By Jason Snell
December 31, 2018 11:09 AM PT
We Like: A robot roams my house
So I got my family a Roomba for Christmas.
I should be clear: I am undoubtedly the person most excited about this. I may be the only person in the house excited about this. I am certain that the dog and the cat are not excited about sharing their space with a noisy hockey puck that keeps bumping against the couches and disturbing them. But I’m excited.
I’ve been dreaming of buying a Roomba for years. A real robot, one that does housework, like I read about in science fiction novels when I was a kid. It sounded like fun, but they were expensive and kind of impractical and I couldn’t bear the Glare of Irresponsible Purchases I would receive from my wife when I bought one, so I left it there.
But I watched, and waited, and bided my time. I went to camelcamelcamel and set up price searches for the models I was most interested in. (Pro tip: if you want to find deals on products you desire on Amazon, use camelcamelcamel. It’s fantastic.) And it took a couple of years, but finally the cut-rate Roomba I had been stalking, the Roomba 690, came down in price from $375 to $300 to… $249, in mid-November. It was time to buy a robot!
And you know what? The Roomba is most definitely A Thing I Like. Every time I have run it, it has filled its little bin with a shocking amount of dirt, dust, and pet hair. It has only gotten stuck a couple of times (my son’s charging cords are apparently its nemesis), and just today it managed to run automatically and return itself to its charging station when it was done. If it had zipped around our house in its idiosyncratic pinball fashion and filled its bin with almost nothing, I would’ve been disappointed, but no! Our floors are filthy. But less so now. Thanks, bargain-rate robot.