pros Saves Time, Does Work for You, Improved from older model, Fast Charge, Dirt Self Sensing
Cons Buggy, Requires Work
Summary We have had a Roomba for two years now. We still love it but we are patient people who expect bugs in new technology. If you want Roomba to work out of the box like time tested vacumms, don't buy Roomba buy a traditional vacuum.
If however you are willing to tolerate some quirkiness and the occasional bug for the tremendous conveinance of Roomba then you will be happy with it. Roomba is still newer technology and they are still working out the bugs.
In two years I have had 5 replacements for my Roomba. While I wish this was not so I don't get upset by it. I just feel it is par for the course as an early adopter of new technology.
My biggest piece of advice is to buy this item from a place that has a lifetime warranty such as www.hammacher.com - that is where we have bought ours and they have truly exceptional customer service. They have shipped us a new unit and paid for postage both ways, 4 times due to bugs with no hassles. We were able to upgrade to the next model for just 10.00 (from ProElite to Discovery). Roomba customer service on the other hand is terrible, if you are planning on relying on them for your warranty don't buy the product.
The Roomba Discovery is much better than the ProElite in several ways. It is easier to clean, has a bigger dustbin and a built in fast charger. If you have primarily hard woods floors, pets or relatively obstacle free paths this is a good purchase for you. We have been happy overall with our unit even with 5 returns in 2 years.
Pros Lightweight, mobile, compact, does what I'm unable to do
Cons Small print on the buttons were difficult to read for me (I'm blind as a bat!)
Summary I never thought I’d feel passionately about something as banal as a vacuum cleaner, but I guess that just goes to show, never say “never!” The fact is, this little guy is more than a vacuum cleaner, he is an absolute welcome addition to the family! My Roomba Discovery became a necessity two years ago when I was in a near fatal car accident. Just making the slightest move caused the most unimaginable pain! My husband stayed home with me for a few weeks, but soon it was time for him to go back to work, and I was left to fend for myself again. I began physical therapy and started regaining my strength, but general cleaning tasks were just not getting done with me in my condition, and the dust bunnies were beginning to drive me absolutely nuts! That’s when we discovered Roomba and what a great help he could be!
Since I was unable to lift any amount of weight without substantial pain, pushing a heavy, upright vacuum from room to room was out of the question for me. With the Roomba, it's so lightweight that I can easily lift it if I have to, and then best of all, turn it on and WATCH it go, rather than dragging and pushing it around! My road to recovery is so much smoother now that my little helper is around! As you can tell, “he” is regarded with much affection around these parts! I’m just so happy that I can have clean floors without putting in the effort, or putting up with the pain.
Pros When it works, it works well
Cons Reliability and Customer
Summary I have owned my Roomba about 9 months. When it works, it works well. It has had various problems over that time. When you make a call to customer support, expect to wait on hold for 30 minutes just to talk to a human. Then expect 1 to 3 months for replacement parts to arrive. Their continuing problem is lack of parts in the specific warehouse that supports the support center. They have admitted to me on the phone that they have the parts in other warehouses, but can only use the parts from this specific one. The reality is, they have robots and art in the ware house that supports sales, but not existing customers. Basically once you buy the product, you are left out in the cold for support. Don’t buy from iRobot.
Pros Sensors and fixes - Jameson Thottam
Cons Still issues on battery - Jameson Thottam
Summary Jameson Thottam on Roomba Usage
Synopsis on Roomba : Jameson Thottam
I've been a Roomba user for almost two years, so I know the benefits of a little automated vacuum. However we had three primary complaints that iRobot has addressed in this new version:
1. Inconvenience of coming home to a dead battery
2. Difficult to clean
4. Could not focus on dirtier areas; only cleaned randomly.
Creature of Habit: Jameson Luke Thottam
1. We have gotten into the habit of, as we are walking out the door, putting the Roomba to work. However, we always used to have the problem of coming home to Roomba with a dead battery (inevitably it would die in the worst spots, like under our bed just out of reach). Then we would have to plug him in to our charger (which we had to shell out sixty bucks for) and wait for two hours to use him again. That was complaint one for the old version.
iRobot has fixed the battery issue on the Discovery. The fast charger (which we had to pay for before) is now built in.
Docking is Great: Jameson L. Thottam
Secondly, and what has proven to be my favorite new feature of the new Roomba, the little vacuum automatically finds his docking station when his battery is about dead. I do have two recommendations on this note, however. The docking station appears to work just like a virtual wall, Roomba doesn't know that it is there unless it crosses its path, so you make sure that it is in a wide open room where Roomba is sure to cross its path in its waning minutes of power. Secondly, now you have to be extra sure to Roomba-proof the room so that he doesn't get stuck. If he's stuck he won't be able to find his way back to the charger.
Cleanliness is Close to Godliness: Jameson L Thottam
2. The new version has gotten much easier to clean, especially the main brush. All the pieces now pop in and out of place easier and there are no screws to remove any of the pieces that need cleaning. This has proven to be a huge benefit.
3. The Discovery is noticeably quieter than the older versions, especially on tile surfaces.
Sense of Life....Jameson Thottam
4. The new line of Roomba Floorvacs comes with sensors that can detect dirt. That was the first thing we tested when we got our Discovery. I had pieces of Styrofoam broken into small pieces and it detected it and automatically performed a spot clean on that area. Then I put him in the kitchen where I had accidentally dumped a bag of cereal on the floor and then managed to step on it...Roomba focused on that area and cleaned up every little crumb.
Sense of Life....James Thottam
We love Roomba. I 100% recommend that you get one. [...] I bought mine at a local store in the mall and had to return my Pro Elite version 4 times before I finally got one that wasn't buggy. Then, under the warrantee, after my fourth one went on the fritz I was able to upgrade to the Discovery for free. So far after 2 weeks, the Discovery has been bug-free.
Still get a Warranty....Jameson Thottam
Nevertheless, because of the many issues that I have had in the past, and as with any new and emerging technology, buy it where you can purchase an extended warrantee and easily return defective devices.
Final thoughts....Jameson Thottam
Notwithstanding, buy a Roomba. Even though my wife and I never have time to clean our floors have been spotless for the last two years.
I hope this helps.