iRobot Roomba 560 review

Price when reviewed

To get this into PC Pro we admit we’re stretching the term “robot” to its limit, but we couldn’t resist: the Roomba 560 is indeed a vacuum cleaner. Press the “clean” button and off it trundles, dredging up muck with a stiff rotating brush and a powerful bagless vacuum cleaner. Its heuristic navigation finds routes around furniture to cover every inch of floor, and it’s smart enough to avoid stairs and get itself out of tangles.

iRobot Roomba 560 review

In our tests, the Roomba picked up an amazing amount of fluff and dirt, even from carpets that appeared spotless. The side-mounted sweeper digs into corners, and the brushes and dust receptacle pop out, so it’s easy to clean.

The Roomba isn’t fast: it can take half an hour or more to clean a room, and although there’s a “spot” cleaning mode, you can’t easily direct it to focus on specific areas. Two “virtual wall” transmitters can be used to hem it in, but hold on to your traditional vacuum cleaner for quick clean-ups.

For routine vacuuming, though, the Roomba 560 is a godsend. It isn’t cheap, but it’s one robot that can genuinely make your life easier.

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