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iRobot Roomba i7+

iRobot Roomba i7+

from  $949+

Posted   12.31.69
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87 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
87

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

The Roomba i7+ is iRobot’s best vacuum robot yet -- mostly, because it can finally empty itself after every cleaning job. It’s something the company has always been working towards, but its high price makes a tough sell for most consumers.

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Pros
  • Excellent cleaning performance
  • Much quieter than before
  • Clean Base automatically empties bin
  • Room mapping is more useful
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Requires proprietary bags
  • (which are also very expensive)
87 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
87

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

87
 

User Reviews

50
jerry
I have owned two of these, the first lasted three months with only a few problems...read more
90
EMILY
Since the i7+ is my first robot vacuum, I cannot compare it to other models...read more
90
Dave
I purchased the i7 Roomba right when it was launched. I owned 2 Roomba 980 vacuum...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
77
Average user Score
 
50
jerry
05.24.19
I have owned two of these, the first lasted three months with only a few problems until the unit would not mount the charger base and would die with no power. So after a few calls, a new unit arrived, base vacuum only first, same problems, then a new robot, same problems, new battery, same problems.., still not resolved. It is a bad contact design between the vacuum base and robot. So you have to go wiggle the robot every day... if you get use to this... the robot works well. The room cleaning system seems to be good... as long as you don’t have two large labs... so we run it every day... integration with Alexa if actually not bad, we can stop it, pause it, or even tell it to go clean xxx room... so from that side we like this thing... One of the major cost saving things we did was to cut open the dust bag and sew Velcro strips and we can empty the bags, we get about 100 cleanings time 30 cycles is 3000 operations... out of one bag, it works well, we’re still on our first bag... we have a large house so finding a three foot space for it to dock at was easy. Still having battery issues and internet connection issues and bad battery timing issues. So overall I give it a five star. It works when it works...
 
90
EMILY
05.23.19
Since the i7+ is my first robot vacuum, I cannot compare it to other models or brands, but I am exceptionally happy with it. My house is hardwood with one thick area rug and a few throw rugs. I have multiple, heavy shedding indoor pets (hairball & dander galore!) I have a daily schedule for 2 (main) rooms and 2-3x week whole house, and it does a fantastic job on all "terrain". I no longer fear mutant dust bunnies swooping out to attack unsuspecting prey, the i7+ (Alfred) keeps up with every speck my fur babies shed. Totally worth it, especially with the military discount! I wish the battery was a LITTLE bigger. I cannot set Alfred to do 2 passes without him needing to stop to recharge, so his scheduled runs are always "Auto", even though he is smart enough to pick up where he left off. (Auto works great, don't get me wrong, but the 2x pass would be great without an hour long "rest" before finishing). Highly recommended for pet owners! No regrets!
 
90
Dave
05.23.19
I purchased the i7 Roomba right when it was launched. I owned 2 Roomba 980 vacuum systems and liked them enough to purchase 2 i7. First. For those who own previous models. The lack of noise from the i7 can be a bit disconcerting. It is remarkably quiet. Next, the debris bin is substantially smaller then the 980 and will fill up quickly if you have pets like a Lab or Husky. However, the self emptying i7 really takes that concern out of the equation. Don’t get an i7 without self emptying base. You will go mad and bang your head on hard objects. With that said, you COULD go through and substantial amount of money using proprietary bags. HERE IS A SOLUTION..... Use your existing upright vacuum to suck debris out of the existing bag. Not really pretty, but very effective. I use a Shark vac with a removable bin. I can make a $15 roomba bag last for MONTHS. Bottom line... this is an AWESOME product and you can really make it worth your while if you use some silly life hacks to cut costs from constantly buying bags like I did. As for the mapping. It is truly magnificent. I run one i7 in my basement and one on my main floor. Each about 1600 square feet. The mapping only took 3 learning runs and had it figured out. I have cleaning scheduled for each i7 and it works awesome. Would I recommend? Yes One last note... redesigned rollers underneath are far better than previous models and last MUCH longer.
 
80
Michael
05.23.19
I love this vacuum, it takes alot of time out of the week that we use to spend pushing vacuum around, now that 30 mins a day is back to us as we just have this go out every day to clean all the floors. It has great suction, cleans bare floors as good as carpet. The self emptying option is heaven! I have him working with the Amazon Echo, we can tell him to clean everything or just specific rooms, all with our voice. Sometimes he gets stuck when the little people in our hose leave socks, toys, etc on the floor. Sometimes he will close himself into a room as well, just hits the door the right way. But over all it is the best investment we have made and will be purchasing another for our basement in the near future.
 
100
Jay
05.23.19
I love the i7+, but initially experienced many problems as I got it on Day 1. there were firmware update issues from irobot and problems with my home network (Ubiquiti) that required a complete re setup from scratch which was super annoying due to something preventing the roomba from communicating with irobot, so initially it was a "dumb" vacuum for a month. I have a 3000 sq ft home, 2 kids and 2 dogs. It cleans the top floor which is a bedroom, hallway, bonus room, and 2 smaller bedrooms. I ran the i7+ several times in the learning mode where it doesnt use the vacuum and just drives around learning the lay of the land. There must be lights on so it can "see" and recognize landmarks. its not the old bump around method. It does a methodical cleaning back and forth vs the zigsag and bump of previous roombas. I do not use scheduling, as the kids usually need to pick up a mess before i run it. when it is time to run it I tell alexa to tell roomba to start cleaning. Alexa asks if I want to clean the whole place or one room and I usually tell it the room i want cleaned or just let it ride. the i7+ will then start cleaning and return to the charger to recharge after an hour or so and then go back out to finish the job where it left off. The app will notify if there is a problem, such as it sucked up a toy and needs intervention. I always prep the rooms ahead of time to ensure this doesn't happen such as picking up charger cords if one is on the ground or something like that. The i7 will also empty itself if its full and then resume where it left off. super cool! Anyways this thing is awesome and i'm super happy with it.
 
90
Matt
05.23.19
Roomba does a great job mapping floors after a few hours of training runs. It magically figures out different floors. You don't even need to move the base upstairs. It will just return to the starting position on the new floor. The i7+ is a game changer with the self emptying bin station. I'm surprised at how much dirt it picks up from seemingly clean floors. With a small dog and a toddler, we have plenty of fur, cheerios, and other dirt that shows up. Roomba does a good job cleaning it up. Alexa integration is great. It's fun seeing the robot take off to a room after asking Alexa to have it clean. I wish they'd add other commands such as battery percent remaining. It's hard to blame Roomba for this, but I scratched up the top on day one as some furniture it drove under that must have had an exposed screw or nail. It's cosmetic, but I still regret that the plastic scratched so quickly. All vacuums can get hair and stuff caught in the rollers. Fortunately, it's easy to remove the brushes and quickly clean them out on this machine. It appears built for heavy duty use and ease or repair and maintenance. After a week of ownership, I'm so far happy with the unit. I'll be interested to see long term reliability results.
 
100
Scott
05.23.19
I bought this to vacuum for me because my wife and I were both in school, it's quite a bit quieter than the 960 and seems to have better suction. Rollers and sweepers are all the same. The linear pattern this one takes compared to a random one also looks better as the floors have defined parallel lines. The virtual walls in the app also work great, no need to have a bunch of "lighthouses" to section off rooms or areas. There was 1 lighthouse included that keeps the vacuum away from the dogs dishes which, based on stories I've heard, is great to have. Our dog (St Bernard) sheds a ton, so to save on battery power of driving to constantly empty the bin, I will basically pre vacuum to get a bulk of the hair, then run the Roomba as a finishing touch and on the laminate. The app is excellent and let's you pick rooms to clean and see where it's cleaned etc, and also integrated easily with my Google home and phone. You can start the i7, end a cleaning session, pause it, specify rooms, and ask the location all through the assistant. The app will also notify you of any problems (wheel stuck, bin full, low battery, job completed etc.) Overall it's a great vacuum, if I didn't have animals I think scheduling cleanings would also be a useful feature.
 
20
Christopher
05.23.19
Hands down, the i7 does not clean as well or as effectively as the Roomba 890 I had prior. I have two i7’s, they both leave clothing threads on the top of the carpet, something the 890 never did so what else are they leaving behind? I had to empty the bin on my 890 every 2/3 days because it would be full. I’ve had my i7’s for just over five months and the bags are barely a 1/10th full! The i7 battery does not last as long as my 890 did either. Both i7’s are cleaned regularly as well so it’s not that. Lastly, I have three rooms the i7’s refuse to map. Hopefully, the 2.0.6 firmware will fix that (supposedly has mapping fixes). Overall, I’m not happy with this purchase and have thought about going back to the 890.
 
100
Lougan
05.23.19
I've had a Roomba 770 in the past. It was ok. Completely unpredictable. I felt like it cleaned by luck, bouncing off things until it cleaned something. I wanted something that cleans SMART. Because of that, I purchased a Roomba i7 and named it Billy. I didn't get the i7+ because it was the same robot, and I'm not lazy. I want to take part in the cleaning of my house. I can empty a bin, right? Well, yes. Turns out I can empty a bin. Billy is AMAZING. We have cats, and it still blows my mind how much it picks up every day. He runs every night at 10pm, which is my cue to go to bed, and it cleans the whole bottom floor of the house. It’s mix of mostly hardwood and linoleum, with two area rugs, one that’s medium pile and one that’s low. It cleans everything beautifully. With the room mapping feature, I was even able to map areas right in front of the litter box, so it actually cleans that 2 additional times a day. 

The Roomba i7 is relatively quiet compared to most upright vacuums. I can’t really even hear it from our second floor bedroom when it’s running. While it is a little annoying, you can still hear the TV over it. Most importantly for me, it’s predictable. It cleans in straight lines and it’s really easy to get of out of way of it. The cats barely even notice it at this point. They know when to get out of its way. 

 I loved Billy so much, I ended up buying another Roomba i7+ and named it Dorothy. This time, I coughed up the money for the bin. While I wanted to take part in the cleaning of the house, one bin was enough. Dorothy cleans our second floor every morning after we leave for work. Our second floor is almost all carpet, and let me tell you… it is AMAZING to come home to a vacuumed floor every day. Dorothy picks up a lot of cat hair, because oddly enough carpet attracts it. When her bin is full, she just heads back, empties herself, and gets back to work where she left off. It’s pretty amazing. I’ve had her for 3 months, and I’ve emptied the bin twice. The bags are ultra cheap on Amazon. 

 Maintenance wise, because we have cats, I do have the clean the rollers every week. This is super important as I learned, because the rollers can be damaged if you don’t get the hair tangles out. It’s SO MUCH EASIER to clean than the previous generations like the 770. You just pop a latch, pull it off, pill the fur ball off the side, pop it back in. NO MORE BRUSHING STUPID BRUSHES. I’ve only had to replace the torn rollers on Dorothy, as well as the spinny brushes and the filters when they reached 2 months. You can get maintenance kits for like 50 bucks on Amazon. It’s not bad considering. 

 As far as eating things, both Robots have eaten lots of cat toys, a few iPhone cables and each one ate a wet hairball. I was AMAZED how well it took this. They immediately stopped before damage was done and pinged me on my iPhone asking for help. If they can survive eating a cat hairball, I think these guys are going to last. 

 The last thing I’ll mention is Alexa. Yes. It works with Alexa. But does it really work? You have to be SUPER SPECIFIC when asking it to do something. You can’t just say, Alexa clean the living room. You have to say, Alexa, Tell Roomba to tell Billy to clean the Living Room. It’s kind of a pain. I’ve never really gotten it to work well. When it does work though, it really impresses your friends. So definitely make sure to memorize the correct phrasing for those moments. But really that’s all it’s good for. 

In any case. Thanks for reading my review. You should totally buy a Roomba i7 or i7+. They are amazing pieces of technology. iRobot really has outdone itself. Is it worth the price tag? How much is time worth really? I would rather spend time playing with my kid or enjoying free time than cleaning. Yes, for me, it's worth it.
 
10
michellette
05.23.19
I've purchased 3 generations of Roombas and the cleaning mechanism has not improved any in the past few years. We have a German Shepherd and no Roomba has ever been able to clean the fur off the carpet or area rugs. It simply leaves countless clumps of hair for you to pick up all over the place. Your house actually looks WORSE after this finishes. Look at the Amazon reviews for the 960 and you'll see perfect examples of this and the critical reviews for the i7 mention this issue, as well. I always find it interesting that reviewers either have a cat, no area rugs, or small dogs which don't/barely shed. A vacuum has ONE job and if it can't do that, it's useless, so back it went to Amazon.