iRobot Roomba 400 series

February 10th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

iRobot Roomba 400 series reviewOverview

The iRobot Roomba 400 series were second-generation robots released in 2004. They were direct improvements of the first generations, which were very basic and sometimes described as crude. The 400 series were also called Discovery.

The 400 vacuum cleaners, unfortunately, are no longer sold in iRobot’s official website, though you can still buy them in Amazon and other online stores. They are replaced by the more innovative, faster, and more effective 500 robot cleaners.


  • Very simple and easy to use
  • With just enough buttons for better control
  • Enhanced software flexibility
  • Better functionality than the first generation
  • Plenty of options within the series
  • Easier to clean and maintain
  • Work with a variety of floors, from rugs to linoleum, hardwood, and carpet
  • Can handle pet hairs
  • Affordable
  • Bigger dust bins so less time for emptying


  • Can sometimes take too long to charge
  • Less powerful than the newer generation
  • No longer sold in the official website


  • Bigger dust bins
  • More cleaning options
  • Dirt Detect technology
  • Intelli-bin
  • On-board scheduler

Detailed Review

Despite their simplicity, there were several things to love about Roomba Discovery. In fact, even if there are newer Roombas in the market, many still look for the former. First, they are a cross between technology and functionality. They are not so basic owners would think about retaining their uprights or canisters, yet they’re not too complicated to use either. Some may even claim their own children could use the device effortlessly.

Maintaining the 400 cleaners isn’t difficult. Though the brushes tend to tangle hairs and debris, the dirt is easy to remove, and you can even use a knife if the tangle is just too bad. The latest versions of the 400 cleaners already come with a home base. Thus, home owners don’t have to figure out where the cleaning machine has stopped.

They are also small, so they can conveniently get into very low-lying place such as underneath the furniture and sofa and bed skirts. Some of them are also less expensive such as Dirt Dog; however, they lack flexibility with regards to their software.

There are actually a lot of 400 robot vacuum cleaners introduced, and some of them carry distinct features. But to give you an idea, the Discover Series usually have bigger dust bins, so there’s no need to empty them multiple times during the day. It’s also much easier for home owners to upgrade their software.

One of the technologies introduced was room size calculation. This then allowed the vacuum cleaner to determine how long it should stay in one area. Others already included a Dirt Detection technology (the newer generation already received an upgrade on this one). Simply put, it sought out the dirt through special sensors and cleaned the area before the device would proceed to other rooms. The later versions had an on-board scheduler, which made cleaning life more comfortable. Now home owners could choose to have their rooms cleaned on a daily basis with hardly any effort on their part.  The 4360 was equipped with an Intelli-Bin, which was a technology that alerted users whenever the bin needed emptying. Many home owners also appreciated the fact it could handle several types of floors, such as hardwood, linoleum, carpets, and rugs, as well as deal with pet hairs, especially Roomba Discovery for Pets released in 2006.

As for the downside, they still take quite some time to clean rooms, especially if they are large. Some of the units may take up to 16 hours charging time. That’s so slow compared to 3 hours of the newer generation. They are still not as effective as the more powerful upright and canister vacuum cleaners, so there’s still a chance you cannot dispose them even with a robot around. Some of the parts were considered flimsy, which greatly reduced the life of the Roomba 400 series.

User Comments

I always love my Roombas at first (I’ve had 4), but longevity is the issue. Between the very expensive batteries that don’t more than a year to the huge number of plastic parts that break, they just don’t last very long.
–J. M. Ulmer, Amazon

I was skeptical about how well the Roomba would clean but I decided to give it a shot. I am so glad that I did! This was probably the smartest purchase that I have ever made.
–Cute Chihuahua, Amazon

The Roomba 400 is an earlier model of the iRobot vacuuming robots.  It may not have all the bells and whistles that some of the later models such as the Roomba 560 or the Neato XV-11, but it gets the job done at a fairly cheap cost.
–Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Reviews



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