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iRobot Roomba 780 review

Gordon Kelly



  • Recommended by TR


Our Score



  • Excellent navigation system
  • Good cleaning across all surfaces
  • Simple scheduling system
  • Doesn't damage objects it passes over
  • Quieter than rivals


  • You will still need to vacuum occasionally
  • Can bump doors, locking itself in rooms
  • Expensive solution to a simple task

Review Price £449.00

Key Features: iAdapt navigation system; Compatible with all floor types; Under 10cm tall; Scheduling; Cliff detect; Auto docking; HEPA filter; Soft touch bumpers

Manufacturer: iRobot

How busy are you, really? If you are considering spending the best part of £500 on a device to assist with the vacuuming then the obvious riposte would be to suggest you take a long, hard look in the mirror. The surprising news, however, is in this case you may come away from it smiling.

iRobot has been in the robot vacuuming business since 2000 and the 'Roomba 780' is the company's latest and greatest. After selling 7.5m units worldwide over the last 12 years the circular form factor is well known, but much of what is inside the 780 is brand new.


The 780 is the flagship of iRobot's new top of the line 700 series and core to this is the upgraded iAdapt navigation system. This monitors the surrounding area making 64 checks per second to both track its way around objects and to gradually learn the complete layout of its cleaning environment. The result is the 780 can then apply the most relevant cleaning motion to each space, be it long sweeps, circular motions when detecting dirt heavy spots (iRobot calls this 'Persistent Pass Cleaning') or free form movement around cluttered or small spaces.

Of these iRobot is keen to stress the 'Dirt Detect Series 2' technology inside the 780. To improve pick up it uses an acoustic sensor to detect excessive amounts of small and hard debris (such as sand) and an optical sensor to detect larger and soft debris (such as popcorn). Also new is an 'AeroVac Series 2' bag-less bin with easy release (dirt is simply tipped out once removed) and the addition of a common sense full bin indicator. You will likely need to empty this more regularly since the 780 has new power management software which iRobot claims will provide up to 50 per cent longer battery life than previous generations. As such a single cleaning session lasts approximately 90 minutes.


This is just the start of the technology designed to keep your lazy backside on the sofa. Scheduling is now done on the top of the Roomba with simple touch sensitive buttons allowing you to select each day and whether you would like the 780 to clean at a specific time or not. Day, hour, minute, confirm and clear buttons make this a doddle and the Roomba's internal clock keeps it in check. Meanwhile dual HEPA filters capture dirt, dust and pollen from the air.

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March 22, 2012, 4:07 pm

Would love to know where the £449 price is at - irobot's UK store is listing £549


March 26, 2012, 7:46 am

This looks awesome. Bit pricey though... it's going to take some skilled negotiation to get this one passed Mrs Stripy but it'll be worth it!


May 10, 2012, 10:40 pm

My girlfriend has this automatic vacuum cleaner. All the time it got stuck under the wardrobe. For that money we expected a bit better kind of sensory system. There is no problem with suction power, its good enough. Also not too much dirt fits in the tank, but it's not a problem also, because we vacuum only one room with it all the time. Recently we found ourselves to use it less and less often, because we bought a real vacuum cleaner a Dyson DC 25 ( review: http://review-home.com/vacuum-... ) which makes vacuuming almost enjoyable. Its a design masterpiece, can say no bad words about it. Can finish vacuuming a medium large room in about 3-5 minutes, no need to keep a robotic vacuum running for hours.


July 25, 2012, 12:28 am

Interesting, I have found exactly the opposite. I have a DC 18 (http://www.trustedreviews.com/... and now barely use it.

Sarah Shepherd

March 15, 2013, 5:26 am

I have only paid the postage on mine. I bought it on impulse less than a week ago & received it late this morning. I accidently let it run without reading manuals or anything but in the short 10 or so minutes it was running before it died...I ended up emptying the full bin; mind you I'd vacuumed 3 times in 5 days so I'm feeling pretty impressed. I set the dock up & left it to charge. Not sure how long it took to charge but would like to know. After it finished charging, I clicked clean & let it go, 2-3 hours later, I've cleaned it out twice & it's wonderful. It's currently on charge again. Will see how it goes for a few days than post again. So far, flaming love it. Gona try it at my parents house when I visit. They use an old Vax, wonderful machine but this might help.


April 3, 2013, 6:17 pm

It seems like a lazy solution, but when you have pets, this is damn tempting.

Jess Green

April 11, 2013, 12:29 pm

or kids :)


May 31, 2013, 1:36 am

Turned out much easier than I thought to get this approved by my wife. The little fellow arrived a week ago and he does a really good job, better than expected actually so a hearty thank you to TR for the recommendation!

I'd categorise these in the same vein as dishwashers - you definitely don't need them but once you have them you wouldn't want to give them up.

Michael Moser

June 19, 2013, 6:36 am

Alas, when it runs out of power (e.g. when cleaning a room where there is no docking station) then it also forgets/resets the clock and all programmed schedules. And THAT I find pretty annoying, esp. given the stiff price of this beast!

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