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The current trend in robot vacuums is to add more and more features that enhance the cleaning experience without necessarily improving the quality of the cleaning. That makes the Airrobo P20 something of an outlier. It doesn’t empty its own dustbin, mop, or create interactive 3D maps of your rooms. It can’t target or exclude rooms or smaller areas from cleaning, and it doesn’t have a terribly sophisticated app. But none of that has compromised this budget robot vacuum’s ability to clear your floors of household grime.
The most remarkable feature of the P20 is its textured, diamond-pattern matte finish—“tailored by a top industrial design team in Europe,” according to Airrobo—which belies its basic functionality and features. On top of the robot is a simple two-button panel used for starting/pausing cleaning and sending the robot home to its dock. On the bottom are a pair of edge brushes and a rubber-and-bristle rolling brush, while a 600ml dustbin is slotted into the back.
To set up the vacuum, you need to snap on the two edge brushes—the P20 ships with a total of four, so you have two backups—then plug in the charging doc and set the robot on its contacts. There’s a power button on the side of the robot that needs to be switched to the “on” position for the vacuum to charge, and the P20’s voice prompt will remind you to do this if you forget.
You can control the vacuum with its accompanying remote or with the Airrobo app. The remote requires a line of sight with the robot, while the app can be used from anywhere with an internet connection. The app also lets you take advantage of features like scheduling.
The P20 has a decent suction power of 2800Pa and offers four cleaning modes. Auto mode provides full-room cleaning in a zig-zag pattern, and then finishes by vacuuming along the room’s edge. Spot and Spiral modes are for targeting specific areas of concentrated dirt, and Edge mode sends the vacuum to clean along the walls of a room.
How does the Airrobo P20 robot vacuum navigate floors?
Without a sophisticated navigation system, the P20 uses its sensors to “feel” its way around the room, and that can lead to some clunky maneuvers.
There was a lot of hard banging into walls and furniture legs during daily cleanings of my downstairs level, and the vacuum occasionally got stuck in tight spaces, such as between two chair legs. In these cases, I was alerted by the voice prompt and an in-app alert to physically reposition the P20 and restart the cleaning.
On the other hand, the robot had no trouble transitioning between hard floors and carpet, and its two-hour runtime per full charge ensured it could finish cleaning the whole room without a recharge despite its sometimes-inefficient cleaning routes.
Does the Airrobo P20 robot vacuum have an app?
The Airrobo app has a straightforward interface that suits the P20’s basic functionality, putting cleaning controls and modes front and center. The home screen also displays the duration of the current cleaning job and the area covered in meters along with the battery level.
The app does display a rudimentary map, but this simply allows you to see what areas have been cleaned and what route the robot took. It doesn’t enable any cleaning customization options.
Is the Airrobo P20 robot vacuum worth the cash?
Although the P20 lacks the power and features of more sophisticated robot vacuums, it is a very capable cleaner. It easily removed everyday dirt, dust, and grime from my hard floors. Carpet required multiple passes to yield the same results, but the vacuum ultimately removed all but the most deeply embedded dirt and crumbs.
That solid performance along with its no-hassle simplicity makes the Airrobo P20 an excellent choice for first-time robot vacuum buyers, or anyone who doesn’t want to pay for a lot of advanced features that don’t necessarily improve cleaning results.