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It has been three years since iRobot launched the Roomba 980, its last flagship robot vacuum.
Since then, the company has been busy trying to fill the gaps in order to offer a robot vacuum model for different segments of the market. The Roomba 980 was followed by the Roomba 960, designed for people who do not need the carpet boost feature yet want a cheaper version of the 980. Soon, the entire Roomba line-up became Wi-Fi connected. More importantly, the company also offered more affordable models such as the Roomba 675 and the Roomba 690.
In all that time, iRobot had something in the works.
Earlier in 2018, the company came up with three robot vacuums that had a slightly different naming system. Rather than using the old 600, 700, 800, 900 series naming system, Roomba used letters.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 First Up: The Roomba e5
- 2 The Roomba i7+
- 3 The Roomba i7 vs i7+
- 4 Comparing the Roomba e5 vs i7 vs i7+
First Up: The Roomba e5
iRobot launched the Roomba e5 at the IFA 2018. The Roomba e5 is specifically aimed at pet owners who want to get rid of pet hair quickly and without having to deal with tangles and dander.
Roomba e5 Features
The Roomba e5 still has the round shape of the previous models. It also has roughly the same diameter and low profile as the other Roombas. It measures 13.3 by 3.6 inches. Regarding looks, there is not much difference between the e5 and other Roombas. However, one distinct feature is the bright green rubber brush, side brush, and accents you see at the bottom of the robot vacuum. The 7.2-pound robot vacuum uses rubber brushes so that it can pick up pet hair without you worrying about tangling.
Priced at below $500 here, the Roomba e5 is often compared with Roomba’s 600 series models. The Roomba 675 and 690 are priced at around $300 to $350, making them significantly cheaper than the Roomba e5. However, the Roomba e5 has a vacuuming technology that delivers a stronger suction power than the AeroVac technology used in Series 600 models. The Roomba e5 is five times more powerful than any Series 600 model.
Patented Dirt Detect feature and three-stage cleaning system
The Roomba e5 uses many of the technologies you see in iRobot’s robotic vacuums. For one, it cleans in three stages. The side brush and the main rubber brush spins to agitate, loosen, and sweep up dirt, dust, and debris from your floors, while the powerful suction sends all of these to the dustbin.
However, the Roomba e5’s rubber brush picks up more dust and dirt because it can hug the floor closer and its bristles do not bend.
The e5 also has Roomba’s Dirt Detect technology, which tells the robot vacuum to stay longer in a dirtier area so that it could clean more thoroughly. On top of the three-stage cleaning system and the Dirt Detect technology, the Roomba e5 also has other features that can guarantee a cleaner home for you. For instance, it uses a high-efficiency filter that traps allergens, dander, and dirt into the washable dustbin.
Mobile app and Wi-Fi connectivity
The Roomba e5 is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to control it from a mobile app, or via smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This means that you do not have to bend down to start cleaning. You can just schedule a cleaning session from the app itself, or you can tell Alexa to do so. You can also command the robot vacuum to start cleaning even when you are not home.
Powering the Roomba e5
The Roomba e5 uses a lithium-ion battery. This battery gives the robot vacuum up to 90 minutes of cleaning time. Once the battery runs low, the Roomba e5 can find its way back to its charging dock.
Pricing for the Roomba e5
The Roomba e5 sells for $449.99, and you can buy it from iRobot’s online shop.
The Last Word on the Roomba e5
The Roomba e5 has the technologies that you have come to expect from iRobot. There are no disappointments in how it performs. However, the e5 does not offer any new features except for the rubber brush. It uses the first iAdapt system and only relies on sensors to find its way. Nevertheless, its comparatively low price here and the excellent performance in how it deals with pet hair could still attract potential buyers.
The Roomba i7+
The Roomba i7+ is one robot that you would pay a lot of money to ignore. You would only worry about it once a month. That might sound like a silly waste of money, but if you are talking about a robot vacuum, that is actually a great idea. When it comes to robot vacuums, the less frequent you have to deal with, the better.
The Roomba i7+ remembers your rooms so that you can tell it to go clean the master’s bedroom or your kid’s room. It will launch itself off the dock and then head straight to the place where you want to go. It has a companion mobile app, and you can use either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to tell it to clean.
And then, after sucking up all that dust and dirt, the i7+ will then go back to its charging dock. While recharging its batteries, the i7+ will also empty out the dustbin. This way, you would not need to dirty your hands every day.
Sounds like Rosie the Robot? Kinda. Except that the Roomba i7+ does not talk. If all of these are interesting to you, here are what the Roomba i7+ offers.
Features of the Roomba i7+
For those who hate cleaning, the Roomba i7+ can really make your life a lot better. You no longer have to do anything except for throwing out one full bag of dirt every month or so. The robot vacuum will do everything else for you.
Unlike earlier models, this Roomba comes with the CleanBase. The CleanBase acts as the i7+’s charging dock, but it is also another vacuum. When the Roomba i7+ retires to the CleanBase, the dock recharges the robot vacuum’s batteries and then sucks out all the dust and dirt from its dustbin. The CleanBase has a bigger paper bag that acts as the trash receptacle. It can hold up to 30 full i7+ dustbins.
The CleanBase uses a powerful vacuum to clean out the smaller i7+ dustbin. This vacuum is airtight, so there is no chance that dirt and dust go back into the air your breathe.
For all its advance and innovative features, the Roomba i7+ looks a lot like the earlier Roomba models. It has a round shape and measures 13.34 by 3.63 inches. The Roomba i7+ is generally narrower than most other Roombas, but it still has the same low profile. Like the Roomba e5, however, it features bright green accents on the underside.
iAdapt 3.0 technology
Ready for more innovations?
The Roomba i7+ features the iAdapt 3.0 technology, the company’s latest navigation system. Most robot vacuums worth their salt now use some form of mapping technology. They either use lasers or a camera to scan your floors and create a map that they will use to find their way around. With a virtual map, these robot vacuums can now “see” your room and have a sense of where they are and where they should go next. How can the iAdapt 3.0 improve on that?
The iAdapt 3.0 does not only scan your floors and create virtual maps, but it also stores these maps. The Roomba i7+ does not need to re-scan your room every time it starts cleaning. iRobot really came prepared for this feature as it adds a more powerful processor and additional memory into the i7+. How much boost in processing power are we talking about? The company has revealed that the Roomba i7+ has a processing capacity that is 50 times more powerful than the one used in Series 900 robots.
The Roomba i7+ knows your rooms
The ability to save virtual maps also enables another nifty innovation from the Roomba i7+. You can now use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to tell it where to go. To make this possible, you would have to name each one of the cleaning maps, such as Master’s Bedroom, or Baby’s nursery.
Once that is correctly set up, you can use voice commands to tell the i7+ to clean a particular room. You can now use Alexa to instruct the i7+ clean the nursery, and the robot vacuum will launch from its dock and go to the right room to clean.
Another benefit of the iAdapt 3.0 technology is that it helps your robot vacuum quickly find the charging dock, even if it is in another room. No more robot vacuum wandering aimlessly trying to find its charging dock.
Pricing for the i7+
iRobot gave the Roomba i7+ a $949 price tag. It is expensive, but with the technologies included, that price is worth every cent. The Roomba 980 had a price tag of $899 at launch, making the i7+ the company’s most expensive Roomba so far.
The Roomba i7 vs i7+
The Roomba i7+ uses two robots to take away any worries regarding cleaning your house. However, it comes at a price that might not be within reach for most people. If you like the iAdapt 3.0 navigation and can live without the self-cleaning feature, then you can get the Roomba i7.
The Roomba i7 does not offer the CleanBase, so it sells for $699. That price makes it $250 cheaper than the plus version. If you realize later on that you want the CleanBase, you can buy it for $299, losing $49 in the process.
Advantages of the Roomba i7+ and Roomba i7
Not a lot of people like vacuuming their floors, which is the reason why robot vacuums are so popular. For years, robot vacuums have taken away the actual cleaning part, since all you have to do is to wait for it to finish and then throw away the collected dirt and dust. But with the Roomba i7+, you do not even have to do that one thing anymore. You can just wait for the companion app to tell you when it is time to throw away the dustbin’s paper bag and insert a new one. You only have to do this once every month.
The Roomba i7+ has other notable features it shares with the Roomba i7. The groundbreaking iAdapt 3.0 navigation stores floor maps and allows you to direct your robot vacuum to a particular room. It uses a rubber brush that does not have bristles prone to tangling, it comes with a companion mobile app, and it works with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
What could be better
There is a lot of hype about the ability to send your Roomba i7 or i7+ to any room you want cleaned. However, a significant part of this functionality is hinged on you owning an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device. iRobot could have made both robot vacuums voice-activated, allowing you to issue voice commands without needing to own a separate device. The embedded Amazon Alexa capabilities are something that we have seen in other devices, including the Ecobee4.
These devices also raise security and privacy concerns. Imagine if a hacker were able to get hold of your house’s floor plan. The Roomba i7+ and i7 store your floor plans on the cloud.
For the Roomba i7+, you also have to spend $5 a month for the replacement dustbin bag. That means you will need to spend $60 a year for the rest of your i7+’s life. The company could have made a reusable bag rather than a disposable one.
Final word on the Roomba i7 and i7+
The new Roomba i7 and the Roomba i7+ shine with the new iAdapt 3.0 navigation technology, which creates and saves maps of your floors. That makes it easier for the robot vacuum to ensure comprehensive coverage of your rooms and to know where to go, while also not wasting time scanning your floors each and every time you want them cleaned. With Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can even tell your robot vacuum to clean specific rooms in the house.
Both of these robot vacuums have an estimated 50 times more processing power than the Roomba 980. Yes, you read that right, it’s a robot vacuum that is significantly more powerful than what used to be iRobot’s best flagship robot vacuum.
With the Roomba i7+, you will also have the convenience of not having to deal with a full dustbin every day. What more can you ask for?
Comparing the Roomba e5 vs i7 vs i7+
The Roomba e5, i7, and i7+ have the brand’s best technologies. In fact, these three models share a lot of the basic features of a Roomba robot vacuum, including the three-stage cleaning system, auto-recharging, dirt detect, a powerful suction, and a side brush.
Aside from these basic features, these Roomba models also have the new Aeroforce filter. Each one is also Wi-Fi connected and can be accessed via a companion mobile app. You can also use Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to control them via voice commands. What’s more, these robot vacuums come with the same navigation control devices: the dual mode virtual wall barriers. They also use the same main brush, the dual multi-surface rubber brush. Other features they share include being ideal for pet hair, a washable dustbin, and the ability to clean both hardwood and carpeted floors.
At a Glance Comparison: i7 vs i7+ vs e5
|Model||Roomba e5||Roomba i7||Roomba i7+|
|3-Stage cleaning system||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cleans carpeted floors||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cleans hardwood floors||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery run times (minutes)||90||75||75|
|Navigation system||iAdapt||iAdapt 3.0||iAdapt 3.0|
|2nd generation Aeroforce filter||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dual mode virtual wall barriers||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dual multi-surface rubber brushes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Best for pet hair||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|High efficiency filter||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Coverage maps included in the cleaning report||No||Yes||Yes|
|Schedule cleaning by room||No||Yes||Yes|
So What’s the Big Difference?
The Roomba e5 is the most affordable of these three robot vacuums at $450, followed by the Roomba i7 with its $700 price tag. The Roomba i7+ is sold for $950, but you are essentially getting two robot vacuums working together.
Another difference between these three is the maximum suction power each one delivers. The Roomba e5 has the AeroVac vacuuming system that you would find on older Roomba Series 600 robots such as the Roomba 675 and the Roomba 690. The Roomba i7 and i7+ have 10 times the vacuuming power of the Roomba e5. That makes the i7 and i7+ comparable to the Roomba 980 when the carpet boost feature is turned on.
The Roomba e5’s battery delivers a longer running time at 90 minutes, compared to only 75 minutes from the i7 and the i7+. However, while all of these models can self-recharge, the Roomba e5 does not resume cleaning after recharging. The i7 and the i7+ can pick up where they left off, so they can clean an entire level of your home.
The i7 and the i7+ also have the iAdapt 3.0 navigation technology, while the Roomba e5 relies only on sensors to find its way around.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!