Roomba Combo j7 Plus overview: now with a mop on prime

The Roomba Combo j7 Plus is a chief-of-the-line robotic vacuum that may even moreover mop and empty its grasp bin. Due to its capability to association your scenario and steer away from normal family muddle, it’s one among the many few bots I’ve examined that now not recurrently ever will get caught. All this autonomy makes it a simply appropriate family cleansing associate, although it’s a greater vacuum than a mop, and also you create should refill its water reservoir quite on the entire. Nonetheless it’s one among the many absolute most life like robotic vacuums that may reliably vacuum all your rugs and carpeted areas and vacuum and mop your ground in a single speed up with out dragging its damp, dirty mop over your efficient rug.

iRobot’s first combo mop / vacuum, the $1,099 Combo j7 Plus takes the stylish j7 robotic vacuum and gives some latest sensors, a good greater battery, a tiny water reservoir, and a robotic arm that raises and lowers a very tiny mopping pad. 

That robotic arm is crucial. Almost each different robotic vacuum with a mop requires guide intervention: or now not you’ll should secure the mopping pad so this could even maintain carpets and put aside it once more on similtaneously you need mopping motion. Nonetheless the Combo j7’s arm retains the mop pad tucked away on prime of the robotic when now not in use, then lowers itself behind and beneath the robotic when obligatory. This operation is solely autonomous and labored reliably and easily in my testing. It’s additionally very enjoyable to peek. 

The mop easiest deploys when the robotic is on a laborious ground floor — wood, tile, concrete. If it’s in mopping mode and encounters a rug, it gained’t speed up over it (I tried to trick it, nevertheless it absolutely repeatedly backed away). Cleverly, similtaneously you ship it out on a job it vacuums the final rugs and carpets first, then deploys the mop and and cleans and vacuums the laborious ground. It’s now not solely palms-off, although; looking on the scale of your scenario, you’ll should refill the water reservoir a minimal of as soon as to mop all of it.

The Plus in Combo j7 Plus methodology it comes with iRobot’s Neat Assign, an auto-empty injurious that costs the robotic and sucks the filth out of its bin. The actual trying j7 vacuum may even be purchased with the injurious (because the j7 Plus) or with out it, nevertheless it is seemingly you will probably perchance in the interim easiest eat the Combo with the injurious, which partially explains the recognize-watering $1,099 mannequin ticket. 

The Combo works correctly in the event you secure of laborious ground blended with a style of plush rugs and carpets

Acquire-incandescent, the Combo j7 appears almost very similar to the j7. Primarily the only inequity is the mushy prime fragment of the robotic is damaged up moderately of by the mopping plate. Proper this is composed a simply correct-having a peek robotic; it’s with out problems absolutely the most life like salvage inside the sector of robotic vacs. Its matte shadowy plastic doesn’t show mud or fingerprints, and tiny touches — just like the brushed aluminum prime fragment with a tiny iRobot emblem — are crucial classier than the loud designs of opponents equal to Shark and Roborock. 

The Combo has the final smarts of the j7, collectively with AI-powered impediment avoidance plus latest onboard acoustic sensors to resolve the ground variety. It makes use of these sensors, plus the figuring out it gleans from mapping your dwelling, to resolve its cleansing sample. When it enters a room, it vacuums the rugs and carpets first, then mops and vacuums the laborious ground earlier than consuming on to the next room. There’s no longer in any recognize instances a option to mop easiest; the robotic is repeatedly vacuuming and typically mopping. 

It’s a good mop

It might easiest mop in the event you set the pad (which is detachable so it is seemingly you will probably perchance comely it) and if its 210 ml water tank is stout. With out each of these in scenario, it factual vacuums. When it runs out of water, it continues to hoover, and also you salvage an alert inside the app to refill the tank. This does require guide intervention: or now not you’ll should eat the blended mud bin and water reservoir out of the once more of the robotic and grasp the water tank. (iRobot says it’s efficient to make use of any cleansing resolution in its bot; most robotic mops easiest eat water or their grasp cleansing resolution). 

The tiny tank would not closing lengthy: after mopping my kitchen ground, it flip into on the entire spent. You may perchance probably perchance additionally salvage additional mopping out of it by decreasing the water waft stage inside the app, nevertheless in my testing, absolutely the most life like surroundings flip into absolutely the most life like. Handily, it is seemingly you will probably perchance scenario diversified water ranges for diversified rooms. I had it eat two passes and mop on the Extraordinarily surroundings for the kitchen and eating room ground nevertheless had it use Eco for the lounge. 

A hand lifting the mopping arm of the Roomba Combo j7 plus to show the mopping pad.

The mopping pad is a tiny semi-circle that’s with out problems detachable for laundry.

The water reservoir is built into the removable bin.

The water reservoir is constructed into the detachable bin.

The Combo doesn’t use any scrubbing motion to comely the ground, factual the downward energy from the mop fingers and the friction from the pad dragging throughout the ground because the robotic strikes. iRobot says that programming it to create two passes is absolutely the most life like capability to make use of the mop for added cussed stains. In testing, that flip into magnificent, nevertheless with two passes, I flip into filling up the tank hundreds additional on the entire.

Whereas its rug-warding off formulation works correctly, its mopping is lackluster.

Primarily the only different robotic vac / mop that doesn’t want you to set its pad similtaneously you need it to mop is the Roborock S7 line. Roborock handles the “don’t hurry a moist mop pad over my rug” draw back by lifting its mop a pair of millimeters when it encounters carpet. Nonetheless this easiest works on low pile rugs and carpets, whereas the Combo j7 can speed up over any rug or carpet, because of that robotic arm.

Whereas its rug-warding off formulation works correctly, its mopping is lackluster. Proper this is magnificent of almost each different combo vacuum and mop I’ve examined, nevertheless, particularly in contrast with a Swiffer-kind mop and some guide labor. 

Sure, it really works correctly ample to secure up efficient mud the vacuum misses, nevertheless it absolutely gained’t salvage dried milk up except you ship it out 4 or 5 instances, even with a cleansing resolution, whereby degree it is seemingly you will probably as correctly secure grabbed the Swiffer. iRobot has a reliable mopping robotic, the Braava Jet M6, which does a hundreds higher job at mopping — it obliterates dried milk stains. Nonetheless it’s very leisurely and may perchance probably’t maintain rugs or excessive-room transitions inside the similar capability the Combo can.

Each the Roborock S7 Plus and the S7 MaxV Extraordinarily create a greater job at mopping ground than the Combo j7. The S7’s mopping pad is twice the scale of the Combo’s and vibrates ever so moderately of to simulate scrubbing. The S7’s oscillating circulation did a greater job of cleansing a dried milk stain in a single slither than the Roomba did in two passes, although it didn’t absolutely secure the stain in its typical mode. The Roborocks secure a excessive-depth mopping stage the place the bot doesn’t vacuum in any recognize, strikes additional slowly, and scrubs additional intensely. That mode did absolutely secure the dried milk and left my ground feeling like every particular person had actually mopped them.

Roborock additionally sells an Empty Wash Acquire dock for its S7 MaxV Extraordinarily robotic that mechanically refills the robotic’s water tank and scrubs the mopping pad, as nicely to emptying its mud bin and charging its battery. Whereas the Roomba Combo j7 Plus does include an auto-empty dock, filling the water tank and cleansing the mopping pad are on you. And likewise you create should refill the water tank steadily, regardless of iRobot’s palms-free claims; it by no means purchased via my 800-square-foot downstairs with out wanting to be refilled.

In iRobot’s nook, the Roomba’s auto empty location is crucial much less of an eyesore than the Roborock’s, and the Combo j7 Plus with the situation on the entire costs about $300 decrease than the Roborock with the Empty Wash Acquire injurious. Plus, Roombas don’t secret agent advice from you, now not like almost each different robotic vac I’ve examined, collectively with the Roborocks. Severely, this stuff are Chatty Cathys — “I’m going to comely the kitchen.” “I’m caught, and I would like abet.” “I’m very aggravating.” 

Top-down shot of the Roomba’s auto empty base with the lid lifted.

The auto-empty charging injurious has a bagged compartment that holds the filth from the vacuum and one another that holds a spare bag.

…nevertheless a righteous vacuum.

Not directly, the Combo j7 Plus gives moderately additional comfort than most vacuum / mop objects and may secure to salvage your ground moderately cleaner than the standard j7. And whereas it’s an okay mop, it is a stylish vacuum. Roombas are absolutely the most life like at actually vacuuming of the final objects I’ve examined. Proper this is partly because of a unique twin rubber brush plan that helps it dig into carpet fibers and secure up filth higher from laborious ground.

The j7 and Combo j7 secure the similar instrument and the similar vacuuming points. I reviewed the j7 when it first got here out, nevertheless because of a great deal of over-the-air updates to its robotic thoughts (or working plan), it has gotten tremendously higher. I abet you to be taught my earlier overview of the Roomba j7 for added background, and I’ll speed up precise right into a pair of of the updates proper right here.

The underside of the Roomba Combo J7 showing its dual green floor rollers.

Roomba’s twin-brush plan is amazingly magnificent at cleansing laborious ground and carpet alike.

The underside of the Combo j7 showing a rotating brush with three sets of close-packed bristles a few inches long.

A facet-spinning brush attracts particles into the curler’s course.

The j7 is absolutely the most life like iRobot vacuum with AI impediment avoidance. This technique it’s trim ample to understand to go spherical that sock, cable, or pile of poop. Roomba’s AI impediment avoidance is amazingly magnificent, hundreds higher than the Roborock S7 MaxV, its closest competitor, and higher than the Samsung JetBot AI that I firstly pitted it in opposition to.

I put aside this appropriate all the way down to the Roomba’s capability to resolve out what objects are in its capability and clutch what to create about them considerably than factual averting something lumpy. Proper this is key: you need a vacuum to comely factual up shut to a litter discipline or pet bowl nevertheless undoubtedly now not canine raze.

In testing, the j7 almost repeatedly gave pet raze and cables an enormous berth (if it does invent a poopy mistake, iRobot guarantees to ship you a latest robotic). It purchased shut to — nevertheless now not in a tangle with — socks, baseball caps, and backpacks and factual as much as pet bowls and litter bins. You may perchance probably perchance additionally give the robotic additional definitive instructions inside the app, which lets you designate comely zones for areas it is important to focal degree on cleansing, no-mop zones, and retain-out zones. 

Proper this is worth doing in the event you secure something engaging you need it to e ebook away from; Roombas are very bullish and may secure to bang into furnishings, and AI avoidance isn’t foolproof. Whereas the Combo j7 now not recurrently ever purchased tripped up by something in my testing, it did typically salvage caught under a fraction of furnishings.  

Screenshots from the iRobot app. On the left, a screen showing the vacuum status and some controls, including a favorites section with routines labelled “Kitchen quick” and “After dinner.” On the right, a floor plan labeled “Main Floor” showing several designated clean zones and carpeted areas.

The iRobot app is straightforward to make use of, and its mapping is environment friendly. It mechanically identifies carpeted areas.

You designate these zones on the association the iRobot app creates similtaneously you creep the robotic. (Of yelp, iRobot flip into now not too way back purchased by Amazon, a switch which may probably very correctly be to obtain additional perception into our properties via these maps. The deal has now not however closed.)

The j7 maps additional lickety-split than outdated Roombas, because of its onboard digicam. This helps it identify now not easiest rooms nevertheless additionally furnishings and home equipment. I may even with out problems scenario up a comely zone in entrance of the range and ship the robotic there with a yelp expose to comely up after dinner. 

The bot may even moreover identify issues like Christmas bushes and pet bowls and counsel comely zones for you — although I didn’t secure any of those scenario up all via my testing. This will even counsel retain-out zones after each creep if it encounters obstacles.

Notify instructions are a righteous capability to retain watch over the Roomba, and it really works correctly with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri (using Siri shortcuts). The Combo additionally has specific mopping instructions, so it is seemingly you will probably perchance yelp it factual to hoover or to mop and vacuum. 

Dazzling dwelling data privateness: iRobot

Bringing linked gadgets into your scenario additionally brings with it considerations about how the options they procure is suited. The Verge asks each agency whose trim dwelling merchandise we overview about safeguards it has in scenario in your data.

The predominant dwelling data managed by a robotic vacuum just like the Roomba Combo j7 are the maps it generates and picture data from its onboard digicam. iRobot says it would not promote buyer data and that no data is shared with third events with out the consumer’s data or retain watch over. It outlines its Privateness Options on its web area.

The robotic vacuum collects utilization data, the stage of filth detection, the Wi-Fi sign power it receives, and the association of your scenario, collectively with furnishings and obstacles. iRobot says this data is encrypted and saved securely.

Painting sequence is decide-in and helps with navigation and impediment avoidance. iRobot says pictures are now not viewable by the agency except you decide-in each to picture sequence and to sharing each picture with iRobot. For people who look your association or impediment avoidance pictures to your telephone the options is shared via the Cloud. You may perchance probably perchance additionally decide-out of sending association data to the Cloud inside the app.

You may perchance probably perchance additionally moreover clutch to portion data from the robotic with third events equal to Amazon and Google for yelp retain watch over.

The Roomba Combo j7 would not should be linked to Wi-Fi or the Cloud to work — nevertheless you gained’t be in a intention to make use of points like scheduled cleanings, personalized cleansing points, and yelp retain watch over.

iRobot’s app could be one among the many cleanest and absolute most life prefer to navigate, particularly in contrast with Roborock’s cluttered interface. A pair of unique app points tackle a pair of of my best gripes with the Roomba. First is a latest on-the-flit skip selection. When Roomba begins on a job nevertheless encounters resistance — snarl, a husband observing TV — as an totally different of combating the job solely, it is seemingly you will probably perchance yelp it to skip this room, and this could even work off and proceed the comfort of its job. 

There’s additionally a latest aloof energy attribute, so similtaneously you ship it to comely a selected room, it doesn’t start up up its loudest motors besides it’s there, another time making it much less doubtless any particular person will flip it off as a consequence of it’s aggravating them. Roomba is one among the many few robotic vacs the place it is seemingly you will probably perchance’t scenario the suction stage; others provide aloof and medium modes as nicely to typical and extremely.

Of route, absolutely the most life like capability to be specific a robotic vacuum finishes its job is to creep it when no one is dwelling. You may perchance probably perchance additionally create this with the iRobot app using IFTTT and your telephone’s area or occasions from different linked gadgets it is seemingly you will probably secure — equal to an August trim lock locking, an Ecobee thermostat going into Away mode, or by connecting it to a trim dwelling platform equal to Alexa. 

I examined the IFTTT and the Alexa integrations, and in each instances, the Roomba began to creep after I left and docked itself after I arrived dwelling. For people who don’t need it to stop each time you advance dwelling, it is seemingly you will probably moreover scenario it to pause and put aside a query to in the event you need it to proceed. 

These quality-of-existence touches speed up a protracted capability to creating Roomba’s robots a pair of of absolutely the most life prefer it’s seemingly you will probably perchance eat. And the iRobot OS that runs them is on the final bots the agency in the interim sells, now not factual the excessive-cease objects. Yet another element I like about Roombas in contrast with crucial of the opponents is their repairability. You may perchance probably perchance additionally eat (now not low cost) replacements for a lot of the consuming substances on these bots, tremendously extending their lifespan. 

Floor-level photo of the Combo J7 right alongside a tasseled rug. The mop is is deployed but is not touching the rug tassels.

The Combo can detect rugs and gained’t speed up over them with its mop is extended.

The Combo j7 Plus is a considerably tiny improvement over the j7 Plus. I would secure cherished to peek additional scrubbing motion from the mop and likewise a good greater footprint (that mop is basically tiny). Nonetheless it does comely laborious ground higher than the j7, so from that perspective, it’s worth the mannequin inequity, particularly in the event you secure a style of rugs to your scenario. Nonetheless I’m now not specific moderately of cleaner ground are worth the $300 high price. For these which secure a j7, you absolutely don’t deserve to provide a decide to, nevertheless if that it is seemingly you will be procuring in your first Roomba, it is a methods a tiny step up over the non-mopping j7.

In expose for you a robotic to actually mop your ground, I clutch the Braava Jet M6, a reliable mop bot that it is seemingly you will probably perchance salvage in a bundle with the j7 on the entire for under the Combo j7 Plus. Nonetheless it is leisurely and tiny in its maneuverability, so it’s easiest salubrious to sustaining single rooms like a kitchen or rest room comely. And two robots take up twice the room. 

Yet another selection is robotic vacuum mops from Ecovacs, DreameBot, and Yeedi, which use two salubrious spherical oscillating mops. In my testing, these create a very magnificent job of scrubbing your ground, and some include bases that may refill the mop for you. Nonetheless these gained’t comely carpets and laborious ground inside the similar creep; or now not you’ll should manually set the pads similtaneously it is important to mop.

Proper this is the place the Combo j7 does easiest — higher than the Roborock S7 line, because of its capability to comely excessive-pile carpets. Merely press the button and this could even comely all of it (besides it runs out of water). For these which secure a style of laborious ground with a style of plush rugs and carpets, then the Combo j7 will work correctly for you. In each different case, the standard j7 vacuum, with out the dialog fragment robotic mop arm, is a greater need.

Talking of that robotic arm, it is a methods a formidable fragment of engineering salvage. It’s now not too accessible to extrapolate that this originate of accent mechanism may perchance probably perchance be deployed in different methods. A robotic arm to secure up muddle, probably, or a robotic foot to abet the vacuum crack the ultimate frontier for these spectacular cleansing bots: stairs.

Pictures by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge

Conform to proceed: iRobot Roomba Combo j7 Plus

Each trim software now requires you to comply with a sequence of phrases and conditions earlier than it is seemingly you will probably perchance use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s very now doubtlessly now not for us to be taught and analyze each single one amongst these agreements. Nonetheless we began counting precisely how repeatedly or now not you’ll should hit “agree” to make use of gadgets once we overview them since these are agreements most folks don’t be taught and undoubtedly can’t negotiate.

It’s crucial to register for an iRobot memoir using an electronic mail tackle to make use of the app (Android or iOS) and comply with iRobot’s Phrases of Service, which include:

  • iRobot Phrases & Stipulations
  • iRobot Dwell Client License Settlement
  • iRobot Privateness Safety

In whole, you salvage three an crucial agreements.