Regardless of its cleaning prowess, the iRobot Roomba 690 has two features out of the box that should immediately endear it to at least a small set of consumers: It connects to WiFi and you can control it through Amazon's Alexa. So if you like talking to your appliances (or, more precisely, shouting orders at them), the Roomba 690 may be the robovac for you. The manufacturer advertises the unit as having an iAdapt navigation system that includes a "full suite of sensors" to help the bot find its way around, but be warned that the "suite of sensors" on some other Roomba models, like the iRobot Roomba 890, don't find their way around a room as well as the navigation systems on Neato models like the Neato XV-21, so take this claim with a grain of salt. (Maybe Neato has all the patents nailed down.) Still, maybe iRobot has gotten it right this time around.
The Roomba 690 uses, in iRobot's words, a "3-stage cleaning system." The first stage involves loosening dirt with a brush. The second lifts the dirt. The third sucks it up. The "virtual wall," which you can use to tell the bot not to wander out of the area you want cleaned, is small and relatively unobtrusive, not so much a wall as a tiny broadcasting tower. It can be set to produce a line that the 690 won't cross or an entire area that the unit is restricted from entering. And there's no power brick to clutter up the room. The on-unit controls from earlier models are gone, so you have to rely entirely on iRobot's mobile app for starting, stopping, controlling and programming the 690's operations. Of course, that means you can now trigger vacuuming remotely -- from your office, say, when the boss decides to come over for dinner.
Online reviews are good, though some inevitably complain about the navigation, which can only be described as "random." If you want to check out similar vacubots from other companies, took at the Neato Botvac 85, with laser-guided "Botvision"; the Samsung Powerbot VR9000; and the Bobsweep Bobi Pet.
My floors have never been this clean, and I've never been happier to be proven wrong. Love this thing!
The iRobot Roomba 690 is the best deal at less than $400. It has good suction power, an easy-to-use app, and voice control via Amazon or Google.
Works beautifully to keep one's floor nice and clean underfoot, especially appreciated when your pets carry in dirt from rolling around outside!
I like that it can be link via wifi but this one still bumbles around like a drunk person with random cleaning patterns.