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iRobot Roomba 530 Robotic Vacuum Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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iRobot Roomba 530

iRobot Roomba 530

Photo © iRobot

The Bottom Line

For the sheer convenience of having the floors and especially under the beds cleaned of dirt, hair and dust between heavier cleanings, Roomba 530 proves to be an effective, time-saving vacuum tool.
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Pros

  • Time-saver - set it and leave it
  • Long run time, at least 1-1/2 hours on a charge
  • Picks up crumbs, dirt, dust, hair
  • Transitions well over flooring types
  • Does return to base for charging

Cons

  • Design limits access to corners, tight spaces

Description

  • iRobot Roomba Model 530 (500 Series) comes with a charging base and two Virtual Walls.
  • Removes dust, dirt, hair while navigating the cleaning area. Takes about 25 minutes to clean a room.
  • Dirt Detect™ detects dirtier areas - spends more time there
  • Anti-tangle technology - automatically extracts when tangled in tassels, cords, obstacles
  • Soft-touch bumper system slows the unit when approaching walls and furniture
  • Transitions and adjusts from floors to carpets
  • Automatically avoids stairs or drop-offs. Does not cross boundaries set by Virtual Wall (Model 530 comes with two).
  • Can direct it to dock or finds the charging base when required.
  • Navigates, spirals, cleans along walls, under furniture and criss-crosses the room to clean the full cleaning area.
  • The iRobot Rooma 500 Series starts at MSRP of $279.99.
    The model reviewed was 530.
    Roomba site
    More about Robot Vacuums

Guide Review - iRobot Roomba 530 Robotic Vacuum Review

March 13, 2009: Roomba® 530 was put through several cleaning cycles over hard surface floors, low-pile mats and carpets. A press of the Clean button and Roomba left the base and returned when it needed recharging. Only once did it run out of power before returning to dock.

Roomba cleaned much better than expected, picking up floor and carpet dirt, leaving a clean path and full dirt bin after each cycle. It had an impressive run time of at least 1-1/2 hours on each charge. To my surprise, it found missing treasure - two gold earrings (1/4" x 1/2") which confirmed the size/weight of particles that it can pick up. Transitioning fine from floor to carpet and over flooring strips, it even climbed into a boot tray and back out. It stopped at the top of the stairs and the anti-tangle worked well when confronted by cables and curtains, except for very thin phone wires which were dragged along. Small paper debris did get trapped underneath and it shredded a tissue.

Testing a large area (1000 sq ft), it cleaned 95% of the five rooms, not returning to finish some corners as the area was too large. Adding Virtual Walls to keep it in 1 or 2 rooms gave the best cleaning on a charge (as recommended). My favorite area was under the beds - it cleaned where a vacuum wand never reaches. By design, it cannot go into tight corners, behind doors or toilet, between chair legs, nor under low furniture. But the edge-cleaning brush extends its reach and it does clean the main areas, along walls/hallways, keeps kitchen free of crumbs, under-the-bed and bathroom free of hair and dust, and that makes it a very handy and functional cleaning tool. For best results, the area should be cleared of obstacles. Overall, I'm impressed with the run time and it does what it claims to do, except that more suction power would be needed for deep-down carpet cleaning.
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