If you haven’t heard of Ecovacs before, they manufacture a number of robotic vacuum cleaners, both for your floor and your walls. Walls? Yes, imagine a vacuum cleaner scaling your windows, a bit like Spiderman. I hadn’t heard of Ecovacs before they got in touch but I have seen robotic vacuum cleaners before and always thought of them as a bit of a gimmick. Are they? I’m about to find out. Ecovacs sent us a Deebot Slim 2 cleaner, which I would class as one of their mid range cleaners.
“The SLIM2 is the answer to your hair-cleaning problems. Using functions such as tangle-free suction combined with a low-profile design, SLIM2 can effectively collect hairs where they hide under furniture in your home.” So it just picks up hair? What about the crumbs I leave after eating my rich tea biscuits?
Before opening the box, there are several features that I think I should go through first:
- Low-profile design allows access to more areas, under sofa’s shouldn’t be a problem.
- Capable of cleaning hair, dirt and debris.
- The tangle-free suction inlet can deal with dirt and debris, especially hairs, which makes it perfect for the pet owners’ homes
- Featuring an optional mop system, Deebot can sweep, vacuum and mop in one pass.
- Selective cleaning modes for various messes, auto mode for general cleaning, Edge mode for cleaning specific edges, or Spot mode for when intensive spot cleaning is required.
- The ECOVACS app can be used to monitor a clean, set a cleaning schedule, and much more.
- When battery power gets low, Deebot automatically returns to its charging dock, all by itself.
- Deebot uses its map in conjunction with its anti-collision sensors and soft cushion bumpers to avoid obstacles and protect your furniture. It also uses anti-drop sensors to clean around stairs without the risk of falling.
Within the box, you get the vacuum cleaner, four brushes, with two spare, a mop attachment, some filters/accessories and the base charging unit. The vacuum itself is smaller than I thought, I guess I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by its size and shape. On the top of the vacuum is a single button, used to control it, plus a WiFi indicator light. There is also a large flap, which underneath houses the dirt storage box, which can be lifted, removed and easily emptied. On the sides of it are various sensors and bumpers, used to direct it around your room. Finally, on the bottom of it is the main on/off switch, the mouth of the vacuum and the brushes. It runs via two rubber wheels, supported on some sort of suspension system and drives forwards, backwards and spins.
Setting the vacuum up is really easy, install two brushes on its underside, plug the wall charger unit in, hover the vacuum over the power points and wait for it to charge (minimum 4 hours on first charge). The power point goes on the floor and the vacuum drives up to two chrome plates, which once connected, powers and charges the unit. There are two ways of controlling the vacuum, either by hitting the auto button, which will activate the vacuum to start randomly driving around your floor, picking up rubbish for ‘X’ amount of time. The other way of controlling it is via the official app. The app is free and is available on iOS & Android. Once it’s installed, you will need to set up a free account (email/password) and then add the vacuum to the account. You will then have access to manually control the vacuum, plus set schedules and view logs. The app is good, it’s very responsive when controlling the vacuum and it offers a limited, but effective selection of options. Personally, I just stuck with the automatic option and let the vacuum go wild.
So how does it perform? Pretty well indeed! As the cleaner moves around the floor, the two brushes at the front direct the dirt into its mouth and collects whats there. As you can imagine, the size of the dirt container is relatively small and if you have a really really dirty floor, it will fill up rather quickly. I initially did the biscuit test, I crumbled half a biscuit on the wooden floor, ate the other half and directed the cleaner over it, via the manual controls in the app. First time, it sucked every last crumb up, which shows the cleaner has decent suction. I then left it to roam the floor for about an hour and upon my return, had a full dirt container. Emptying the dirt is easy and there is also a filter, which can be changed and cleaned. There is also a mop attachment, which can replace the brushes and offer your hard floor a clean/polish of sorts. I tested the cleaner on both wood and carpet surfaces and in both instances, performance was good.
Any problems? Yeah, it got stuck on rugs a few times and anything too slim, it will try to drive over it and get stuck.
The Deebot Slim 2 is a decent little cleaner, ideal for smaller areas and to offer additional cleaning. I would not suggest this as a replacement to a traditional up right, mains powered vacuum cleaner and instead, see the Slim 2 more as a companion. I’d suggest doing a big clean at the weekends and let the Slim 2 do a few cleans during the week, to keep the place spick & span. I’d also recommend this for a clutter free, minimalist home, or you will have to go round your house, picking up rugs/items before a clean.
Its currently available for £179.99. For more info and to purchase, visit the official Ecovacs website.