iRobot Roomba 530
Meet the iRobot Roomba 530: a handy little robo vacuum cleaner
- Fast, good at untangling itself, high charging base return rate, voice alerts, detects dirtier spots
- Only one sweeper, noisy
The iRobot Roomba 530 robot vacuum cleaner is a handy little home appliance that sweeps and sucks up mess while comically zipping around your home, bumping into things and being awesome.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
If you have a busy life, are pressed for time, hate vacuuming or if just love gadgets, the Roomba 530 is probably the vacuum cleaner for you. Unlike the Samsung NaviBot, the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner doesn’t have a mapping system to coordinate its cleaning; it blindly roams around following no specific path. That said, it does pretty much the same job as the NaviBot.
The Roomba 530 features a circular sweeping arm located on the side of the unit and two counter rotating brushes underneath. The side brush sweeps dust, dirt and fluff into the chamber while the rotating brushes underneath do the grunt work. They comb the floor for filth and grime, also dumping it into the dust chamber.
Roomba: Artificial 'intelligence'
A bumper sensor is fitted to the front of the Roomba 530; it's designed to stop the vacuum when it hits a solid object and it does this exceptionally well. In our tests, we found that although the Roomba seems to randomly charge about like a child loaded up on sugar, as soon as it bumps into something it actually carefully navigates away from or around whatever it has encountered. It can actually clean in a curve around an object, for example. Furthermore, cliff sensors stop the Roomba 530 from tumbling down a flight of stairs or toppling off a ledge.
Unlike the Samsung NaviBot, the iRobot Roomba 530 did a great job of overcoming obstacles during our tests. It’s slightly smaller than the NaviBot and this makes a big difference. For example, the NaviBot would frequently get wedged under things roughly the same height as it, whereas the Roomba, because it has a slightly smaller stature, makes its way under and around things with ease. We found during our tests that the Roomba also tackles cords a lot better than the NaviBot; we think this may be due to the fact that the Roomba 530 only has one sweeper arm as opposed to the NaviBot's two sweeper arms.
Another factor that aids the Roomba's nimble manoeuvring is that it is relatively light at 3.7kg. While the Roomba excels at untangling itself from extension cords and the like without human intervention, it still requires help when the side sweeper arm or bottom rotating brush gets seriously wound up by smaller things like string — and it lets you know, too! An error message alerts you where the problem is so you can sort it out and get it back on the cleaning track. For example, a string of plastic it picked up in our Test Centre was wound tightly around its rotating side sweeper and the error message, in a woman's voice, said something along the lines of "Error! Error! Please untangle side brush".
Roomba: Cleaning performance
The iRobot Roomba's performance was on par with the Samsung NaviBot's. While the NaviBot has a more calculated cleaning path compared to the Roomba’s blind fumbling, they both delivered the same cleaning results.
Cleaning options for the Roomba 530 are limited to spot mode and regular cleaning mode. The spot mode works well as the Roomba can actually sense a dirtier patch of floor and systematically go back and forth over that patch until it has been cleaned to the Roomba’s satisfaction.
As the battery gets lower and lower, the light under the power button goes from green, which indicates full batter power, to yellow, which indicates half battery life, to red, which indicates that it needs to make its way back to the charging dock. During our tests, we found that the iRobot Roomba 530 had an excellent success rate of about 90 per cent at returning to the charge base. In comparison, the Samsung Navibot had a success rate of about 70 per cent.
Every now and then, the cleaner becomes the one in need of cleaning. Maintenance tools come packaged with the unit and make cleaning the Roomba a simple task. When you flip the Roomba onto its back and pull the rotating brushes out, simply place the brush cleaner over the rotisserie brush and slide it down; the sharp plastic teeth comb hair and fluff off the brush leaving it clean and ready to collect dirt once more. Emptying the dust chamber is simple and painless, too. Simply pull the back of the chamber out of the chassis and empty it into a bin; then pull a tab, which opens the secondary dust chamber for finer particles, and empty that as well. Unfortunately, but inevitably, after a couple of cleaning cycles the Roomba 530 gained scratches and marks and assorted other battle wounds, but that’s unavoidable when it’s continually bumping into things.
The iRobot Roomba 530, like the Samsung NaviBot, does a great ‘superficial’ clean of the floor. That’s all you can expect from roaming robot vacuum cleaners, as they are no where near as powerful as upright canister vacuums. But if you use it every day, you can make sure that your floor is never tarnished with dust, crumbs and other annoyances, such as stray hairs from your cat or scattered seeds from a bird cage.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Apple will return heat generated by data center to warm up homes
- The Pico Model C is the beer-brewing appliance for price-conscious beginners
- TP-Link's new Wi-Fi light bulbs shun smart bridges for easier, cheaper setup
- Nissan charges after Tesla with home battery system
- iLumi's BR30 Outdoor color-tunable smart bulb will bring programmable lighting to your yard this summer
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- Apple TV 4K review
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPPHP DeveloperVIC
- CCApplication Developer - Sterling IntegratorVIC
- FTWorkspace/ Workplace Lead/ Manager - ABW environmentOther
- FTService Desk Consultant - Part TimeOther
- TPIntegration Developer. Cloud SolutionsNSW
- CCCyber Security Analyst - TelcoVIC
- CCApplications Development Delivery LeadVIC
- FTTableau Application Support SpecialistOther
- TPProject Manager - IT SecurityQLD
- FTJunior Infrastructure EngineerACT
- FTAutomation Test Analyst - Mobile AutomationOther
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- CCMid - Level SAP Test Analyst (Brisbane)WA
- CCBusiness Analyst (Finance/Grants)QLD
- FTMarketing and Advertising Project/Sales SupportOther
- CCMultiple System Engineers - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- TPSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCNetwork EngineerWA
- CCProgram DirectorQLD
- CCWeb Applications Project ManagerACT
- FTSenior Network EngineerOther
- FTBusiness Project ManagerOther
- CCAngular DeveloperNSW
- CCDevOps Engineer - AWS, Jenkins, GitVIC