Anker is a tech company focused on battery packs and life extenders for smartphones and tablets. However, it is looking to widen its market with a robotic vacuum, the RoboVac 10. For use on flooring or thin carpets, it at hopefully uses the company’s battery power chops to provide up to plenty of cleaning between charging.
It looks very similar to most models out there in the market, looking like an oversized puck. Underneath are edge brushes and plenty of suck to keep the daily build up of fluff, hair and dust off your floor. Otherwise, there’s the usual range of features including automatic docking, HEPA filter, drop sensor and others that you’d expect from any type of robot cleaner.
Naturally, the aim of these mini cleaners is to keep the dust at bay with daily regular cleaning, so you can expect them to wipe out a week’s worth of dust, or to deep clean in a battle against a thick carpet or rug, which it is not designed for. Given the split in the market between sub-$200 models and those at the top of the feature and cost tree like the Roomba range, finding out which is a good deal, will take some effort. As one of the new efforts on the shelves, let’s see if this has any standout features.
One thing to note, having compared it to some others, it looks incredibly similar to to the iLife A4, so don’t waste too much time trying to compare between the two, it’ll only come down to their different marketing claims.
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Key Features of the Anker Robovac
- The RoboVac 10 aims to provide automated effort free cleaning with auto mode, spot and edge cleaning to pick up persistent trouble spots around a room. Using the remote control (no smartphone app folks) you can set when it operates and where it should patrol.
- It has sensors so should avoid the edges of the room and furniture and a drop sensor that can stop it from falling down any stairs.
- Inside is a 2,600 Lithium-ion battery for up to 90 minutes use, and to provide decent suction, The main brush isn’t edge to edge but the whirring side brushes should drag any fluff into the middle where it can get picked up.
- In the package are a cleaning tool to help clean the vents and brushes a HEPA-style filter (not sure if that’s the same as a HEPA approved one) plus two, side brushes, guide tutorials and an 18-month warranty.
- All of that is available for very reasonable price here, which could make this an impulse purchase for anyone looking for a low cost cleaning solution.
Pros and Cons
Pros of the Anker
- The Anker RoboVac 10 and the recent reviewed iLife A4 appear to be very similar, if not identical products, with a slightly different shell. As a positive, that means that consumables and spare parts should be in plentiful supply. However, it means you’re buying basically a generic device with a different logo on it.
- On the plus side, it is low cost which is a compelling reason in itself and the Anker doesn’t seem to skimp on power or performance, certainly among its rivals at this price bracket,
- The Anker may lack smartphone control, but the remote makes for easy setup and for regular cleaning around a room or a level of your home.
- The RoboVac’s navigation seems pretty smart in use, if a bit haphazard at first, it will take lot longer to clean a room than you could, but that’s the price you pay for low-cost automation, and it can be fun to watch the unit in action and guess where it will go next.
- The Anker can whizz around wood or vinyl flooring pretty speedily and the spot mode can help it concentrate on one away which is helpful. It is also low profile enough to zip around under furniture and beds to get at the hard to reach dust you might not bother with.
Cons of the Anker
- This is not a bot to drop in the middle of a dirty floor and expect miracles. It won’t do heavy cleaning, but neither will most robotic models. However, some people do expect miracles, but they will be disappointed.
- The clearer your room is the faster the RoboVac 10 will work, but in places with plenty of furniture or obstacles to navigate, it will add to the cleaning time as it dodges and resets. That might see it need recharging with the job half done, so consider where you would let this beast roam.
- The device doesn’t automatically remember where the docking station is, so might also take some time to find it.
Alternatives Worth Considering
Other Budget Cleaners: Clearly the Anker and the iLife A4 are interchangeable, but there are plenty of other similar models from Haier, Bissell SmartClean and so on that do a similar job at the $200 area.
Cheap Roomba’s: If you want more smartness and a bit more power, if can find an older Roomba like the 620 (see my full review here), then they do a better job, with newer Roombas going up the price points adding new tech and power.
Roomba 650: Ultimately, I’d rather jump up $100 or so to the Roomba 650 (see full review here). It introduces the option of auto scheduling cleaning cycles, perfect for when you are not home. This is a HUGE feature jump without being astronomically priced. It’s still a very good value. You can check on the live pricing here.
Final Call on the Anker Robovac
The Anker RoboVac 10 is clearly a generic product churned out of a factory and rebranded by the company. Therefore it has few distinguishing features, but those on a budget, who don’t need true smartness, it is a decent choice. It can do plenty of general cleaning and should last a fair while.
This does come with an 18-month warranty, and there will be a good supply of consumables for it. Give the RoboVac a shot if you want to see if this type of cleaner can benefit your home, just don’t expect those miracles to fly, as they’ll be sucked up gently into its little bin.