Vacuums are old. Roombas are old. So who cares about a Roomba? When the latter can finally kick the former to the tech trash pile, we care. The dream of having a robot (effectively!) be my personal maid is alive.
If you can afford it, the Roomba 770 is probably a viable replacement for whatever mid-range upright vacuum you've got in your closet. New guts and HEPA filters deliver improved suckage, while a double capacity bin holds more crap and an IR-beam scouts out dust bunnies and other grime like the Terminator. Not phased by stairs or corners, and it has an improved package of sensors that'll let it adapt to your room as furniture (or feet) move around. And most importantly, it cleans the hell out of your floor, methodically, and effectively. While you're doing other stuff. Wood, carpet, and tile were all sucked clean in my apartment, whether covered with hair, dust, popcorn, or other gross, um, nuggets.
The Roomba 770 is $US500. There are upright vacs that cost more, but the premium you're paying here is for robo-autonomy. And sometimes, that autonomy is a little quirky. Whether it's a fit of IR-detection OCD or just a bad programming, the Roomba occasionally finds itself fixated on a certain part of your room. It can be annoying. You want to move it. Or kick it. MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE, ROOMBA. PLEASE. There are rare moments at which you wish you could just manually control the damn thing - you know, like a vacuum cleaner that isn't a robot.
It's great, not perfect. [iRobot]