In the world of robot vacuums, 'affordable' is a relative term. Top of the line models can sell for in excess of £700 and none can yet fully see you retire your manual vacuum. Of course significant performance and battery life improvements in recent years mean they can be superb accessories, scheduled to do regular cleans that relegate your vacuum to a bit part role, but they remain luxury items at luxury prices. iRobot, however, is working on that.
The newly launched iRobot Roomba 600 series won't achieve this in a single step, but what it does do is bring previously premium performance to a line of machines that start at under £300. The iRobot Roomba 620 is the entry level model in this range and we let it get its brushes dirty.
iRobot Roomba 620 Design
The first thing that becomes apparent when you take the iRobot Roomba 620 out the box is it has had a style makeover. The whole look is more rounded, with the machine's circular design now complemented by cleaner lines which drop the straight angles that had outlined the bumpers, dirt bin and more. Instead, every join is curved and every knob or button accented by soft circular or semi circular boarders. Combined with a more colourful finish the overall effect is slightly cartoonish, but it is also more modern and we'd expect iRobot to carry on this design approach with other lines as they are replaced in time.
iRobot Roomba 620 Features
Where things become most interesting, however, is in the amount of technology now packed into this base model. At the core of the iRobot Roomba 620 features list is an updated version of iAdapt, iRobot's proprietary system of software and sensors, which incrementally learns the layout of your rooms and makes multiple passes for a more comprehensive clean.
On top of this you'll find 'Dirt Detect' which uses an acoustic sensor to locate dirtier areas and spend more time cleaning them. The same patented three stage cleaning system as found on flagship Roombas is also aboard making it equally happy cleaning carpets, tiles, laminate and hardwood flooring. In addition, the company has stated that all iRobot Roomba 600 series models will more effectively handle hair, pet fur, lint, carpet fuzz and other fibres than previous generation robots.
'Aerovac' is a further smart technology passed down from the iRobot Roomba 780 and coupled with a new brush (designed to minimise the amount of the hair caught in the brushes) it optimises airflow so the bin fills more evenly letting it be emptied less. Other core functionality carried over from past models included step detection and automatic docking when it has finished cleaning or the battery is low.