If you don’t like emptying your robot vacuum but also don’t like the idea of shelling out over $500 for an auto-empty model, TP-Link’s new budget robot vac might be for you. It doesn’t empty itself, but thanks to a large 800ml bin, the company says you only have to deal with that dusty mess twice a month.
The Tapo RV10 Lite is one of the first robot vacs from the brand known for its Wi-Fi routers. And in line with TP-Link’s reputation for high-tech at low prices, it’s a seriously budget bot. The Lite features the big bin and costs $229.99, while its mopping-capable sibling, the Tapo RV10, has a smaller bin but room for a 300ml mopping reservoir on board. It costs $249.99.
There’s no lidar navigation, obstacle avoidance, or mapping at these prices, but the robot vacs do use a gyroscope smart navigation system. This means they can follow a methodical zigzag path that should effectively cover your entire floor rather than bump and roll around as many low-priced vacs tend to do.
The RV line sports midrange specs and, on paper, should do a decent job of dealing with everyday dust and debris without breaking the bank.
The biggest missing piece is room mapping, which means you‘ll need to physically block the bot if there are places you don’t want it to go. The biggest selling point beyond price is the extra-large 800ml bin on the RV10 Lite. This big boy will hold a lot of dirt.
If you want to avoid touching the bin altogether, TP-Link has an RV10 Plus model with auto-empty capability. It’s not available in the US, but the entire RV line is already in the Asian market, so it’s plausible the Plus will come here, too.
A 2,600mAh battery offers a decent three hours of run time, double most of its budget competition, and the robots can automatically recharge and resume their job if they didn’t get it done in time. There’s a slightly low 2000Pa max suction with four suction modes, including a quiet option that goes down to as low as 53dB — whisper quiet for a robo vac.
For an extra $20, the Tapo RV10 adds a 300ml water tank and mopping pad, which can cover 2,100 square feet of floor and has three levels of water flow. It doesn’t have the oscillating or extra scrubbing functions you’ll find on higher-end models, but it’ll at least collect some of the fine dust the vacuum might miss.
The Tapo RV line works with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for voice control, and the Tapo app allows for scheduling and switching cleaning modes.
The robot vacuums are available now on Amazon, with shipping Monday, February 13th. TP-Link is offering a $70 discount at launch.