home: Robovacs the Roborock S8+ or S7 MaxV

Well, I was about to get a Roborock S7 as the best choice for Apple Home-enabled vacuum cleaner. I actually ordered it from Walmart and then returned it when I discovered the Roborock S8 was announced at CES. It does seem like there are so many improvements happening right now that the right approach is to get the higher-end one with the view that you will get more life out of it.

Homekit Compatible

There are many Vacuum cleaners out there and it is kind of raining them these days, but we wanted one that is quiet and also that we could control with Homekit. Turns out Homekit does not have a vacuum cleaner set nor are any current vacuums Matter compatible, so the solution is to use Homebridge (which we already have the UniFi protect, Harmony Remotes, and the like so that’s not a big deal). Here are some top choices from Dumb Switches but basically all the major brands have a Homebridge plug in, so it’s better just to look for the features and price you want as these things vary from $2K to $200.

The main amenities from the base models are mopping and then having a station where the junk is dumped out so you only have to clear it every so often. For us, we don’t really need the station, but having mopping and also being intelligent, well is just cool. We actually need quite a few since we have multiple levels, so cost is a bit of an issue too. Rtings has a good list of them as does PC Magazine and Cnet:

  • Roborock S8 Pro Ultra. This is the top-rated one with Lidar and front-facing cameras. It’s very good at bare floors and okay with carpets and the mopping system works. The big improvements in the S8 line are the DuoRollers which basically means better vacuum performance. It has HEPA filters and the Pro Ultra has a dustbin and water tanks for clean and dirty water. And also a mop washing with air drying. The S8 looks like the right low-end model as the Pro Ultra has wet and dry tanks and the S8+ has a dustbin system. It’s not clear what it will list for.
  • Roborock S7 MaxV family. The model names are slightly different, Note that the plain S7 does not have cameras and has a weaker suction motor. All things considered, it’s not the worst thing to get last year’s model. There are about a zillion variants with different attachments, the MaxV Plus only has dust emptying and the S7 MaxV has neither. Note that the S7 family doesn’t have a camera sensor in it. The S7 MaxV is a good deal right now at $650 for a top-of-the-line system from last year at Walmart or Amazon. The reviews are good on Amazon which is a good sigh.
  • iRobot Roombas S9+. This is super expensive and Amazon is vacuuming (pun intended) everything about your home, but it’s the gold standard. It doesn’t have Lidar mapping or real-time hazards or mopping, but it does have a self-emptying doc and a HEPA filter. $960 at Amazon.
  • Dreamebot L10s Ultra. I’ve also not heard of this brand, but it costs $1,300 with two rotating pads, but it appears to be a Xiaomi-produced product. It has Lidar and a camera which is great. It’s $1,000 at Amazon now with the base station. But I’m wondering if it is getting a new version like the Roborock since it was announced at CES 2023 that doesn’t seem likely. The line itself is pretty confusing but Smart Robot Reviews has a good table so the L10s is the top of the line, then there is the Z10 Pro and the lowest model L10 Pro. The difference is that the Z10Pro has an automatic vacuum empty bin for $450 at Amazon the L10 has neither. That makes the L10 a pretty good starter choice for a reasonable $250 direct or Amazon. The main problem is Amazon reviews about it failing after a few months and not mopping correctly, so I”m not sure you are saving money really.
  • Dreametbot D10 Plus. This is just $400 at Amazon but it does have Lidar and a mopping pad too Although Fakespot reports lots of fake reviews, so Buyer Beware.
  • ECOVACS Deebot X1 Omni. If you really want to knock yourself out, it has the same features as the S7 MaxV, but it has larger water tanks and hot-air mop-drying for $1550 at Amazon. To me that’s quite a bit for something that will be obsolete in a few years. Also it has voice recognition in it, so you can yell at it to mop your floors.
  • Neato D8. This doesn’t have all the features, but it is $199 which has a value all its own.

I’m Rich & Co.

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