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Xiaomi’s new Mi Robot Vacuum really sucks (in a good way) and costs just $250

Xiaomi has just expanded its range of offerings yet again with the launch of an attractively priced robot vacuum.

We heard earlier in the week that the company might be about to unveil such a device, and on Wednesday the rumors were confirmed when it pulled the wraps off the Mi Robot Vacuum.

The new cleaning machine, which launches first in Xiaomi’s home market of China, sells for just 1700 yuan – that’s about $250, a whopping $650 less than iRobot’s Roomba 980.

It looks like a nice piece of kit, too, with its stylish design incorporating two rubber wheels, three brushes (two side sweepers plus the main central one), and multiple radar sensors to help it avoid drops, walls, and other obstacles. No word on it having a poop detector, though.

Xiaomi’s machine maps its route as it goes, offering the data via its accompanying smartphone app so you know exactly where it’s been, or more importantly where it hasn’t been, should you feel inclined to check up on your robot servant at any point.

So does this autonomous device suck? Indeed it does, though not in a bad way. The Mi Robot Vacuum has a higher suction rating (1,800 Pa) than iRobot’s Roomba 980 (1,670 Pa), and Neato’s Botvac D8500 (1,000 Pa), suggesting that very few fragments, flakes, and general filth will be able to escape the machine’s powerful pull.

Xiamoi’s latest tech offering is fitted with a 5200 mAh battery that should offer up to 2.5 hours of cleaning time, though its charging station, to which it automatically returns after every outing, will ensure it never runs out of juice.

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The Beijing-based company’s robot vacuum is the latest addition to Xiaomi’s Mi Ecosystem brand, a collection of smart home-based products that also includes a rice cooker, water purifier, air purifier, and lamp.

The machine goes on sale in China on September 6, though like some of its other Mi Ecosystem offerings, may land in other countries as well before too long.