What happens when you have a Cambodian maid who insists that you cannot correct her, nor tell her what to do? We’re nice people, really nice. I know a lot of people think I’m too soft. Maybe. I know you came from far away, away from family to work in Malaysia. You eat the same food we eat, you get to sleep at 9pm and our little house is only… ah, I’ll save that for another blog post.
Anyways, sans maid, what to do when you’ve an infant around the house who is starting to crawl about? I’ve also a bustling studio in the living room area at times and cleaning up is always a chore. From friends, relatives and my own parents, I’ve got good reviews of the iRobot Roomba 581. In fact, an aunt of mine has a veritable army of iRobot Roombas and Scoobas cleaning her house.
As Malaysia never gets the latest stuff, I noticed the 7-series robots being sold on Amazon. While waiting for my 581 to be delivered, Aetis, the Malaysia distributor and reseller had the 780 in stock! So I switched and got the 780 instead. Am I glad indeed!
Biggest difference I noticed between the 780 and the 581 is battery life. My parents had their little 581 for 2.5 years now and the poor guy would only be able to clean about 2.2 hours before “Please charge roomba” would be announced (This only happens when it can’t find the docking station). My 780 in casual tests has gone for about 4+ hours before needing a recharge. This meant that I could clean over 1,500 square feet without a recharge. Your mileage will vary of course. Run-time will depend on the amount of carpeting, obstacles, furniture and of course, dirt! The HEPA filters also are a big improvement and the new AeroVac series 2 bins are easier to clean and seem to hold a ton of crap vacuumed off my floor!
Overall, another improvements on the 780 vs the 581 seems (no scientific test here) to be a slightly smarter in navigating the furniture and is slightly faster cleaning rooms for the 780. It’s specifications say the 780 is quieter but it’s still noisy and you might not want it to clean your house on schedule at 3am for example.
Results wise, I will say the the Roomba 780 out cleans the maid anytime. The floor is cleaner than even me sweeping and vacuuming. Of course it can’t clean certain corners and areas it can’t get to won’t be clean but it does perform as advertise – 98% clean! The low-profile robot also gets under most of my furniture, including Lorenzo sofas, Ikea Effektiv cabinets. See the photo below where it is cleaning my home-office. The big benefits to me is that after a studio shoot session, I can go download photos, take a shower while the little robot cleans up after me or that I can let it clean the rooms while I’m out for lunch.