Robot wars: is Aldi’s robot vacuum cleaner up to the task?

We pit the budget bot against iRobot’s Roomba to check if it’s worth the investment

Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 13:11

Technology is a wonderful thing. And no more so than when it’s taking over a much-hated task in your home. In this case, it’s the vacuuming.

If you have wooden floors, a pet, children, or even just fancy living in your home rather than hovering above the flooring, you’ll know that no matter what you, dust, dirt and general crud seems to build up out of nowhere. And with precious weekend time so limited, you’d be forgiven for bitterly resenting having to push a vacuum cleaner around just to keep the place looking presentable.

In this regard, the robot hoover has been a revelation.

But do you have to shell out hundreds for the top end machine to get good results? Or could a sub €200 machine from Aldi do the trick?

On Sunday, Aldi put its latest home appliance on sale: the Easy Home robot cleaner. By all accounts, it’s proved popular among consumers looking for a bargain way to reduce their housework load. We put it to the test against the iRobot Roomba - in this case the 650 model - to see if it could handle the competition.

While you may be suspicious about own-brand electronics, a bit of research revealed that this particular machine is made by an Italian firm that is actually a division of DeLonghi, which may put some minds at rest.

It takes just over three hours to charge, although the instructions, as usual, recommend leaving it for far longer on initial set up. Once it’s done, you get about one and a half hours of cleaning time out of it, although as the battery depletes, so does the suction. Once it hits a certain point, the cleaner will head back to its dock to recharge, all without you having to do a thing.

Well, apart from remember to plug the dock in.

The Good:

Looks wise, the Easy Home cleaner is minimalist. White with a bit of green flashing, there’s little in the way of buttons to mar its profile.

The Aldi cleaner has two brush bits on either side, compared with the Roomba’s single one. In theory, that means it should get into more corners, clean more dirt, and generally perform a bit better.

It comes with a remote control that allows you to set cleaning schedules or activate the turbo clean mode for particularly dirty areas. The ultimate in couch potato cleaning.