Roomba E5 vs. i3 Comparison Review
This Roomba E5 vs i3 comparison review is ideal for buyers in a dilemma of which Roomba to buy. If you are stuck, this guide explains how the two robot vacuums compare to help you make that perfect purchase decision.
The differences between the Roomba E5 and i3 include suction power, power management, automatic self-emptying, navigation system, and Braava sync.
To learn more about these differences, read along.
Released in September 2018, the Roomba i3 made headlines as a cheap robot vacuum with automatic self-emptying. For the record, there are two models in the i3 series; Roomba i3 and Roomba i3+. The former is the base model and doesn’t include the iRobot CleanBase unit. On the other hand, the i3+ comes with the automatic self-emptying unit.
The Roomba i3 and i3+ are designed to handle all types of bare floors and low pile carpets. The duo is also suitable for homes with pets.
Last update on 2021-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Roomba E5 vs. i3 Side by Side Comparison Review
Now, onto the main business of the day, how does the Roomba E5 compare to the i3 and i3+? To help you make the perfect purchase decision, we have factored all the important aspects considered when buying robot vacuums.
1. Design and Aesthetics
To start this comparison review, let’s look at the design and aesthetics of these two robot vacuums. We will look at the dimensions and weight, as well as the finish.
Roomba i3 Design and Aesthetics
The Roomba i3 is quite similar to the E5. This one, too, is a round-shaped robot vacuum with a 13.26-inches diameter and stands at 3.63-inches. It can creep under most low-profile furniture.
The weight is 7.44lbs. As for the finish, the i3 is available in a single color: black with grey accents.
2. Cleaning Performance
The most important consideration when buying a robot vacuum is the cleaning performance. There are several aspects to consider here, including cleaning orientation, specialization, vacuum power, brush system, and filtration.
So, how does the Roomba E5 compare to the i3?
Roomba E5 Cleaning Performance
The Roomba E5 has been designed to vacuum only. For mopping, you will have to purchase a robot mop. Regarding specialization, this robot vacuum can handle all bare floors, thin/low pile carpets, and pet messes such as pet hair and kitty litter.
- When it comes to cleaning, the robot relies on a 3-stage cleaning system. First, there is a dual multisurface brush system with one brush for agitating dirt and another that lifts the dirt. It is complemented by a side sweeping brush for the deep corners and wall edges.
- Regarding suction power, the E5 comes with the old 1st Gen iRobot motor that puts up a paltry 550pa.
- When it comes to filtration, this robot vacuum uses high-efficiency filters that capture 99.9% of allergens and other elements from the atmosphere. Also worth mentioning is the 0.5L onboard bin with a full bin indicator, but unfortunately, there is no support for automatic bin emptying.
- Like all other Roombas, the E5 has been engineered with Dirt Detect, a feature that detects areas with concentrated dirt. When such spots are detected, the robot heads there and switches to Spot mode.
Roomba i3 Cleaning Performance
The Roomba i3 is also a vacuum-only robot cleaner but it can sync with the Braava M6 for simultaneous vacuuming and mopping. When it comes to specialization, this model is best for bare floors, including hardwood, marble, vinyl, laminate, and linoleum floors, among others. The i3 is also suitable for vacuuming low pile carpets and all pet messes such as pet hair and kitty litter.
- Onto the vacuuming performance, the i3 also relies on a 3-point cleaning system. There is a dual multisurface brushroll that sweeps and agitates dirt from the floor or carpet. The dirt is then lifted and sucked into the bin. Regarding suction power, the i3 comes with an advanced 2nd Gen motor that puts up 900pa, making it more powerful than the E5.
- As far as filtration is concerned, the Roomba i3 is identical to the E5. It features a 0.5L bin with a full bin indicator and high-efficiency filters that capture 99.9% of allergens. But the difference is that the i3 series supports automatic self-emptying. This is an innovation that enables the robot vacuum to empty the bin by itself. Homeowners can go for up to a month without the worries and hassles of manually emptying the bin.
- The Roomba i3 also comes with Dirt Detect, so those spots with concentrated dirt can be vacuumed fast and effectively in Spot mode.
As mentioned earlier, the i3 doesn’t include the CleanBase unit, but the i3+ comes with the unit.
3. Cleaning Test Results
We usually test all the robot vacuums we review; the E5 and i3 are not exceptions. Below is an illustration showing the cleaning performance of the two robot vacuums.
4. Battery and Runtime
Robot vacuums are cordless cleaners with inbuilt batteries. When purchasing one, go for a model that has a high-capacity battery for longer runtime. Also, assess the power management options. So, how does Roomba i3 compare to the E5 in terms of battery and runtime?
Roomba i3 Battery and Runtime
Roomba i3 and i3+ both come with the same 1800mAh lithium-ion battery that the E5 comes with. However, the runtime is different. While the E5 offers a 90 minutes runtime, the i3 and i3+ offer 75 minutes runtime.
The two will also dock for recharge and resume cleaning automatically. The recharge time is 2-3 hours.
5. Navigation, Mapping, and Boundary Marking
As you may be aware, robot vacuums offer autonomous operation, unlike canisters and handheld models. They tag along with intelligent systems that enable the robots to find their way around your house and, importantly, avoid accidents.
These systems also help the robot to plan for efficient cleaning patterns to guarantee entire level cleaning. So, without further ado, below is how the two robot vacuums compare.
Roomba i3 Navigation, Mapping, and Boundary Marking
The Roomba i3 and i3+ also come with iRobot’s iAdapt 1.0 navigation system. There are sensors for obstacle detection and preventing the robot from falling off the stairs. The i3 series models also have a retractable bumper to reduce the impact if it hits an obstacle.
In a low traffic home, the i3 doesn’t get stuck, just like the E5 but expect the robots to hit obstacles here and there in high traffic homes.
When it comes to mapping, the Roomba i3 and i3+ are a little bit advanced. Even though they don’t map the layout of your home, at least they move in a rather systematic pattern. This way, the robot guarantees entire level cleaning, and ultimately, faster cleaning than the E5.
As for boundary marking, the i3 and i3+ are compatible with iRobot’s Virtual Walls technology. But unfortunately, the nodes are not supplied, so you will have to purchase them separately if you want to contain your robot.
6. Smart Features and Convenience
Last, we will look at the smart features and convenience offered by the Roomba i3 and E5. In this smart home ear, you definitely want a robot vacuum that can sync with other smart devices for convenience.
So, how does the Roomba i3 compare to the E5 in terms of smart features and convenience? Let’s find out.
The Roomba i3 is similar to the Roomba E5 in terms of smart features and convenience. This one too comes with 2.4GHz WiFi to facilitate remote operation. You can control the robot via the iRobot Home app or voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant.
What’s interesting about the i3 and i3+ is the inclusion of iRobot Genius Home Intelligence, an innovation that unlocks a whole new cleaning experience tailored to suit your cleaning needs.
There you have it, folks, a comparison of the two Roombas. As you have seen, the two robot vacuums share a lot in common, but there are profound differences. So, what’s the best bang for the buck? Well, before we make that decision, here is a recap of each model.
Is Roomba i3 a Worthy Robot Vacuum?
The Roomba i3 and i3+ are also great robot vacuums. They can handle all types of bare floors and pet messes. What’s more? The increased suction makes them ideal for low pile carpets too. Another great thing about this robot vacuum is the automatic bin self-emptying. That means you no longer have to stress about emptying the bin manually after every cleaning session. The robot can also recharge and resume automatically and comes with iRobot Genius Home Intelligence.
On the downside, the i3 doesn’t come with a Virtual Walls barrier, so if you need this function, you have to spend more money on the nodes. Also, the i3’s navigation is not up to the mark but considering the price, it’s still a worthy purchase.
Roomba E5 vs. i3: Our Verdict
All said and done, it’s the Roomba i3 and i3+ that carry the day in this heated Roomba E5 vs. i3 comparison review. The i3 series has improved suction power, automatic self-emptying bin, systematic cleaning patterns, iRobot Genius Home Intelligence, and auto-resume function.