iRobot’s Roomba series of robotic vacuums have been taking over households across the world for the past decade with a staggering 7.5 million units sold.
A lot of the technology and features have changed in that time, so let’s take a look at their newest offering- The Roomba 780 to see what’s changed and how far they’ve come since the previous models.
iRobot regularly churns out new models of the Roomba, so we’ll start with the differences between the Roomba 780, and the previous model – The Roomba 770.
From the outside, both vacuums are almost identical, with the same height, weight, and diameter. The only small difference being the color, with the 780 sportings a dark grey and the 770 comes in black.
The similarities don’t stop on the outside, under the hood the 780 still utilizes the same dual HEPA Air Filters as the 770, which filter more dust and allergens and have a longer life than the previous models with iRobot recommend replacing them every 3 months, which for some people’s needs may be overkill. Every 6 months should be fine depending on the frequency of usage. The filters are relatively cheap to replace too, coming in at around 20-25 dollars for a pack of 3.
The 780 also uses the same famous 3 stage cleaning mechanism as earlier models, with stage 1 featuring the rotating brushes that push dirt and debris towards the middle of the unit where stage 2 employs 2 counter-rotating brushes that sweep up the debris into the vacuum chamber (stage 3).
The iRobot Roomba 780 also utilizes the same navigation system as the 770, using infrared sensors to map out obstacles and detect dirt and debris. The sensors are intelligent enough to detect whether a particular area of flooring requires repeated vacuuming in order to remove heavy amounts of dust, dirt, or debris.
The main differences between the 2 units, apart from the price tag, are first, the virtual lighthouse as opposed to the virtual wall used in the 770 and previous models.
The virtual wall is an accessory that you can use to prevent the Roomba from going into certain parts of your house you don’t want it to clean. When the Roomba runs into it, it will behave as though it had run into an actual, physical wall.
The virtual lighthouse differs from the virtual wall in that not only can it be used as a wall, it can also be used to intentionally direct the Roomba into another room. This can be handy if you find that your Roomba tends to overdo 1 particular room, before managing to find its way into the next one.
The other major difference in technology (although a minor change as far as user experience goes) is the use of touch-sensitive controls atop the 780 unit, as opposed to the buttons used on the 770 and previous versions.
For those completely unfamiliar with robotic vacuums, the 780 also utilizes the following features, found in most previous models…
Ability to set a schedule for the robot to begin and end cleaning
The ability for the Roomba to automatically return to its home base, when it has finished cleaning or is in need of recharging.
Roomba 780 Reviews from real consumers
On Amazon and other robot vacuum reviews, we sourced on the internet the response to the Roomba 780 is extremely positive with the majority of owners pleased with their purchase.
Many owners praise the Roomba 780 for how well it cleans the carpets for such a small unit, with quite a few owners commenting that it does a better job than their uprights.
The few complaints we found are pretty much the same stock standard cons that people have found with Roomba units since they came onto the market. The first being that the units still require emptying after every clean. When you consider that this takes all of 30 seconds to do, it seems like a minor issue.
The other common negative mentioned in reviews is that the Roomba 780 still has a tendency to get completely stuck on certain obstacles or areas from time to time, just like its predecessors.
And lastly… some owners complain that the Roomba can do a poor job of cleaning rugs, however, this seems largely dependent on the type of rug given that other owners don’t have the same issue.
Overall though the Roomba 780 seems to meet or exceed most people’s expectations and with scores of 4 or 5 out of 5 on most sites.
- Excellent at removing and trapping dust, dirt, and debris
- Lighthouse capable of directing Roomba into other rooms and acting as a virtual wall
- Great at transitioning over different surfaces
- Still prone to getting stuck in difficult areas
If you’re willing to pay the hefty price tag on the Roomba 780, you’ll find you’re quickly rewarded with a lot more free time. Free time that many people would agree is worth every cent. If however, you’re the budget-conscious type then you may be better off considering one of the previous, cheaper models such as the Roomba 770 which also do an excellent job, albeit minus 1 or 2 features that the Roomba 780 boasts.