I like robotic vacuums. As a full-time working dad or mum 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 keen to miss all manner of problems. Yes, it’s a must to carry out common routine upkeep. Yes, you’ll have to decide up your flooring. My youngsters are specialists at setting robotic vacuum booby traps (unstrung bobbins of embroidery floss are a favourite round right here). And sure, they do sometimes 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 trouble 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 plenty of their annoying kinks. Roborock vacuums now carry out comparably to a few of 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 speculated to be appropriate with an older Roborock S7 that I additionally had 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 in all probability not meant to retailer the cleansing instrument, however which I put there anyway.
The vacuum itself doesn’t look notably particular both. It’s spherical and about 3 inches tall, brief sufficient to suit beneath all our couches. It was straightforward to arrange and hook up 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 prime, 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 after they get dusty. The curler on the underside has a brush, but it surely’s straightforward to click on out and reduce off my daughter’s and my lengthy hair when it will get wrapped round. There are even arrows to let you know substitute the curler cowl correctly.
If these all seem to be little issues … effectively, they’re not. On many, many robotic vacuums, these routine upkeep duties are exhausting to do. The vacuum drops off Wi-Fi; it’s exhausting to take away the mud bin. Heck, you’d merely not imagine how exhausting it’s to switch the curler cowl generally—particularly since each my daughter and I’ve lengthy hair that repeatedly ensnares rubber rollers. The Q5+ is simply very straightforward to keep up.
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 known as ReactiveAI). But truthfully, I used to be tremendous with having fewer cellular cameras in my house.
In 2021, my household moved to a big, rambling home that the majority robotic vacuums discover troublesome to navigate; many have merely pooped out midway by means of, unable to manage. The Q5+ is the one vacuum that has cleaned the entire ground time and again. Even the Roomba j7+ left a nook untouched for just a few weeks, unnoticed.