The Scooba series from iRobot has helped revolutionize mopping as we know it. The latest Scooba 450 offers a number of updates and improvements from previous iterations. While still a niche product when compared with the likes of the Roomba, the Scooba is quickly becoming homeowners second best robotic device. However – for most users – it is still pretty difficult to decide which specific model is worth the money. Just because it is the latest version doesn’t necessarily make it the best buy.
The 450 iteration offers some nice enhancements which were not available on previous versions. In the following iRobot Scooba 450 review, we will be taking a look at the new features, pros and cons and how it stacks up to the competition.
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What are the New Features of the Scooba 450?
3-Stage Cleaning Cycle: This is the standout improvement for this years Scooba release. Complimenting the new Roomba 880 vacuum, this new cleaning technology is quoted as being 3x more effective at picking up dirt and cleaning floors. In our test cases, we have noticed some improvement over previous iterations, so we will take iRobot’s word for it.
New Info Button: New for the 450 model, the Scooba has a handy little “info” button which will display various status updates on the device i.e. how much power is left and the progress completed in the current cleaning cycle.
Pros and Cons of the Scooba 450
User Friendly: Like the popular Roomba series, the Scooba 450 is as user friendly as they come. While there some advanced maintenance techniques, running the Scooba for the first time is easy enough for Grandma to figure out. A simple intuitive interface guides the users to click the start button. Once started, the Scooba does its thing as if its been a member of the family the whole time. Even emptying the tank after a run is relatively easy to figure out. Someone with only mild technical acumen can figure things out without a manual (althought the manual is pretty helpful and informative).
Advanced Water Cycling: One of the great features of the Scooba series to date has been the water cycling technology. This feature remains in the 450. The gist of it is that it enables the Scooba to always been cleaning with clean water as opposed to reusing dirty water (like your common household mop would do).
Two Cleaning Modes: The Scooba features two distinct cleaning modes. One is a 40-minute longer cleaning cycle, meant for larger rooms (think over 150 feet) while the other is a 20-minute short clean cycle for smaller spaces. Unlike the Roomba vacuums, the Scooba cleans to time and does not auto-determine if the floor is clean. This might seem inefficient at first, but the long cycle is perfectly timed for one load of water and solution.
Still Bulky: While the series has been gradually improving, the size of the Scooba 450 (height mainly) can still get caught under some common household furniture. iRobot has done a decent job of trying to determine the average clearance needed for most users, but problems still crop up here and there. Through trial and error, there may be one or two pieces of furniture you will have to dummy proof for the Scooba.
Drying Dock Needs to be Purchased: When I first heard about the iRobot DryDock I was impressed. It serves as a drying stand and charging station for your Scooba device. It will have compatability with all of the Scooba 400 series models. Sounds great, right? Only problem: it costs about $80 and is not included standard with your purchase of a Scooba 450. This doesn’t make or break the overall Scooba experience, but it is one of those annoying “extras” that you wish was included in a sizable investment like a robotic cleaner.
Price: The perenial complaint with all new iRobot devices is the retail price tag. At $599, the Scooba 450 is a significant outlay for a household appliance. Not saying its not worth the money, but it should not be a decision to take lightly. The 450 version was recently released on Amazon.com and qualifies for free shipping.
The market can get a little confusing when looking at the competition. It is safe to divide the competition into two categories, dry mops and wet mops. The Scooba series is a wet mop, whereas iRobot’s Braava is a dry mop. The key difference is that a dry mop is meant for quick, light-weight cleaning. Think more of a maintenance mopping to get rid of visible crumbs and dirt. The wet mop is aimed at providing a disinfecting clean that thoroughly mops up both seen and unseen dirt and germs.
If you are looking for a dry mop then the Scooba is probably too heavy duty for you. Take a look at our Braava review for a good example of what a dry mop can offer.
In terms of wet mops, the only real competition is the older Scooba models. If the 450 is a bit too rich for your blood, check out our analysis of the Scooba 390.
Where to Buy the iRobot Scooba 450
The Scooba 450 is not widely available, but the best place to find it for the best price is at Amazon. As soon as it is available at other retail outlets or websites, I will be updating this page accordingly. For the time being, see the link below to purchase the Scooba 450..