In a bold move, Roborock, the innovative Chinese robot vacuum cleaner manufacturer, has unveiled its latest masterpiece at CES 2023: the Roborock S8. Renowned for staying ahead of the curve with features such as sonic mopping and reactive 3D obstacle avoidance, Roborock has always been a formidable contender. However, Amazon's iRobot held one significant edge over its rival – the patent for the dual brush system. Until now, that is. With the introduction of the Roborock S8, the dual brush system is no longer exclusive to iRobot. But the S8 brings more than just a new brush to the table. Let's delve into the upgrades that set this next-generation vacuum cleaner apart.
Roborock S8: Bridging the gap between S7 and S7 MaxV
In terms of pricing, the Roborock S8 nestles comfortably between the S7 and S7 MaxV models at launch. This strategic positioning may be justified by the fact that the base model now incorporates the MaxV technology previously reserved for higher-end models.
MaxV, Roborock's AI-driven object recognition system, utilizes two cameras and even boasts a tiny torch for nocturnal navigation. The company asserts that this system can identify objects such as shoes, pet waste, power strips, and cables with ease.
Curiously, the Roborock S8 is said to offer considerably greater suction power than its predecessor while consuming 5W less energy. It remains to be seen whether these claims will hold water in laboratory tests. Meanwhile, the tried-and-true 5200 mAh battery remains unchanged, offering up to three hours of runtime in quiet mode.
A dynamic duo of brushes for a cleaner home
iRobot's Roomba robot vacuum cleaners have long reigned supreme in the world of automated cleaning, not due to their motor prowess, but rather their clever use of two brushes – double the amount of their rivals. This patented dual brush system not only aids in debris collection, but also minimizes the dreaded hair tangles.
Comparing the brushes of Roborock and iRobot is akin to comparing apples and oranges, as the former employs flaps while the latter opts for rubber nubs. The true test of performance will come once these machines are in the hands of reviewers. However, one observation can already be made: iRobot Roomba S9+'s D-shaped brushes are wider than those on Roborock's model, enabling a closer approach to walls, cupboards, and other obstacles.
While iRobot remains tight-lipped about suction power figures and Roborock's calculations are dubious, it's safe to assume that the S8's reported 6,000 Pa will outshine its closest competitors. The Roborock S7 MaxV's impressive suction and single brush system have already won over many reviewers, so here's to hoping the new system edges even closer to perfection.
A smorgasbord of docking options for Roborock S8
In a departure from the previous generation, the Roborock S8, S8+, and S8 Pro Ultra each feature slightly different vacuum cleaner units and markedly distinct docks. Unlike the uniformly specced S7 MaxV series, the new models boast varying dustbin and water tank capacities. The Roborock S8 houses a 400 ml dustbin and 300 ml water tank, the S8+ a 350 ml dustbin and 300 ml water tank, and the S8 Pro Ultra a 350 ml dustbin and 200 ml water tank.
Fingers crossed that these alterations pertain only to the dustbin and water tank, not the rest of the unit. If so, Roborock could offer the dustbin or water tank as part of each upgraded dock sale.
The Roborock S8+ features an auto-emptying dock, capable of handling dirt and debris for at least a month. As for the rather unfortunately named Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, it takes care of emptying the dustbin, replenishing the vacuum's water supply, and cleaning and drying the mop. All that's left for you is the occasional water refill and filter cleaning, making the Roborock S8 a true hands-off household helper.