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Dreame L20 Ultra review: a super-powered robot vacuum at a substantial price
6:13 pm | November 8, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Robot Vacuums Smart Home | Comments: Off

Dreame L20 Ultra: Two-minute review

If you just care about how the Dreame L20 Ultra cleans; it’s a dream. In fact, I’d go so far as to call it one of the best robot vacuums you can buy right now, but it has to be, as it’s also one of the most expensive, and it’ll cut through grime as efficiently as it cuts through your savings.

Dreame has a huge variety of robot vacuums in its line-up and the L20 Ultra is the biggest and best, bristling with features, tools, and tricks.

Its suction is one of the most powerful on the market and it comes with retractable mops, customizable cleaning plans, smart AI to avoid obstacles, and adjust cleaning based on surface type; the list goes on. Your home will be clean with the Dreame, and it constantly surprised me with what it could scrub up during the testing period.

This comes at a price. Not only is the Dreame L20 Ultra one of the most expensive robot vacuums you can buy, but it has lots of parts that you’ll have to replace regularly. The funds will keep leaving your account even after that hefty up-front payment, so this is only really an option for people who can afford the most premium model available. It's certainly one to look out for in the Black Friday robot vacuum deals too.

From the get-go, ease of use is a major boon. The L20 Ultra will automatically create a 3D map, identifying different surfaces and making a note of immovable obstacles like walls and furniture. It can update that map on the fly if you move furniture around (or leave the box it came in in a stupid location and keep shifting it because you can’t figure out where best to store it).

However, lots of the robot’s extra features (that are, after all, what you’re paying for) are fiddly to activate or even understand. If you’re not tech-savvy, you’re probably not going to be able to make the most of what you’re paying for. 

Its obstacle recognition isn’t quite there yet, either: it worked wonders 90% of the time in my home, but the Dreame started trying to eat shoelaces a few more times than I’d consider healthy.

That’s not to be down on the Dreame L20 Ultra; I started this introduction by calling it one of the best robot vacuums and that’s not wrong. It’s stacked with features and excels at its job – it’s just a little tricky to recommend over rival devices that’ll do a similar job and won’t cost nearly as much.

Dreame L20 Ultra review: price and availability

  • Unveiled August 2023
  • Costs $1,499.99 / £1,099 / AU$2,799 
  • Extra price for regular part replacement

Announced at the annual August tech event, IFA 2023, the Dreame L20 Ultra was available to buy in the US by September of the same year, though took a little while to roll out to other regions.

The Dreame L20 Ultra isn’t for the faint of heart or light of funds – it’s one of the priciest robot vacuums you can get, and will certainly cost you more than simply hiring a cleaner. It’s actually a lot pricier in the US, so if you live in the UK, you can ignore lots of my price criticisms.

You’ll have to shell out $1,499.99 / £1,099 / AU$2,799 for the unit, which is pretty fair when you consider all the top-tier features and abilities the Dreame L20 Ultra has, and most robo-vac brands have similarly priced offerings. However, if you’re on a budget, you’ll find plenty of more affordable options from brands like Eufy, Roomba or Shark — and Dreame itself.

The financial drain won’t end with the up-front cost though, as lots of the device requires frequent replacing or refuelling. Hide your bank cards, and hide your PIN numbers, for this is the full price list: 

You can buy all of the above (save the cleaning solution) in one bundle for $89.99 (around £74, AU$141). Just note that we couldn’t find these parts on sale in the UK or Australia as of writing.

That is to say, you will likely be spending upwards of $100 or equivalent each year just keeping the device running (not including water or electricity), so it’s a real financial investment.

  • Value score: 2/5

Dreame L20 Ultra: Specs

The Dreame L20 Ultra robot with its base station in the background.

(Image credit: Future)

Dreame L20 Ultra review: Design

  • Large rounded cylinder
  • Giant base station
  • Onboard microphone

The Dreame L20 Ultra package consists of two, equally-comically-large parts: there’s the flying saucer of a robot vacuum itself and its humungous base station.

Let’s start with the base station: it’s 60.7 cm tall, 42.6 cm wide, and 49.9cm deep (when you factor in its ramp, though for the majority of its body, it’s a little shallower). Much of this body is for water storage or dust bags. A towering black monolith, you’ll need somewhere in your home with sufficient space for it and one that offers easy access at the lower level for the vacuum itself.

The dust bag fits 3.2 liters of dust before it needs to be replaced, while the water tank and waste water tank both hold 4.5 liters. That's 'forget about it for weeks' levels of quantity. 

The robot vacuum itself is also pretty big compared to some rivals; you wouldn’t want to face this at Robot Wars. It’s 10.3 cm tall, and Dreame rather vaguely says that its body is 35 x 35 x 35cm. Either way, it’s a big circular entity, and heavy too at 4.3kg, though its heavyweight status doesn’t reduce its ability to clean (or to fit in small areas!). 

Atop the robot are its LIDAR scanner and three control buttons, which provide some functionality, but using the app is still a lot more convenient. When it’s cleaning it has two front-facing lights that can be incredibly bright, but this just means its LIDAR is effective whether or not your home is well-lit, and it'll only turn on its lights if the lighting is poor.

The Dreame L20 Ultra's base station with the lid removed.

(Image credit: Future)

Underneath are its two mops and tri-pronged side brush, but they don’t poke out too much, meaning the Dreame has a circular body to look at top-down.

There’s also a microphone on the robot, which keeps you updated with what it’s doing or what order you’ve issued it. This is a really handy accessibility feature, though it’s also pretty scary if you forgot you scheduled a clean!

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Dreame L20 Ultra review: Performance

  • Powerful suction, plus mopping power
  • Creates and updates 3D map
  • Sometimes fails to recognize obstacles

The name of the Dreame L20 Ultra’s game is ease of use – as you’ll read about in the ‘App’ section below it’s easy just to press ‘play’ and let the robot do all the work for you.

The robot has a suction power of 7,000 Pascals – that’s significantly better than Dreame’s previous robots, with the 10s Ultra hitting 5,300Pa, and given that the average for a robot vacuum is around 6,000Pa, it shows that this is great for picking up dirt. Over the testing period, there was not a single time that the Dreame failed to pick up something it should have done, and it even collected some items I expected it to miss.

That’s the first part of the L20 Ultra’s process; the second is mopping, which it does with its two built-in mop pads. This mostly worked great too, resulting in squeaky-clean floors, though there were a few marks around my flat that it didn’t manage to remove. Good for spilled coffee stains, but not so great for angry kitchen muck, though its Deep Clean mode (which takes a lot longer) got rid of most of the marks missed by the standard mode.

The under side of the Dreame L20 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Every time you run the Dreame, it’ll create a new 3D map based on the existing one, so it can recognize if you’ve moved furniture or closed a door that was previously open. This was generally very handy as it meant I didn’t need to be so fastidious about tidying the testing area, though a wall-long mirror at one side of the apartment constantly confused the thing. Don’t worry, Dreame, that’s not a whole new room I’m asking you to clean!

I did sometimes cause cleans to finish early by accidentally standing in the way when it was scanning an area. Even though I moved straight away, the Dreame assumed that an area was blocked, and didn’t bother trying again. So it’s best to keep out of the thing’s way, lest you dissuade it from doing its job.

One word of warning: while you can enable a quiet cleaning mode, the robot is loud. Dreame cites the minimum noise as 63dB, which is just above the average sound of conversation. It’s loudest at the end of a clean when it empties its tank. If you’ve got a nervous pet (or just hate loud noises), make sure to turn on quiet mode, or only activate it when you're out of the house!

The L20 Ultra is self-emptying, so you don’t need to worry about removing its contents after every session. The dust bag provided lasts 75 days according to Dreame, and you can buy more once you run out. You’ll need to replace the water more frequently (and empty out the dirty water), but each will last you several hundreds of meters squared of cleaning before you need to do so (though I’d recommend cleaning out the water more frequently, as it can get nasty!).

For a vacuum of its size, I was surprised by how effectively the Dreame cleaned in nooks and crannies, with its mop extension managing to fit into corners that could easily have been overlooked. 

A top-down view of the Dreame L20 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

The Dreame is smart enough to detect different surfaces, and amend its cleaning plan; my floor is largely vinyl wood with a few carpets, and the robot could identify these latter emplacements. It’d avoid these during its cleaning routine, returning once everything else was finished; it’d know to lift the mop pads and slow down its speed to better vacuum in the thicker material.

If you have a home with various floor types, you can rest safely knowing that the robot will clean them all equally – without your input to boot, as I never had to program in different cleaning areas (though there is the option to mark carpeted areas in the app).

An issue I had several times during the L20 Ultra’s testing phase is that the robot didn’t always accurately identify smaller objects like pieces of string, wires, and shoelaces, and would end up getting itself caught when it sucked these things up. More often than not it was smart enough to recognize and avoid obstacles, but I did have to rescue it on occasion when it got itself tied up (literally). One could call the object recognition 'hit or miss'.

At other times the obstacle recognition was a little overzealous. In the app, it would frequently flag things that weren’t obstacles at all: edges of carpets were the main offender but hanging fabrics that didn’t touch the ground (and wouldn’t get in the vacuum’s way) were also culprits.

  • Performance score: 5/5

Dreame L20 Ultra review: App

  • App is easy to use...
  • ... but hard to master
  • Onboard camera can be activated through app

To use the L20 Ultra, you have to download the Dreamehome app, available on the Play Store and App Store. This lets you set up the vacuum (which took a few tries for me, as it struggled to find the robot at first), check on its status, and set up various cleaning modes.

Simply telling the robot to clean is easy, with a simple play button on the first page (and another telling it to return to the base station), but if you like you can get further in depth, for example setting carpeted areas, deciding on the cleaning order or setting how frequently the Dreame will return to its base station and clean the mop.

Three stills from the Dreamehome app for the Dreame L20 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

During a clean, the app tells you the size of your cleaning area, its battery percentage, and how long it’s been cleaning for. And after the cleaning, you can check its route, which items it’s classified as an obstacle, and a history of its cleans. There’s also a scheduling tool for future cleans which is hidden in the menus.

The Dreame L20 is a feature-heavy robot, and this means that the app has lots of options and menus too, but this means that some of its tools are a little buried or hard to find. I couldn’t quite figure out how to use the zoning or room tools, for example, and I literally review tech for a job – some users will find the app too fiddly, with a steep learning curve when you first buy the L20.

You can also use the Dreamehome app to activate a camera on the L20 Ultra, letting you watch the robot as it trawls your home. There’s even the ability to pilot the thing yourself, turning it into a roving ersatz security camera. An alarm on the robot goes some way to mitigate security concerns, as you’ll be able to hear if someone remotely turns on the camera – though in a big enough home, you could miss this sound.

Smart-home owners will find plenty of options with Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Google's Google Assistant all letting you control the robot using voice controls. Well, you can start, stop and pause, but for other functions, you'll need to stick to the app.

  • App score: 3.5/5

Dreame L20 Ultra review: Battery life

  • Lasts 180 minutes at a push
  • That figure is even higher without multi-clean
  • Hoover is fairly slow

You’re going to need a fairly large house to find the Dreame L20 Ultra’s battery lacking. The company states that its 6,400mAh battery will last you for 180 minutes (or 3 hours) of cleaning. That goes up an extra 30 minutes if you only want either mopping or vacuuming alone!

The Dreame L20 Ultra docked in his base station.

(Image credit: Future)

In my testing, the Dreame seemed to go through 1% of battery every two and a half minutes: to me, 180 minutes seems to be the high end of what you’d achieve.

That’s an absolutely stellar battery life, although depending on the size of your home, you might need it. The Dreame doesn’t exactly move at Ferrari speeds, and it took up to 45 minutes to do one lap of my flat which has roughly 20m2 of ‘cleanable’ floor space (ie, not covered by furniture, drawers or the massive box the vacuum cleaner came in). It sometimes did this a lot quicker though, with a record of 28 minutes for that same space (perhaps with some furniture moved here and there though).

By default, the Dreame will do two laps too: one for vacuuming, and one for mopping, though you can change this if you don’t need either, and the latter was quicker. Either way, for me that was generally around an hour of cleaning.

Still, that means I was only using part of the Dreame’s battery, with the 3-hour cleaning limit smashing loads of rival devices. If you have a larger house, you’ll find that the robot will dock mid-clean to power up, which can take a few hours to get to full.

  • Battery score: 4.5/5

Should I buy the Dreame L20 Ultra?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

The Dreame L20 Ultra is a great robot vacuum, but it's not without competition. Here are some alternatives you might want to consider before splashing out.

How I tested the Dreame L20 Ultra

The buttons atop the Dreame L20 Ultra.

(Image credit: Future)

I set up the Dreame L20 Ultra myself, physically connecting the base station and wirelessly connecting to the robot, in order to fully understand the process. 

The testing window for the Dreame was three weeks, although I continued to use it after that while I was writing this review. In this window I ran cleaning tests every two or three days; for some of these, I artificially added solids like mud or foodstuffs to ensure the flat was dirty enough to clean (not that I needed the help with that…). I also varied the process after the first week, testing out different cleaning modes and not tidying up obstacles (other than the ones that would stop the robot from accessing the entire flat).

The testing size for the flat has already been mentioned; the Dreame app calculated the cleaning space as around 17m2 to 20m2 depending on how much furniture I moved out of the way. The area was largely vinyl wood flooring but included a kitchenette and bathroom (both tiled) and two large carpets: one shag and one acrylic.

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed October 2023
Yeedi Cube robot vacuum and mop review: lots of features on a budget
4:00 pm | October 30, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Robot Vacuums Smart Home | Tags: | Comments: Off

Yeedi Cube: One-minute review

The Yeedi Cube comes among a litany of combo robot vacuums capable of both vacuuming and mopping. In that regard, it’s one of many. What sets it apart then is the fact that it comes with a self-emptying base station for a much lower price than much of the competition.

Whether it ranks among the best robot vacuums for you depends on whether you can accept its quirks. After all, there are a few issues here that might make you reconsider as the virtual mapping is not as good as it could be (though that should be fixed with a firmware update) and assembly can be involved to the point where, if you don’t hit every step correctly, you could end up with an issue. Of course, the issue with getting edges and corners is inherent in this type of vacuum. So, if that’s a concern, you can look at one of the best vacuums for something able to do a deeper clean.

That said, the Yeedi Cube is a cheap way, relatively at least, for a hands-free vacuuming and mopping experience that will leave your floors clean.

Yeedi Cube: price and availability

  • List price: $699 (about £559 / about AU$1,054)
  • Available in the US only at the moment

At $699.99 (about £559 / about AU$1,054), the Yeedi Cube is decidedly cheap for what it offers. Sure, you can find robot vacuums capable of mopping for less. For example, the Bissell Spinwave R5 costs $549.99 / about £455.19 /AU$799 and it has both functionalities. What the Bissell doesn’t have that the Yeedi Cube has is a base station that not only empties the debris that’s been vacuumed up but the dirty water as well.

A better comparison then is the iRobot Roomba Combo J7 Plus, which goes for a much higher price tag of $1,099.99 / £999 / AU$2,199 and also includes a self-emptying base station. Though the iRobot’s mopping ability is a bit better, the self-emptying functionality only applies to the dust and debris the Roomba picks up. Anything mopping-related is done manually. The Yeedi Cube’s base station also sucks out the dirty water.

That said, an area that both the Bissell and iRobot robot vacuums as well as that of most established brands have over Yeedi is the fact that the Yeedi Cube is currently only available in the US.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Yeedi Cube: specifications

Yeedi Cube on the author's floor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Yeedi Cube: Design and features

  • Completely flat on top
  • Self-emptying base station
  • Lots of assembly

There are a few intriguing elements of the Yeedi Cube robot vacuum unit that stand out compared to other models I’ve seen. To start, the clean water tank sits on top of the vacuum instead of being shoehorned into the back with the dustbin. Because of its placement, it can store quite a bit of water (one liter specifically).

Also, the vacuum is completely flat, instead of having a raised area for mapping purposes. Because of this, the Yeedi Cube can get under couches and some furniture that might be out of reach for other units.

Yeedi Cube on the author's floor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

As far as attachments go, the Yeedi Cube has two side brushes (many especially cheaper models have one) and a single large brushroll underneath. The brush roll uses bristles so it is susceptible to getting tangled up, so you’ll have to check it somewhat regularly if anyone in the house has long hair.

The mop pad covers the back half of the vacuum and vibrates up to 2,500 times a minute to clean. Though you can easily remove the mop pad to clean it, the base station will wash and dry it every time it docks.

Speaking of the base station, it’s sizable but not too bulky. As it measures 15.74 x 17.72 x 14.76 inches, you’ll have to set aside a good amount of space, especially as the actual robot vacuum likes to do a three-point turn to back into it from about four feet in front.

The base station takes up this much space for a couple of reasons. As soon as the vacuum is docked, the station will suck the debris out of the dustbin into a disposable bag inside the base station, so you don’t have to regularly empty anything. Since having started testing for this review, I have not needed to replace the bag despite cleaning up after two dogs.

Yeedi Cube on the author's floor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

The base station also has a dirty water tank that’s big enough (1.2 liters, specifically) that it rarely needs to be emptied. Also, as mentioned above, when the vacuum docks, the station will wash and dry the mop pad to keep it clean and free of mold.

This is all well and good once you have it all set up, but it requires a little bit extra in terms of assembly. Namely, there are a lot of different areas where you have to remove tabs and stickers for correct operation.

Yeedi Cube on the author's floor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

To that end, I had trouble with the base of the base station as I thought it was properly installed, but because it didn’t fully click into place, all the dirty water that was supposed to go into the dirty water tank ended up leaking out of the base station. While I’ll admit that it’s user error, it’s something that I checked more than once trying to troubleshoot. And, if you’re not careful and fully push in that base when assembling this vacuum, you might end up stepping in a puddle of murky water as well.

  • Design: 4 / 5

Yeedi Cube on the author's floor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Yeedi Cube: Performance

  • Solid vacuuming ability
  • Object avoidance is okay
  • Mopping is good

As far as vacuuming ability goes, the Yeedi Cube is as capable as any robot vacuum I’ve tested. It has two side brushes to the single one that most models have so that it’s able to feed all debris towards the brush roll instead of kicking debris out. 

Having had to run the Yeedi Cube somewhat regularly to pick up after two French Bulldogs and a cat (mostly the dogs), it did a great job of getting all the pet hair off the floor. It did have some issues with larger objects since that brush roll uses actual bristles. Long hair and larger leaves will get stuck there as I experienced, requiring some manual clearing of the brush roll and brush roll area before being able to continue cleaning the floor.

Robot vacuums tend to have issues with this in general so it’s not a major point against the Yeedi Cube. You’ll just have to do a little pre-cleaning before running it if you see big pieces of debris lying around.

In the same vein, its object avoidance is okay but not great. It will bump up on objects before deciding to go around. This is a little bit of a frustration as that means it can get stuck on some lower-lying objects. In my case, the robot vacuum has gotten stuck on some floor vents that are a couple of centimeters higher than the surrounding floor, requiring me to rescue it. However, it seems to have learned from the first couple of times getting stuck and no longer does so when being run.

As with many other robot vacuums I’ve tested, the edge cleaning is not nearly as good as advertised and the Yeedi Cube will leave areas along the wall with some dirt and debris that I would have hoped it to pick up.

Yeedi Cube on the author's floor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

The mopping functionality is also pretty good. At first, it was a little streaky, but it seemed to find its stride after the first time or two running it. While Yeedi doesn’t offer any cleaning solution or advice on what to use, just using water does pick up quite a bit of dirt. The dirty water tank on the self-emptying base station attests to its ability to go the extra mile with mopping.

That might be from the physical mopping pad. Instead of dragging it behind it, the Yeedi Cube vibrates the mopping pad to physically remove dirt. If you want to take it to the next level, you can use any cleaning solution except for strong acids or alkali-based ones that could corrode the cleaning tank.

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Yeedi Cube on the author's floor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Yeedi Cube: App

  • Fairly intuitive to use
  • Lots of adjustments for both vacuum and station
  • Room mapping needs work

The Yeedi app is generally intuitive to use. The main screen depicts the overall map that the robot vacuum has made of your space including whatever room divisions you’ve made. Information about the vacuum such as current settings, battery life and what it’s currently doing is listed at the top of the screen, while access to controls is at the bottom.

The “Robot” tab allows you to select between just vacuuming or vacuuming and mopping, how loud you want its operation (which affects how deeply it will clean), the amount of water you want it to use, whether you want it to do a quick or full clean and more. There are some advanced settings here available such as creating scheduled cleanings, how you want each room to be cleaned, and Do Not Disturb hours.

There’s also a “Station” tab with some base station-specific settings such as toggling on/off the self-emptying functionality and how long you want it to wash or dry the mopping pad.

The one area where the app falls short however is in its ability to subdivide the map into different rooms. After the initial mapping of my space, it all showed up as one big room. I was able to subdivide the whole space into two rooms but not any further than that even though I should have been able to break it down further. That means that I have to clean half the floor space when I want to clean just one room, so I end up just running the vacuum to clean everything.

Now, I run this vacuum in an area that is almost an open floor plan with wide door frames that lack doors and the Yeedi Cube apparently has more trouble with these sorts of spaces compared to a more typical apartment or house layout. So, this issue may not even apply to you. It’s still a major annoyance as well as a consideration when comparing robot vacuums, though I’ve been told that Yeedi is working on this and will hopefully have rectified this issue with a future firmware update.

If you’re on the smart home train, be aware that it is compatible with Alexa and Google Home but not HomeKit.

  • App: 3.5 / 5

Yeedi Cube: Battery life

  • Long battery life
  • Constantly returns to base station

The crazy thing about the Yeedi Cube’s 150-minute battery life is that it’s so careful about emptying its contents regularly and washing that mopping pad before continuing that it never got below 50%.

So, it would run for 40 or 50 minutes, return to the base station to clean, and then return to the job. That said, it wouldn’t wait to fully recharge. So, I never was in any danger of it running out of battery. The only time it did was when it got stuck on something when I wasn’t around to rescue it.

Even beyond that, a 110 or 120-minute runtime is typical so what this robot vacuum can achieve is far above average.

  • Battery: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Yeedi Cube?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Yeedi Cube: Also consider

Not sold on the prowess of the Yeedi Cube? Below are a couple of alternatives that you can consider.

How I tested the Yeedi Cube

  • I used the Yeedi Cube for a month
  • Tested different settings and features
  • Tested on different surfaces with various obstacles

To test the Yeedi Cube Robot Vacuum and Mop Self-Empty XL, I used it for a month to vacuum and mop the hardwood floors in my house. I also tested all the features listed in the app, from mapping to different levels of cleaning. 

I took note of how well the vacuum cleaned the edges of a room as well as around obstacles, not to mention running it over different surfaces including two different types of hard flooring. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed October 2023

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus review: a self-emptying robot vacuum that won’t clean out your wallet
1:00 am | October 25, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Robot Vacuums Smart Home | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus: One-minute review

The Tapo RV30 Plus is TP-Link’s flagship robot vacuum cleaner model in its smart home range. It can vacuum, mop and then self-empty its dustbin into one of the biggest dust bags that I’ve seen in any robot vacuum cleaner brand.

I’ve tested robot vacuum cleaners with 2L and 3L dustbags in their auto-empty docks, but this is the first time I’ve come across a 4L replaceable dustbag. And that means the number of times you need to replace it reduces, potentially saving you money in the long run.

When it comes to vacuuming, there’s up to 4,200Pa of suction power available and, while the default Standard suction is fine for relatively clean hard floors, I thought leaving it in Turbo was the best option. And even in Max mode it doesn’t drain too much of its ample three-hour battery life.

However, you will need to keep in mind that the breeze from the rotating side brush can scatter strands of hair and microscopic dust particles instead of pushing it towards the bar brush below the machine.

Mopping, however, is a lot more basic. While it can pump out three different water levels when you attach its mop plate, even the Max output isn’t enough to clean up dried, caked-in dirt and stains. There’s no agitation here like there is with some other robot vacuum cleaners like the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni or the Deebot X1 Turbo.

Where it really shines is how much control the companion app provides. From no-mop zones to customized cleaning routines, the Tapo app is excellent and the robovac follows all the instructions perfectly. If you have mixed floor types – hard floor as well as carpet – you can set no-mop zones and the RV30 won’t even enter that zone to vacuum if the mop plate is still attached. You can later remove the plate and send the machine back to do a spot clean. You can vacuum a space up to three times, meaning you will have a clean floor when it’s done – as long as you don’t have caked-in stains anywhere.

The RV30 is the same size as most other circular robot vacuums, but it looks large in comparison to its own auto-empty docking station, which is actually quite compact considering it houses a 4L dust bag. So you will still need a decent amount of floor space to store the whole machine.

And if you can pick it up during a major sale event, there’s some really good bang for buck here.

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus robot vacuum cleaner charging in its auto-empty dock

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus review: price and availability

  • Announced early 2023
  • Priced at £599.99 / AU$999 (US pricing TBC)
  • Available now in the UK and Australia; yet to be released in the US

As a flagship model, the Tapo RV30 Plus isn't what we would call ‘cheap’, but it isn’t as premium as some other brands like iRobot’s Roombas. At the time of writing, the RV30 Plus is available to buy in select markets, including the UK and Australia, but not in the US. It will set you back £599.99 / AU$999 respectively at full price but can be picked up from Amazon UK and Amazon AU at a discount during major sales.

While it’s listed on Tapo’s US website, the RV30 Plus isn’t available to buy just yet in America. The closest alternative from TP-Link would be the Tapo RV10 Plus that will set you back $399.99 on Amazon US and misses out on the newest lidar navigation tech and its suction isn’t as powerful in comparison to the RV30 Plus.

In Australia, you can also buy the Tapo RV30 itself without the auto-empty dock for AU$799 from Amazon AU.

The RV30 Plus offers good value for money at its price point, considering it can vacuum, mop and empty its bin itself. What makes it stand apart from the crowd is its relatively large dust bags in the auto-empty dock – a whopping 4L, so you don’t need to worry about replacing it too often. Replacement bags will cost £17.99 / AU$49 for a pack of three. You can also find replacement kits for the bar brush, side brush and the filters on Amazon in your country.

  • Value score: 4 / 5

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus robot vacuum cleaner in its auto-empty dock

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus: specifications

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus review: Design and features

  • Familiar, circular design with 2-in-1 dustbin and water tank
  • Compact auto-empty dock with 4L dust bag
  • Voice prompts; plus Google Home and Alexa support

The 2-in-1 dustbin water tank on the undercarriage of the TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The RV30’s design isn’t anything new – it’s the familiar circular robot vacuum cleaner with the lidar navigation system installed in the dome on top. Like a lot of other models, the RV30 is also white, with its front bumper a translucent black. There are three buttons in front of the lidar system – one for start/stop, a spot-clean button and the send-to-dock control. If it wasn’t for the Tapo branding on the top of the lidar dome, it could be any robot vacuum.

What is surprising is how much wider the vacuum itself is compared to its auto-empty docking station. While the RV30 has a diameter of 34.1cm, the auto-empty station has no docking plate, is a compact 19.1cm wide, and still manages to hold a 4L dust bag in its tank. 

On the undercarriage of the RV30 is a bar brush which, unfortunately, isn’t anti-tangle and will require regular maintenance to keep it working optimally. If you have pets or people with long hair in your household, I’d recommend checking it after every one or two cleans in case it needs detangling. 

Unlike some other robot vacuums, there’s only a single side brush here, placed just ahead of the bar brush. The bristles on the side brush are long and I was pleasantly surprised that the bot can get close to walls to effectively clean room edges, although it will miss corners like pretty much every other robovac.

Three buttons on the top of TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Also on the underside is the 2-in-1 dustbin and water tank. Yes, it’s the one transparent plastic container for both and accessible by picking up the robot – not from the top as in other brands. Despite being a 2-in-1 compartment, you still get a standard 350ml dustbin, plus a 300ml water tank that’s enough to mop up to 200 square meters (or 2,100 sq ft). The recharging sensors are on the rear of this compartment, so if you’ve taken out the tank to empty and dry, the RV30 will not be able to juice up.

There are plenty of voice prompts on this machine – from telling you if it’s stuck to when it’s starting to charge. There is Alexa and Google Assistant support here, so you can use voice commands to start and stop the machine, even send it back to charge, but it doesn’t recognize commands for specific cleaning routines however – it just does a default full home vacuum.

There’s up to 4,200 pascals of suction power here, which is pretty good for a robovac at this price. There’s also a whopping 27,000Pa of suction in the dock that leaves only the lightest of fine dust sticking to the sides of the bin compartment.

There’s also a generous 5,000mAh battery pack inside that can let you vacuum a decently-sized one-bedroom apartment up to three times in Turbo mode, plus mop once at the highest water level and still have something left over in the tank.

  • Design and features score: 4.5 / 5

The auto-empty dock open to reveal the dust bag of the TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus review: Setup and app control

  • Well-designed, easy-to-use app
  • Lots of customization options
  • Wi-Fi 4 standard, plus Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity

As with any robot vacuum cleaner, if you want to make the most of the RV30, you’re going to need to download TP-Link’s Tapo app available from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store for free. You will need to create an account if you don’t already have one (which you would if you already use another Tapo smart home device), then just add the Tapo RV30 Plus from the list of robot vacuums that show up on your screen. All of TP-Link’s smart home devices have separate tabs in the app, so they’re easy to locate and control individually.

After that, follow the instructions on screen to pair the RV30 once it’s been plugged into a power socket. These instructions include removing all protective strips on the machine, plus powering it up by using a switch on the side of the bot.

Tapo app screenshots for the TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

It’s all real simple but, in my case, it just refused to accept my Wi-Fi password despite it being correct each time I entered it. It took about seven tries for my review sample of the RV30 Plus to pair up with the app. This is likely an isolated case and I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Once connected, though, you never have to worry about re-pairing it again even if you don’t use it for a long time and it completely drains its battery. This has happened to me with other smart home devices where inactivity has removed the device from its app, but I was pleasantly surprised that the Tapo app remembered the RV30 after a month of inactivity (while I was testing other vacuums).

Once you’re all set up, you can give your robot vacuum a name if you want, and give it a location, after which the app automatically checks for firmware updates and, if any, you’ll be asked to install it. Future updates can be set to automatically install overnight.

The next step in the app is to get your home mapped. You just start it and the RV30 creates an accurate map of your home remarkably quickly. Note that no cleaning takes place during the initial mapping process, so don’t worry if you find the bot not going close to walls or furniture. Mapping on the RV30 is via both gyroscope sensors and lidar, which results in a very accurate map that you can edit easily in the app. You can divide or merge rooms that bot has created, plus assign them names – you can do this at any time after you’ve started using the RV30. Importantly, you can save multiple maps, which is handy if you live in a duplex or multi-story home.

Tapo app screenshots for the TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

You can set up no-mop zones and, if the mop plate is attached, the RV30 won’t enter that space at all, even to just vacuum. This is a good failsafe as the mop plate doesn’t rise and, although water will stop pumping, your carpets could get damp from the wet mopping pad. You can always set up a spot clean for the no-mop zones.

You can create different cleaning runs – in my case, for example, I have one daily cleaning routine that’s vacuum-only for the whole home, plus a mop routine that includes three vacuum runs and a mop.

I really like the Tapo app – everything is laid out neatly and it works very well. You get control over the volume of the voice prompts from the bot (which is very loud out of the box), plus you can set up schedules, see cleaning reports and even move the RV30 manually to a specific spot using the Remote Control feature.

  • Setup and app score: 5 / 5

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus review: Performance

  • Excellent lidar and gyroscope navigation
  • Powerful suction for both vacuuming and cleaning out the bin
  • Good battery life

I’ve already mentioned how well the RV30 can vacuum. With up to 4,200Pa to tap into, there are four suction levels to choose from and you can set each room to be vacuumed up to three times in the app. Leaving the bot in its Standard mode was enough for my test space which was a mix of hard floors and carpet (plus a rug) as the RV30 automatically boosts suction when it senses it’s on a carpet or rug. If you aren’t too impressed with the Standard mode, you can always set your vacuuming routine to be at Turbo via the app.

I found that the side brush can scatter hair, fur and some lightweight dust instead of sweeping it towards the bar brush – getting the bot to run over your floors multiple times means you get good results. The flip side to the scattering of hair and dust by the side brush is that sometimes the dirt can get pushed under low-lying or heavy, unmovable furniture and there’s not a lot the RV30 can do about that.

As excellent as the vacuuming is, the mopping functionality isn’t anything to write home about. While it vacuums and mops at the same time if the mop plate is attached, it’s more a wipe than a scrub with the RV30, so you won’t be able to get rid of caked-in stains. In fact, during my testing, dusty footprints occasionally got left behind after a mop and, sometimes, even after repeated spot cleans, some stains remained because there’s no agitation applied to the mop plate so it’s unable to buff a floor.

The brushes and mop plate on the underside of the TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

If you do have carpets or rugs that you want to avoid getting wet, you will need to remember to either remove the mop plate or set up no-mop zones. However, a no-mop zone means the vacuum will never enter that space while the mop plate is attached, even to only do a vacuum run, so you can alternatively use virtual boundaries in the app. In my case, I preferred the no-mop zones, and then followed it up with a spot-clean vacuum session for those spaces.

The suction of the auto-empty docking station is excellent as I only found the lightest of fine dust layering the sides of the dustbin. This, however, isn’t washable, but it’s so light that it’s easy to ignore. While the dustbin gets emptied automatically as soon as the RV30 has docked, you can trigger another suction via the app if you find it hasn’t done a good job, although I never found this to be necessary.

What does need maintenance is the bar brush as hair can get tangled around it very easily. My unit didn’t come with a cleaning blade, so you will need a pair of scissors to cut through the tangles. In the three months that I’ve used the RV30, I found that doing a quick check after every cleaning run ensured the bar brush didn’t get too difficult to clean.

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus robot vacuum in its auto-empty docking station

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The HEPA filter inside will also need dusting out regularly – note that it isn’t washable. You can wash the mopping pad though, and I’d highly recommend at least setting it out to dry, if not wash, after each mop run. Leaving the mop plate on overnight can make the wet pad start to smell.

With a 5,000mAh battery under the hood, there’s plenty of juice here to vacuum and mop a large home. TP-Link promises the RV30 will give you up to three hours of runtime, and I never needed it to go on that long during my testing. In my test space, which was a 40 sqm (430.5 sq ft) one-bedroom apartment, a 52-minute cleaning session only drained the battery to 71%.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Should I buy the TP-Link Tap RV30 Plus?

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Also consider

Not sold on the prowess of the Tapo RV30 Plus? Below are a couple of alternatives that you can consider.

How I tested the TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus

  • Used as main vacuum cleaner for two months
  • Tested space included carpets and hard floors
  • Scattered grains in its path; dropped sauces on kitchen floor

TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus robot vacuum cleaner on a colorful carpet

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

I’ve had the Tapo RV30 Plus for a while now and used it intermittently for the first month. After a gap of a few weeks, I set it up as my main vacuum cleaner and used it in my inner-city apartment that contains both hard floors, plus carpet in the bedroom.

To test the vacuuming prowess, I spread some small grains like rice and oats in the path of the vacuum, also allowed some hair to gather on carpets over a period of time before testing the automatic suction boost on it.

To test the mopping abilities, I dropped some green Sriracha sauce on the kitchen floor and allowed it to dry. I also had some dusty footprints in the living room.

I set two custom cleaning routines, set no-mop zones and did quite a bit of spot cleaning as well. I washed the mop cloth in the washing machine to see if it held up.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed October 2023]

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni review – this robovac proves it’s hip to be square
3:48 am | October 8, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Robot Vacuums Smart Home | Tags: | Comments: Off

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni preview: one-minute review

The Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni is a robot vacuum cleaner that wants you to be hands-off. It vacuums, mops, automatically empties its dustbin, dumps its dirty water, cleans the mopping pads with hot water and then dries them with hot air. Yes, this is an appliance that really takes a lot of the labor out of some of your household chores.

The X2 Omni’s square-like shape is a departure from the usually circular robots we see from Ecovacs, and the aim is for it to get close to your home's edges and corners, and pick up dust that was previously left untouched by the traditionally circular robots that simply wouldn’t be able to get into corners or close to room edges. 

While I am yet to spend a significant amount of time testing the robovac, the couple of cleaning runs I have been able to do suggest that Ecovacs has mostly succeeded in this, but X2 Omni is not perfect.

This robot can and does get closer to skirting boards and furniture than I’ve seen previously, but it doesn’t do this every time, and I think some of the issue lies with its updated navigation abilities. It also seems to bump into objects more frequently than older models I’ve tested, but this may also have to do with its updated square shape, which can make it harder to navigate around certain spaces.

While it may not fit into corners perfectly, the Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni is a top performer when it comes to vacuuming and mopping, with high suction power and the ability to scrub – rather than just wipe – your hard floors. The app also gives you a high level of control over your cleaning preferences, and Ecovacs’ own voice assistant has improved.

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni docked in its auto-empty station

(Image credit: TechRadar / Jasmine Gearie)

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni preview: price and availability

  • Launched in September 2023 (Australia) / October 2023 (US)
  • UK release expected in November 2023
  • Priced at $1,500 / AU$2,499 (UK pricing TBA)

The Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni is quite an investment with a price tag of $1,500 / AU$2,499, making it one of the more expensive options on the market. But for your money, you’re getting a robot vacuum cleaner that does it all: vacuums, mops, empties its own dustbin and dirty water then cleans the mopping pads with clean hot water.

It does all these tasks well, but there are other products out there which offer a similar feature set at a lower price. For example, the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni has comparable performance and was released at a similar price point in 2022, but you can find it on sale fairly frequently.

Outside of the Ecovacs brand, the iRobot Roomba Combo J7 Plus is another good alternative, and it’s priced a little lower at $1,099 / £999 / AU$2,199. I’ve regularly seen this model on sale, and it’s TechRadar’s pick for the best robot vacuum you can buy at the moment.

You should also consider the ongoing costs associated with a robot vacuum of this caliber. Replacement dust bags cost AU$29 for a pack of three, and replacement mopping pads will set you back AU$29.90 for a pack of four (US pricing unavailable at the time of writing). These aren’t particularly expensive, but they can clock up depending on how often you use the robovac and will need to replace the dust bags and mop pads.

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni: specs

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni preview: design

  • A new square-ish shape to reach into corners
  • LiDAR sensor is now built into the chassis
  • Mopping pads lift up when carpet is detected, but not high enough

The Deebot X2 Omni debuts a new shape with softly squared-off corners – a first for a robot vacuum from Ecovacs. Robovacs have traditionally been circular as it’s easier to get around obstacles, but it presents issues of its own, like room corners remaining largely untouched.

The updated shape is an attempt to address this problem, with a design that allows the X2 Omni reaching into the dusty corners and edges that robot vacuums previously couldn’t reach. It mostly succeeds, and it gets closer to edges and furniture than any other robot vacuum I’ve seen previously, but I'm yet to spend time running this robovac under different conditions to see how well its design change makes it a better cleaner.

One issue with the new shape that I've seen in my short time with the X2 Omni is that it can occasionally get stuck on skirting boards and furniture, as it’s not able to turn as easily as circular robovacs. I don’t think this is much of an issue if you’ll be at home while the bot is cleaning, and the benefits of getting closer to the edges outweigh this issue for me. Perhaps the machine learning that Ecovacs says is in use here might improve its performance.

Ecovacs has previously used a LiDAR sensor perched on top of the bot to help it navigate around your home, but it’s now been integrated into the right side of the robot. It’s been moved to help the X2 Omni fit under low-profile furniture, but in my testing so far, it feels like this change might have impacted the robots ability to navigate. I say this because I’ve been using the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Turbo for over a year now, and it feels like the X2 Omni bumps into furniture more frequently than the X1 Turbo.

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni undercarriage with bar brush and mopping pads

(Image credit: TechRadar / Jasmine Gearie)

With the top LiDAR sensor now moved, the X2 Omni has a flat top cover with a brushed-silver finish and a single button to start and stop cleaning. Open the lid up and you’ve got easy access to the robot’s dustbin which holds 14.2oz / 420ml of debris, making it a bit bigger than the X1 Omni’s 13.5oz / 400ml canister. A retractable bumper surrounds the front half, and it contains the robot’s camera along with some of its sensors.

Underneath the X2 Omni is a rubber roller brush, which I have not yet needed to remove and manually clean. This is quite different to previous Ecovacs models that have used a roller brush with soft bristles and silicone fins, which I needed to remove and clean after each use. Thanks to the X2 Omni’s new square shape, the main brush is wider than previous models too. There’s also one side brush that rotates inwards to push dust from room edges towards the bar brush (as we saw in our Dyson 360 Vis Nav review), and there are two rotating mopping pads underneath.

The mopping pads are attached to the bot with Velcro, so they can be removed and thrown in the washing machine if they get especially dirty. Ecovacs has implemented a design change here as well, with the mopping pads automatically lifting up when a carpet is detected. While this works well, I found it didn’t lift high enough to prevent my medium-pile carpet from getting damp, particularly around the edges where fibre meets hard floor.

The charging station may feel a little bulky to some people, but I think the size is just right for what you’re getting. It houses two water tanks inside – one for clean water and another for dirty water – and it’s also got a dust bag for the robot’s auto-empty feature. The result is a robot vacuum that’s largely hands-off in the cleaning process, with little intervention needed.

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni preview: setup and app control

  • Straightforward setup
  • App provides high level of control
  • Yiko voice assistant seems to have improved

Like previous robot vacuums from Ecovacs, the X2 Omni is easy to set up. You’ll need to download Ecovacs’ companion app and connect the bot to Wi-Fi in order to use the X2 Omni, and once this is done, it will map your home as its first task.

So far, I’ve only asked the X2 Omni to map my apartment once, and it was fairly accurate. It initially mapped my kitchen and a hallway that leads into it as one single room, but this was easily fixed afterwards by separating the areas in the app. I’d like to give the robot a few more chances before definitively commenting on its mapping capabilities, but my first impressions are that it gets the job done reasonably well.

The Ecovacs app is impressive because it offers a high level of control over your cleaning preferences. You can specify vacuuming or mopping only, if you’d like to do them simultaneously or one after the other. You’ve also got control over suction power, the amount of water you want to use for a mopping run and whether you want it to pass over the area once or twice. You can also set cleaning schedules and adjust the charging station’s settings.

In my Ecovacs Deebot X1 Turbo review, one of my gripes was that the Yiko voice assistant was frustrating to use. The voice assistant has since been updated, and I’ve also discovered that she responds better to a put-on American accent rather than my actual Australian one. The combination of the two means I’ve found Yiko much easier to communicate with this time around, even while the X2 Omni is vacuuming and background noise is high.

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni side sensors

(Image credit: TechRadar / Jasmine Gearie)

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni preview: cleaning performance

  • 8000Pa suction is the highest from Ecovacs yet
  • Rotating mopping are good for maintenance cleaning
  • Object avoidance appears to have some issues

The Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni has done a great job vacuuming carpets and hard floors in my testing so far. My carpets are visibly cleaner after each run, though some fibers that are more deeply embedded into the carpet have remained in my testing so far. I have found that suction is strong enough to pick up spills like uncooked rice, and that was without using the highest suction setting.

The X2 Omni has performed well in my mopping tests so far, as its rotating mopping pads help it ‘scrub’ the floor, doing a much better job than competing robovacs which simply wet and wipe the area. I’d like to try some further mopping tests on more dried-in stains before giving a final word on its abilities, but it's looking promising so far.

While the mopping abilities have been quite good, the X2 Omni isn’t able to properly lift the mopping pads high enough to avoid dampening the carpet. In my testing so far, the edges where carpet meets tile have been left slightly damp, though not enough to be worrisome. I’ve only tested it with Medium water flow level, and I’ll need to see how damp carpets can become while using the highest water flow setting before giving a final verdict.

One early critique that I have for the X2 Omni is its object avoidance capabilities. As mentioned, I’ve been using one of Ecovacs’ premium models from 2022 for over a year, and I feel as though the X2 Omni bumps into objects and obstacles more frequently than the older model. I believe this may have something to do with the LiDAR sensor being moved from the top of the robot and being built into the side of the bot instead. It could also be a result of the new softly squared shape, but it’s too early to tell at this stage.

Ecovacs says the Deebot X2 Omni has a battery life of up to 186 minutes (1 hour 43 minutes) but this would only be the case if you were using the robovac on its lowest power setting. I haven’t been able to drain the battery completely in my early testing, but this is largely because I’ve been using it in a one bedroom apartment, and it’s always finished cleaning with power to spare. I’ll have more to say on the X2 Omni’s battery life in my full review.

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni on a carpet

(Image credit: TechRadar / Jasmine Gearie)

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni preview: early verdict

Ecovacs has sought to address a problem facing most robot vacuums – their circular shape doesn’t do well at cleaning the edges and corners of our straight-lined homes. It’s been mostly successful in my testing so far, and its vacuuming and mopping capabilities are impressive, but perhaps some navigation issues have contributed to it not always cleaning every nook and cranny. It looks modern and sleek and will be great for someone who wants help vacuuming and mopping their home, provided they’ve got the money to spend.