Anker RobotVac 10 In-Depth Review: Best Robot Vacuum Under $200? Quite Possibly!
If you’re fancying the idea of a robot vacuum, however have been put off a little by the price of some of the more “established models” and looking for decent alternative - chances are, since you are here - you’ve come across this fellow, the ANker RobotVac 10 who sides on the cheaper end.
The RobotVac 10 is actually a fairly new model so you won’t see many reviews around as of yet, so hopefully this can go someway into helping you to decide whether to make the plunge or not. However, if you are after just wondering whether it’s worth the 200 dollars for a decent robot vacuum, then my short answer is yes.
- Insanely Long Battery Life (compared to other robot vacuums).
- Excellent cleaning performance (on almost all floor types)
- A rather sweet finish to it (hard to keep this way though).
- Awesome value for money!
- A little rough navigation (it’s clever by all means - it won’t fall of the stairs, but does tend to be slightly on the aggressive side)
- Found the remote control to be a little hit and miss.
- Could have done with a few more accessories (but for the price, wasn’t really expecting much more).
So those who after the juicy details, let’s get stuck in!
Now, I’ve got to admit I haven’t actually heard of Anker before, and have actually been recently eyeing up a Roomba 880 over the brand new 860, but this little thing has sure turned my head.
At first though, with a $200 price tag, it sort of just came across like a “wannabe” Roomba but without the expense, a cheaply made - in all pretty crappy vacuum - that wouldn’t clean my carpet and would be running out of battery life every 10 minutes, eventually reverting to my new Dyson V8 Absolute - and I’m more than stoked to say that nothing but the opposite has been true.
From the packaging to the way it feels, you know you get that feeling when something is solid and has been built to last - given the pretty awesome 18 month warranty on it, it’s not that surprising really (Note: the images don’t really do it justice how neat it looks). Plus, I haven’t contacted Anker yet (hopefully I won’t ever really have need to), but the customer service is meant to be second to none - so that’s a big tick in my book.
In all. it’s been money very well spent.
Not “features” wise as such, but just the pure value for money aspect - a robot vacuum that more or less costs half of what the 860 does - yet seems to have all the features there - and after reading a bit more about Anker…
Who is Anker?
… this is their debut robot vacuum cleaner, they have actually been in the electronics business for a while now dealing chargers and the like (leading with “industry leading technology’), and from what I can gather have built themselves a serious bit of cred - and before looking into this little vacuum cleaner, I wasn’t completely convinced - now however, I’m thinking it might make a nice little vacuum for upstairs and keep the Roomba downstairs.
This short and sweet video does a pretty good overview:
But those who like to get into the nitty gritty, let’s get right into it.
It’s designed to be “effort free so it is literally the case of hitting a button and then stand back and it will do it’s thing.
The way it actually cleans is through a little “3 point cleaning system” (which seems to turn up quite a lot in the robot vacuum cleaning world as with the Roomba vacuums too), it works through the use of i) dual side brushes that rotate in opposite directions, along with ii) a beefy rolling brush to help ensure the debris is loosened up to provide for the iii) powerful suction.
What I’m quite surprised about, is just “how well” this thing sucks.
You will tend to see that rather fine pieces of dirt and bits gets thrown about a bit, because this thing is a little on the robust side of robot vacuum cleaners - but oh boy does it do a fine job of cleaning pretty much any floor type you let it face. In the future I’m going to do a little test and compare the level of suction and finished performance with my new Dyson V8 I mean, at least to the naked eye, as far as I can tell actually much difference between that and the Roomba 880 in all fairness. Granted, I haven’t conducted a scientific experiment measuring how small a particles it’s picking up - but on the face of things it looks really rather good.
Hard and Soft Floors
You get a few cleaning options to choose from as well, so you can make the most out of it. If you are using it on soft flooring with a low pile, you can alter it to that setting which I think it just raises the level of the vacuum brush bar and then when you set it for hard flooring such as wooden floors and laminate, it will lower itself to capture more. Granted, it doesn’t do it automatically (adjusting the level) like on some of the Roomba vacuums but again it’s the argument of whether you want to pay for the ‘extra’ bells and whistles.
That said, what it does state is that’s not quite suited for high pile carpet (it handles one of my medium pile carpets rather well) but I haven’t had a high pile one to test it out on (note: I did come across another review, who said it is pretty much next to useless on anything more than 1” and is like being “left stranded in the middle of the abyss”) and that isn’t great on very “dark colored floors” either.
How Does it Handle Pet Hair?
I don’t actually have a dog or cat present in the house at the moment, but from what I’ve read from other second hand reviews,it seems to do remarkably well - considering they don’t specify it as a ‘Pet hair’ dedicated vacuum cleaner. What is for sure, is you will be surprised by not only the “amount” that this thing picks up but actually “what” it picks up - you name it from crumbs to some sort of gunky grime (that I’ve just literally been to check on what it’s picked up this time round) - this thing will suck it up.
Also, what I almost forgot to mention (which I’m sure is a concern with most first time robot buyers, of particularly circular shaped vacuums) is that how good a job it does of getting into corners. Granted it sometimes makes a bit of a performance about it (which we’ll get into just a second) but the side cleaning brushes do genuinely work a blooming treat.
Although no, it’s not going to mean that you aren’t going to have to top it up with cleaning the skirtings and getting right in there every once and awhile, but it will do a decent job for you more often than not - and to be honest is more than fine for my standards.
The vacuum is also fitted with a special HEPA filter to ensure that prevents the nasties escaping into the air like bacteria, allergens, mold spores ensuring the household air remains clean and fresh.
Is it Quiet?
Well it’s not silent by any means, you are going to hear it slightly interfere with a song or the television, but I think you will be more than pleasantly surprised, I know I was. It basically sounds like most other vacuum cleaners in fairness, in fact a lot of other house equipment thinking about it is much louder: washing machines, kettles and so on - all are louder than this fellow in operation. Besides worst comes to worst, you can set it going whilst you’re at work.
Plus with it only being around 3 inches high (12 inches wide), it means it’s pretty darn useful at getting under beds, sofas and the like and basically all the places you can’t always be bothered to move out the way when vacuuming the floor. Although, I haven’t actually tested it - it does a pretty decent job of climbing over stuff too - objects as high as 15mm according to Anker - taking on oncoming rugs and the like.
Superior Battery Life
What get’s me is just how long this thing goes on for. Literally, if you compare it to any other robot vacuum cleaner (even a few of the more reputable ones) this thing will slightly outlast most when comparing them on a single charge. It’s a 2600mAh lithium ion battery apparently that they claim to last over 90 minute - I’ve had it gone for just under the two hour mark which is super impressive really.
Plus, it’s smart enough to detect when it is running out of power so that it will return itself to get recharged - ready for the next cycle (although that’s becoming a standard with most robot vacuum cleaners these days). What I would have liked it to do is carry on from where it last left off (like the Roomba 980, although it’s like more than four times the price), but I’m probably asking a bit much there, given the difference in their relative price tags (at the time anyhow).
Although, I’d have liked it to come with a virtual wall and multi-room cleaning, it does pack an impressive array of accessories.
You get a remote control although (that you need to supply a couple of AAA batteries, would have been a nice touch to include them I’d have thought really) I’ve found that to be slightly temperamental, but from that you can schedule the vacuum cleaner how you want it (although it’s not exactly on the sophisticated side in this regard) - what days you want it going, what time for as well as directing where it to go, you can also set it to a spot cleaning mode as well as edge cleaning - I’ve found the trick is you’ve literally got to point it directly at the thing for it to work. The range seems to be a little bit on the limited side to say the least, certainly improvements can be made here.
It comes with the charging base which it sits in to obviously get recharged, with regards to how long it actually takes to recharge - I’m not 100% sure, seems to differ slightly each time - and will get back to you on that one, not obscenely long though 7-8 hours as a guess. Like I say, it won’t carry on after it has been charged unless you are clever with the scheduling and you get it down to a tea - so that it starts its next cycle just as it’s finished - thinking about it though who needs to vacuum that much?
There’s also the usual bits and bobs, starter guide, extra cleaning brushes and filters too - there’s an AC power adaptor so you can charge it directly if need be too.
Cleaning the Bin Out
Of course it’s not completely automated yet, you still have to empty the bin out along with keeping it in clean and proper shape.
It’s pretty easy to empty though you literally just flip open the top lid and tip it out (of course, you’ll probably do this more times than you’d like given the bin capacities aren’t anywhere near the size of a standard vacuum). Make sure you give it a good clean every now and again too with the brush provided and clean out the filter as well.
It’s not overly heavy to lift either, comes in at just 5 lbs - which is about the same weight as most other similar models.
It’s like most robot vacuums really, in that it makes pretty much no sense in what it’s doing (although in fairness the Neato seems to have some logic to it). Unlike most robot vacuums though, it sort of just throws caution to the wind a bit. So make sure you hide any cables and shut the door because this thing will get caught up on it (Liam Neeson Taken style, “it will find them”) and fly out the room if it gets half the chance - and you will find it likes to bump into things a lot.
This has it’s advantages though, it gets right into places where other vacs don’t seem to want to go. Just make sure there’s nothing liable to get broken on a fragile table and the like. There have been a few reports of troubles with it returning to the docking station but this guy seems to have found a neat solution if you are struggling in that regard, I haven’t yet but have noted it down for future.
Final Review and Thoughts on the Anker RoboVac 10
All in all, I think it is pretty awesome.
You know when you get first impressions completely spot on, this is 100% not one of these occasions, I judged a robot vac relative to others and I’m glad to say it's shown me up and made me look a right wally. It’s cleaning performance is rather impressive, it’s battery life is darn right awesome - just to put it in a bit more context, Roomba have replaced their 870 with the 860 for a better battery and that still isn’t as good as this one (with just 75 minutes max life).
In all, for a cheaper robot vacuum that offers proper bang for buck - I really don’t think there is a robot vacuum that comes close (update: I might have found a few to rival it actually). In actual fact dollar per value wise, it’s probably the best thing on the market. If you do want a bit more control over your robot vacuum then it is worth going for a Roomba, that said if you just want a decent robo vac that does the basics really well for a fair price the Anker RoboVac 10 is definitely the one for you. I’m looking forward to any future models they bring out, because this one has seriously impressed.