A top performing robot vacuum cleaner has dropped today, June 1 2023, which boasts some of the brand’s most innovative technologies to date.
The best robot vacuums and best robot mops tend to be single-function appliances: vacuums don’t usually mop and mops don’t usually vacuum. But in recent months we’ve seen manufacturers making dual-function robots that promise to do both and, now, it’s the turn of the new Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni.
The Deebot T20 Omni is the company’s first Deebot with mop lifting technology, which – as you’ve no doubt already guessed – lifts the mop out of the way when it moves from hard floor to a rug or carpet. The USP here, and point of differentiation, is that the T20 Omni will lift the mop plates 9mm (that’s higher than any other robot vacuum) when transitioning in real-time from hard floor to soft carpet, ensuring that you don’t get any unwanted water on your floor coverings but without compromising on cleaning performance: as the Deebot moves onto a carpet or rug it boosts the suction power, which is a category-leading 6,000Pa.
The T20 Omni also features Ecovacs’ first hot air dryer, which is a clever touch: it automatically dries the mopping pads to help make them last longer and to prevent the formation of bacteria. The base station is fully sealed, so you don’t need to worry about any dust or allergens escaping or causing unpleasant odors. It’s good for up to 60 days before it needs emptied.
In addition to the T20 Omni’s advanced cleaning capabilities it incorporates improved navigation and object recognition. This particular Ecovacs Deebot has the LiDAR-based TrueMapping 2.0 tech, and Ecovacs says that this delivers twice the range and four times the accuracy of the laser-based navigation of rival devices. The firm also says that its 3D object sensing is ten times more accurate than traditional infra-red cleaners.
The Ecovacs T20 Omni is available to reserve in the States on the website today, June 1 2023, but those customers in Australia will need to wait until July 25 2023 for their turn. The first 500 customers who purchase the robot vacuum cleaner before June 13 2023 will get a $100 T20 Omni accessories voucher for one-time use at Ecovacs.com.
Opinion: the T20 OMNI is an impressive device but don’t pay full price
The aforementioned Roomba is the key rival here, and as we pointed out in our iRobot Roomba Combo J7 Plus review its retractable mop pad also ensures you don’t end up with sodden carpets. iRobot doesn’t publish the suction power of its robots in pascals (Pa), but says that the J7+ is 10 times stronger than the entry-level Roomba 600. But as it doesn’t publish the suction power of that either, it’s a pretty meaningless bit of information.
It’s impossible to compare the products directly until we’ve had the T20 Omni in for review. But we have reviewed its predecessor, the Deebot X1 Turbo, and the T20 Omni has 6,000Pa compared to the X1’s 5,000. We said that model had “unbeatable vacuum prowess” and very impressive automatic suction power adjustment; navigation and object detection was pretty good if not perfect; and it was one of the very first dual-purpose vacuum and mops to do the mopping bit well: “the mopping attachments rotate quite fast to replicate a scrubbing motion rather than just wetting and wiping the floor as previous Ecovacs models (and other competitors) have done.” The new T20 Omni has the same approach, so it should cope equally well with both wet spills and dried-on stains. And it’s cheaper.
I think if you’re in the market for a dual-function device your choice is probably going to come down to price. The Ecovacs and the Roomba are evenly matched in the US: both have recommended retail prices of $1,099.99 USD. The Roomba is more expensive in Australia, though: its RRP is AU$1,999 compared to the Ecovacs’ AU$1,799. However, you shouldn’t pay the full price for this robot or its rivals: I’ve seen the Roomba discounted, typically by about AU$100, and ECOVACS was offering $100 off in the US if you ordered it from Ecovacs or from Amazon before yesterday. Another price promotion is undoubtedly coming.