It has been a few years since iRobot released new models of their prestigious Roomba series vacuum cleaning robots. Well 2011 not only brings one, but three different Roomba’s in the all new 700 series. The Roomba 700 series was first announced late last year and now all three models (760, 770, and 780) of the Roomba 700 series have finally come to market, just in time for spring cleaning.
The iRobot Roomba 780 is the most advanced of the entire 700 series that features: Scheduling, Room to Room Navigation, Debris Sensing, Touchpad Control, HEPA Filter, Full Bin Indicator, and a AeroVac Series 2 Bin. Throw in the iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology and a new Persistent Pass Cleaning Pattern feature and you have gotten one intense cleaning machine.
• 1 iRobot Roomba 780
• 1 Rechargeable Battery with Extended-Life Power Management
• 1 Battery Charger
• 1 Compact Self-Charging Home Base
• 2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses
• 1 Extra Filter
• 1 Extra Bristle Brush, Flexible Brush and Side Brush
• 2 Brush Cleaning Tools
• 1 Remote Control
The iRobot Roomba 780 packs a lot into its 8.4 lbs body, but because it features a touchpad control panel, it also happens to feature the most advanced interface out of the entire 700 series line-up. Where the other models have the traditional buttons you need to press in order to schedule cleaning, spot clean, set the clock, or dock the device – the 780 has a capacitive sensor touchpad eliminating the mechanical buttons.
The 780 along with the rest of the 700 series have all gotten a facelift. The bumpers are softer on your walls and the design of the machine has gotten an overall freshening up. Even where the brushes reside, it has been redesigned to provide a more efficient cleaning experience for your home, while still being accessible for consumers to access for cleaning of the brushes. The bin is also bit bigger this time around and the addition of the HEPA filter keeps dust in check. The Roomba itself is actually a few inches bigger in comparison to the previous generation Roomba as well.
An extra cherry on top, is the inclusion of a remote control which only kicks up the experience another notch. The remote is simple at best and allows you to wirelessly control the Roomba in case it gets into a jam, or you can use it to set the Roomba on the right path for docking. You can also spot clean from the remote! You can move Roomba around and have it turn in all sorts of directions at your whim. It’s kinda like the adult version of a radio controlled car… and a very pricey one at that.
If there was ever a time that you considered trying out this niche market of robotic vacuums, then the time may never be better than now. The Roomba 780 improves upon its predecessors by having a battery that lasts 50% more on a single charge. I was able to get over an hour of cleaning time out the 780, whereas previous models depleted their battery in about 30 to 40 minutes and ran back to the dock for a recharge.The Roomba just glides on the floor swiftly and smoothly like never before. It is also a tad quieter too.
The 780 nicely cleaned up my shag-style carpet, that I purposely encouraged my dog to eat a cookie on. The iAdapt technology was in full force as it made its way around the living room and dining room area, constantly going back and forth to different areas or making zig zags in all different directions that eventually covered the entire floor. I was also extremely impressed with the Persistent Pass Cleaning Pattern when it came to stubborn dirt. The Roomba’s new move of going back and forth to focus on a specific area showed me how much Roomba cared about getting my floors clean.
Unfortunately the downside of the Roomba is the clean-up. You still have to flip the Roomba over to clean it up after a job well done. Lucky enough iRobot includes extra brushes, HEPA filters, and brush cleaning tools to make the job easier, but if you have longer hair, or live with those that do, make sure to have the screwdriver out because you will need to unscrew the sidebrush to remove all the hair that has probably wrapped around it. Cleaning the newly designed bristle brush with the brush cleaning tools is a little bit easier this time around but still not the fun part of the vacuum. Speaking of the new bristle brushes, the bristles are able to bring dirt buried deep into the carpet to the surface to be vacuumed up. My traditional upright vacuum always seems to have problems with my shag carpet and the Roomba did a really good job of freshening it up. However, the 780 didn’t seem to like my entry door floormat that is made of a berber like material. Instead, when encountering the floormat, Roomba would just stop dead in its tracks and insist on being moved to a new location to clean.
The Roomba 780 is a robotic workhorse. I really put it through its paces, to see if it overcame some of my past gripes I had with the Roomba 562. This newer generation seems like it floats on air around your home and it will get every piece of dirt – big or small, before calling it a day. The Roomba now also lasts longer than ever before, has new and improved brushes, and a HEPA filter making it a top notch home vacuum. The addition of the remote control is not a necessity but certainly a very fun extra feature to have.
The Roomba 780 is the priciest of all the series 700 models, coming in at $599.99. However, you could always go for the cheaper models in the 700 series, which are $449.99 and $499.99 respectively and basically have all the same features as the 780. So unless a touchpad control panel is really an essential feature, these other models will do just fine as well. If you are willing to spend money on a great vacuum, that does all the sweating for you, the Roomba 780 is the way to go.
The Good: Improved battery life, bumper is softer on walls, touchpanel on 780 model is a neat feature even if it tags more on to the price, HEPA filter, remote control, and larger dirt bin. Between both the iAdapt and the Persistent Pass Cleaning Pattern feature, you will be able to eat off your floors.
The Bad: Pricey and cleanup is still a bit time consuming especially if you have long hair.