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Smart Home

Alexa and Google can tell Eufy's new RoboVac to get cleaning

Need a cheap little robo-minion to keep your floors clean? This smart cleaner might be your best budget pick yet.

New at IFA 2018: The Eufy RoboVac 30S, coming this September.

Ry Crist/CNET

It wasn't terribly long ago that a decent robot vacuum would set you back at least $400 or $500, if not twice as much for one with cloud-connected smarts. Thankfully, things have changed, with lots of interesting options that'll happily scour your floors in search of crumbs for just a few hundred bucks.

We spotted one of the latest here at IFA 2018 in Berlin. It's the RoboVac 30C from Eufy, a smart-home-centric offshoot of Anker. For $300, it offers automated cleaning that you can control and schedule from your phone thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi radio -- a first for the brand. On top of that, it works with both Alexa and Google Assistant, letting you tell either one to get the floors clean the next time you've got guests coming over.

Pretty standard-looking undercarriage, as far as robot vacuums go.

Ry Crist/CNET

The 30C is really just a smartened-up version of the RoboVac 30, which Eufy launched this past June (the "C" stands for "Connected," in case you couldn't guess). Aside from the app-enabled smarts, the 30S also adds in a glass face on the top of the cleaner -- it looks nice, but it was a total fingerprint magnet during the brief time I spent with my hands on the thing. Maybe Anker should make a smart cleaner that cleans its smart cleaner.

At any rate, what's interesting is that the 30C only costs $30 more than that the regular RoboVac 30 -- a relatively tiny upcharge for a connected cleaner. For comparison, iRobot's first connected Roomba made you pay an extra $200 for the smarts when it launched three years ago, retailing for a lofty $900. We saw similar upcharges for first-gen connected cleaners from brands like Neato.

In addition, Eufy tells me that another RoboVac -- the 30S -- is coming this winter. The only difference between it and this one is that it replaces the physical power button on the top of the cleaner with a touchpad start button. It'll only cost an extra $30, but I don't think I'd wait for it.

Meanwhile, at $300, a brand new Eufy RoboVac 30C will cost less than either of those options when it launches this September -- and that's in spite of the fact that they've both been out for a few years now, so credit Eufy for successfully undercutting the competition. We'll tell Alexa and the Google Assistant to take it for a test drive in the CNET Smart Home just as soon as we get our hands on one, so watch this space.

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