Gadget

iRobot says its new robot vacuum and mop outperforms 600 Series Roombas for $275

Robot vacuums are handy little devices that can help folks save a ton of time and energy. However, some of the more well-known options are often a bit pricey, especially when a mopping function comes into the mix. As it happens, iRobot has revealed a relatively budget-friendly 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop. It says the $275 Roomba Combo Essential actually outperforms the Roomba 600 Series thanks to 20 times more suction power, and the addition of a mop and smart navigation.

According to iRobot, this model offers 25 percent better performance at picking up dirt from hard floors than the Roomba 600 Series. It’s also said to have a longer battery life at up to 120 minutes, the ability to clean in neat rows, customizable suction and liquid settings, Clean Map reports and intelligent settings such as suggested cleaning schedules.

Although you can set up cleanings in advance, you can start one at any time with an Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant voice command. Alternatively, you can press the Clean button or tap a button in the iRobot Home app to put the device to work right away.

Roomba Combo Essential

iRobot

The device has a four-stage cleaning system that includes adjustable suction and liquid settings, a v-shaped multi-surface brush, an edge-sweeping brush and a pump-fed microfiber mop pad. For vacuum-only operation (i.e if you’re looking to remove dirt from a rug), you’ll need to remove the mop pad first. That adds a little bit of friction to using this model. There’s another trade-off in that this isn’t a self-emptying Roomba — you’ll need to empty out the dirt storage bin manually more often.

Still, this seems like a solid Roomba at an eye-catching price. It’s available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa now, and iRobot will start selling it in the US on April 7 and Canada on April 12. The Roomba Combo Essential will reach Asia Pacific markets later this month. Folks in the US can trade in a Roomba 600 Series for a $50 credit toward a Roomba Combo Essential

In addition, iRobot is rolling out a model called the Roomba Vac Essential in North America. It has the same smart functions and other similar features as the Combo Essential, but there’s no mop. That robot vacuum will cost $250 and it’ll land in the US on April 7 and Canada on April 12.

Meanwhile, iRobot says it has reached a new milestone. Since debuting the Roomba in 2002, the company has sold more than 50 million robots.

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