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Roomba 790 adds wireless remote, accessories aplenty

For $700, this Cadillac of Roombas gives you an RF remote to direct the bot around your house. You still have to empty the bin yourself.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak

If you like your vacuum-cleaning robots on the fancy side, iRobot's latest addition to the Roomba lineup has a few features that make it easier to use.

The Roomba 790 is part of the 700 series but has a blue faceplate to distinguish it from other models.

The main selling point for the 790 is a radio-frequency remote control that lets you steer Roomba around from almost anywhere in your house (also perfect for when your cat pounces on it), clean specific spots, schedule vacuuming, and order the bot back to its charging station.

For $699.99, you also get additional accessories that the Roomba 780 doesn't come with, namely a snazzy carrying case, an extra virtual wall to confine Roomba to certain areas, two extra sets of filters, extra brushes, and a screwdriver.

Other than the above, the 790 is much the same as the 780, and likely cleans just as well. It has room to room navigation and a power-management system that extends the battery life compared to earlier cleaners.