Making A Comparison Between The Various Models Of Roomba Vacuum Cleaners

By Peter Vermeeren

In the modern home, one of the newer technologies to automate the daily chores comes in the form of robotic vacuum cleaners. One of the most popular brands is the Roomba from the hi-tec manufacturer iRobot. They have a wide range of models covering almost any conceivable eventuality, and the prices range from $600 at the top of the spectrum, down to slightly less than $200 for the “budget” version. Naturally the features of each model vary according to price.

iRobot have wide range of automatic cleaning robots for the home, and in this article we will focus on the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaaner range of products. As there are more than 10 models in the range that all look reasonably similar, this article will try to help you to make the best decision when you decide that you are ready to make the jump and leave the task of vacuuming the house to a robot.

Although they look similar in many ways, the higher priced models ship with more accesories included in the total price, and may also incorporate newer technological advances in it’s array of features. Keeping your home clean can seem an endless task, so leaving the vacuum cleaning to your Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner gives you more time to concentrate on other aspects. If you are considering buying more than one model, or if this technology is not so new to you and are buying a new model to replace an older one, be sure that you check that the accessories are compatible. Many are compatible across the range but not all, so make sure that you check this out to avoid any disappointment.

Let’s start our comparison by looking at the most basic model first and work our way up the range. As with many products, as the price increases so

do the number of features, while retaining the basic features of the lowest priced model.

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So first we will look at the Roomba 435, being the base model with fewest features and lowest price. That doesn’t mean that it may not be perfectly adequate for your requirements, therefore being the best choice for you. It will need you to give it a helping hand from time to time and also require more maintenance. If it your first robotic vacuum cleaner, then it may be advisable to start with some involvment on your part required, let’s say a more “hands-on” environment.

This model will clean 1 to 2 rooms per charge, and does not have the following features that are available on the more expensive models; pre-scheduling, high-capacity bin, anti-tangle & light-touch bumpers, room-to-room navigation and automatic self-charging.

The Roomba 435 costs approximately $200, but keep a look out for special offers and you may find one for significantly less. It has a good reputation, is good value for money and has been highly rated in surveys.

Moving up the range, the next model is the Roomba 510, which in addition to the above features offers a higher capacity storage bin, light touch sensitive bumpers, and an anti-tangle feature. Street prices vary but expect this to cost about $80 more than the Roomba 435.

For only $20 more, the Roomba 530 has extra power enabling it to clean up to 3 rooms, and the very convenient self-charging feature which automatically takes the robotic vacuum cleaner back to it’s compact home base to recharge. This will occur when it has finished cleaning or if the battery is low on power. You also get 2 “virtual walls” with this model, which create an invisible barrier to stop the machine from entering areas that you want to be off-limits to the machine.

The next model is the Roomba 560, which in addition to the above, has even more power enabling it to clean up to 4 rooms per charge, and the on-board scheduling feature, allowing you to preset the work schedule for up to 7 days. This model costs about $50 more than the previous one, bringing the cost up to approximately $350.

Next up the Roomba 570, which compared to the previous models include the following extra features; The “virtual walls” receive the “lighthouse” feature which allow you to configure room to room sequential operation. Last but not least it has a remote control unit, allowing you to steer and guide your Roomba around the room while you remain seated. The Roomba 570 robotic vacuum cleaner costs about $450.

In addition, the 3 previous models have a “Pet Series” version available, the Roomba 532, Roomba 562, and Roomba 572 respectively. These have the additional features of extra brushes and filters, and 2 interchangeable bins to keep up with the added cleaning capacity required if you have household pets. Many of us know only too well how much extra hair, dirt and crumbs a dog or cat can produce! These cost about $20 more than their standard equivalent models.

At the top of the range we have the Roomba 610 Professional. This really is loaded with the best features starting with industrial strength paint finish and bumpers. It has the extra features of the “Pet Series” Roomba models and includes a heavy-duty accessory case to take the knocks of the professional cleaner. Where all the other models have 2 cleaning modes, the Roomba 610 professional has 3, adding “Max” mode to it’s capabilties, allowing it to clean much larger areas. If the battery runs low it will go back to it’s compact home base and recharge itself. It comes with an accessory pack including brushes, filters and brush-cleaning tools, and is guaranteed for 2 years, double that of the other models. It costs in the region of $600.

So to re-cap; the high end models are feature-packed and have many automatic programing options and intuitive functions. Some of these features may well be surplus to your requirements and a more basic model could suit your needs perfectly. If you have a pet I would recommend 1 of the 3 “Pet Series” models to cope with the demands of extra hair and fluff to contend with. If this is not the case then you need to consider what you expect from you robotic vacuum cleaner, your budget, and how much involvement you want to have with it’s operation.

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