iRobot’s new $599 i3 Plus Roomba comes with automatic emptying but no smart maps

iRobot has announced a pair of new midrange vacuum cleaners that have some of the perks of its top-range models but a few compromises, too. They are the $599 i3 Plus, which comes with the company’s automatic bin-emptying station, capable of holding 60 days’ worth of dirt, and the plain old $399 i3, which has no emptying station but is otherwise identical.

The big drawback for these vacuums compared with iRobot’s pricier models — the i7 Plus and i7 ($799 / $599 with and without automatic emptying) and s9 Plus and s9 ($899 / $1,099, ditto) — is that they don’t include the company’s smart mapping features. This allows the Roombas to map your house so you can tell them to clean specific rooms and even specific areas of specific rooms (like “under the kitchen table” or “under the sofa”). That puts it in line with the company’s old top-of-the-range 900 series.

But the i3s do get all the features that came with the company’s recent AI-assisted update, which it refers to as iRobot Genius Home Intelligence. These are less useful but still handy, with iRobot’s app offering suggestions for cleaning schedules based on your past cleaning routines and the option for smart home-connected automation. So, if you use a location service like Life360 or have a smart lock, you can connect that to your Roomba so it’ll start cleaning whenever you’ve left the house (if you are leaving the house much these days).

Hardware-wise, the design is completely in line with other current iRobot models while the cleaning system is the same as that found in the i7s. Both models are available in the US and Canada today and will be coming to international markets some time in Q1 next year.

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