Samsung Powerbot review: Something out of the Jetsons

Samsung’s Powerbot is smart and powerful enough that it could retire some traditional vacuum cleaners.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Samsung Powerbot VR9000
  • Samsung Powerbot VR9000
  • Samsung Powerbot VR9000
  • Samsung Powerbot VR9000
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Intelligent mapping system
  • Strong suction power for an autonomous vacuum cleaner

Cons

  • Pricey
  • 700ml chamber

Would you buy this?

The Powerbot tops Samsung’s range of robotic vacuum cleaners for a good reason. Last year Samsung introduced its digital inverter technology, which is the cornerstone behind its top-end refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners. This is tech backed by a ten year warranty.

A miniaturised version of Samsung’s digital inverter technology is found at the heart of the Powerbot vacuum cleaner, though because it is a ‘lite’ version, it doesn’t come with the same warranty. What is does offer, according to Samsung, is 60 times more suction-power than older Samsung robotic vacuums.

Well designed with a sense of direction

The design of the Powerbot achieves a fine balance between function and mobility. The digital inverter technology and a 700ml dust chamber sit at its core. Grooved wheels give the robotic vacuum traction on all surfaces and the rounded back lends itself to easy maneuvering. The front end is squared so that the bot can pick up dirt in the corners.

Watching the Powerbot scurry from room-to-room, weaving between chair legs and dodging obstacles, is an uncanny experience. It goes around furniture, halts at steps and knows what parts of a room it has already vacuumed. A digital camera, a range of sensors and clever software are all behind its awareness.

Positioned up-front and aimed at the ceiling is a digital camera. It captures 15 image-frames per second of your ceiling and uses this information to knock up a floorplan of your home. Forward-firing ultrasonic sensors give the Powerbot eyes on the ground and help it circumnavigate furniture. Three edge sensors allow it to approach steps with speed, though it comes to a dead halt as it nears the very edge.

The Powerbot can find its way around a house. It's smart enough to trust it with the vacuuming when you're not home, which can be done by setting the timer. Simply keep the floor clear of clutter first, such as shoes or, in one instance, the fake snow placed beneath a Christmas tree.

Clearing clutter from the bot isn’t difficult. The drum brush at the front can be completely removed with ease, cleaned and returned.

How much power goes into a bot?

The Powerbot is a methodical cleaner. It will vacuum one row, perform a tight turn and vacuum another, until it has cleaned an entire room. The 15mm ride height is enough for it to clear the odd power-cable and the wheels have enough traction for it to vacuum carpets or any hard surface in its stride.

Samsung has equipped the bot with one particular feature that is fun as it is functional. Built into the remote control of the Powerbot is a laser pointer that can be used to lead the Powerbot to specific spots. The bot has to be guided; that is to say it won’t just materialise at a spot on the other side of the room. There is something comical about the great feature, and it comes down to how easy the Powerbot makes vacuuming.

The Samsung’s robotic vacuum cleaner can’t match a manual vacuum on suction because it’s powered by a Lithium-Ion battery and not a 240-volt wall socket. That said, its performance is comparable and the margin of difference is so little that it could replace traditional models.

On its first run of our two-story townhouse, which is typically the domain of our Dyson barrel vacuum cleaner, the Powerbot managed to fill three quarters of its 700ml chamber with dense dust and dirt. It will vacuum continuously for 80 minutes, automatically return to the charging station and then resume vacuuming from where it left off.

Final thought

The problem facing the Powerbot — and other robotic vacuums — is that you still need a secondary handstick vacuum in order to clean corners, steps and nooks thoroughly. The best way to use the Powerbot is daily, with it maintaining a household, while resorting to a handstick or your older vacuum every week or two for that thorough clean. The Powerbot then isn’t an end to vacuuming, but it will spare you a great deal from the chore.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: samsung, Powerbot, Digital inverter technology, Vacuum
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?