Roomba i7+ :
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The best upgrade in our opinion is the automatic dirt disposal system which is a large charging dock which has a bag inside that pairs with the dust bin on the robot whenever it docks. When it docks a suction motor kicks in and empties the dust bin into the bag. Irobot says the bag can hold up to 30 full dust bins worth of debris.
I should also mention that the automatic dirt disposal unit will work with the i7 as well as the i7+ but in the case of the i7 you have to buy the dirt disposal dock or Clean Base separately, and it wont work for any previous models since they don’t have the new kind of dust bin that pairs with the new dock.
Another key upgrade with the i7 and i7+ is the mapping and navigation system which Irobot calls Imprint, so I called Irobot for clarification on this. There are several changes from previous versions, the first is that the new navigation software allows for more detailed maps, For example after the i7 has made a few cleaning runs ,it then allows you to customize a map of your home, where you can choose specific rooms for it to clean and specific rooms to avoid.
You can also customize this on the scheduling feature, so if you wanted it to clean certain rooms on one day and different rooms on another day you could.
The other upgrade of the new mapping and sensor technology from the previous versions is that it’s a lot better at actually remembering the layout and various obstacles. So it dramatically reduces the bumping of furniture, and other obstacles once it learns more about its surroundings.
Another game changing upgrade is the ability for the Robot to make multiple maps to accommodate multi floor homes. I don’t know why this feature took so long for robot vacuum manufacturers to introduce but its finally here, Irobot says it can remember up to 10 different floor plans.
The i7 and i7+ also have redesigned brush rolls, they have slightly longer treads and are mounted on a new self adjusting plate which keeps them in contact with floors and carpets more, meaning it has better pickup ability than previous generations. We noticed this especially on carpet where our tests showed a marked improvement from the Roomba 980.
The new i7 and i7+ also only have one power setting now, which is equivalent to the Roomba 980 on high power. So it has the same airflow numbers as the 980, it also has similar battery life numbers to the Roomba 980 on its high power setting. The official battery life numbers are 75 minutes per charge for the i7, and like the previous versions it also automatically recharges and resumes cleaning jobs.
I should also mention that though it has the same power specs in high power its actually a lot more quiet than the Roomba 980 we tested it at 68 decibels compared to the Roomba 980 which we tested at 78 decibels in its turbo mode, and it really was noticeably more quiet.
So with our tests we saw improved performance on carpet as it picked up all the debris from fine debris to pet hair to extra large debris by the end of its run. And although Robot vacuums are exactly known for deep cleaning carpets it did very well with our deep clean test scoring the same as the Roomba 980.
On hard floors its performance was as good or better than the Roomba 980 turbo power again picking up all the debris in the test by the end of its run.
The edge cleaning wasn’t that great, don’t get me wrong its as good or better than the previous versions but its likely to miss some spots when it comes to edges and corners.
Also the new dust bin had to be modified to be able to work with the clean base so its actually a bit smaller than the already pretty small dust bin of the Roomba 980. The i7’s dust bin is .46 liters compared to the Roomba 980’s .56 liters. Granted this will essentially be irrelevant if you get the i7+ with the automatic clean base but it will be disappointing if you only got the i7 without the clean base.
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