iRobot has introduced its Braava jet 240 Mopping Robot, and it’s the company’s cheapest cleaning robot to date at $199. Clearly the Bedford, Mass.-based robot vacuum leader is targeting the masses with the Braava jet 240, but did it sacrifice functionality as well?
Since iRobot is the clear leader when it comes to cleaning robots, we thought it’d be fun to compare the Braava jet 240 to the brand’s other mopping robot – the $299.99 Braava 380t that launched in 2013. Check out the chart below for a quick glance at the differences, but we’ll go a little more in depth into some of them.
Both mopping robots are designed to clean hardwoods, tile and laminate floors, but the Braava jet 240 is designed to clean small spaces (150-200 square feet) such as a bathroom, while the 380t is designed for multiple rooms and large spaces (350-1,000 square feet).
The biggest concern with the jet 240 appears to be battery life. The jet 240’s running time isn’t even listed on either the specs page or the owner’s manual, yet iRobot points out it should be fully charged in 2 hours. And when I asked iRobot’s tech support about it, they simply said that number “wasn’t calculated.” So essentially the jet 240 will be able to clean up to 150 square feet in wet mode on a single charge or up to 200 square feet on damp or dry mode with a single charge.
On the other hand, the 380t sweeps for up to 210 minutes and mops for up to 150 minutes – as clearly stated on its specs page. Unfortunately, both models require you to manually charge the batteries.
iRobot says the jet 240 will do a much better job cleaning than the 380t as it features a vibrating cleaning head to increase agitation for tough stains, a water nozzle to spray the area it’s covering, and premixed detergent in its disposable pads. The jet 240 also gets the nod in cleaning modes, featuring three (Wet Mop, Damp Sweep, Dry Sweep) compared to the 380t’s two (Mop, Sweep). And the jet 240 is easier to use; simply add water to a reservoir on top of the robot, attach a cleaning pad, and press the “CLEAN” button. The jet 240 will automatically determine its cleaning action based on the pad chosen.
The jet 240 have also added three types of disposable pads, which cost $7.99 for a 10-pack. This might be another problem as it adds to the long-term cost of owning the Braava jet 240. There also are reusable pads for both the jet 240 and 380t that need to be cleaned after each use.
Both the jet 240 and 380t feature iRobot’s Adapt 2.0 navigation technology and won’t fall down your stairs.
iRobot seems to be gambling with the reduced coverage area and battery life of the Braava jet 240. This essentially requires us humans to be more hands-on in the cleaning process, which is exactly what we don’t want, having to swap out pads more often and manually charge the batteries. Maybe the lower price makes up for those shortcomings, but only time will tell.