iRobot Roomba 780 Review

The first Roomba I've had was the Roomba 560. We've used it every single day for approximately two years before it was replaced by another vacuum cleaner robot. After using several other brands and models to clean our house, it was time to return to the Roomba lineup, and to try the new flagship model, the Roomba 780.

Introduction

iRobot’s Roomba is undoubtedly the most known robotic vacuum cleaner brand in the world. It has been around for nearly a decade, and in many regions (including the US) it was the only serious brand available. There were brands that had a much better start, but high prices, the lack of improvements slowly but surely led those manufacturers out of the robotic appliance market. The first line of the 3rd generation Roombas, the 500 series was announced over 3 years ago, and since that some serious competition has arrived to the most important markets. So in January 2011 it was time to release the new Roomba 700 series.

iRobot Roomba 780

What’s new

Although the general round shape of the robot remained the same, the design was cleverly refreshed. Most of the structural parts seem to be intact, but the most important changes are hard to notice. The bumper got a new soft coating, the dust bin was replaced by the new AeroVac 2 bin that sport HEPA grade filters, the battery management helps to reach a 50% longer battery life, and the new cleaning head promises some 20% improve in pick-up of small dust particles. The new Dirt Detect 2 system detects both small and large particles, and when dirtier areas are found the robot moves back and forth to clean that area. When the dust bin is full, a full bin indicator icon is lit on the control panel. The changes seem to be subtle, but if an already great product is improved just a little bit, the result could be an even greater product. Will this small improvement be enough against the emerging competitors? We will find that out on the next pages.

iRobot Roomba 780

In the family

The new Roomba 700 series consists of three robots. iRobot Roomba 780 is the top of the line at the moment including all the available improvements. All three models sport the AeroVac 2 bin, but the Roomba 780 is the only one that has touch sensitive control panel, that supports room-to-room Lighthouse navigation, and comes with a full set of extra brushes and filters. For more details about the differences between models, see our Roomba Features and Accessories Matrix. It is worth to note that iRobot stopped fighting against the global market, and will sell these robots with the same model numbers all over the world (finally).

What’s in the box

iRobot Roomba 780 comes in a rich accessories bundle.

  • iRobot Roomba 780
  • AeroVac series 2 bin
  • docking station
  • power adapter (with regular power cable, and usable worldwide)
  • 2 pieces brush cleaning kit
  • printed multilingual user manual (short version, detailed version is included on a disc)
  • 2× Virtuall Wall / Lighthouses
  • remote control (not command center)
  • full set of spare brushes and filters (bristle bar, beater bar, side brush, and 2× HEPA filters)
iRobot Roomba 780 accessories

The review is not over yet!

Next page: Design and Technology

Next page »

Comments

Appreciate very much if you could kindly answer some of my queries on this product.

[1] Is there a 240V Roomba that I can buy in US?
[2] Logically the power adapter would also be of the 240V type if the Roomba is on 240V? Right?
Thanks and looking forward to yr reply.

Sincerely, Phaik Tan

Tibor's picture

The power adapter (at least the one sold in Europe) can handle all common voltages (including 240V). To be honest, I am not sure about US models, but I would assume they don't produce different version if one can fit all.

Thank you for this and other reviews ;) I'm curious about bin capacity - is it the same or bigger/smaller than AeroVac 1?

Tibor's picture

The AeroVac 2 has a capacity of 0.3 l (10.1 fl oz). According to the specs sheet this is smaller than the original dust bin and the sweeper bin (0.45 l - 15.2 fl oz), but unfortunately I don't have exact data for the original AeroVac bin. Looking at the pictures, I would say that the original AeroVac's capacity is also 0.3 l (10.1 fl oz), so the two AeroVac bins should be the same.

Too bad that iRobot did not take the opportunity to fix two important issues on an otherwise great product:
1) Old battery technology. The battery on my first Roomba lasted for ages, but the pack on my second one (a 560) died after 1.5 year. The replacement pack lasted less than a year. I have since built my own pack out of quality NiMH cells, but what I'd really like to see is a LiPo pack.
2) seriously... They still haven't added two simple and cheap ball bearings to the gear box? I have two hairy cats and the Roomba's gearbox gets fouled up rather quickly by hair, necessitating an annoying strip of the box. I have added these ball bearings myself, which was about €15 and an hour of work with common tools, and the Roomba has been running fine ever since.
I was excited about the new model Roomba, since I have moved into a bigger house and I could use a second Roomba, but now I am thinking about trying a competitor.

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