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Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra review: an innovative and automated robot vacuum

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra on hard floors.
Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra review: an innovative and automated robot vacuum
MSRP $1,800.00
“The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is one of the most exciting robot vacuums you can buy.”
Pros
  • Incredible vacuuming performance
  • FlexiArm brush and side mop
  • Fully automated docking station
  • Option to connect to plumbing system
  • Easy to use mobile app
Cons
  • I still prefer rotating mop pads
  • Expensive

The robot vacuum marketplace hasn’t seen a huge amount of innovation over the years. Aside from more suction and docking stations that do a slightly better job at self-cleaning, the basic formula seems to have stagnated. Thankfully, Roborock has finally shaken things up with the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra.

While the robot might look similar to other products on the market, there are a few key changes to its design that elevate it above the competition. It’ll cost you an arm and a leg to add the premium device to your home, but the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is a big step in the right direction for automated floor cleaners. More importantly, it’s worth the hefty $1,800 upfront investment if you’re looking to completely remove vacuuming and mopping from your chore list.

Two types of setup

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra Dock placed on grey carpet.
Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

The S8 MaxV Ultra is available in two formats. One of them is the traditional format that includes a large docking station with reservoirs for clean water, dirty water, and a dustbin. The other is much smaller and forgoes these water reservoirs, as it instead connects directly to your home’s plumbing. That’s a huge selling point, as it essentially automates the worst part of robot vacuums — emptying the horrifically dirty water tank.

Of course, depending on how your plumbing system is set up, this type of robot vacuum might not be ideal for your home. Installation is also a bit more in-depth and could cost extra to properly set up, but there’s no denying the appeal of a fully automated docking station that can both refill clean water and drain dirty water without any manual input.

Most users, however, will end up with the traditional docking station with clean and dirty tanks that need to be manually filled and emptied. There’s nothing revolutionary about this design, but at least it now comes with a secondary compartment for cleaning solution and features a layout that better hides the tanks. And while maintenance is a bit more manual for this model, setup is as simple as plugging it into an electrical outlet.

Unparalleled vacuuming performance

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra vacuuming.
Roborock

Once you’ve gone through the usual steps of mapping your home and editing its layout via the mobile app, you can immediately start cleaning. When comparing the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra’s performance to its predecessors and competitors, the vacuuming performance has noticeably improved. Along with an absolutely staggering 10,000 Pa of suction (a number that surpasses nearly everything else on the market), Roborock designed the S8 MaxV Ultra with a FlexiArm side brush. This unique gadget allows the side brush to swing away from the robot to better clean baseboards, crevices, and other such areas.

During testing, the FlexiArm performed much better than expected. On numerous occasions, I witnessed its outstretched arm pulling in pet fur and dirt from underneath chairs, under my fridge, and in the corners of bedrooms. I’ll be honest — I thought the FlexiArm was going to be a gimmick that didn’t function well in real-world environments. But after weeks of testing, I can safely say that the FlexiArm is one of the best parts of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra.

Along with heaps of suction and an extendable arm, the S8 MaxV Ultra features a dual-roller main brush to prevent tangles and better remove debris from carpet. It also employs a CarpetBoost+ system, which is a fancy way of saying it knows when it needs to modify its settings to better clean dirty carpets. It also leaves a nice pattern on carpets when the cleaning cycle is complete, thanks to its powerful suction and the option to use deep carpet cleaning for a checkerboard pattern on your floors.

The robot did an impressive job of navigating obstacles and covering all areas of my home, ensuring a thorough clean regardless of how many dog toys I forgot to pick up before its cycle began.

Mopping gets a helping hand

The bottom of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra.
Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

While I’m still not a big fan of the vibrating mopping plate employed on most Roborock products (the dual spinning mopping pads on other robots tend to do a better job of saturating and cleaning hard floors), there’s really nothing to complain about when it comes to the S8 MaxV Ultra’s performance.

The device uses Roborock’s VibraRise 3.0 Mopping System, allowing it to scrub 4,000 times per minute while also applying pressure to the ground. In testing, it managed to remove most stains, though the remnants of mud after a long hike could still be found in my entryway. But for minor spills and the usual dust and debris accumulation over the course of the day, the mopping system had no problem cleaning up.

When traveling on carpet, the entire mopping unit can lift itself 20mm off the ground, which prevents it from getting your carpets wet. One advantage of the mopping plate over mopping pads is that the plate doesn’t have any threads that dangle down from the robot. This means the 20mm of lift is more than enough to keep all but the most plush carpets from getting wet.

Similar to the FlexiArm design for the side brush, the robot also features an auxiliary side mop. This allows it to clean all the way to the edge of cabinets or walls, leaving margins of less than 1.68mm. It rotates at an impressive 185 rpm and serves as a nice companion to the main mopping plate, ensuring the majority of your floors are cleaned.

Self-cleaning docking station

The dustbag of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra
Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

Once your robot is done tackling its chores, it’ll automatically head back to its dock. Here, it’ll empty its dustbin, wash its mops with hot water, dry its mops with hot air, and automatically refill the robot’s water tank for the next run. And if you place detergent in the detergent compartment, this will automatically be dispensed.

One cool feature is the automatic dirt detection of the dock, which constantly checks the mop to determine when it can stop washing. If it’s still dirty after a few blasts of hot water, it’ll go back and repeat the cycle until it’s completely clean.

That means the only maintenance you need to perform is refilling the water reservoir when it gets low and emptying the dirty water tank when it’s full. You’ll also need to check on the dustbin, though it’s rated to go up to seven weeks without needing to be replaced.

Besides those regular maintenance tasks, the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra pretty much takes care of itself.

Verdict

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is one of the best robot vacuums I’ve ever tested. From impeccable vacuuming performance and enhanced mopping to a fully automated docking station and intuitive mobile app, there’s really nothing to complain about. However, the S8 MaxV Ultra carries a shocking price tag. That alone makes it difficult to recommend to all households, as there are plenty of other robot vacuums that do a good job of automating your cleaning chores for a fraction of the price.

However, folks who need the best on the market will be well served by the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra. If your budget allows, you really can’t get a better, more automated cleaning experience than this. And if you opt for the model that connects to your plumbing, there’s even more to love about this luxurious floor cleaner.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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