In the world of robot vacuums, the Roomba name is king. The devices are sophisticated, cutting-edge and convenient. But are they right for you?
Before you buy the iRobot Roomba 650 robot vacuum, here are some things you should know.
The Roomba 650 is designed to clean carpets, hardwood, tile and laminate floors; it’s also advertised as being able to pick up pet hair. You can schedule up to seven preset cleanings or activate it for on-the-spot cleaning with a push of a button.
In addition to the robot itself, the device comes with a self-charging base, battery charger, extra AeroVac filter and an auto virtual wall (this feature is used for setting off-limit areas where you don’t want the vacuum to go). The robot costs $399.99 at the iRobot store.
Compare the Roomba 650 with other top vacuums in NerdWallet’s Best Robot Vacuums of 2015.
Our review of the Roomba 650 is based on our analysis of opinions from experts and shoppers.
To narrow down the larger field of vacuums, we looked at expert opinions from review sites, such as The Sweethome, CNET and Good Housekeeping. Next, we analyzed user reviews to see what shoppers were saying about the various attributes in an effort to figure out which features hit it out of the park, and which ones miss the mark.
The Roomba 650 comes out strong with an 8.8 overall rating (average of 8.6 among other robots we studied). The vacuum specifically excels at how well it cleans (9.3 compared to 9.0 average), its performance on hardwood floors (9.8 compared to 9.2 average), its durability (9.4 compared to 9.0 average) and its ease of operating and programming (10 compared to 9.2 average).
Its lowest ratings comes in maneuverability (6.1 compared to 8.0 average) and noise (6.1 compared to 7.9 average).
Users love the Roomba 650’s ability to effectively clean dirt and dust from bare floors (hardwood, tile, etc.). It’s also ultra efficient at picking up pet hair. And when the vacuuming work is done for the day, buyers report that the convenience continues, as the dust bin is quick and easy to empty.
Here are the top features that buyers like most:
- Ease of use
- Performance on bare floors and carpet
- Pet hair pickup
- Ease of cleaning
- Long battery life
As with most robot vacuums, this Roomba 650 owners report that this model has a tendency to get lost in places around the house or stuck under pieces of bulky furniture, so finding it and getting it back on track may be a bit of a game of hide-and-seek. The vacuum is also relatively noisy while it’s cleaning — so although you don’t have to manually control it, you’ll certainly hear it at work.
Overall, the most-reported drawbacks of this model include:
- Poor navigation
- Tendency to get stuck
- Noise level during operation
With its high overall rating from most users, and its relatively affordable price point compared to other robot vacuums (some upwards of $600), we recommend the iRobot Roomba 650 for first-time robot vacuum buyers. Its navigation can get off-track at times, but it’s difficult to find a robot vacuum that won’t.
Overall, the Roomba 650 is the perfect entry point into the world of high-tech cleaners. Homeowners who have pets or have large areas of hardwood floors will especially benefit from this product.
Stuck between a Roomba and one of its competitors? We put popular robot vacuums head-to-head. Check out these matchups:
- Roomba 880 vs. Roomba 870
- Roomba 880 vs. Neato 85
- Neato 80 vs. Neato 75
- iClebo Arte vs. Roomba
- Samsung VR9000 vs. Roomba
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