IROBOT ROOMBA 880

Australian T3 - - RATED - $945. AUTO-RO­BOT.COM.AU

{DE­TAILS}

SCREEN1

Ba­sic LCD and LED in­di­ca­tors. It’s low tech

but ef­fec­tive

2

BUILD QUAL­ITY Light but ro­bust, it’ll

take a kick or two with­out com­plain­ing

3

AD­DI­TIONAL FEA­TURES HEPA fil­ters trap tiny dust par­ti­cles, which is great for

al­lergy suf­fer­ers

Sweep­ing the com­pe­ti­tion aside

iRobot makes bomb-dis­pos­ing mil­i­tary hard­ware – and vac­u­ums. The Roomba brand has been around for decades, but the flag­ship 880 of­fers some­thing to­tally new. In­stead of a tra­di­tional brush bar it has two soft rub­ber rollers or ‘ex­trac­tors’, the idea be­ing that the AeroForce Sys­tem picks up more pet hair, never gets clogged and of­fers bet­ter suc­tion.

Nav­i­ga­tion also dif­fers from the rest, and un­like the Neato’s reg­i­mented map­ping the 880 iA­dapt sys­tem seems de­cid­edly scat­ter­gun; al­beit one driven by com­plex al­go­rithms and a bucket full of sen­sors. As a re­sult, it takes an age to clean a room, and bumps into fur­ni­ture rather than pre­empt­ing ob­sta­cles and tak­ing eva­sive ac­tion. But it does clean right up to the edge of the wall and can just about get into the cor­ners us­ing its long sweeper arm.

Pro­gram­ming is a cinch, and un­less you play RC Vac with the re­mote, you’ll just set the day/time sched­ule and for­get about it. It also comes with two ‘vir­tual wall’ sen­sors, which cre­ate a bar­rier the 880 won’t cross.

Our only se­ri­ous gripe con­cerns the charg­ing sta­tion. The mains cable can only plug into the left-hand side of the charg­ing base. This isn’t a big deal, but be­cause the base has to be flush against the wall it does se­verely limit your choice of lo­ca­tion.

Un­like the Sam­sung, which ac­cu­rately maps out a floor plan, the 880 es­ti­mates the ap­prox­i­mate size of a room and de­cides how long it needs to run in or­der to get it clean. It’s not as cut­ting edge, but the re­sults speak for them­selves. As­sum­ing you set it to clean while you’re out you shouldn’t care how long it takes, and you can reap the re­wards of a thor­ough clean. Great at pick­ing up pet hair and ex­cep­tion­ally good on car­pets, we were as­ton­ished – and hor­ri­fied – by the amount of de­bris it col­lected. LOVE Im­pres­sive pet hair per­for­mance. Ef­fi­cient car­pet clean­ing. Sim­ple pro­gram­ming HATE Dock­ing sta­tion drives us nuts. Small dust con­tainer. Slow if you’re sad enough to sit and watch it T3 SAYS… It might lack tech spec, but you’ll not find bet­ter per­for­mance on the mar­ket

{SPEC­I­FI­CA­TION}

CA­PAC­ITY N/A (0.5-litre es­ti­mate) BAT­TERY LIFE 1 hr CHARGE TIME 2 hrs COV­ER­AGE PER CHARGE

37m²

NOISE (DB) 57dB POWER/SUC­TION n/a FIL­TERS HEPA

MODES 3 COL­LI­SION SEN­SORS “Mul­ti­ple”

STEP CLIMB 13mm

HEIGHT 90mm DI­AM­E­TER 350mm

WEIGHT 3.8kg

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