LG HOM-BOT SQUARE
$1,299, from major electrical stores Charge time: 3hr. Run time: 1hr 40min Extras: Mop plate, two cloths.
CLEANING PROWESS Very good. Its two cleaning modes – regular and turbo – picked up most of a tablespoon of coffee powder on the floor, leaving just specks behind. It also did a good job of cleaning out crumbs from around the base of furniture. SENSITIVITY TO OBSTACLES Excellent. It hardly bumped into furniture, so no worries about damage. It manoeuvred itself into a narrow corridor without hitting cupboard legs. It’s one of the two that went over my rug – the others dragged it along.
EASE OF USE The easiest, in different but important ways. Navigating the menu was easy, both via the remote control and touch screen. I loved the well-designed tool box-like dust bin – it’s easy to lift out, open and empty, and comes with a brush that has bristles on both ends (to dust the filter and bin). Like a GPS unit, it announces its status – for example: “Turbo mode has been set.”
NOISE The quietest. We scarcely noticed that it was working while we watched TV. It’s louder in turbo mode, but still softer than the rest.
VERDICT An impressively high-tech machine that’s kind to furniture, and cleans well – and quietly.