Ecovacs Deebot N79S Robot Vacuum Feels Like the Future

(Josh Centers) #1

Originally published at:

If you’re skeptical of robotic vacuums, but tired of dealing with dirty floors, the affordable Ecovacs Deebot N79 and N79S are worth your consideration.

(Chris R) #2

I have the Eufy RoboVac 11 and it’s surprisingly identical! The only issue I’ve had is the remote went out after a couple months and they refuse to replace it. Apparently their warranty only extends to products bought directly from them or their partners which frankly stinks to high heaven!

(Eric Ladner) #3

Regarding cords, rugs, etc., I find that I move very little that I wouldn’t move anyway to clean with an upright vacuum. I flip some ottomans up onto their chairs, just to reduce the number of obstacles to be avoided.

The great part is that after the very brief prep time, I can go off and do something else, and just check in once in a while to make sure the little robot hasn’t gotten stuck somewhere. That is, when I don’t get mesmerized, watching it work!

" Rosie the Robot": I call mine “Deebot Chopra.”

(Jim Gagne) #4

I bought a Deebot M80 Pro from Amazon last summer during one of the sales. The M80 is like the M79 but includes a water reservoir and wet cleaning pad so you can damp mop your floor.

Do not get the mop version. Or at least don’t pay for it. I found it’s useless because it doesn’t clean anything. The reservoir only holds 90 mL of water, and Deebot insists you only use water. Otherwise they say you’ll clog the water outflow from the reservoir. The wet cleaning pad is not disposable and gets dirty right away. When I gave up on damp mopping, I tried filling the reservoir with dilute Windex to see if that helped. It still couldn’t clean my floor. Useless.

Without trying to damp mop I’ve come to love the Deebot. My experience is pretty much just like Josh’s, except for two things. First, it will snag itself on almost anything and then shut down. I had to learn how to “childproof” the area to be cleaned so it could do its job. But it will still wedge itself under furniture and quit. Second, the suction and carpet-beating brush aren’t nearly as strong as an upright vacuum. So you still have to use a normal vacuum cleaner to remove the deep, ground-in dirt, but not nearly so often as before. Maybe just once a month or two.

By the way, iRobot makes a dedicated little damp mop cleaner called the Braava Jet 240. It was also useless, didn’t clean anything, and I returned it.

(Charles Bjorgen) #5

I ordered the N97S as soon as I read this glowing review. Should get it tomorrow with one day shipping. I can’t wait to see how my miniature schnauzer, Willy, reacts to this gadget. Practically speaking though, dragging out the upright is not done enough here so I’m hoping this will correct that. Besides, it’ll be kinda fun.

(Josh Centers) #6

I hope you love it! Let us know either way.

(Mark H. Anbinder) #7

I’ve been a Roomba user for 15 years or so, and the stairs are definitely one part of the house a robot vacuum can’t handle. But instead of pulling out a “classic” vacuum, I grab a broom. A minute or two of vigorous sweeping from top to bottom gets everything from the carpeted stairs onto the landing at the bottom, which the Roomba can handle.

(Paul Chernoff) #8

Does anyone know if the Ecovacs detect and avoid animal poop? If one of my cats poops on the floor I don’t want to discover the next morning it smeared everywhere.

(Josh Centers) #9

No, it will not, and that’s apparently a big issue with these robots. Wirecutter says that a new model is coming up that supposedly avoids dog poop. I’ll believe it when I see it.

(Curtis Wilcox) #10

It will be yet another task robots can perform better than humans, at least this human :wink:

(Charles Bjorgen) #11

The Deebot vacuum arrived yesterday. After charging the unit I was pleased that there were no problems encountered in any way. I was also pleased that the unit recognized the two stairways and immediately backed away. We have the charging dock in a rather difficult spot so I’ve had to guide it back home with the remote control. Need to find a better location.

Willy, our schnauzer, immediately decided he needed to inspect this intruder. My son shot this 50 second video.

(Josh Centers) #12

After we published my review, the good folks at Ecovacs sent me a Deebot 901 to review. I had high hopes for it, and was encouraged when I unboxed the 901. In terms of materials, it’s superior to the N79S in every way: the plastic is higher quality, it has more sensors, the unit is heavier, and even the power cord is thicker. When I first ran it, my wife immediately noted that the 901 is both faster and quieter than the N79S.

Instead of randomly bouncing around the house, the Deebot 901 maps out your house and tries to intelligently navigate. The upside is that it creates a neat video-game-esque map of your house. The downside is that it doesn’t work well at all.

The strangest behavior seemed reserved for my TV room. The Deebot would often avoid the room or just barely vacuum in there. If I picked the thing up and placed it in the TV room, it’d vacuum for a minute before declaring that the clean is complete (oh, this one talks BTW). On two occasions it declared the clean was complete and docked in an imaginary docking station in my TV room (the actual docking station is two rooms away).

I tried resetting the map, but it didn’t help much. At least it would clean in my TV room, but it still behaved strangely. Here’s a YouTube video of the Deebot 901 actively avoiding a spot of dirt in my TV room:

Unfortunately, unlike the N79S, you cannot steer the 901 with a remote control, as it doesn’t include one. Nor does the app allow manual control. The software maps out the rooms in your house and assigns a letter to each one. You can assign specific rooms for the 901 to vacuum, but you can’t take control of the N79S and make it clean the specific spots you want it to clean.

I can’t recommend the Deebot 901. You’d be forgiven for assuming that it’s just a better version of the N79S, and in many ways it is, but it flops on the software side. Sometimes stupider is smarter.

Instead of the Deebot 901, I would recommend buying two Deebot N79S vacuums instead.

(Charles Bjorgen) #13

I’ve been pretty happy with our N79s since it arrived at our house a few weeks ago. First time I ran it in our living room I was surprised and embarrassed at how much it picked up. It does have a bit of trouble finding its charging station because that is behind my chair in the tv room. Last time though it found its home fairly easily after several tries. My schnauzer Willy just ignores it now.

(Josh Centers) #14

Glad you’ve had a good experience!

(Josh Centers) #15

I put the Deebot 901 upstairs for a few days to see how it would perform up there. It did surprisingly well. The sturdier build of the 901 did a better job of cleaning the carpet than the N79S. Granted, the upstairs is much smaller and simpler than downstairs, so there weren’t as many variables to confuse the 901.