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Get a Deebot DM85 robot vacuum for $279.95

From the Cheapskate: Watch out, Roomba! This Ecovacs floor-bot sweeps and mops for a lot less.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


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Ecovacs

As household chores go, sweeping and mopping are pretty rotten. You gotta deal with brooms and mops, dustpans and water, that noisy, clunky vacuum cleaner. And, what, you're supposed to give up an hour of your Saturday to get all that done?

Uh, no, thank you. Let the robots do it.

Like this one: For a limited time, Wellbots has the Ecovacs Deebot DM85 cleaning robot with mopping system for $279.95. That's after applying coupon code, um, ILOVERICK at checkout. (Not my idea.) It lists for $500 and normally sells for $350-400.

If you've ever seen a Roomba in action, it's pretty clear the Deebot is quite similar. It's a circular sweeper that rolls around the floor, terrorizing (and/or amusing) your pets while simultaneously sucking up dust, Cheerios and the like.

As an added bonus, this one also mops, though don't expect miracles. I say that as someone who's tried a couple similar swabbers and found them fairly lacking. But on the vacuum side, there's much to like about a little bot that roams around hard and carpeted floors alike, scoops up everything in its path, returns to its charging dock, then rolls out again the next day. And it works on any schedule you want -- you may want to set it to run when you're at work.

Ecovacs? Deebot? Nope, I'd never heard of them, either. And the DM85 has exactly two reviews on the Wellbots site and six on Amazon. Average score in both places: four stars out of five. So, pretty good, but I wish I could refer you to something a bit more in-depth.

I will say there are other Roomba-like robot cleaners out there (including Roombas) -- some costing more, some costing a bit less. Here you're getting a pretty sizable price break, for what that's worth.

Your thoughts? (Random one from Mrs. Cheapskate: "Let me know when they invent one that can do the stairs.")

Bonus deal: You know all those software licenses you've accumulated over the years? Bet you've lost track of some, if not all. Thankfully, there's an app (by which I mean Windows utility) for that. For a limited time, SharewareOnSale has SerialSafe serial-number license manager for free. Normally $14.95, the program securely stores your license files, software installers and other product-related items. The giveaway nets you a lifetime license and free tech support, but not updates.