Best iRobot Roomba 880 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2022:
Launched at € 730, the Roomba 880 is the new spearhead of iRobot, which has improved certain points of its old models. The classic design of the Roomba is preserved, as well as it’s functioning. As for the navigation system, it is still iAdapt, a technology that does not map parts but is not a “blind” system either. This “all options” robot is programmable, incorporates a HEPA filter and is delivered with remote control and accessories, including two “intelligent” Lighthouse beacons.
The main change is at the central brush, which has disappeared in favor of debris extractors, rubber cylinders that rotate in opposite directions, supported by more powerful suction. The first test results were enticing; here is the full test …
Best iRobot Roomba 880 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2022
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Convenience of use
In order not to disorient users of Roomba, iRobot Roomba 880 robot vacuums always have the same look and the same operation. To launch the robot, just press the big central “clean” button: childishly simple. This allows users less comfortable with technology to use only this automatic mode or to take the time to familiarize themselves with their robot overuse, and we like this idea. Programming and using virtual walls are not essential.
Above the 4 small rectangular buttons placed on the front, luminous indications appear when the robot is woken up. The first button commands a return to the base while the following buttons are used to set the time and schedule. For these latter functions, the handling is not very complex, even if it is a little less intuitive than on robots with a screen with a menu, such as Neato.
There are also two indicator lights on this vacuum cleaner. Located above the round “Clean” button, a battery indicator lights up in green when the battery is charged, in orange when it requires recharging, and flashes during charging. A last indicator light under the 4 buttons lights up when the collector is full, indicating that a drain is necessary.
The Roomba is one of the few robots with a carrying handle, which is quite practical for moving it.
As for its charging base, its compactness is appreciable.
This robot gives an impression of quality; the plastics seem solid and the elements are well finished, and fit well, whether it is the thick HEPA filter, the hatches or the collector.
The iRobot Roomba 880 still uses the iAdapt navigation system. Without a camera or rangefinder, it does not carry out mapping. Based on random movements and based on numerous sensors, it is not blind: the software allows the robot to grasp the contours of the part and calculate its position relative to its environment several times per second. While robots equipped with range finders hope to cover the entire surface by passing only once, the Roomba relies on several passages for more effective cleaning.
To do this, he uses several movement patterns that he does not follow in a pre-established manner: cleaning along the walls, crossing the room, and spiraling. The Roomba 880 also uses its dust detection system (which uses a microphone placed under the debris extractors). By observing it, one can indeed note that it insists on certain zones, or stops a displacement in a straight line to start making spirals.
We let him go in an apartment of about 70 m² (with and without the Lighthouse tags). It turned for around 1 hour and 30 minutes before finding its loading base successfully. We were pleasantly surprised by the coverage of the surfaces, which was not perfect but almost, despite the presence of animal hair.
Precise in its way of bypassing objects and furniture, it is however less so than the recent robots equipped with range finders. In addition, not following seemingly logical patterns, it is difficult to anticipate his movements: it is surprising to see him begin to go around the legs of a chair and go straight before finishing.
However, we must admit that in the end, it amazed us in its ability to cover surfaces. In some cycles, the surface coverage is not perfect, but if you program it regularly, it can keep the house clean.
The iRobot Roomba 880 is doing particularly well with obstacles. During our tests, whether in our test room or in situ tests, it never got stuck. He always managed to finish the job and reach his loading base.
It goes under the furniture (depending on the height): under the test coffee table, under our coffee table at home, under our bookcase, and on our sofa.
He passes the basic door thresholds – be careful, if they are a little high he can consider them as obstacles; this is also the case with our thick test mat on which it can work only if it does not need to climb on it. Depending on the thickness, it can still mount on certain carpets.
Note: if the Roomba is known not to work on black floors, our gray parquet and the dark gray floor of the editorial staff did not hinder it.
Finally, it does very well with cables, even if it is better to store them. Like its high-end predecessors, it has an effective anti-tangle system: the brush stops turning when the robot detects that it is entangled and it works very well.
It sometimes bumps a little hard in the furniture but goes around it with a certain precision. Less methodical than some of the robots in our comparison (Neato), it nevertheless manages very well in a domestic environment.
IRobot’s promise is largely kept. Filter and collector are easily removed and emptying is simple. And it is especially at the level of the debris extractors that the Roomba 880 makes the difference: the hair gets tangled very little and when it is the case, it is removed like nothing. Everything is planned so that these famous extractors can be removed and put back easily.
The first tests amazed us: 100% of materials harvested on the fine carpet (in about 20 minutes), and similar scores on hard floors – note also that it does not fly animal hair, unlike some competitors.
On our thick long-haired carpet, he initially refused to climb. In fact, it is not the material that is problematic for him, but the thickness that he considers an obstacle because his sensors are quite sensitive: you will have to be vigilant if you have thick rugs. But by delimiting the space as if it were a thick carpet (not a carpet) with a long pile, we were able to judge its good dusting capacities: it indeed harvested 75% of materials on this complex surface.
70 dB announced. We noted less: 64 dB on carpet to 66 dB on hard floors, but it remains a bit noisy; it is better to program it or launch it when you leave.
We noted consumption of 28 W in charge and 3 W for the maintenance of the battery – it is a little high compared to the competing robots. Note that the charge is very fast: around 1 hour to offer a battery life of just over 1.5 hours.
Additional modes and functions
The Roomba 880 does not display thousands of modes, it only offers two: automatic cleaning and “spot” mode for localized cleaning (area of approximately one meter in diameter, spiraling). As with many devices, just because you have many modes doesn’t mean you use them all; that is more than enough. Besides, no matter how many modes the robots we test have, we almost always use automatic mode.
All the necessary accessories are provided, including a very simple remote control, perhaps a little too much. Some indications, even in the form of icons, would not have been superfluous, so the first uses of the remote control will be carried out by hand.
It is delivered with a spare HEPA filter and two delimiting beacons “Lighthouse” with two positions: “virtual wall”, either virtual wall which prevents the robot from accessing a room or “lighthouse” which allows it to change when he cleaned the first one. It is good to be able to choose between these two options. Nice: in the box, iRobot provides the batteries needed for the beacons and the remote control.
Another important feature: programming, possible independently for each day. The first time, it will be necessary to use the user manual. But with the indications which appear on the robot, one finds it easily there. It’s less simple than a Neato and its screen with practical menus, but much less complex than entry-level robots.
Roomba dictates error messages in the event of a problem. By default in English, the language can be changed; this Roomba “speaks” especially French.
The Roomba 880 has one “only” defect: sensitivity, it considers too thick carpets as obstacles and does not climb on them. Apart from this defect, whether you have hard floors, fine, thick carpets and even with long pile. The Roomba 880 works wonders while requiring minimal maintenance. Finally, it manages all obstacles with disconcerting ease. Essay transformed for iRobot!