Nearly two decades after the release of the Roomba, the average price of robotic vacuums has come down drastically. You can now choose from a variety of units that cost less than $150. And these low-cost units might be a good choice if your home stays relatively clean on its own and you aren’t concerned about smart features.
On the other hand, if you want true performance from a robotic vacuum that rivals upright vacuums in its suction and capacity, you’ll need to spend more. At about $350, the Roborock E35 provides a good balance of cost, high-end features, and performance.
The E35 has extraordinary suction abilities to pick up debris of various sizes, a mop head, a useful app for easy scheduling, and more. Read on to learn what makes this vacuum stand out.
In addition to the vacuum and charging dock, the Roborock E35 comes with a mat that attaches to the dock to keep your floor from getting wet, an extra filter, extra water filters, an adjustable water tank, two reusable mop cloths, and a user manual.
Here are some more features, based on the manufacturer’s information:
- 2,000 Pa maximum suction
- 5200 mAh battery allows for 2.5 hours of cleaning on quiet mode
- Spot cleaning of a 1.2-meter circle
- Recharge and resume capability
- Carpet boost mode
- 13.8 inches in diameter by 3.6 inches tall
- Top-access dustbin
- One-year warranty
The setup process was simple. After unboxing all of the parts, I set up the charging dock with the attached mat to protect the floor from a damp mop. I then plugged it in and put the vacuum in position to charge. While it charged, I downloaded the Mi Home app and connected the Roborock E35 to my Wi-Fi network. The whole setup process went smoothly and was complete in about 20 minutes.
What makes the robotic vacuum stand out
One of the most annoying things I’ve found with robotic vacuums is that they’ll sometimes get stuck on toys, cords, or other objects in my messy home. I end up having to hunt down the robot when it doesn’t come back to the charging dock after its cleaning. While the Roborock E35 has its moments, it does a great job of not getting stuck. I’d estimate that it makes it back to the dock after its cleaning cycle about 75% of the time, which is impressive considering how messy my house is.
The E35 runs quietly too. When on its highest/loudest setting, I measured 70 decibels from 12 inches away from the vacuum. Additionally, the unit has a programmed voice that lets you know when it’s starting or finishing a cleaning or if it’s stuck. You can adjust the volume of this voice using the app, which I find useful when I have phone meetings and don’t want to be disturbed.
The 2,000 Pa suction is outstanding. I tested it by sprinkling a tablespoon of flour and a tablespoon of a kitty litter and coffee grounds mixture on both low-pile carpeting and hardwood flooring. I then let the E35 run for one cleaning cycle and compared before and after photos to determine how much it picked up.
The Roborock vacuum picked up 95% of the flour from the carpet and 85% from the hardwood. It did even better with the litter and coffee picking up all of the mixture on the carpeting and 90% on the hardwood.
The Mi Home app has several useful features. First of all, the scheduling of the vacuum was effortless. You just go into the setting and set the “timer” to clean whenever you want. I like to have a daily schedule, which was easy enough. I appreciate that I don’t have to schedule a cleaning for each day. I just chose a time and selected “repeat every day.”
Within the app, I can also track when I need to perform maintenance on and replace various accessories, such as the filter and brushes. And helpful tutorials show how to complete the maintenance tasks. Plus, the app allows you to boost the suction on carpeting as well as review cleaning logs. For instance, I used the E35 for over 2,000 minutes.
Cons to consider
One of the tests I conduct on all the robotic vacuums that come through my office involves sprinkling flour into the corners of carpeted and hardwood floors. I want to see how close the vacuum gets to the corner. The Roborock E35 produced underwhelming results in this test. On the low-pile carpeting, it didn’t come within 2 inches of the corner. On hardwood, it did a little bit better coming within an inch.
On a few occasions, the E35 lost connectivity with the app. I was still able to run the vacuum manually, but I had trouble using the app features. Since I first started testing the vacuum, Roborock has updated the firmware, and the connectivity problems have resolved.
This Roborock unit is fairly big at 13.8 inches in diameter and 3.6 inches tall. This could be a problem if you want to clean under furniture with a low clearance. For instance, my house is heated using a boiler, and we have radiators in every room. The vacuum would get stuck trying to clean under the radiator. Fortunately, I had the bright idea of putting a piece of cardboard under the radiator to keep the E35 from trying to get underneath.
The bottom line
Several robotic vacuums have more high-end features, but none of them are at this price point. The Roborock E35 provides an outstanding balance of affordability, performance, and useful features, including mopping, five cleaning modes, long battery runtime, and a great app.
But should you buy it? If the cleaning abilities of this model weren’t so good on so many surfaces, I’d warn off people with wall-to-wall carpeting or those who don’t care about smart connectivity. But I think it may be worth it even if you don’t have a use for the mopping function or the app features.
I’ve tested countless other robotic vacuums, and depending on what you are looking for, here are a few options that may fit your needs better than the E35:
- Neato Robotics Botvac D7 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner ($749.99): The D7 isn’t circle-shaped like most robovacs. Instead, it’s D-shaped, which helps it clean corners. It also works with Alexa, runs quietly, has zoned cleaning, and does a good job sucking. On the downside, I had a difficult time setting it up, and it doesn’t have a mop. The vacuum is currently $750 on Amazon, but it’s been known to drop significantly below that. My full review is here.
- iLife V8s Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Mop Combo ($298.99): If smart connectivity isn’t important to you and you want to save about $50, the iLife V8s is a good solution. I’ve seen this available on Amazon for under $200 at times, so you may want to track the price for a while before purchasing. It comes with a remote control so you can clean up a mess without getting up from the sofa. See my full review here.
- iRobot Roomba i7+ ($999): When it comes to robotic vacuums, you aren’t going to find anything better than the i7+. You can set it and forget it thanks to the Clean Base dock that empties the vacuum’s dustbin. The i7+ features Alexa voice control and has the best robotic vacuum app I’ve tested. Check out my full review here.
These alternatives are great, but they don’t give you mopping, excellent suction, and smart connectivity together at a reasonable price like the Roborock E35. I strongly recommend the E35 if you want a vacuum that does a superior job on all surfaces.
Pros: Mops, useful app, impressive 2,000 Pa suction, five cleaning modes, 2.5-hour battery runtime
Cons: Difficulties getting deep into corners, might be too tall for low-clearance furniture