iRobot Roomba 415 Review

Today’s product review takes a look at the iRobot Roomba 415. This robot vacuum has been around a few years now and people have been checking it out to see if it is a solution to the time consuming chore of keeping your floor clean. I recently got a chance to test drive one of these units and here’s what I found.

Review Continued Below…

What I found was that performance-wise the iRobot Roomba 415 is essentially a light duty vacuum and sweeper. So far as cleaning ability it was on par with one of those stick vacuums that cost about $30 or so. Of course, the price tag on the Roomba is over $100 even for refurbished units. It does work at getting up surface dust and crumbs but we found that it didn’t do such a great job on cat hair (we have long haired cats). Overall, I found the performance inadequate as compared to a regular upright vacuum cleaner.

The navigational ability of the iRobot Roomba 415 is quite good. I was surprised at how well it navigated furniture while freaking out the cats. It did seem a bit confused by an angular wall between our kitchen and living area but did OK otherwise. I thought the performance both in cleaning and navigation was better on our hardwoods than on the carpeted areas of our house.

The battery life on a charge seemed a bit short. The iRobot Roomba 415 required a recharge to finish cleaning our downstairs, roughly about an hour total cleaning time. While that’s not bad considering the experiences I’ve had with other battery operated vacuums, it isn’t as ‘fire and forget’ as you might think. It also need considerable cleaning due to pet hair clogs after this as well.

One concern I have about the iRobot Roomba 415 is it’s durability. It’s drive motor seems a bit underpowered since it noticeably strains on carpet. I’ve heard from others that their units broke down after about a year or so of service. While I find this typical for cheap vacuums that sell for under $100, I’d hate to invest closer to $200 on the Roomba, especially since it can’t do a good enough vacuuming job by itself.

All in all, I think that the iRobot Roomba 415 could work well for some people better than others. If you don’t have pets or kids and are a bit of a ‘neatness freak’ already this vacuum may be just what you’re looking for. There are some good deals out there for this vacuum that include accessories such as a Charging Dock and a bonus Filter Pack. For someone who doesn’t get around so well it may also be helpful. But, if you have pets, messy kids and a chaotic house then the Roomba probably isn’t going to help you that much.

 


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10 Comments »

Comment by Nicole Price
2008-12-18 08:04:58

As fair a review as I have ever seen. Perhaps for small apartments without pets and occupied by working singles, this is the ideal product.

 
Comment by SEO Blog
2008-12-19 05:59:32

Man, I came watching that pic, I thought its a diskman ! Nice to know that such stuff exists.

 
Comment by SoLinkable
2008-12-21 16:47:32

Have you seen that video of the cat riding around on the Roomba? It’s almost reason enough to get one. I just want to watch my cat ride around the house on it…

 
Comment by Funny Junk
2009-01-20 13:48:42

I’ve never actually used a Roomba before, but I have heard of them. They seem pretty cool though, but seem too good to be true. I’ll probably stick to regular vacuuming.

 
2009-02-07 22:17:28

The durability is a major turn off for me. I like to buy products that can last and from the sounds of it, this isn’t one of them.

Not to mention, come on. How often do you vacuum that it takes too much time and you need to use an automatic vacuumer instead :)

 
Comment by Steve
2009-03-02 09:52:48

I have had the 415 for about 9 months…got it handed down from a friend that upgraded. I purchased a new battery and it has worked flawlessly…but I must say that my house has all hardwood and tile floors. I close the door to the only room with carpet (bedroom). It will run for approx 90+ min. I have two boxers in the house with dark floors…so their shedding in almost invisible, but every morning before I leave for work, I kick it off and let’r go while Im at work. I come home to a collection of dog hair and dust. I had no idea there was that much hair on the floor until I started using this. Well apparently my male didnt like it…he UNLOADED his bladder on it one day and shorted it out. I havent had one for about 2 months…and have missed it sorely…so I just bought another 415 factory refurb…Im not worried about motor durability simply because Im using on hardwoods/tile…but I cant wait for it to arrive!!!

Comment by jfc
2009-03-02 19:00:21

Hi Steve,

That sounds like something one of our cats would have done if he hadn’t been terrified of it.

I’ve heard different running times for it. Some people say it runs about 30 minutes while others, like you, say they get 90 minutes out of it. My own test was about 40 minutes if I recall correctly. That was on a refurb unit so that might be a factor.

 
 
Comment by Web Marketing
2009-05-04 13:13:36

It sounds like this robotic vacuum cleaner may be more suited towards showing off as a tech toy, rather than a serious housemaid. At the price I reckon much more potent conventional vacuum cleaners can be had.

 
Comment by Respectable Reviews
2009-10-05 21:13:33

I have had this Roomba 415 for about six months and have always been pleased with it!

 
Comment by Lorecee
2010-01-17 16:38:03

I hear that iRobot just came out with a similar machine that will clean the roof gutters on the outside of your house.

 
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