If you're looking for an affordable robot vacuum to gift this year, one of iRobot's latest may do the trick. The Roomba 694, which came out earlier this year as a replacement for the Roomba 675, has dropped back down to an all-time low of $179. Normally $275, this model was already fairly inexpensive — especially for an iRobot device — but this Black Friday sale puts it in line with budget models from the likes of Anker and others.
iRobot carried over most of the features from the Roomba 675 to the new 694, but the latest robo-vac has a sleeker design that features three physical buttons on its top. You can manually control the device using those buttons, or you can turn to the mobile app for that. When we tested the Roomba 694 for our budget robot vacuum guide, we found it to be good at cleaning both hard and carpeted floors, thanks in part to iRobot's three-stage cleaning system, and we liked its ability to focus on particularly dirty spots until they were completely clean. One of the on-device buttons even lets you activate a spot-cleaning mode if and when you want the device to clean only a targeted spot.
The companion app is one of the Roomba 694's selling points. It's pretty easy to navigate, even for those who have never used a robot vacuum before. With the iRobot app and the device connected to WiFi, you can set cleaning schedule and remotely turn the device on and off. You can even use Alexa or Google Assistant commands to tell the robo-vac to start a cleaning job — and when it's finished, it'll automatically return to its base for a recharge. It should last roughly 90 minutes on a single charge, which should be enough time for it to clean one floor of your home (depending on how big it is) or the entirety of a small apartment.
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