A week ago I’ve had a pleasant experience reviewing the Donkey M1 mop. Made by the same producer, the Donkey E1 Lite middle-level floor cleaner is an intelligent dry robot vacuum which is designed to automatically clean homes with lots of bare floors. It comes with a slim body, and although it’s small, it can vacuum without a problem debris, pet hair, food crumbs and other form of dirt around the house. Before I begin this analysis, I’d like to add that this product was sent to me by my friends at GearBest.com, so if you’re interested in it, make sure you pay them a visit. Here’s what you’ll learn in the following couple of minutes:
- what are the complete specs of Donkey E1 Lite
- for who is the product suitable
- how it compares with other small bots out there
- from where to get it the cheapest
As you can see in the following gallery, this unit is beautifully crafted, with a special focus on the nice red-black contrast as well as on the appealing UI (user interface):
And here’s the video I’ve prepared for this product:
Since the unit doesn’t come with a brushroll, it is tangle-free. The direct suction is accompanied by 2 side brushes, which work pretty well at bringing the dirt into the airflow created by the vacuum motor. These 2 side brushes are easy to install or remove (thanks to a push/click system). Although the producer hasn’t put a number on it, I’d say the suction is about 400 Pa, which is enough to collect dust bunnies, pet hair and even cheerios.
Input Power/Battery Life
Work on a 14.8 V / 1500mAh Ni-Mh battery. This battery lasts up to 100 minutes of working continuously, and recharges in 5h. The first 3 times you use it, make sure to charge it fully, to ensure it works at full efficiency through all its life time.
Dust Box Capacity
In order to reach the dust recipient, you’ll find on the cleaner’s top a cover which is easy to remove. I was amazed by the size on the bin, which is unexpectedly large at 10.8 oz. The E1 Lite has a very cool feature which is missing even in some premium units: it alerts you when the bin needs to be emptied.
The Donkey E1 Lite comes with four kinds of cleaning modes: spot clean, zigzag clean, edge clean and encircling clean:
- Spot clean: With this mode of cleaning, the robot only cleans an area specified by you. All you need to do is to place it where you want it to work (or control it remotely to reach that spot) and activate this mode.
- Edge Clean: Once activated, this mode allows the machine to clean the surfaces near walls.
- Zigzag clean: Like the name suggests, the Donkey E1 Lite performs zigzag movements.
- Random clean: While on this mode, the machine cleans the floor semi-randomly, in predefined way (it automatically adjusts the cleaning mode).
As expected, the robot doesn’t build a map of the working environment, and unfortunately, can reach the charging base only by following the edge of the wall, as the IR sensors is not as efficient as in the case of the e.g. X5. That means you may often have to charge it manually.
With 4 IR proximity sensors placed on a large front strip, and a carefully designed mechanical anti-collision system, the gadget is able to easily navigate the space in your house. The machine doesn’t crash on walls or furniture. Moreover, the Donkey E1 has 3 cliff sensors on the bottom that detect high gaps and avoid falling. So whenever the cleaner detects stairs and ledges, it automatically changes direction. These cliff sensors are adjustable, depending on the color of your flooring.
Although the filter is not HEPA, it is very large and easy to clean. It covers all the surface of the bin, and rests almost sealed to its edge.
Weight and Dimensions
The product weights around 5.5 lbs, and measures 11.8 x 11.8 x 3 inches. It is one of the shortest robovacs on the market. While the design of a robotic cleaner doesn’t matter to some people, choosing a small and compact size can be great in helping you reach the hard-to-get places. This Donkey is designed to help you clean corners, baseboards and under furniture. With a slim and tiny body mainly made of plastic, it provides a great impression with its fancy design.
The product package contains:
- the robot itself
- a charging base
- an adapter which can be connected to the charging base or directly to the robot.
- a remote controller
- 2 side brushes
- 2x AAA Batteries for the controller (I’m afraid you’ll need to change these soon)
- Glossy feel – quality plastic cover.
- IR proximity sensors – protects it from full hits.
- Climbs Slopes – climbs on a 15 degrees slope.
- Full Dustbin – flashes a light indicator to remind you when the dustbin is full.
The E1 Lite is silent (I’ve measured it at 52db with my phone). It works right out of the box (although as I said, you’ll have to recharge it fully the first few times). Works on a variety of surfaces, including low-pile carpets. The unit can be remotely tele-operated (the remote must face the robot with an angle of minimum 45 degrees). However, it doesn’t come with a virtual wall, and you can only program it to clean once every 24h. On a single charge, the bot can cover 1000-1500 sq ft.
This unit is definitely less expensive than many other bots. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be always looking for the best deal for it.
- It can deal with a variety of environments: from confetti debris and cigarette butts, to pet hair, sand, seed shells and so on.
- It is low noise: you can clean your house while watching TV or even sleeping.
- It has a slim design: can work in narrow spaces.
- The remote control works in a limited distance (approx. 12 ft.).
- The recharge function doesn’t always work.
Final Words and VGMrv
The Donkey E1 Lite is generally an affordable robot vacuum that features standard cleaning functions that you would expect in any product of its price category. With a compact and attractive design, the robot does a fantastic job when cleaning such areas of the house as the living room, bedroom, and kitchen among other places. I cannot afford to ignore its smart navigation system, which works thanks to the efficient IR anti-collision sensors. Of course, there are robot vacuums with longer duration batteries, Android or iOS apps, HEPA filtration and so on. But these cost at least 3-4 times more. Overall, the Donkey E1 Lite is a reasonably cheap, reliable and affordable product. Here is my VGMrv:
VGMrv table for Donkey E1 Lite
|Weight and Dimensions||10|
(VacuumsGuide.com Mark for robo-vacs)
What do you think? Is this unit something worth buying? Have one and want to share something? I really appreciate your feedback.