I like robotic vacuums. As a full-time working mum or dad of two elementary schoolers and one massive, grouchy canine, there’s no method I may hold our flooring mess-free with out one.
In reality, I like them a lot that I’m prepared to miss all manner of problems. Yes, it’s important to carry out common routine upkeep. Yes, you’ll have to decide up your flooring. My children are consultants at setting robotic vacuum booby traps (unstrung bobbins of embroidery floss are a favourite round right here). And sure, they do often get caught, and the clear isn’t fairly as deep as what you’d get from a handheld push vacuum.
But for the previous six months, all these issues have fallen away. Simply put, the Roborock Q+ has been the least problem and least upkeep that I’ve ever had with any robotic vacuum, ever—which is saying one thing, as a result of I’ve had robotic vacuums working continuously for about 5 years. Even as different robotic vacuums have come and gone, the Q+ stays. It’s not probably the most groundbreaking by way of specs or options, but it surely’s the one I simply can’t do with out.
Simple Is Better
Compared to old-timers just like the Roomba—the model title synonymous with robotic vacuum—Roborock is a newcomer. Since I began testing them in 2019, they’ve ironed out a number of their annoying kinks. Roborock vacuums now carry out comparably to among the most well-known and dependable producers, and are priced accordingly.
The Q5 vacuums are their midrange choice, a step down from the premium Q7 and S7 MaxV Ultra. It has 2700-Pa suction energy, or barely lower than the premium fashions, but it surely nonetheless begins at $460 with out the auto-empty dock (I attempted it with the dock). This is not the Rockdock Auto-Empty Pure, which, unfathomably, has a separate chamber for an air filter. The dock was purported to be suitable with an older Roborock S7 that I additionally had readily available, however I couldn’t get the auto-empty operate to work.
In some circumstances, the easier the robotic, the higher. Visually, the Q5+ and auto-empty dock is indistinguishable from many different robotic vacuums I’ve examined all through the years. It doesn’t have a mopping operate. The dock itself is 16.5 inches excessive and in addition straightforward to make use of and arrange. The lid easily lifts off to disclose the auto-empty vacuum bag, with a deep deal with that’s most likely not meant to retailer the cleansing instrument, however which I put there anyway.
The vacuum itself doesn’t look significantly particular both. It’s spherical and about 3 inches tall, quick sufficient to suit below all our couches. It was straightforward to arrange and connect with Wi-Fi, which generally is a ache for some robotic vacuums. I’ve needed to rename totally different bands of Wi-Fi simply so a vacuum can join, however that wasn’t an issue right here. The app has gotten a lot simpler to navigate as effectively.
There are two easy buttons on high, and the mud bin and air filters are straightforward to click on out and take away. The sensors alongside the underside and entrance are straightforward to search out and wipe off once they get dusty. The curler on the underside has a brush, but it surely’s straightforward to click on out and minimize off my daughter’s and my lengthy hair when it will get wrapped round. There are even arrows to let you know find out how to exchange the curler cowl correctly.
If these all appear to be little issues … effectively, they’re not. On many, many robotic vacuums, these routine upkeep duties are laborious to do. The vacuum drops off Wi-Fi; it’s laborious to take away the mud bin. Heck, you’ll merely not consider how laborious it’s to interchange the curler cowl generally—particularly since each my daughter and I’ve lengthy hair that frequently ensnares rubber rollers. The Q5+ is simply very straightforward to take care of.
In distinction to easy bounce navigation, the Q5+ collection makes use of Lidar, which makes use of lasers to navigate. Other robotic vacuums, together with the premium Roborock S7 fashions, use camera-based navigation to assist determine obstacles in the home (Roborock’s model is named ReactiveAI). But truthfully, I used to be effective with having fewer cellular cameras in my dwelling.
In 2021, my household moved to a big, rambling home that almost all robotic vacuums discover tough to navigate; many have merely pooped out midway by, unable to manage. The Q5+ is the one vacuum that has cleaned the entire flooring time and again. Even the Roomba j7+ left a nook untouched for a couple of weeks, unnoticed.