I recently remodeled my basement, and the resulting layer of dust and other detritus made it the perfect testing ground for the Roborock S50 -- a robot vacuum that can also mop.
It did a great job overall, which is why I'm excited to share this deal: For a limited time and while supplies last, Betteryourlife (via Walmart) has the Roborock S50 for $400 shipped (plus tax). Alas, store pickup isn't available, nor is two-day shipping -- so you won't be able to get this in time for Mother's Day.
I've owned early-generation Roombas and late-model Ecovacs. The S50 is my favorite robot sweeper to date. That's in part because it's just plain prettier -- why are so many robo-vacs that ugly matte-black color? -- and in part because it seems smarter and more efficient than others I've tried.
The companion app, for example, gives you lots of cleaning options. You can set up virtual barriers, no-go zones, go-only zones and so on. All that's possible thanks to the S50's laser-mapping skills, which also allow it to clean in an orderly pattern, rather than just randomly bumping all over the place.
The S50 has a sizable battery, one that's good for around 2.5 hours of cleaning, according to Roborock. That comes at the expense of the dust bin, which is on the smaller side. Similarly, the water tank nets you only about 30 minutes' worth of mopping before needing to be refilled. (Thankfully, that was enough time to completely cover my basement, which is about 800 square feet.)
CNET hasn't reviewed the S50, but I'll steer you over to Matthew Miller's review at ZDNet. Verdict: "A great performer at a price that is reasonable given its power, efficiency, and utility." And that was based on a then-$464 Amazon price. (It's currently $570.) Speaking of Amazon, some 300 customers collectively rated the robot 4.5 stars out of 5.
So, yeah, you may not know the Roborock brand, but in my estimation this is every bit as good as some of the latest Roombas -- with a much lower price.
Read more: The best robot vacuums for 2019
Originally published on April 17, 2019.
Update, May 10: Changes to price, availability and model number. (The S50 is the white variant of the S5 product line.) Removed bonus deal.
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