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Does The Roomba Hold Up To The Competition?

Robotic Vacuums are all the rage, but are they worth the money and will you really save time using them? We were skeptical, but decided to put the iRobot Roomba 4230 to the test.

First, let me start out by saying that we normally turn to our Dyson when it comes to picking up the dirt from our floors. That would be a tough match for this little disc-shaped robot.

We started with a few tests. A few dry coffee grounds on the floor, some paper, a few pieces of dirt under the table. Of course this would be no challenge for our seasoned vacuum jockey that usually totes around a Dyson Animal, but how would the iRobot fair?

We turned on the iRobot Roomba 4230 after charging for a few hours and let her go to work. This small robotic vacuum quickly whipped around the floor bumping into furniture and redirected itself. It looked a bit chaotic at first.Then suddenly there was a change in the pattern. Much like a dog on a walk in the park, stopping and sniffing everything, the iRobot Roomba stopped cold in it's tracks, made a few circles and being cleaning of the coffee grounds it just found. Truly amazing!

We all stood and watched this little machine whip about the floor and stop short as it reach the virtual walls that we had setup. The Roomba 4230 comes with Virtual Walls that allows you to constrain the Roomba from going into other rooms or in unwanted areas. (These can be purchased separately as well).

After about 30 minutes of randomly roving around the room, the Roomba had completed it's task and found it's way back to it's docking station and began charging. We were amazing to see that it had covered almost every square inch of carpeting in our room and did a great job. We found a few places were not up to par, but these were the spots were we intentionally dumped some dry coffee grounds.

The great thing about the scheduler version is that you can program it to vacuum while your at work, sleeping, watching TV. I can see how this vacuum could save you time if it ran each day and took care of the daily dirt.

If you are thinking of giving an innovative gift this holiday season, I'd suggest the the Roomba. However, this little vacuum will never replace our vacuum jockey's thirst for the power of the Dyson Animal, but it's a great little worker bee that will help the rest of us.

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