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.