Summary: This vacuum has good performance cleaning on hard floors and thin carpet. It’s made cleaning a lot easier as I can get other things done while the vacuum is doing its thing. If you’ve got carpet I’d recommend buying the iLife A4, but if you’ve got primarily hard flooring this little guy will do the trick. It won’t replace a traditional vacuum for those hard to reach areas or dusting up high, but it does make life a lot easier.
Where to Buy:
Hey, Dreki here and today I’m reviewing the iLife v3s robot vacuum. I didn’t know how much I needed a robot vacuum until I got one, and even though this is an entry level model this thing has made my life a lot easier. This vacuum is good for someone who has a smaller space with primarily hard flooring – for people with larger spaces and carpet I would recommend a more advanced device, such as the iLife a4 (USA / Canada / International) or a real Roomba. As long as you’re aware of its limitations this lower end model will work fine for you.
Design & Features: The iLife V3s is the standard puck design with a clean look and a fairly low profile. It’s just over 3.5 inches high. The front has wall sensors and the underside has drop sensors. There is a hole for suction and two little brushes that sweep the dirt inside. If you want you can stick a microfiber sweeping cloth onto the base too. The dust bin is easy to clean out by just opening the top. It’s a clean design that just works. To get it started with it just press the clean button or schedule a time with the remote. Also make sure to robot-proof your house first by removing any spare cables and things it could get caught on.
Performance: Being the base model robot vacuum, this vacuum is designed for smaller areas and primarily hard flooring. The suction is excellent on linoleum and hard wood. In the last two weeks I don’t think my kitchen has ever been so consistently clean. On thin carpet, like the floor mat at my entrance, the vacuum continues to perform quite well, sweeping and sucking up dust and bits of dirt. On heavy carpet the vacuum does not perform as well though. Because the suction hole is central to the vacuum it doesn’t always hit the entire carpet in one go. It doesn’t overlap enough, likely because it thinks that its little sweepers are pulling dust towards the suction, but on heavy carpet they’re not very effective. I’m using the vacuum twice per week and it gets enough to keep me satisfied. If I want it to focus on a specific room I will close the door, otherwise it will roam around the house and go from room to room more or less at random until its battery runs out and it tries to return to its base.
Cleaning Habits: This vacuum cleans more-or-less at random. It will find the outline of a room, trace it, then zig zag haphazardly across the room. From my experience it manages to clean about 95% of hard floor space consistently every time, so if I am running it 2 times a week I rarely find anything it misses. On the heavier carpet it’s closer to 75% hit rate. It’s enough that running the vacuum twice a week means I don’t need to touch up with my regular vacuum, but just keep in mind that if you have thick rugs you may want to invest in a higher end model that has a proper carpet brush and wider suction. Also because of the random cleaning pattern the marks it leaves on the carpet are not the most visually appealing. In this case it is a good compliment to a regular vacuum, but that regular vacuum will still be needed for occasional deep cleaning.
Volume: Compared to a normal vacuum this robot is pretty quiet. On hard flooring the sound is noticeable but I am still able to hold a conversation at normal volume while it is running and on carpet it’s very quiet because the motor noise is muffled. With headphones on I’m barely able to notice it running on carpet.
Battery: The battery lasts for about an hour and a half of cleaning. That’s about enough for a standard two bedroom apartment or smaller three bedroom. For a house each floor would need to be done separately. Remaining battery is indicated by the lights on top of the vacuum, and there is a button to return the vacuum to home on the remote.
Return to Base: After the battery dies, the vacuum stops sucking and the robot wanders around seemingly at random until it passes in line with its base. Then it stops hunting, lines itself up and wheels on. If the vacuum is in another room it may not find its way back, but if it’s in the same room usually it finds its way home fairly quickly. It’s best if the base is kept away from obstacles, otherwise the robot may not make it back and may get stuck trying to line itself up.
This vacuum performs quite well on hard floors even if the cleaning pattern is random. If you’ve got a hard flooring or more floor space I’d recommend spending a little bit more and getting the iLife a4 (USA / Canada / International) instead as it has a proper carpet brush.