The market for cleaning robots is, as expected, growing. With fierce competition from the new line from Neato, iRobot felt it was necessary to release a new product. Releasing a brand new unit is however hard, very hard. Behind a new generation of robots are years of research and tests. So, just like Neato re-branded the Botvac line, and is pushing on the Neato Connected, iRobot couldn’t stay aside and is promoting the new 980 model, which feels like a slightly smarter version of the Roomba 880. All in all, the robot is however improved. Thus, if you want a new vacuum cleaner robot with great suction and the capacity to clean wide surface areas while also being able to be controlled over a smartphone app called iRobot HOME, you should consider the Roomba 980. There are many things to cover, so here’s what you’ll find out in the following 2-3 minutes:
- what’s new with the 980
- how good is it, compared with the previous 880 version and with the Neato D85
- from where you can get a good deal
When it comes to aspect, not much has been improved since the first iRobot model. The 980 comes with the same lines, but infuses a little brown on top of its case. The result – a beautiful chic appliance:
Here’s an overview from the producer:
1. The Suction Power
Whether your floor is wooden, carpeted, or tiled, the Roomba 980 will always demonstrate its great suction power by cleaning up debris and dust particles, even from tricky corners. The suction power derives from the highly effective AeroForce cleaning system, which is nearly twice as thorough as ordinary cleaning machines within its line. This unit allows you to clean the spacious floor of a bungalow, condominium, and even vast hall floors. With the 980, a new technology is introduced by iRobot: this vacuum automatically regulates its suction power depending on the type of surface. The suction is increased on carpets (Carpet boost). The rubberized brushrolls work very well with pet hair, long human hair and even big chucks of debris.
2. The Input Power / Battery Life
The battery life is significantly longer than many of the ordinary vacuums on the market. The battery can last up to two hours between recharge sessions, which is almost twice as much as with the 880. In other words, you will be impressed by the amount of space the machine can clean without recharging. The Roomba 980 is also able to recharge on its own before resuming the cleaning task from where it left. This is only possible thanks to the new navigation system. Finally, Roomba knows where it is, where it has been and where it needs to go next. The impressive battery life gives the vacuum sufficient power to clean tough dirt in corners, hidden deep inside the high pile carpets and or layered around the furniture.
3. The Dust Capacity
You will notice that the dust bin of the Roomba 980 is sufficient for general cleaning. It is able to hold great amounts of dust, hairs, and debris, but might require emptying between the cleaning cycles if the amount of dirt is particularly overwhelming. In any way, the machine has a low height, meant to allow it to clean narrow places which are difficult to reach. The unintended consequence is that the size of the dust bin was compromised. However, it works well in ordinary circumstances and I’d say the bin size is satisfying. The process of emptying the bin is straightforward.
4. The Navigation System
If you have used a Roomba before, you are accustomed with a robot which travels semi-randomly. Thanks to a new camera sensor, this is no longer the case with the 980. In fact, this is the first product from iRobot which completely maps the environment and auto-localizes itself based on image readings. Moreover, you will be amazed by the functional appeal of the visual simultaneous localization and mapping technology (vSLAM). As I was saying, the vacuum uses this technology to develop a map of its environment as the cleaning process progresses. The map helps the machine to keep track of the environment up to the point where an entire level has been cleaned. The device works consistently on the mapped area for two hours before recharging and continuing from the exact spot where it left, similarly to Neato’s robovacs: in parallel lines and in a pattern that ensures the whole floor is cleaned. You can also trust the technology to prevent your vacuum from colliding with furniture and objects or falling off edges. The idea of using a camera sensor to figure out where to go is not new – Dyson also plans to introduce this in the 360 Eye, which is expected to appear most likely in the summer of 2016.
5. The Filtration System
Your desire for a top-quality vacuum that cleans floors and purifies the air around the room is amply addressed by the efficiency of the filtration system. Roomba 980’s filters are designed to work effectively against dirt, pollen, pet dander, lint, dust, dust mites, and mold spores, which often make life unbearable in the interior spaces. Furthermore, the filtration process helps in cleaning the air of various other factors, which often cause allergies or escalate asthmatic conditions. The filter itself is called iRobot HEPAstyle, which uses E11 HEPA media, being able to capture 99% of particles that measure more than 1 micron.
6. The Sound Levels
Produces around 70db, same as the 880 model which is a bit noisy IMO. Yes, it’s much quieter than older versions, but iRobot still needs to work on this.
7. The Weight and Dimensions
As you may infer, weight is not really a decisive factor when buying a robovac, since you won’t do any lifting. Still, you may need to move it around, or up and down the floors, so it’s worth mentioning it. Despite its advanced technological features, the Roomba 980 only weights 8.7 lbs. The vacuum comes with a diameter of 13.8 inches and a height of 3.6 inches. These dimensions make it easy to handle the device and manage its cleaning process from one point to another. The device’s dimensions are also convenient for easy storage, cleaning, and maintenance.
8. The Warranty
The Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuum comes with a one year manufacturer’s limited warranty, which applies to the robot. In addition, the battery has a 6-month manufacturer’s limited warranty. It also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and if you get it on Amazon, you’ll also enjoy the advantages offered by this online wholesaler.
9. The Accessories
The proper functioning of the iRobot Roomba 980 depends on various accessories, which come together with the vacuum. These are the following:
- 1 rechargeable battery
- 1 Line Cord
- 1 Extra Filter
- 1 Extra Side Brush
- 1 Home Base Charging Station
- 2 Dual Wall Virtual Wall Barriers
10. The Special Features
The iRobot HOME App
The iRobot HOME App was designed to help you clean your house while you are away. This means that you can start cleaning while at the office or whenever you are traveling. The app is connecting to the vacuum through your Wi-Fi network, which makes the cleaning process manageable from a virtual platform. Moreover, the app also allows you to program the cleaning schedule on particular days within the week. The programming can be accomplished from the interface of any familiar smartphone. The program allows you to choose specific details about the cleaning process and access information about the status of the process. You can also rely on the same app to access customer support if necessary.
11. The Usability
Simplicity is one of the merits you will notice about the Roomba 980. This machine responds promptly to the controls and is generally easy to use around the home. The user-friendly appeal is further enhanced by the advantages of technology, which allow you to manage the cleaning process from a distance.
12. The Price
As expected, the 980 costs more than the 880, but I bet this will not prevent both common consumers and technology addicts from buying it. IMO the price simply reflects the fact that this product is one of the best on the market. Btw, here you can find a very good offer for iRobot Roomba 980.
iRobot Roomba 980 vs iRobot Roomba 880 vs Neato D85/Connected
|Brand/Model||iRobot Roomba 880||iRobot Roomba 980||Neato Botvac D85/Connected|
|Navigation system||Sensor fusion||Video-based||Laser-based|
|Autonomy||50 minutes||120 minutes||70 minutes|
|Bin||14 oz||14 oz||24 oz|
|Noise level||70 db||70 db||62 db|
|Filter||HEPA media||HEPA media||Ultra Performance Filter|
|App||No||Yes, iRobot Home App||Yes, Neato App|
- Efficient in handling hair and debris
- Can clean all types of floors.
- Cannot fall down stairs.
- Recharges automatically
- Designed to reach and clean difficult areas
- May be too noisy for quiet environments
- A bit pricey
Final words and VGMrv
In various respects, the Roomba 980 vacuum is a powerful, thorough, and durable machine for cleaning different types of floors and purifying the air for utmost comfort. The machine has a low-profile design which allows it to reach difficult places such as underneath sofas and other types of furniture. The unique technological enhancements such as vSLAM technology and the iRobot HOME App are what you need to make the cleaning tasks pleasurable and easier. Moreover, the machine is lightweight and compact for portability and convenience. It is a worthy product for home and office use. And my VGMrv is:
Any thoughts on this new Roomba? Any experiences worth sharing? Any questions? I am at your disposal, so use the form bellow to get started.
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Gary Drain says
Hello, Can you tell me what the air flow rating in the 980 is? I’m trying to compare to the Neato D85.
I have found that the Neato is rated at 38.75 cfm.
I recently purchased an 880 and am thinking about returning it for updated features. Trying to weight it all with cost. I can say that the 880 and probably the 980’s trash bin seems small. The 880 can’t get through a cleaning cycle without requiring an empty. I do have a number of animals, thou.
Jason Roberts says
The producer hasn’t released this data. I’ve tried using my own built CFM measurement device to figure this out, but due to the design of the motor (the variable suction system), it’s pretty hard to figure it out (that is why I haven’t included a number in the article). I could try to elaborate on this, but in the end, I would say it has suction power of around 40 CFM, which is similar to the 880 and pretty close to the D85.