Freelance contributor, TechHiveDec 16, 2020 3:00 am PST
At a Glance
Powerful suction is great for carpets
Customizable cleaning options
Vacuums and mops
Doesn’t know to avoid carpeting when mopping
Automatic dust collector is sold separately for $99
Mopping mode won’t clean tough dirt
The Proscenic M7 Pro is a great vacuum/mop hybrid for floor plans with both carpeting and hard-surface floors.
The M7 Pro is the first Proscenic robot vacuum we’ve reviewed, and if it’s indicative of the rest of the company’s vacuums, it bodes well indeed. The M7 Pro performs both vacuuming and mopping duties, employs laser navigation and mapping, and offers plenty of cleaning customization for a solidly mid-tier price.
The M7 Pro doesn’t break any molds with its design, sticking to a standard circular shape in a black finish. It measures just over 13 inches across and its above-average 3.8-inch height reflects the laser turret—which allows it to map your floor plan—sitting on top. Underneath are two spinning edge brushes and a main rolling brush. A 600ml dustbin slots into the back.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best robot vacuums, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
You can control the vacuum with its physical remote, the Proscenic Home companion app, or with voice commands via Amazon Alexa. The app provides many ways to customize cleaning jobs, including scheduling, setting virtual boundaries, and zone cleaning. It also tracks cleaning stats and battery usage and alerts you when the vacuum gets stuck.
Setting up the M7 Pro is pretty simple. First, plug in its charging dock and set it against a wall—Proscenic recommends 3.9 feet of clearance in front and 1.6 feet on either side—then set the vacuum on it and power it on. To connect it to the app and your WI-Fi, you have to press the Clean and Home buttons on the vacuum simultaneously until the voice prompt says it’s ready to connect. The app takes over from there, prompting you through the connectivity steps with the vacuum’s voice prompts confirming the success of each one. I didn’t encounter any issues, and the whole process took just a couple of minutes.
Auto dust collector sold separately
Proscenic Automatic Dust & Dirt for M7 Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner
For the first cleaning, it’s important to clear the floor of clutter, so the M7 Pro has unfettered access to build an accurate floor map. As it cleans, you can view its path on the map as a squiggly white line snaking around the room. The app also displays the area covered in square meters, the duration of the job, and the current battery level.
Once you have a complete map, you can set up restricted areas where you don’t want the bot to go. A clearly labeled button on the map screen opens this feature and prompts you to give the area a descriptive name: “dog bed,” for example. Then it drops a red bounding box on the map for you to drag to the appropriate spot and resize. The box disappears from the map once you save the area, leaving just the area’s name on the map.
The map also enables area cleaning for when you don’t want to vacuum an entire room or level of your home. To do this, select Custom Area from the map screen and then Add Custom Area. Again you’re prompted to give the area a name, then a green boundary box appears on the map for you to resize and place. Press Save Area Temporarily to finish.
You won’t see these custom cleaning areas marked on the main map; they’re saved to a separate map that appears when you access the More menu and select Multi-Zone Cleaning. All you need to do to clean one of these areas is select it and press the Go to Clean button.
Zone cleaning came in handy when I used the M7 Pro on my downstairs level. I was able to delineate my living room, kitchen, and bathroom as separate cleaning areas and dispatch the M7 Pro to each of them for vacuuming or mopping individually.
The M7 Pro was able to transition over medium-pile carpet, hardwood, and vinyl tile flooring without a problem. It’s laser navigation and 24 on-board sensors allowed it to move around furniture, along walls, and through doorways without banging into anything or taking inefficient routes. Its turret-boosted height prevented it from getting under my low couch, but that was really the only issue I encountered.
The vacuum has three suction strengths—Quiet, Standard, and Strong—the last with a whopping 2700Pa max suction power. That was pivotal in pulling up pet hair and debris from my carpet. I generally used the M7 Pro in Auto mode, so it would automatically boost the suction when it detected the rug, but there is also a Spot mode for cleaning small, extra dirty areas.
The M7 Pro includes a separate mopping module, a 110ml water reservoir to which you attach a microfiber cloth. It performs about as well as similarly outfitted mopping robot vacuums, which is to say good, but not great. Once you fill the reservoir with water and attach it to the M7 Pro, it drags the dampened cloth across the floor to wipe away surface grime. It’s fine for maintenance, but it won’t replace your stick mop for removing tougher dirt.
The main issue, though, is that the M7 Pro doesn’t know to avoid carpet when it’s in mopping mode. That makes area cleaning essential for homes like mine where the two types of flooring are immediately adjacent to each other. Area cleaning allowed me to use the M7 Pro in my kitchen, entryway, and bathroom for mopping without worrying too much it would stray onto the living room carpet. Still, I had to monitor it during these cleanings because its dock, which it automatically returns to when it’s finished a job, was in the carpeted area.
The M7 Pro’s microfiber cloth is machine washable, but the manufacturer also provides 10 disposable mop cloths in the box with the appliance.
The Proscenic gets high marks for its vacuuming performance, its excellent app, and ample cleaning customizations. It’s a middling mopper, but no worse than other hybrid-style competitors. It compares favorably to Roborock’s S4 Max in both features and price, and in that light, the mopping feature is a bonus. The Automatic Dust & Dirt collector option should probably factor into your decision, too, as even with the added expense of that accessory, the total cost would be less than one of iRobot’s self-emptying models.