Even as Amazon prepares to finalize its acquisition of iRobot, the veteran robot maker isn’t distracted by its continuing conquest of the space. Today’s announcement of the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ is proof of that, which marks the company’s first of a kind 2-in-1 robot vacuum that vacuums and mops.
For iRobot, this is a big deal because it’s been on the sidelines watching its rivals continually coming out with 2-in-1 robots for quite a while. What makes the Roomba Combo j7+ special is the fact that we feel that it’s the first to really address the problem of actually doing the work in such an intuitive manner.
We’ll detail more of that below, but just know that you’ll be able to order one very soon for $1,099. It’s already in considerate as one of the best robot vacuums released this year.
What We Love About the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+
Sure, the concept isn’t a new one, but we have to give iRobot credit for actually taking the time to meticulously design a robot that can vacuum floors and then transition to mopping floors. We got to spend a good deal of time checking out the new bot in action, and we have to admit that the mechanism it employs to move the mop pad from the floor is, well, genius.
Really, it’s like the Roomba Combo j7+ were a transformer because of the way the mop arms raise and lower the pad into place. Other 2-in-1 robots we’ve tested simply slap a mopping pad on the underside and call it a day. Some like the Roborock S7 slightly lift the pad from the floor, but iRobot’s latest model pulls it up whenever it’s ready to tackle carpet. That way, the mopping pad never comes in contact with the carpet. It simply means that carpets stay dry.
Speaking of mopping, we love the fact that the Roomba Combo j7+ simply doesn’t apply just water to the mopping pad like all the other 2-in-1s we’ve tested. Instead, it uses the same specialized cleaning solution from Bona that iRobot’s line of Braava robot moppers use to clean hard floors. This will ensure that surfaces are cleaned and treated no matter if they’re tile, laminate, or hardwood.
In our demo, we were really surprised by the robot’s ability to detect carpet and automatically raise the mopping pad — and it seems as though the new iRobot OS 5.0 software has enhanced its efficiency. For example, it didn’t constantly move from the hard floor to the carpet, so it wasn’t wasting the time to raise the pad. Given that it’s a variant of the already superb Roomba j7+ we’ve raved about, we’re confident that it can clean intelligently and efficiently.
We’re also eager to see how it navigates around messy floors filled with hazards, such as leftover articles of clothes, the occasional shoe left on the floor, dreaded cable wires, and pet poop. Again, its sibling did a superb job at this and we expect nothing short of excellence in this area.
Also, it features the same low profile self-empty docking station that’s a fraction of the size of other models. It’s not as bulky, so it can easily be stowed away underneath furniture like a desk or table without being out in the open.
Pricing and Availability
Thankfully, pre-orders for the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ will be made available starting on September 27 for $1,099. Not surprisingly, it carries a more premium price that’s higher than the $800 priced Roomba j7+ currently available.
Given the improvements in cleaning and efficiency we can expect, the $300 difference in cost is mainly distinguished by the addition of the mopping feature. Although, its price is still less than some of the other newer robots, like the Roborock S7 Max V Ultra and Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni, which both feature car wash style emptying bins.
Despite letting its rivals tackle the 2-in-1 design, none of them have thoughtfully addressed the mopping function as meticulously as iRobot. And hey, now that this one’s out of the bag, you may never know what Amazon might discount from iRobot’s lineup for the upcoming Prime Early Access Sale next month. It’s a good opportunity to snag deals on some of the best Christmas gifts this holiday season.