iRobot Roomba 520

February 24th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

iRobot Roomba 520 reviewOverview

Roomba 520 vacuum cleaner is another popular and favorite robot among those in the 500 series. There are not a lot of differences between this and the first, 510, except that the 520 is more enhanced or improved. For example, the latter has better cleaning brushes, which are very effective in cleaning the edges of the walls. It is also equipped with a self-charging home base, which is sorely missing in the 510. The self-charging home base isn’t really mandatory, but it’s a great help, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for the robot once it’s lost its power. Simply put, this add-on further helps you save a good amount of time in cleaning.


  • Smaller and slimmer than other robot vacuum cleaners
  • Cleans even the edges of the walls
  • Adjusts itself according to the type of floor it deals
  • Doesn’t fall off the stairs and other high areas
  • Is programmable to return to its home base for charging
  • Has faster rotating brushes that effectively lifts and removes stubborn dust and dirt on the floor
  • Doesn’t get entangled with wires and cables
  • Possesses filters to properly trap allergens
  • Holds more dust and dirt; doesn’t need emptying all the time
  • Cleans up to 3 rooms in one charge (subject to the size of the room)


  • Produces some noise
  • Sometimes gets stuck underneath very low furniture
  • Becomes expensive to maintain once the warranty has expired


  • Better batteries, with charging time of only 3 hours
  • Self-charging home base
  • Remote-controlled command panel
  • Anti-tangle technology
  • More improved brushes
  • Dirt Detection Technology
  • Cliff sensors
  • Sensitive bumpers

Detailed Review

The Roombas aren’t the smallest or the thinnest robot vacuum cleaners in the market, but 520, compared to other robots, is much slimmer and lower. It is also lighter. These physical specifications do have significant impact in its cleaning ability. By being small and thin, it can conveniently travel underneath low furniture and fixture, bed skirts, and sofa skirts. These are places that are often hard to clean and just ignored even by other robots. It doesn’t look completely different from the other Roombas—they still appear like large portable CD players—but they are professional looking and robust.

The cleaning mechanism hasn’t really changed. It still moves in a spiral motion, then crisscrosses the room. However, its intensity is more powerful this time. It has better chances of getting rid of even hard dirt and grime on the floor, thanks to its suction power. In fact, its efficiency in removing dirt can be likened to that of a Hoover, which is a world-renowned vacuum cleaning brand. Better cleaning brushes have also been added, allowing the robot to clean the wall edges more effectively.

Despite its diminutive size, it sports a large bin, so you don’t have to remove the content all too often. It can also be programmed to move on to its charging dock once the power is already low. At its optimum state, it can handle up to 3 rooms in one charge.

There are a couple of sensors added to the mix, including cliff sensors to prevent the device from falling down the stairs. The light bumpers at the front, meanwhile, avoid collision. There’s also anti-tangle technology so it doesn’t get entangled with wires and cables. However, you have to watch out as it can suck wires too.

It doesn’t have a HEPA filter, but its vacuum filter already does a good job in trapping dirt and allergens. It may produce some noise, but it’s not as annoying as that of other robot vacuum cleaners.

The Roomba 520 may cost you around $250 or more, but there’s a 1-year limited warranty for the robot and 6 months for the battery. Once the expiration is up and the device is damaged, however, proper maintenance may prove costly, especially with regards to the battery.

User Comments

The mess it picks up off a very clean looking floor each time is still unreal. Highly recommended!

—Benmully, Amazon

Best thing I have bought in a long time. I set the little thing going when I go out shopping and come back to beautiful clean carpets – no cat fur!! 

—Ms. Clare Burnett, Amazon

A great little labour saving tool that stops itself from going down the stairs when its on the landing and goes home to recharge all by its self. . . . It cleans to a satisfactory standard and is particularly good with dog hairs.

—DTS, Trusted Reviews

This is the best little vacuum I’ve ever owned. It tops my Dyson by a mile. It picks up everything goes under everything and unfortuantly finds everything which tends to mean it has unraelled you carpet or got stuck in your phone cord. But otherwise no issues with it. It’s easy to use, easy to clean ect. 

—cookiemonstersnipe, Amazon


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