iRobot Roomba I7 Review: This Latest Roomba Remembers Your Home’s Layout and Even Empties the Bin for You

Last updated on December 3rd, 2018 by Garrick Dee

The Roomba I7 is iRobot’s latest and perhaps their greatest robotic vacuum to date.

Major upgrades include better software that now remembers your room’s layout and a separate vacuum that sucks out the contents from the bin.

This latest Roomba also comes with upgraded extractors that will provide better agitation so expect better performance.

All of these upgrades though come at a major cost. Expect to pay close to a thousand dollars for this robot.

iRobot has long been a pioneer when it comes to robotic vacuums.

Even if they weren’t the first to introduce autonomous cleaners, they’ve been the benchmark that other brands chase and try to emulate.

With each update, iRobot has improved their product step by step, starting with the rubber extractors they introduced in the 800 series, efficient navigation and WiFi connectivity in the 900 series.

A quick look at the features

  • Automatic dirt disposal system empties the robot’s bin for you (this feature is an optional $200 upgrade)
  • Dirt collected from the robot’s bin goes into a disposable bag that can hold up to 30 robot bins
  • Three stage cleaning system now has the upgraded dual multi-surface rubber brushes
  • iAdapt 3.0 navigation with VSLAM technology
  • Imprint Smart Mapping system saves the layout of your room
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • 1 year warranty

Pros

  • It automatically empties the dust bin for you (a time saver)
  • Imprint Smart Mapping remembers your homes layout which makes cleaning more efficient
  • Hands free operation with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • Great option for cleaning pet hair

Cons

  • Automatic dirt disposal system now has additional recurring costs to maintain
  • Insanely expensive

What to expect from the Roomba I7?

To learn all of the features of the I7, please watch this comprehensive video from iCrackUriDevice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crwgdGWocig

Roomba didn’t really change anything dramatically if you look at the exterior. Put the I7 beside the Roomba 980 and you’d think both are the same robots.

That’s because Roomba didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. The low profile, puck shape works great because it’ll fit under a lot of furniture – one of the biggest trouble spots in any home.

Most of the upgrades found in the Roomba I7 can be found within.

Empties the dirt bin for you

One of the biggest issues with robot vacuums is the bin emptying aspect of it. Sometimes we’re so busy that we forget to empty the bin.

We only find out that it needs to be emptied when the robot flashes an error code.

Well, say goodbye to those problems with the “Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal” feature.

First major upgrade and probably the most useful is the automatic dirt emptying feature.

Once the base detects that the bin is full, it sucks up dirt into a bag.

This bag can hold up to 30 robot bins before you have to empty it.

Very convenient feature if you ask me but you’ll have to replace the bags so this will incur additional costs.

Surprisingly, iRobot wasn’t the first to invent this.

As early as 2012, the auto emptying feature was already seen in the CES, iRobot already had the patent at the time but only released it with the I7.

The automatic dirt disposal system is an optional feature that’ll be a $200++ premium. If you feel that you can empty the bin yourself then skip this upgrade.

This charging base is huge and fully sealed with a bag. iRobot says that the bag will hold up to 30 bin-fulls of dirt. The bag itself isn’t huge and depending on how much you use your robot, it’ll last maybe up to a month.

It does come with an extra bag.

Removing the bag will be easy. Just open the top cover and pull out the bag. Once you pull out the bag, it automatically seals. If you have any sort of allergies, this is the robot you want.

Buying refills will cost around $14 for a pack of 3.

Upgraded navigation

iRobot now uses the iAdapt 3.0 software with the latest vSLAM technology that means more efficient cleaning and adaptability to different home layouts.

This software will scan your home and save it in iRobot’s cloud servers for later use.

Unfortunately, the robot will not know your room’s layout out of the box. You’d have to run it at least once in your home. Once it saves the layout, subsequent clean ups will be more efficient.

However, the I7 can only save up to 10 floor plans at a time. This will not be an issue in most homes with 3 rooms and less.

Alexa and Google Assistant compatible

What’s great about the app is the integration it has with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Once the maps are saved and named, you can just tell the robot to clean “Jane’s room” or “Mark’s room” and it’ll go straight to that room and clean it.

Talk about convenience.

Top view

If you look at the robot up top, it looks almost like the Roomba 980 with some minor differences.

In front of the robot is the IR sensor that helps it detect and avoid obstacles. At the middle is the large clean button that activates the default cleaning mode.

Flanking the clean button are the home and spot cleaning buttons.

By the way all the buttons now are touch sensitive which makes it easier to toggle. It also has LED light that tells you the status of the robot.

However if you have Alexa or Google Assistant, you may not need to press any of these buttons.

The recessed part below the buttons is the camera which is the primary “eyes” of the robot and sends all the data to the vSLAM software for navigation purposes.

Bottom view

In terms of design, nothing much has changed with the Roomba. It has a single side brush system that helps with cleaning edges.

One big upgrade would be the counter rotating rubber brushes (or extractors). The latest design has upgraded grooves for better agitation and cleaning performance especially on low pile rug and carpet.

iRobot says that the I7 is very capable of cleaning up pet hair.

New bin design

iRobot also makes bin emptying more sanitary. The high efficiency filter is now removable without having to open the bin.

If you opt for the I7s, you don’t have to constantly remove the bin because the vacuum on the charging base does it for you.

Removing the bin is will not be slightly different versus the older Roombas. Instead of just sliding it out, you press a button at the side of the bin and pull it out from one side.

The new bin is also washable because the motor is moved from the bin to inside the robot itself.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy the Roomba I7 in Amazon but without the vacuuming base for just under $690. And it’ll be eligible to their free 2-day shipping if you join Prime.

To get the dirt bin emptying base, you’ll need to buy this direct from the iRobot online store and it’ll cost around $950.

To wrap up

The Roomba I7 is a huge step up from the Roomba 980. It has a lot of convenience features that will make your life a lot easier.

Opting for the top of the line I7s will give you a second vacuum that’ll suck up the contents of the robot’s bin into a bag that’s very hygienic to empty. You are not exposed to allergens.

It also has the upgraded iAdapt 3.0 navigation that is more efficient and stores your home’s layout in iRobot’s cloud servers. Combine that with the Alexa or Google Assistant, and you’ll have a totally hands free device that’ll clean any part of your home at your command.

All these premium features though will be costly. The top of the line I7s will cost around $950 in iRobot’s online store. Expect it to roll out in other online stores like Amazon pretty soon.

1 thought on “iRobot Roomba I7 Review: This Latest Roomba Remembers Your Home’s Layout and Even Empties the Bin for You”

  1. This vac is horrible for pet hair. The vac will leave clumps of hair in its path. The 980 would pick up this hair easily. Sadly iRobot missed its mark and focused on the self empty. They tucked to fan inside which reduced its sound but also reduced its ability to vacuum. Too bad most reviewers test these vacs on hardwood floors and not on carpet. If only iRobot would bring the 980 back with smart mapping.

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