Roomba #5 has arrived

I love the Roomba vacuum when it works.  The key is when it works.  That’s why we had 4 of them.  They just don’t seem to have great durability. We’ve had various models of the 400 and Discover series.

But IRobot was offering an upgrade deal, so we sent off for #5, which is a model 530.  It arrived very quickly, just a couple of days from calling in to order.  After an overnight charge, per directions, it had its first run today.

There are several changes in operation that seem to be improvements, that are immediately obvious.  The 530 handles changing floor surfaces (hardwood floor to area rug and back) much better than the earlier models we have, and doesn’t seem to get hung up on the fringe tassels on the rug.  That’s good, but even better is the obstacle sensing — most of the time, as the Roomba approaches an obstacle (wall, table leg, etc.) it slows down before it hits it.  Narrow chair legs are problematic for this feature, and the slow down seems to depend on the angle of approach.  Watching it slow down to a table leg, touch it, turn, and then circle the leg without touching it again is amazing.

I find the dust bin and filter a little more difficult to clean — the older model lets you pull the filter fully out of the dust bin, while this one has a hinged carrier that swings.  Not a big problem, but one step away from best usability, in my opinion.

The Roomba does a perfectly good job of cleaning, and the battery life is pretty good, at least to start with.  That’s been one of the issues with the older models we have, and I’m going to try changing cleaning habits with this one to see if a different usage/charging pattern will work better.

But so far, so good!