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Roomba Review

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product.

Our Verdict

This is an older model that lacks newer innovations like a phone app, but it has good suction and almost never gets stuck.

For

  • The Roomba 650 was able to get over a lot of obstacles that stopped competitors.

Against

  • This one struggled quite a bit on pet hair, leaving some behind and getting a lot caught in its brushes rather than into the dustbin.
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The side spinning brush was one of the ways this vacuum cleaner was able to clean debris from flooring.

The side spinning brush was one of the ways this vacuum cleaner was able to clean debris from flooring.
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The iRobot Roomba 650 was pretty good at removing sawdust, but it did blow some behind the base and then could not clean it up, though most robot vacuums did the same thing.

The iRobot Roomba 650 was pretty good at removing sawdust, but it did blow some behind the base and then could not clean it up, though most robot vacuums did the same thing.
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The Roomba 650 generates more noise than all of the other units in our robot vacuum comparison.

The Roomba 650 generates more noise than all of the other units in our robot vacuum comparison.
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Only three other competitors were able to collect more flour than the Roomba 650 in our laboratory tests.

Only three other competitors were able to collect more flour than the Roomba 650 in our laboratory tests.
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The Roomba 650 was not one of the robot vacuum cleaners with mopping capabilities.

The Roomba 650 was not one of the robot vacuum cleaners with mopping capabilities.
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We tested the Roomba 650 and all competing units on vinyl, carpeting and wood flooring.

We tested the Roomba 650 and all competing units on vinyl, carpeting and wood flooring.
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The iRobot Roomba 650 tended to collect more pet hair in the brushes than the dustbin, but at least you get it up and off the floor.

The iRobot Roomba 650 tended to collect more pet hair in the brushes than the dustbin, but at least you get it up and off the floor.
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The Roomba 650 was able to re-dock itself for charging more often than many of the competing units.

The Roomba 650 was able to re-dock itself for charging more often than many of the competing units.
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Maintenance tasks like cleaning brushes and emptying the dust bin were very simple with the iRobot Roomba 650.

Maintenance tasks like cleaning brushes and emptying the dust bin were very simple with the iRobot Roomba 650.
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The Roomba 650 has a bristle brush as well as a rubberized brush for trapping messes and getting them into the path of the most suction.

The Roomba 650 has a bristle brush as well as a rubberized brush for trapping messes and getting them into the path of the most suction.
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The iRobot Roomba 650 lacks a phone app and remote, so you have to control it with the buttons on top.

The iRobot Roomba 650 lacks a phone app and remote, so you have to control it with the buttons on top.
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The Roomba 650 requires you to remove the filter in order to empty the bin, but maintenance was quick – it did not even require two minutes.

The Roomba 650 requires you to remove the filter in order to empty the bin, but maintenance was quick – it did not even require two minutes.
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The iRobot Roomba 650 left some pet hair in the corners during testing, as did most of the automatic vacuums.

The iRobot Roomba 650 left some pet hair in the corners during testing, as did most of the automatic vacuums.

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

The Roomba 650 is one of the older models in iRobot's product line, but it is of such high quality, so well-known and so well-regarded that it still earns a spot in our comparison of the best robot vacuum cleaners. There is only one competitor that had more suction than the Roomba 650, which also was among the best for its ability to maneuver around obstacles. It may not have all of the latest upgrades, like a mobile app, but this unit does a great job of cleaning – and for a very low price.

In our home tests the Roomba 650 got up and over an almost 2-inch transition from hardwood flooring to tile quickly. After watching a long line of competitors hesitate and even get stuck completely on the same threshold obstacle, it was refreshing to see this one glide right over it and keep on vacuuming. It did have problems on one transition from hardwood to a thicker carpet but for the most part it was a champ in terms of self-sufficiency. This is one of the ones you would be safe to leave unattended and expect to find it doing its job when you return rather than getting stuck.

In laboratory suction tests this vacuum robot was very impressive. It struggled on pet hair, on both carpeting and vinyl flooring, but for other test messes like kitty litter and Cheerios it was always among the best.

You do not get a mobile app or remote control for programming and changing your settings with this vacuum, which can make it more difficult to control. You have to control it just using the buttons on the top. Also, its interface offers less information than some of the others, so it was not the most intuitive to use. One thing that makes it easier to use is its rubber bumpers on every side, which ensure that it does not leave scuff marks on furniture and floorboards.

It weighs just under 8 pounds and measures approximately 13 inches around, which is average. That size proved to work just fine in home tests because it was able to clean around the legs of the dining room table and under couches, even though it was not particularly petite. A carrying handle would have been nice, but since the 650 needs repositioning so rarely it won't matter very often. It almost never gets stuck, and when the battery is running low the vacuum automatically returns to its base by itself.

When you buy the iRobot Roomba 650, you get a fine assortment of customer support and help. The website has a telephone number, email address and live chat. You get a one-year warranty with this device, which is pretty typical.

The iRobot Roomba 650 is not the most modern of robot vacuums – the interface looks a little dated and is hard to understand, and you can't control this vacuum from your phone – but the essentials all are in place. It has impressive suction and maneuvers around obstacles of every different kind quickly. The relatively low price makes this unit stand out for overall value.