The new Roomba i3 is the most affordable self-emptying vacuum from iRobot

iRobot i3 vacuuming
iRobot i3 vacuuming (Image credit: iRobot)

What you need to know

  • The Roomba i3 and Roomba i3+ are the latest robot vacuums from iRobot with self-emptying capability.
  • The Roomba i3 ships for $399 without a clean base, while the Roomba i3+ ships for $599 with a clean base.
  • Both vacuums feature a stronger suction motor, a new cloth top, intelligent navigation, and iRobot Genius AI.

Up until now, self-emptying robot vacuums have been pretty darn expensive. iRobot aims to change all that with the introduction of the Roomba i3 and Roomba i3+, the company's first self-emptying robot vacuums that retail for under $600. Previously, the least expensive self-emptying robot vacuum you could get from the company was the Roomba i7+, which ships for $799 with the clean base required for the self-emptying process. iRobot will be offering the Roomba i3 by itself for $399, while the Roomba i3+ comes with the clean base for $599.

Customers can choose to pick up the Roomba i3 by itself and save some cash now, as a clean base can be purchased separately at a later time. The clean base acts as a charger and a self-emptying solution, as it features a large bag inside that's designed to hold up to 30 dustbins worth of debris from the vacuum. For many people, that bag will likely last several months before needing to be emptied. The Roomba i3 series is smart enough to know when its dustbin gets full while cleaning and can return to the clean base to empty it, top up the battery, and then resume cleaning without any user interaction.

iRobot i3 Google Assistant

Source: iRobot (Image credit: Source: iRobot)

iRobot introduced the Roomba i7 with clean base 2 years ago and has expanded that self-emptying lineup to three robot vacuums with the introduction of the Roomba i3. The clean base features AllergenLock bags to keep dust and allergens out of the air, and the HEPA-rated filter in the vacuum traps 99% of pollen, mold, dust mites, and cat and dog dander. The Roomba i3 series features a camera on top and can intelligently navigate your home in a logical grid pattern, map out rooms, and enable iRobot Genius AI features within the iRobot home app.

All of the trademark iRobot features like compatibility with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT are here, as well. Vacuuming is easier than ever when you simply ask Google or Alexa to vacuum the house for you, and you can even automate cleaning based on events like locking your August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, for instance. It's even got a snazzy new cloth top that's designed to attract less dust than those shiny plastic covers that most robot vacuums have.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu