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I tried the new Roborock S7 and it's so good that it made me a lazier person

I tried the new Roborock S7 and it's so good that it made me a lazier person
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Jayjay Lin

I've been a fan of robot vacuums since I got the Roborock S5 three years ago because the burden of having to clean up after my pet has been relieved with the push of a button.

Being a pet owner, I was resigned to a life of fur and dust everywhere and I greatly disliked the chore of having to clear the clumps of fur scattered around the room. But all that changed when I got the S5 and I've become a passionate advocate — just ask the two colleagues who were convinced by me to buy one for their home.

This is also why I was looking forward to the new features and improvements the S7 Roborock would bring. After all, after three years I think I'm due for an upgrade.

Out of the box, the S7 is slightly larger and heavier than the S5. Its bulk makes it harder to carry around but apart from the setup, you usually don't have to carry it often.

This newest iteration also has more souped-up tech (more on that later), and looks better — it now has a hint of orange in addition to the familiar white and silver design. If you prefer darker hues, a sleek black version is also available.

The top bump also gets a sleeker chrome logo on the S7, as well as a ripple design. The indicator light on the S7 does more than show you that the robot is operating, changing colour when it's in different modes — white for vacuuming, blue for mopping, and green for charging.

An inside look: Upgrades for greater durability

If you're like me and don't really fancy looking through the user manual to figure out how things work, you'll be glad to know that working the S7 is pretty intuitive. The separated water tank and mop of the machine comes with buttons and hitches that are easily identified.

On the underside, the S7's sweeper has a five-spoke brush compared to S5's three-spoke brush, which translates to better dust pick-up rate. The brush is purely made of rubber blades so less hair gets tangled in it than the S5's rubber-and-bristle brush.

The S7 also boasts 2500Pa of suction on the new upgraded brushes for deeper cleaning and debris-picking. I noticed that when the S7 cleaned my floors faster, compared to the S5 which needed a few more passes.

The dustbin of the S7 seems slightly smaller than the one in the S5. However, it feels more sturdy as it's made of thicker plastic and boasts stronger hinges.

The downside is that the capacity of the bin is smaller, hence more frequent clearing is required. However, it's pretty easy to empty out so it didn't prove to be much of a hindrance. The S7 also retains a feature I liked from the S5 — the dustbin filter. It can be removed for washing and reused, unlike dust bags (in traditional vacuums) that need to be constantly replaced.

New features: High-tech mopping and intelligent navigation

As the S5's mop function was the first iteration of the function, it had a spartan setup. The 'mop' was a washcloth that was dragged along the floor as the vacuum ran. It was velcro-ed under a small water tank that would wet the cloth as the vacuum moved. After every use, the mop and tank had to be removed.

In comparison, the S7 features a sonic mop that vibrates up to 3,000 times per minute. This means that a wet cloth isn't just dragged across the floor; scrubbing motions are simulated through the vibrations. When set to high intensity, stubborn, dried-up dirt is easily removed.

You can leave the mop attached to the vacuum for scheduled mopping, but I find it best to wash and dry it after every use. Nothing worse than the smell of a damp rag.

Another new function that comes with the S7 is its intelligent navigation. This allows it to automatically detect rugs and lift the mop while it vacuums the rugs. If you don't trust the tech, though, you can manually toggle the S7 between vacuuming or mopping through the app.

Just a tad too noisy

For phone integration, the S7 uses the same app that the S5 uses. Once you're connected to the same Wi-Fi network, the app guides you through the setup for your S7 and you can control it from the app thereafter.

After your first run of the S7, it maps out your room, allowing you to draw boundaries for it to do some spot cleaning, if needed. Within the app, you can also select the intensity of the scrubbing mop, as well as the vacuum suction.

I usually just set it to the highest intensity for both functions, which generate quite a lot of noise. While the noise from the S5 was negligible, the noise from the S7 is significantly louder and distracted me from work. Even my cats were cautious of it and stayed clear of it. That said, it wasn't as noisy as a regular vacuum cleaner.

Overall, I find the S7 to be a great successor to the S5 and it's worth considering if you're in the market for an upgrade for your robot vacuum.

I'm slightly ashamed to say that with the improvements made to the S7, I've now taken to throwing litter on the floor, instead of into a bin, and leaving it to the robot vacuum to clean it up instead. This machine takes me to a new level of laziness, and I still get to have very clean floors.

It's come to a point where I find it to be a household essential. Of course, we could clean our floors manually, but in my opinion, paying for a machine that does most of the tedious (and mindless) work is very much worth the price.

The Roborock S7 is available from official online retailers at $799.

This article has been edited for clarity.

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