Have you retired the vacuum cleaner after buying a robot vacuum cleaner? Then chances are you’ve regretted it. Because even the best robot vacuum cleaners can’t reach everywhere. That’s why many people find that they sometimes have to vacuum with a regular vacuum cleaner.
It usually has greater suction power, reaches small surfaces more easily and, in general, can do many things that the robot version cannot. Like vacuuming furniture or curtains. But for everyday tasks, the robot is your best friend and can vacuum under the dining table after dinner, in the hallway after your kid comes home with dirty shoes, or where you’ve dropped some potting soil on the floor. A few taps in an app is all it takes to get vacuuming where you want it.
The most advanced robot vacuums can also wash – or mop – the floor and know the difference between carpet and parquet, detect obstacles, climb over doorsteps and avoid committing harakiri on the basement stairs.
It mops and washes for you, so you can safely postpone the housework a little longer.
But they do eat socks and cords with an eagerness that puppies would envy. Or rather, not all of them. Because some robot vacuums are smarter than others. When we tested the Roborock S7 last year, we found it didn’t knock over flower pots or eat socks, but it did occasionally get tangled in wires and wasn’t quite as clever as we’d hoped.
Among other things, it lacked a camera and enough intelligence to know what not to do. Other than that, the Roborock S7 is a very useful vacuum cleaner that takes care of vacuuming and floor washing while you’re at work.
So does the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra, but it’s even smarter. It’s also much more powerful. The suction power is increased from 2500 to 5100 Pa and it takes less time to charge the battery. Which lasts for 300 square metres and 180 minutes of operation before the vacuum returns to the docking station to recharge.
The MaxV versions of Roborock’s S7 series are available in three versions. Our test specimen was a MaxV Ultra, which like the MaxV and MaxV Plus has LiDAR mapping of the rooms – and an even more important feature: A camera. Which sees and recognises obstacles, such as wires.
The Ultra version comes with Roborock’s largest docking station. Which fills the vacuum’s 200ml water tank when it’s running low and empties the dust container. And it does one more clever thing: It also washes the mop on the underside of the vacuum.
In practice, this means you don’t have to empty the dust container yourself. As you often have to do – manually. Ideally, it should be washed and dried before being put back in the vacuum cleaner. The MaxV Plus also comes with a docking station – the MaxV does not – but it does not wash the mop. And therefore only has two, compared to the Ultra version’s three containers.
It should be mentioned that the Ultra version’s docking station takes up more space – 42 x 43 x 51 cm – and it needs a little more room above to lift out the containers and empty the waste water from the mop wash, fill the water tank and change the dust bag in the third container after a few weeks of use.
The MaxV is actually smarter than the regular S7 version. Not only does the camera detect Dad’s socks on the carpet, it can drive around them. It also tells you in the app that there are textiles in the way, and it can drive around other kinds of droppings, left by the dog – just remember to select pets in the setup the first time.
In the Roborock app, you can activate voice control and ask the vacuum cleaner to vacuum under the dining table, for example. Because once it has made a few rounds of the house, it has 3D scanned the rooms and knows where they are in relation to each other. It also knows what furniture is where, because it can recognise furniture and tell the difference between a sofa and a table.
After mapping, you can see the rooms in the house in 2D or 3D, and it can vacuum and clean where you want it. Or not. In fact, it’s also possible to demarcate areas of the house that it shouldn’t visit.
It doesn’t have to be walls or doors. It can just as easily be Fido’s dog basket that needs to be avoided. Or not. Because it can, of course, vacuum up dog hair from stubborn carpets, but not if the carpet is the long-haired type. Then it can get stuck, as we experienced last year when testing the S7.
You can set the intensity of the cleaning in several steps and tell the vacuum cleaner to map the rooms in several levels.
Like the S7, the S7 MaxV does a really good job of cleaning. But where the S7 model occasionally misses some of the crumbs that can be hard to pick up from the floor, the MaxV model sweeps across the parquet floor without leaving even the slightest bit. At the same time, it doesn’t run over socks or slippers that may have been left on the floor.
If it’s running at night – or taking a trip under the sofa – an LED light in front is switched on so the camera can also see obstacles in the dark.
The mop function relies on the mop being clean. I noticed this on the S7, which was noticeably worse after a while. Then the mop had to be put in the washing machine. You can do that here too, but it’s not necessary unless it gets very dirty. Usually the docking station manages to wash the mop clean itself. Which it does often enough.
Another thing that’s not common for robot vacuums is that you can use the camera and speaker in the vacuum to talk to the dog. Which will probably think it’s gone mad, since it can hear its owner talking, but can’t see him. Either way, the opportunity is there for those who can’t resist.
The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra finally has eyes to see and a smarter brain. It’s better at everything than the S7, but also twice as expensive. That’s partly due to the large but rather handy docking station with emptying, which is both useful and convenient.
It may take a little time to get to know all the compartments and the layout. And for you to learn how to use the app, which could do with an update to make it more user-friendly and less laggy. But that doesn’t stop the S7 MaxV Ultra from being the most powerful, smartest and perhaps very best robot vacuum cleaner right now.