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Vacuum Cleaners

Philips SmartPro Compact robo-vacuum doesn't get along with chairs

The Philips SmartPro Compact has a fantastic ability to constantly get stuck in between chair legs.

Despite its name, Philip's SmartPro Compact is not very intelligent. 

I drew that conclusion after having to restart it five times in my home in Singapore. Three of those were when the vacuum wedged itself between chair legs and couldn't figure out how to get out; two were when it ran over a bump and promptly decided it was stuck and couldn't be restarted.

That's not a good sign for the robo vacuum, the kind you turn on behind you as you leave the house, letting it do its magic. Then you return home hours later to find that not much progress has been made and the cat is sitting nearby looking at it and thinking it's pretty dumb for not moving around.

So unless you move everything such that the SmartPro doesn't get trapped while cleaning the house -- potentially a lot more work than actually cleaning it yourself -- the SmartPro probably isn't a good choice for lazy people with lots of chairs at home.

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The SmartPro Compact's dust bin isn't very big, with just a 0.3-litre capacity.

Aloysius Low/CNET

If you're the minimalist type and have almost nothing at home that will trip up the SmartPro's infrared sensors, then perhaps you're in for a good time. Despite a smallish dust bin, the SmartPro does a decent job of filling it up with fur and dust picked up from its two side brushes, though I still think my Neato Signature XV Pro does a much better job and rarely gets stuck.

The Philips SmartPro Compact is sold internationally and will soon be making its way to the US, though may feature a slightly different model number and number of sensors. In Singapore it costs S$780, which is about $580, £455 or AU$765 converted. 

Quick specs

  • TriActive XL nozzle
  • Remote control, docking station
  • Dust capacity: 0.3 litres
  • 18 sensors
  • Can detect stairs

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