Roomba 535 - Our Experience

We settled on the Roomba 535 from Home Shopping Network (many years ago) as it offered the best upgrade path for the least amount of money. An additional virtual wall ($29.99 list price) was in the plans for us but after using it for almost two years, we came to the realization that bells and whistles were not that useful:

  1. The lighthouse and virtual wall technology – we tend to use it a room at a time and the door amply serves to keep the Roomba in. Even in an open floor-plan family area, it is easier to block access to certain areas than reaching for the lighthouse.
  2. The self-docking capability – Roomba is usually transported to the desired location sans the dock and returned to the dock for charging.
  3. The scheduling interface and the voice demos - The remote for the scheduling option is beyond the scope of our purpose and the voice demo was used only the first time and its real value is moot.
Roomba performs better with a certain amount of preparatory work. This could involve such things as moving light furniture like chairs out of the way, picking up bigger pieces of garbage, dusting down furniture and baseboards, etc. Not all of it needs to be done every time as Roomba is able to handle most obstacles, albeit less efficiently.

Unlike with a vacuum, it makes a lot of sense to use the Roomba frequently – it involves minimal work on your part and the Roomba does its thing while you leave it alone and does not require light. Further one can quickly warm up to the fact that Roomba is relatively quiet and cleans hard-to-reach areas. It is best to clean up the brushes, filters, and empty the debris bin after every run. This takes less than 5 minutes and the modular design along with the fact that Roomba is light makes this less of a chore than it sounds.

Following is a summary of some of the cons we have noticed:
  1. Roomba does not suck in pencil point tips. Instead it drags the Pencil tip and leaves pencil marks all over our laminate floor. We usually use an eraser to get it off,
  2. Roomba misses certain spots,
  3. Transition strips that are between our laminate and tile flooring is problematic for the Roomba, especially when the tile area is very small as around our fireplace and foyer – it attempts to get over it and in the process bumps on the wall turns back and the process continues.
  4. Roomba was a little bit hard on one of our glass cabinets as the bumping is not that light. We use the lighthouse for these purposes.
  5. The adhesive on the bumper pad does not stick on easily.
Replacement parts are sometimes back-ordered. This is something to watch out for. One solution may be to keep one set of replacement parts handy.

Cleaning Head Module (CHM) is a Roomba part that has historically demonstrated below-par performance. There have been multiple redesigns over the years and the current designs are still not that durable - your best bet is to keep one handy, if your warranty has run out (around $50).

Related Posts:

  1. Roomba 900, 800, 700, 600, and 500 Series Comparison/Review (980, 960, 880, 870, 790, 780, 770, 760, 650, 630, 620, 610, 595, 585, 580, 572, 570, 564, 562, 560, 555, 550/551, 535/540, 532, 530).
  2. Best Value Robotic Vacuums - A Comparative Review
  3. Roomba 400 & 500-Series vs Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-1, QQ-2, QQ-2 Plus, QQ-2 LT QQ-3 Comparison/Review
  4. Roomba Parts/Accessories Replacement (Side Brushes, etc).  
  5. Roomba 535 - Our Experience (this post)
  6.  Features of the different Roomba-500 series models

Last Updated: 04/2017.

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