The oddest thing happened when I moved in the middle of 2019—both my robot vacuums stopped working. Something in my new house apparently messed them up. I was able to find one that worked eventually, but it was a basic model that did not store a map. It also got tangled up all the time. Not even worth a review. I thought I was done with robot vacs.
Enter the Roborock!
I was familiar with the brand from fellow Geekdad Michael Kaufman’s past reviews but had not had a chance to try one. When they approached me to test the S4 Max it wasn’t on the market yet and was so new I could not even add it to my app at first. Kinda cool. Once they helped me out, it was easy to add
When I first unboxed the S4 Max I was skeptical. Only one side brush? Why was this so much smaller than the other models I had tested? Was this bin actually big enough?
Let me answer those in reverse order.
The dustbin holds 460 ml worth of detritus. This is fine if you’re running it and emptying it regularly (and if your dog is not a heavy shedder). It’s smaller because it’s newer tech and is in no way underpowered. In fact, it will intelligently switch how much suction it uses depending on if it is on carpet or flooring. The one side brush turned out to be a godsend—the S4 Max barely ever gets tangled up. I have a lovely area rug with tassels, and it’s safe with the S4 Max.
The S4 Max is powerful, able to climb the slight rise between my dining room and kitchen. This is something that multiple robots have failed at. It uses LiDAR to build a detailed map of my rooms. I am very impressed by the multi-floor support. Rather than needing to reset my map if I want to take it upstairs, it “knows” it is on a different floor. This is very handy. Owning a different robot vacuum for each floor of a house is needlessly decedent, after all. (Fine—I miss that.)
The app is so powerful I have still yet to figure out everything I can do! I love that I can set it to clean certain rooms at certain times, and even to do a full clean in a certain order. The setup was super fast, by the way.
At $430, you may ask why you would want to spend so much when you could theoretically get two from some other brands for that price. And you know what? Fair question!
For me, it boils down to this: of the three model robotic vacs that I have tested, I have yet to have one that I could send on their merry way and not have to stand over to take care of some tangle or getting stuck or something. Until now. Yes, I still have to make sure I don’t have too much junk laying on my floor, but that should just be basic adulting, people! (Basic adulting that I often fail at, but, y’know, basic.)
If I can have one robot vacuum that can do multiple floors of my house while handling multiple types of floors and not have to worry about it getting tangled up in my electric cords or getting stuck in door frames, I will take that investment. (Which is easy for me to say since I was provided with a review unit.) For those not so lucky, I would advise keeping an eye on Amazon, the exclusive retailer of the S4 Max. With both Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming, it’s likely there could be deals coming too.
Or just make the investment. Isn’t a clean house worth it?
Note: As I said above, I was provided a review S4 Max. My dog lives in terror of it.
Note II: This review contains affiliate links.