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Cheap Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Buying Guide

The main difference between cheap robotic vacuums and pricey ones is special features. According to About.com, cheap robotic vacuums are sufficient for simple cleaning and dusting of hard floors, while higher-priced models transition better between hardwood and carpet and have features such as schedulers and dirt sensors.

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Some models can seemingly think for themselves and even have the ability to return to their home bases to charge themselves when their batteries run low. Other desirable features include extra-long battery life, short charging time, stair and ledge detection, and programming abilities. Cheap robotic vacuums often lack many of these features.

Robotic vacuum cleaners made by iRobot are by far the most popular. In fact, iRobot so dominates the market that few other brands exist. The Roomba 510 (starting at $250) is the least expensive iRobot model and the most basic, with other models ranging from pet options to professional options and ranging in price from $400 to $600. Also in the low-price range is the Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-2 (starting at $160), which gets decent user reviews and is probably the only other cheap robotic vacuum worth mentioning as a good budget option. The iTouchless AV002A Automatic Intelligent Robotic Vacuum Cleaner (starting at $127) falls short on durability and seems to have trouble transitioning between floor types.

Overall, user and expert reviews are few and far between, and the ones we found were somewhat negative for almost all robotic vacuum cleaners. Even our picks have their limitations. Expectations are high for these machines, and the consensus seems to be that even pricey models could use improvement. The feeling is that, while a robotic vacuum cleaner is a great idea, the technology just isn't there yet.

Review continues below

by Raechel Conover (Google+ Profile)

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