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First Look: No standing ovation for this robotic floor mop
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First Look: No standing ovation for this robotic floor mop

2:27 /

The iRobot Braava 380t is a quiet little cleaner, but the performance didn't have us cheering for an encore.

[MUSIC] Hey, I'm CNET's Ry Crist. You are probably familiar with the iRobot Roomba line of robot vacuums, but iRobot actually makes a ton of cleaning products. They make the Tuba, the Roomba and also this Braava. This Braava 380t, it's not a vacuum. It won't suck things up in a bin, but it does have cleaning pads that you can stick onto it like this dry one. Or this microfiber wet one, so you can do wet cleaning or dry cleaning with this thing. Taking a look at the design of the Braava, it's small. It's light-weight, easy to use, easy to manage. It's got this handle in the back, so you can just grab it from the back and pick it up like that. I don't love the handle, though. I wish it was in a different location, because the Braava uses this vertical charger, so you'll set it down on the same side as the handle. You can't use the handle to pick it up then, and when you're setting it down, if you're carrying it like this, you have to flip it over anyway. So, it's kind of inconvenient. I wish it was on top or some other place where it didn't get in the way of the docking process. Another problem I have with the Braava is that it has to be in this vertical dock. It's not a dock like the Roomba that the Roomba automatically finds its way back to. You have to start it, and when it's done, you have to put it back. In our test, I found that the dry cleaning cloth that came with the Braava wasn't terribly effective for dust-like particles. We spread some cornstarch over a floor to get a approximation of a really dusty floor, then set the Braava loose on dry sweeping mode. And you can see the floor looks pretty clean as it goes, but all that white cornstarch really just gets pushed to the side. However, when we switched over to the wet mopping mode and repeated that test, the Braava did much better. We also tried using the Braava to clean more messy messes, things like pasta sauce, and mud, and splattered oil stains. The Braava did okay, but mostly it just smeared things around, especially on tile, where it's really smooth. The ceramic tile we tested, it just didn't clean much of it up, and it left a lot of it behind in the grout. That said, on vinyl surfaces, the Braava did pretty well. We spread mud all over the place, and if you take a look at the pictures before and after, almost spotless. Did a very good job on this test. The iRobot Braava 380t retails for $300, and that's considerably less than the Roomba 880, and also less than the iRobot Scooba, their other floor washing robot. That said, the cleaning performance of the Braava didn't blow me away. It was just so-so, and it varied greatly from surface to surface, so unless you have one of those surfaces that it does particularly really well on, I'd say pass and wait for something else. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist. [MUSIC]

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