I Wanted to Love Dyson’s New $1,200 Robot Vacuum. But Our $130 Budget Pick Cleans My Home Better.

Unpacking the Dyson 360 Vis Nav is a pleasure beginning with an environment friendly and superbly designed field. Photo: Sabine Heinlein

Violet’s bodily magnificence struck me immediately. While most different robotic vacuums appear to be oversize hockey pucks, the 360 Vis Nav is deep purple with putting silver accents. It is D-shaped, moderately than spherical, promising entry to corners and different areas that round bots are likely to miss.

The 360 Vis Nav additionally options an extra-large brush roll, about double the dimensions discovered on most bots. Reminiscent of the rollers of Dyson’s cordless stick vacuums, it has smooth, fluffy microfiber to caress delicate flooring and stiff nylon bristles to dig up dust from carpets. The brush roll is enclosed in clear plastic housing, so you may watch it whereas it really works. (I recognize transparency in a relationship.)

I used to be equally smitten with Violet’s dustbin. My present cleansing companion, the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max (our budget-pick robotic vac), compelled me to wrestle out its bin—which then coughed up a few of its contents on the way in which to the rubbish can—however Violet’s brushed-silver receptacle gracefully detaches from the robotic with the push of a pink button. It then reveals a carrying deal with with one other pink button that, when pushed, dumps the gathered particles from the underside of the bin into the trash. The carrying deal with may also be used to hold the entire robotic, a handy function hardly ever seen on different robotic vacuums.

Some might argue {that a} $1,200 robotic vacuum ought to empty itself (a companion who takes out the trash is the best, in any case). Even our prime decide, the Roborock Q5+, which prices about half as a lot because the 360 Vis Nav, comes with a self-emptying dock that mechanically sucks the particles right into a bag after a cleansing session.

The 360 Vis Nav’s dustbin has a carrying deal with. Once the bin locks into place, it may also be used to hold the entire robotic. Photo: Sabine Heinlein

Unlike the vast majority of machines out there, together with our picks, the 360 Vis Nav has a contact display that permits you to begin and cease the machine, select from 4 cleansing modes (Auto, Quick, Quiet, and Boost), set the language, and entry its fault historical past.

The app has extra programming choices than the touchscreen, permitting you to schedule, map, and create restricted areas. It’s intuitive and ample, nevertheless it doesn’t let you comply with your robotic’s progress on a map, which is commonplace on most machines. (The possibility to decide on a most well-liked energy mode for every room, equivalent to Quiet for the bed room and Boost for below the eating desk, was a pleasant contact, although.)

The 360 Vis Nav additionally contains a USB port. App-averse homeowners can manually obtain software program updates onto a USB stick and add it on to the bot—a decidedly anachronistic function in 2024.

One factor you don’t get along with your $1,200 Dyson robotic is the power to mop your flooring. Though many robotic vacuum producers are integrating mopping into their machines, John Ord, a lead engineer on the 360 Vis Nav undertaking, advised me the corporate decided it could compromise the general cleansing efficiency. We’ve gone for the very best dry-cleaning robotic, he defined. (Dyson will not be misguided, right here: In our exams to this point, most mop-vacuum hybrids carried out disappointingly.)

Violet mapped my front room, kitchen, and bed room rapidly, and I admired the way it climbed over the 0.75-inch threshold into my toilet, taking a few twists and turns earlier than scampering again out. (Only a couple of bots I’ve examined handle this feat.)

The 360 Vis Nav awoke my rabbit, Pushkin, however gracefully averted him. Video: Sabine Heinlein

Then Violet went to work. The bot gracefully averted most obstacles, together with sleeping bunnies, and even managed to scrub the pet rugs with out bunching them up and making an attempt to devour them. But I started to have doubts about how deeply Violet was cleansing my flooring. I wouldn’t have caught on so rapidly had I not been capable of view the bot’s cleansing exercise after every cycle: A reasonably correct map of my house confirmed the color-coded areas the place Violet detected low mud (purple), medium mud (orange), and excessive mud (yellow). (For the file, my house was removed from filthy. My husband had vacuumed with our Miele canister vacuum only a few days prior.)

A map of my house’s second ground, displaying areas the place Violet had detected low mud (purple), medium mud (yellow), and excessive mud (orange).

After taking Violet on a number of runs in a row, I observed that not solely did the robotic underestimate my house’s sq. footage, however subsequent exercise maps continued to point out areas with excessive mud prevalence. Granted, the yellow and orange spots grew smaller with every run, however inspecting the map, I questioned why my treasured, posh, supposedly good Violet saved leaving mud behind in any respect. Did Dyson shoot itself within the foot with this gimmick?

“The pickup is rarely going to be 100% on any vacuum, whether or not it’s a robotic, a corded, or a cordless,” mentioned Ord once I addressed the difficulty. He added that in Dyson’s exams, the 360 Vis Nav picked up “greater than another robotic may have accomplished on the primary move.” (While Ord mentioned that the machine was examined in opposition to “competitor fashions making up the vast majority of the highest market share,” he didn’t disclose which fashions he was referring to.)

Violet has a “facet duct” that extends like a tiny pink hand with fingers, redirecting suction to seize mud and particles near baseboards. But in my exams, Violet’s little hand solely sporadically emerged, and the bot all however ignored the rice and flour I had unfold on the wooden flooring alongside the baseboards. It additionally constantly left giant quantities of particles within the threshold areas between rugs and subsequent to partitions. Admittedly, that is difficult for all bots, however I anticipated a $1,200 machine to work a bit tougher to win my coronary heart.

I ran the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max proper after Violet declared itself accomplished to see if it could decide up the slack. It did, for essentially the most half. This could also be partially as a result of the Eufy vacuum tends to go over the identical areas a number of instances. But at its value, Violet didn’t have an excuse for abandoning even a speck of mud in an simply accessible, bare-floor space.

Photo: Sabine Heinlein

The actual revelation that we’d not be a match got here once I pitted Violet in opposition to my humble Eufy mannequin to compete for my affections. For this, I didn’t vacuum my four-pet house for 3 days, letting fur, litter, dandruff, kitchen particles, the occasional dried bunny poop pellet, and strands of sentimental hay accumulate. For funsies—and far to the delight of my carb-addicted rabbit—I additionally unfold some sushi rice evenly round the home. (Naturally, I locked him up as soon as I observed his indiscriminate urge for food.) I then programmed the Eufy vacuum to run on BoostIQ, which will increase suction on carpet, and set Violet to run on Auto, which guarantees to regulate suction based mostly on dust detection.

Like a besotted lover, I watched whereas the Eufy vacuum ate up a charging wire and my Violet dug into a big rubber band I had forgotten on the ground. Considering the alarming noise the tangled-up rubber band made earlier than I pulled it out, I used to be shocked that the incident didn’t make it into the machine’s “fault historical past.” Did I come to Violet’s rescue too quick?

Once freed, each machines continued their cleansing journey, however I started to note variations in stamina. The 360 Vis Nav’s battery lasted for lower than 45 minutes in Auto mode, so Violet needed to return to the dock to recharge. This meant cleansing my complete house—about 1,200 sq. ft—may take hours. Violet wasn’t significantly quiet both. While the Eufy vacuum hardly ever goes above 60 decibels, even in Max mode, Violet constantly went as much as 74 dB on carpets in Auto mode. If you do business from home, that is one approach to get disenchanted along with your new crush. (Another one is the blinding vivid gentle that comes on at any time when the vacuum detects darkness. Way to kill the temper, Violet!)

To hold issues truthful, whereas Violet was charging, I paused the Eufy vacuum, solely turning it again on as soon as Violet was prepared to complete its cleansing session. After a couple of extra rounds, Violet declared itself accomplished, and I turned off the Eufy vacuum as nicely, regardless that it may have fortunately continued for one more hour or so (wink wink).

Not solely did the 360 Vis Nav accumulate much less particles (proper) than the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max in our take a look at, it additionally vastly underestimated the sq. footage it wanted to scrub. Photo: Sabine Heinlein

I then weighed the contents of every dustbin: The roughly $130 Eufy vacuum had collected 25 grams of particles, whereas the $1,200 360 Vis Nav received solely 18 grams. Not solely had Violet collected considerably much less fur than the Eufy vacuum, it one way or the other averted stray bunny poop and strands of hay virtually fully. (Maybe it considers tending to such detritus beneath its dignity.)

These outcomes held up in subsequent battles: Only as soon as did each bots deliver house an equal quantity of particles. On all different events, the Eufy vacuum gained. We’ll proceed to check the 360 Vis Nav in opposition to different robotic vacuums, however I can’t assist however really feel disillusioned. “It’s a little bit of a puzzle,” Ord mentioned, once I advised him, nonetheless emphasizing that the bot’s “superiority [was] totally examined.”

In the couple of weeks we performed home, Violet step by step began exhibiting different flaws. On event, it returned to the dock declaring itself completed 5 minutes after I had despatched it out to scrub. At one level, its dirty-sensor warning got here on repeatedly, even after I had totally cleaned the sensors. Once, the bot received misplaced below the eating desk, spinning endlessly.

Ultimately, it wasn’t meant to be. When it involves long-term commitments, beauty and swagger can solely take you to this point. Dependability is the place it’s at—I simply hope my Eufy vacuum is prepared to take me again.

Budget decide

Eufy RoboVac 11S Max

An unassuming however mighty robotic

This strong, reasonably priced robotic vacuum has a big bin and wonderful cleansing energy. It might be scheduled to scrub, however it could possibly’t be managed with an app.

Buying Options

This article was edited by Courtney Schley and Ingrid Skjong.

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