In the world of home automation and everything having an App on your phone, it only makes sense that your vacuum is trying to keep up with the changing times. If you are like me and like the home automation that is offered by the likes of Amazon and Google, you might have been thinking about buying an automatic vacuum. So let’s get to the down and dirty review of the iRobot Roomba 890.
How it works
The Roomba is a very simple device in my eyes. I am not an engineer however and have a hard time writing a proper sentence, so I am sure there is a lot that goes into the making of these machines. But how it works is very simple. On the front right side there is a revolving set of brushes that sweep the dirt towards the center of the machine. This also helps it get into corners while it is running. Once the dirt is moved to the center of the machine there are two rollers that spin in opposite directions that pick up the dirt and move it to the collections bin. On the front of the machine there is a “bumper plate”. Once it hits something, it will change direction depending on the angle it hits at. This is one of those smart parts I was talking about, this will allow the machine to travel around corners and other objects that are not a solid wall. On the top of the Roomba, there is a sensor that picks up the home base and allows the Roomba to find the docking station. Per the manual, this sensor also picks up large areas of dirt and tells the Roomba to head over and clean up that spot. Once started the Roomba runs for a about an hour on a full charge and obviously less if not fully charged before returning to the base to charge. Seems simple enough to me, but I am sure a lot of smart people worked hard to make all this happen.
So, does it work?
Plain and simple, the Roomba works well for everyday cleaning. The Family Review Crew has put this thing threw its places over the last year. We are a family of 6 and currently have two dogs, but not to long ago we had 4 of the four-legged children. If that does not sound too bad, the kids are 7, 6, 4, and almost 2 and the dogs are not the little bite your ankle type. We are a southern family and enjoy our big dogs, and with big dogs comes a lot of hair. As you can see, we can put a hurting on a floor through out the day. The Roomba 890 handles it very well day in and day out. I would say that we only pull out the real vacuum once a week to make sure the area rugs are corners are cleaned well.
The Downside of the Roomba
With everything, there are some negatives for all the positives and the iRobot is no different. One of our biggest complaints is it is much louder that we thought it would be, and in a house that can rival a football game at University of Florida when they beat LSU. Sorry, it was a huge will last Saturday, and I had to rub it in just a little if you’re an LSU fan. Honestly Miss Review Crew, hates being home when its running. We tend to start it as we walk out the door, or are heading home from work via the App. Another down side is it will miss things. The Roomba 890 works in a random pattern unlike the higher end versions which map your home over time. This random pattern is what will cause things to be missed, from time to time I must place it in the spot I want so it gets the dirt. Also, it does not handle some transitions well. We have tile and wood floors in our home, but also have some area rugs in the bed rooms. It handles some very well and has no issue going onto the rug, but others it will get stuck on a “cliff” constantly. If the Roomba thinks a quarter inch lip is a cliff, I would hate to see what it calls the Grand Canyon. My other concern is the longevity of the Roomba its self, we have already had to replace our original under warranty. And it seems like the same problem is starting again. The issue that we have had is the contacts on the bottom that allow the Roomba to charge failed and the Roomba would not return to the base. This was around the 6-month mark, and the second one is starting to do the same right about the same time frame. Now, iRobot customer service was amazing, and once I described the issue they sent a new one out to us right away.
Other things to think about
Unlike most normal vacuums, there is little to no maintenance cost during the life of the vacuum. However, with the Roomba, there is ongoing maintenance cost as parts do need to be replaced. iRobot makes it very easy to get the parts, since you can order them right from the app at their costs. But being the penny pincher that I am now (Thanks babe), I went to amazon like I always do when looking for something cheaper than the name brand. I was able to replace the parts needed for a fraction of the price. The main parts that require changing are the spinning brush, the rollers, and the filter that sits inside the collection bin. However, basically all the moving parts can and seem like they will break at some point.
Another thing to think about is the time the Roomba takes to complete a job, which as I stated is about an hour. The reality is we can vacuum our house in less than 10 minutes and more than likely do a better job. But, the fact that I can vacuum the floor while not being at home is what offsets the issue of time for me.
The Final Verdict
While we love our iRobot Roomba 890, and use the heck out of it. I would not have spent my own money on it. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that it was a gift last year for Christmas. It does a fairly good job and is very easy to use. But I could not justify the price tag for it myself. Don’t get me wrong I love the thing and would gladly take another one for Christmas down the road (hint, hint), but it does not justify the 400 to 500-dollar price tag. I hope this helps you in your decision and answers some of the questions you might have. As always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at the Family Review Crew.