iRobot has recently introduced a Roomba 960, a novel addition to the leading 900 series of robot vacuums. The 960 Robot does not provide anything novel at all in aspects of technology. In fact, it is a small downgrade from the above of the line Roomba 980 that was introduced and reviewed in last December. But the degradation is fully justifiable as the price of 960 is US $200 less than 980.
On a brief note, the 900 series is still an elite Roomba for individuals who wish to avail wireless connectivity, a VSLAM, and an app, which allows the vacuum to keep track of where it is and remove in lean straight lines. If you intend only to clean floors without paying too much, the 500 series is till date totally decent, and you can explore refurbished units for less than $400. There are a couple of things that you will not find if you opt for 960.
It lacks a great battery, implying that you will be able to avail only 75 minutes of runtime instead of 2 hours. But it is justifiable as the robot will return to its base to recharge when essential and then complete its cleaning task. It might sound slightly disturbing if you are operating the robot while you are at the house, but if you allow functioning it while you are away, with the help of an app or scheduler, then you would not even notice such lack of battery power.
Also, you would not be able to get the highly powerful vacuum motor, implying that you will get a Gen 2 motor instead of a Gen 3 motor. But it is fine as you are obtaining a vacuum motor that has been functioning quite well before the launch of 900 series. The 980’s Gen 3 series motor makes it highly effective on paper, but in practicality, it is really not essential how much you would notice on a regular basis, particularly if you function your robot quite frequently.
Also, you would not have to pay $900, and you just have to pay a subsidized amount of $700 instead. It implies that you will be saving a complete amount of $200 on a 900 series version, specifically on Roomba with Wi-Fi and VSLAM that is very closely efficient as the 980 model. Since the price has been reduced, so a slight degradation in the features is justifiable as the absence of such features does not cause any lack or reduction in the overall performance of the 960 Robot.
At a price of $700, the Roomba 960 is efficiently competing with Neato’s own top model BotVac Connected, which is also an impressive model that maps rooms and replies distantly to an app. As stated by the company, they are expecting that the upcoming year will lead to both of such companies coming out with novel software that boosts connectivity and mapping functionalities to get such vacuums do things that are highly clever. The iRobot 960 is available at a local robot emporium and online.