Once you get a Roomba vacuum, you rarely go back. That’s because iRobot has nearly mastered the promise of a convenient vacuum that does most of the work for you. And starting not long ago, that included emptying itself. That did come at a premium, but now the Roomba $599 i3+ brings that price a little.
The latest Roomba comes in two flavors, the $399 i3 and the $599 i3+ model. They’re the same robot vacuum, but the latter comes with a self-emptying station. Until now, if you wanted a Roomba with self-emptying capabilities, you had to pay $799 for the i7+ or $1,099 for the i9+.
At $599, the Roomba i3+ is still expensive, but much more affordable than its older brothers. You get app controls, scheduling capabilities, and pairing with various smart home devices like Google Home and Alexa.
But you do give up a few features compared to its more expensive siblings. You don’t get smart maps, for instance. Smart maps will map out your home, allowing you to tell a Roomba to vacuum the dining room or just under the kitchen table. But if you don’t mind giving up that feature, it looks to be a solid entry from iRobot.