Review - Day One Roomba Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

I've been obsessed with Roombas pretty much since the day they came out. I have hardly any time to clean. I own 2 cats. The fur just collects all over the place!

Finally in 2006 it seemed that the Roomba's development team had worked out all the kinks and it was time to make the purchase. I waited eagerly for the package to arrive. I had to wait a few hours while the Roomba charged itself up, but after about 3 hours it announced with a friendly green light that it was all ready to go. It was Roomba-time!

I had pre-vacuumed and made safe my office area, to give it a test run. However, we had plugged the home base in in our living room, and the Roomba looked so happy there that I thought just to launch it. Note that I mentioned we have 2 cats - that means our living room is always pretty fuzzy. We hit CLEAN and stood back!

Roomba Scheduler

The Roomba zipped right out and began cleaning. The little blue light indicating "dirt here!" lit up often, and the Roomba spun in circles to clean it up. After a while it stopped and blinked a little red light. We picked it up and cleaned out the HUGE amount of fur that had already filled it up, and then set it loose again. It moved around the room again, and then roamed through the doorway into the office area. It moved easily between the office and living room area.

We were rather impressed with how much the Roomba was able to clean up. We decided to set the Roomba against the ultimate challenge - under the futon. It probably hadn't really been vacuumed under there for several years, at least past where the regular vacuum's wand could reach easily. It was really pretty funny - we both lay on the futon, peering underneath it, as we sent the Roomba in.

We could hear it bumping and turning around, doing its little Roomba thing. It emerged victorious! There was a TON of fur in its bin. We sent it back in several times, and it did a really great job cleaning it up.

We did notice a few down sides to the Roomba. First, they claim it's quieter than previous Roombas. That may be, but we do actually own a decibel meter and this Roomba clocks in at 70 decibels. That is NOT quiet. It's rather loud, and for example there is no way we could watch TV in a room with the Roomba. TV shows tend to be between 40-50 decibels. The TV is quite drowned out by the Roomba. I suppose you could say a Roomba is no louder than a "regular vacuum", but we have a central vac system so when we run it, the "noise" is down in the basement - it's quiet up where we are using the wand. Even when the Roomba went off into the office, the noise was still coming in at 48-52 decibels from the living room.

Next, while the Roomba does have a spinning wand to clean along walls, it's not always great at the task. We have a coffee table in our living room with a solid wood base. If there's a piece of fur down against that base, the Roomba doesn't pick it up very well. Since my regular vacuum wand had the same problem, it's hard to really complain. With the regular vacuum wand, I would have to pull off the "head" part and use the circular main tube to scrape along walls to get that remaining dirt.

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