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There is no question that the Roomba is one of the best, if not the best, robot vacuum cleaners today. The company has been busy coming up with robots that fit your budget while also addressing your needs. iRobot has recently unveiled new robots in its lineup.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Roomba e5
- 2 Roomba 980
- 3 The final word on the Roomba e5 and the Roomba 980
- 4 Which one should you buy?
- 4.1 Are you looking for a budget-friendly robot vacuum?
- 4.2 Do you have pets?
- 4.3 Which one has the better navigation technology?
- 4.4 Which one has a more powerful suction?
- 4.5 Do you have carpets?
- 4.6 How big is your house?
- 4.7 Were you waiting for the Roomba 980 to become more affordable?
- 4.8 Are you tired of cleaning with your upright vacuum?
- 4.9 Related
iRobot announced the Roomba e5 (my full review here!) together with the Roomba i7+. When the media reports came, most of them talked about the self-cleaning capabilities of the i7+, letting you forget about your robot vacuum for a month or so. However, the Roomba e5 has its own set of notable capabilities, too.
For one, iRobot markets this robot vacuum for pet owners, thanks to its dual multi-surface rubber brushes. The main brush does not have bristles that can get tangled with pet hair. Instead, the Roomba e5 has a side brush and powerful vacuum, ensuring that it covers a wide area in just a single pass. Couple that with the washable dustbin and the high-efficiency filter, this robot vacuum does not only pick up dirt and dust, it also keeps it from re-circulating into the air you breathe.
The Roomba e5 also has the dirt detect technology, which uses a variety of sensors to know which parts of your floor are dirtier. The dirt detects function will then direct the robot to stay and clean in areas where it is needed more.
The Roomba e5 does not deviate much from the earlier models. It retains the round shape that Roombas are known for. It even has similar dimensions at 13.3 x 3.6 inches. The diameter allows the robot vacuum to cover a wide cleaning path, while the low profile allows it to easily go under most furniture.
The Roomba e5, however, does have bright green trimmings for the main and side brushes. These are the only indicators that you are looking at a Roomba e5 rather than an older model.
The Roomba e5 can join your Wi-Fi network and pair with a smartphone app. You can use the mobile app to start, stop, or pause a cleaning session, and even create schedules for your robot to follow. The mobile app also allows you to operate your Roomba e5 remotely.
The Roomba e5 is connected and you can operate it not only through the companion app, but you can also use Google Home or Amazon Alexa speakers to command it to start cleaning.
Auto recharge function
The Roomba e5 can work for up to 90 minutes on a single charge. Additionally, when the lithium-ion battery runs out, the robot vacuum can find its way back to the charging dock and charge itself.
Pricing, ratings, and reviews of the Roomba e5
iRobot gave the Roomba e5 a $449.99 price tag when it first launched. On the manufacturer’s online store, customers give the e5 an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.0. People like how well the Roomba e5 cleans and how easy it is to set up and use. Others agree that this is a great vacuum cleaner for cleaning up pet hair.
However, some people notice that the Roomba e5’s dustbin is quite small, which means that they would have to empty it more often than they would like. They also complain about the robot missing some spots.
What You Would Like About the Roomba e5
The Roomba e5 includes all the technologies that iRobot has developed for their line of robot vacuums. You can find the dirt detect, Wi-Fi connectivity, and three-stage cleaning on this robot. In short, it can clean the way you would expect a Roomba to clean. You will also like the reasonable pricing for this robot. You get cleaner floors with all the competence and convenience of a Roomba at less than $500.
What could be better
iRobot gave its more expensive Roombas the iAdapt 2.0 technology, but it is noticeably absent in the Roomba e5. This robot vacuum also does not have a camera that would allow it to scan your floors and create a map for them. Instead, it uses an older navigation technology that relies on sensors to allow the robot to find its way around your floors.
Our Take on the Roomba e5
If you like to have the latest technologies in your robot vacuum, then you should just forget about the Roomba e5. This robot vacuum is not meant to be groundbreaking. However, this does not mean that you should just dismiss the Roomba e5 altogether.
On the contrary, if you want cleaner floors without spending too much, then you should definitely check this robot vacuum out. The Roomba e5 combines the best of both worlds, giving you cleaning efficiency you find on Series 800 or 900 robots but also giving it an affordable price.
When it was first launched, the Roomba 980 wowed the world with its Wi-Fi connectivity. It was the first Roomba that came with a mobile app, and later it was updated to allow you to use voice commands to operate your robot vacuum. It was also one of the first few robot vacuums to use visualization technology to create floor maps, allowing it to navigate through your floors with ease.
Three years later, all Roomba models sold on the company’s website, as well as a lot of copycats, already have Wi-Fi connectivity.
iRobot is known for churning out the best robot vacuums. It did well with the Roomba 880 and it shook up the market with the Roomba 980. It continues to wow us with the Roomba i7+.
The Roomba 980 is the company’s first app-controlled robot. But that is not all there is to it. It also has the AeroForce cleaning system that brings together the debris extractor, the side brush, and a powerful suction. It can charge itself and then resume cleaning once the battery gets full. On top of that, it can clean for up to two hours on a single charge.
The Roomba 980 also has the dirt detect feature. It uses an onboard camera to create maps of your floors, allowing it to plan its cleaning path better. You can see this cleaning map on the mobile app. You can even see where your robot has cleaned. This map also allows your Roomba 980 to pick up cleaning where it left off to recharge.
Speaking of apps, the Roomba 980 allows you to customize your cleaning, from specifying the number of passes it makes to knowing whether to stop or continue cleaning once the dustbin gets full. If you have carpets, you would love the Carpet Boost feature it offers. This feature gives your rugs and carpets an extra dose of suction power to clean it more thoroughly.
The Roomba 980 remains round, with a diameter of 13.8 inches and a height of 3.6 inches.
Pricing, ratings, and reviews for the Roomba 980
On Amazon, the Roomba 980 has an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5.0 from close to 2,000 reviewers. Verified buyers love the navigation and cleaning technologies on the Roomba 980, saying that it cleans better than other comparable models. The 980 moves with a purpose, rather than just bump around your floors. They also love the auto resume and the carpet boost features.
However, there are complaints about the Roomba 980 always getting stuck on dark carpets. Other people complain that they were not able to return the Roomba because their customer service has not been very helpful. Meanwhile, others suggest that you buy a cheaper robot vacuum from various competitors because these more affordable models work better than the Roomba 980.
The Roomba 980 has a higher rating on the company’s online store, where it gets an average of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 based on close to 2,300 reviews.
Pricing ranges from $740 to $890 now that iRobot has stopped selling this model on their online store.
What you would like about the Roomba 980
There are a lot of things you would love about the Roomba 980. It cleans thoroughly and does not miss too many spots. The lithium-ion battery delivers with up to two hours of juice. It includes more sensors than older models, and it has a camera onboard. It comes with a companion mobile app that allows you to do more with your Roomba 980.
What could be better
The Roomba 980 might pack in a lot of features, but its cleaning power is somewhat lacking. CNET notes that the Roomba 880 cleans much better than its Wi-Fi connected counterpart.
The final word on the Roomba e5 and the Roomba 980
Choosing between the Roomba e5 and the Roomba 980 is no easy task. Both robot vacuums come from the same company that is noted for its robot vacuums. Both can detect dirtier areas on your floors and clean them more thoroughly. Both are also app-connected, giving you a better and faster way to operate your robot vacuum. More importantly, both of these robots clean rather well.
In short, you can buy either the Roomba e5 or the Roomba 980 and be assured that you have a choice to pick the best in the market.
Which one is perfect for you? It depends largely on what you need.
Which one should you buy?
Even though they both come from the same company, it is apparent that the Roomba e5 and the Roomba 980 are perfect for different groups of people. So which one is the best for you? Here is a short guide.
Are you looking for a budget-friendly robot vacuum?
If price is the only criteria that you have, then you should buy a Roomba e5. The Roomba e5 cleans thoroughly and has several features that you can use to make it worth the money. It may not have all the bells and whistles you see on the Roomba 980, but it also will not bankrupt you.
Do you have pets?
The Roomba e5 is specifically marketed to pet owners, and this is because of the dual multi-surface rubber brushes that will let the Roomba e5 hug the floor closer and also avoid getting tangled with pet fur. However, the Roomba 980 should not be dismissed. The debris extractor it uses also does not have bristles, which means it will also not get tangled with pet hair. Plus the Roomba 980 has a more powerful suction than the e5.
The Roomba e5 relies on sensors to find its way around. On the other hand, the Roomba 980 uses a camera and scans your floors to create a map of your floors. Clearly, the Roomba 980 has the better navigation technology. It does not only have a picture of your floor, it also knows where it is.
Which one has a more powerful suction?
The Roomba e5 is rated to deliver up to five times the suction power you see on Aerovac Roombas such as the Series 600 robots. Meanwhile, the Roomba 980 has the more advanced Gen 3 motor that can deliver up to 10times the suction delivered by Aerovac robots.
Do you have carpets?
The Roomba 980 has a separate Carpet Boost feature, giving it a more powerful suction to thoroughly clean your carpets. That is on top of the suction power that is twice as powerful as the vacuuming technology you see on the e5.
How big is your house?
If you have a single-level house or a small apartment, then the Roomba e5 is ideal for you. The Roomba e5 cleans for 90 minutes before going back to the charging dock. For bigger homes, you would want the Roomba 980. The Roomba 980 cleans longer at 120 minutes, allowing it to cover more of your home even before it needs to recharge. What’s more, it has an auto-recharge and auto-resume function that will send the robot vacuum back to its dock when the battery runs low. After charging, the 980 will launch itself and continue cleaning without you having to do anything.
Were you waiting for the Roomba 980 to become more affordable?
If you have always wanted a Roomba 980 but you simply could not afford it, then it is still not the time to buy the Roomba 980. Pricing for the Roomba 980 has not gone down significantly even after three years. The Roomba e5 does not have all the features of the Roomba 980, and this is probably because of its low price. In fact, you could get two Roomba e5 robots at the price of one Roomba 980.
Are you tired of cleaning with your upright vacuum?
While both the Roomba e5 and the Roomba 980 cannot rival an upright vacuum in terms of cleaning, the Roomba 980 comes close. Because of its long-running times and more powerful suction, plus the ability to specify two cleaning passes, you can rely on the Roomba 980 to keep your house clean when you are too lazy for an upright vacuum session.
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