A Review of iRobot’s Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaner

If there is one task that most of us do not like doing, it is vacuuming the house. Moving from one room to another while pushing a vacuum cleaner is not an exciting task.

This applies in particular when you could be doing more fun things such as, hanging out with friends or watching a movie.  Luckily, the vacuum cleaner industry is growing and evolving at a tremendous rate so you can keep your house clean.

One example of just how fast and developed the vacuum industry is becoming are the robotic vacuum cleaners that are quickly becoming commonplace on the market. One company that has been particularly active in designing and producing robotic vacuum cleaners is iRobot.

Here is a comprehensive review of one of iRobot’s vacuum cleaners, the Wi-Fi-enabled Roomba 980.

iRobot roomba

1. Price

The Roomba 980 is quite pricey and retails at $899.99. However, a second-hand version of the same can also be obtained from Amazon for at least $697.49.

2. Most Notable Features Of The Roomba 980

The Roomba 980 has some impressive features.

i. iAdapt® 2.0 Navigation

This technology allows this robotic vacuum cleaner to map and adapt to the clutter and furniture in the house. It does this by using a high-efficiency cleaning pattern, a range of sensors and a low-resolution camera. This means that this vacuum cleaner can navigate through multiple rooms.

ii. Visual Localization Features

Some robotic vacuum cleaners have the tendency of getting lost while in the course of performing their duties. The Roomba 980 solves this problem by incorporating vSLAM® technology that enables it to develop visual landmarks.

This way, the Roomba 980 does not get lost. In addition to that, it can also use Virtual Wall Lighthouses to enhance its movement in and around the house and even back to the charging station when the need arises.

iii. Battery

Unlike its predecessors, the Roomba 980 does not use a nickel-metal hydride battery. Instead, iRobot’s newest family member has a lithium-ion battery. Ultimately, this translates to longer run time.

In fact, the Roomba 980 can operate for continuously for 2 hours after which it automatically heads back to the charging station to recharge. It only resumes its duties after the complete battery recharge.

iv. Carpet Boost Aand Edge Clean

Carpets and rugs tend to hide more dirt and dust. The Roomba 980 solution to this is the carpet boost feature which automatically turns up the performance of the motor so that more dirt and dust is sucked up from the carpets/rugs.

The Edge Clean feature, on the other hand, makes the 980 clean along the edges of walls, corners and along the legs of furniture.

v. Cliff-Detection Sensors

These ensure that the Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner does not fall over stairs and other high-points in the house.

vi. The iRobot HOME App.

One of the unique features of iRobot’s new Wi-Fi enabled robotic vacuum cleaner is the HOME App which is compatible with Android and iOS. Once connected to the home’s Wi-Fi network, it is possible to control the Roomba 980 from any location through your smartphone with just a simple tap.

The HOME app can also be used to schedule a recurrent cleaning cycle and enable/disable features such as Carpet Boost and Edge Clean. It is even possible to use the app to direct the Roomba 980 to complete the cleaning process even when the dust bin is full The app also includes a support system to help you get the most out of the Roomba 980.

Bottom of a Roomba

3. The Downside Of The Roomba 980

Despite all the positive features, iRobot’s newest robotic vacuum cleaner is not faultless. For example, although the Roomba 980 claims to have superior cleaning capabilities, several tests have shown that it is below par when compared to similar robotic cleaners in the market.

In one test the Roomba 980 only picked up 8.5 grams of dirt. This was less than a similar highly rated robotic cleaner (Neato Botvac Connected) that picked 11 grams of dirt in the same test. It also has the disadvantage of occasionally leaving dirt and debris behind even after a cleaning job.

The Roomba 980 is also relatively noisy. In fact, it would be a bit difficult to watch television or have a quiet conversation while the 980 is cleaning.

4. Verdict

iRobot’s Wi-Fi enabled Roomba 980 is a vacuum cleaner optimized for convenience. The HOME app is particularly efficient and gives the user ultimate control over this robotic vacuum cleaner. Nevertheless, the Roomba 980 could do with some improvements such as stronger and more effective cleaning capabilities.