In the vacuum world of robots, iLife created a nice small niche–their vacuums are relatively cheap but performance is solid. The iLife V3s Pro is actually our top budget selection at the moment. The iLife Shinebot W400 is the first washing floor robot of the company. In contrast to the $169 iRobot Braava 240 jet, the brush is re-usable. But is it good enough for the nearly $100 premium to be justified?
It is difficult to believe that both have a common purpose when the iRobot Braava 240 and iLife Shinebot W400 are placed side by side. A small footprint of the Braava jet 240 is similar to the toy of a child. The iLife Shinebot W400 is dressed in dark gray, tall and bulky.
The iLife Shinebot W400 is 11.5x 11.1x 4.6 inches long and empty tip with 7.72 pounds. Unlike the rectangular iRobot Braava 240 jet that is 6.7x 7x 3.3 inch, it looks more robotic vacuum. The W400 is almost twice the height of a regular robot. The extra height makes two water chambers aboard, one for dirty water chamber and the second for fresh water.
The Shinebot W400 is mainly two large pieces, which snaps in place to meet the bot’s magnetic scraper squeegee with the microfiber brush roll. On either side of the scraper, two wheels slightly jut out. It is guided by a very small nose wheel. On the lower piece is the engine, the battery and the brush wheel, whilst on the upper piece the squeegee and a little red filters fan are located.
The silver button of “Clean” is mounted on the top of the iLife Shinebot W400, with a button “I” on the right and a button “Mode” on the left. The Mode shift between four styles of cleaning: spot path, edge and area. The “I” replays the machine’s voice alerts. The two pieces are divided by a silver eject button and a silver carrying grip.
The Shinebot W400 needs to be loaded manually on the dock. It also needs to be removed manually. We found it a little curious that iLife couldn’t allow the bot to move to its home base, while the dock prevents harm to your floors.
Cleanup & Setup
You will connect to iLife Shinebot W400 with no smartphone app; instead, a black little remote works. The W400 package, unlike the iRobot Braava jet 240, needed further tuning. A small magnet scraper must be mounted in addition to filling the clear clean tank with liquid— which is a simpler process than the Braava Jet. In case you add this magnet improperly, I was shocked by the force needed for the detachment, as I did at the beginning. A blue arrow on the bottom of the W400 is like a small hole of the scraper, indicating how to fix it correctly, but the magnet can be fastened to any point. In addition to the scraper, the Shinebot W400 is easily removed from various interchangeable parts.
The W400 is relatively quick to clean floor, but it should be completely clean after it has washed the floor. Once each use has been carried out, iLife advises washing the dirty water tank, scraper, comb roll, and water pump. The components should then be left dry. When I glanced over the pieces of the machine spread over my kitchen counter, it was only a little less bulky than the typical mop.
Between three to five months of use, iLife suggests the removal of the microfiber brush roll and small tube. Fortunately, the box contains a second brush roll. While it’s a good time to replace the iRobot reusable cleaning pads and much less expensive, the only source I find is that new brush rolls were sold on EBay.
With only clean water, the iLife Shinebot W400 cleans with a roller brush and a rubber plug. The W400 relies on good, conventional, robot-based elbow grate while iRobot Braava Jet 240 pads include a water-activated cleaner. I had been pleasantly surprised by the results of the bot with water only. The dirty water-tank caught much more dirt on my floors than I thought.
I have checked the Shinebot W400 iLife and the Braava 240 iRobot in my kitchen in a floor area of 70 square feet. In 13 minutes and 44 seconds the W400 cleaned up the space. The Braava jet 240, by contrast, was 31 minutes and 9 seconds long with the blue wet-mopping sheet. After the Shinebot W400 finished against the Braava jet 240, my floors were notably weatherly. Despite the addition of the Shinebot W400, the floors dried up during the majority of test runs within several minutes.
When Shinebot W400 was done to clean the floor, I swabbed over a part of the floor a wet white paper towel. The towel was significantly was less dirty after cleaning the W400 than after wet clogging of the Braava jet 240.
During the sweeping, but quieter than the typical robot vacuum, the Shinebot W400 was louder than the much silent Braava Jet 240. By pumping up power, we could comfortably hold a discussion and hear the TV through the bot.
Robotic mops are still far from as autonomous and flexible as their current vacuuming counterparts. The Shinebot iLife W400 is a great deal at $249. It cleanses thoroughly than the Braava 240 iRobot more, but it needs more attention when your floors are being cleaned. It is less expensive than the Braava, though, since it needs no disposable pads or the procurement of reusable cleaning pads instantly.
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