It feels like not all that long ago that I had my first robot vacuum. A cheap, no-name brand, it worked (kind of) for cleaning up here and there. It wasn't spectacular, and it certainly didn't have any extra features, and I often times found it wandering aimlessly, going in circles or even falling down my stairs. It wasn't until I discovered Roborock with the S5 that I truly saw the potential of robot vacuums. With the S7 MaxV Ultra, I've come pretty damn close to the summit of my robo vacuum Everest. At $1399 this monster setup isn't cheap. But Roborock has really taken things to the next level, in both home automation ... and pricing.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra: The features
You've seen a robot vacuum before. Most of us have. But you've probably never seen one quite like this. While auto-emptying docks are anything new, until now, they've just been a mediocre bonus. I've previously only used devices with no dock, but found that I was still only emptying the dust bin every 2-3 cycles. With the S7 MaxV Ultra, I've yet to change the dust bag since I started using it nearly 3 weeks ago. Roborock says some users can go for up to 7 weeks between changes. Along for the ride is a built-in mop (a real mop - more on that later) that also plays nicely with the clean and dirty water tanks in the dock. For someone with hardwood that won't stay clean for more than a day, this is a huge bonus. The dock self cleans the mop, and will let you know when it's time to swap out that dirty (and smelly!) water or dust bin.
The S7 has a ReactiveAI 2.0 Obstacle Avoidance System. Pretty much a fancy way of saying there are lasers that keep the S7 away from anything that may be in the way when while it's running. The in-app mapping not only draws your room(s) but also adds in any furniture it finds, making it easy for future zone or spot cleaning. The built-in mop doesn't simply drag a microfiber cloth around as it did on earlier models, but now offers an automatic mop lift and sonic mopping to really get that deep-down clean.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra-intelligent mapping and cleaning
The first time you fire up the S7 MaxV Ultra (providing you have map save mode toggled on) your new sidekick will run a course around your home, narrowly avoiding obstacles and finding its way between even the tightest of spaces. While doing so, it will magically map your entire room (or multiple rooms) in real-time and show you an overhead view within the app. Keep in mind that the first time this happens it may take a bit longer to run while the S7 gets the lay of the land, but it's well worth it, I assure you.
One that initial cycle is complete, you'll be able to go into the map (of which you can have more than one for multiple floor dwellings) and note any furniture or other obstacles, as well as putting up "virtual walls" and no-go zones. These are typically places you want your vac to ignore, in my case, things like my Christmas tree during the holidays. The map also makes it effortless to do selective zone cleaning or room cleaning with a few simple taps. Along for the ride here are options for suction power and mop intensity, both customizable on various levels. You can even choose to have the S7 run the route multiple times if things are especially dirty. You can start a clean manually or easily pre-program from within the app.
The S7 does a wonderful job when it comes to cleaning (as it should!) which is really no surprise. While most will be a fan of the straight vacuum capabilities, the mop is nothing to scoff at this time around. Unlike my S5 which really just drags around a damp microfiber cloth, the S7 MaxV Ultra has an auto-lifting sonic mop that really seems to actually clean my floors — something that's a first for me. I didn't hate previous versions of these mops, I just didn't see that much value in them most days. Now, I find myself mopping the floor almost as often as I vacuum, just because the S7 does such a great job. Keep in mind that I mean great job for a robot vac — this is surely no replacement for actually mopping your floor manually. The best part of the package is that I don't have to plan ahead to mop. There's no mop attachment to put on (it stays on all the time) and I don't have to worry about finding a clean cloth or filling any tanks. The S7 is prepped with clean water and ready to go at a moment's notice. And when it's done, the mop is cleaned and ready to go another round.
One of the great overengineered bonuses of the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is the on-board camera complete with video calling capabilities. Will I ever have a valid reason to video call my bot? Unlikely. Do I love that it's built-in? Absolutely! Pet owners, for example, may live the ability to conference in Fido during a long day away.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra auto-emptying & cleaning
Perhaps the biggest selling point of this near $1400 setup is the auto-emptying features. No longer will you have to worry about emptying the dust bin after running once or twice. Now you can last nearly 7 weeks (maybe more?) without changing the dust bag and for the better part of two weeks without so much as thinking about clean water. And when those times do come, it takes just a few minutes to dump the dirty water, fill the clean tank, and swap out the dust bag for a new one. Having the dock to do the literal dirty work is a real time saver. I find myself running my vac almost every day, regardless of whether I actually need to or not because ... well, why not?
It also does take up quite a bit of space. If you've ever had a robot vacuum before, you know they have a decent footprint, but can often slide into a corner or under a table and be out of sight and out of mind. Regarding the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra, you'll need to have plenty of room for this beast of a setup. You can still nestle it in a corner or under a table, it just needs to be a bigger corner or table.
Did I mention the emptying and cleaning processes are LOUD. Well, they're LOUD. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that when one thing is sucking air and nastiness from another thing with a good deal of force, it will be loud, but yeah. THIS PART IS LOUD. Thankfully, it's only a few seconds at the end of the cycle when it does happen, but don't think it's something that will go unnoticed.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra: What I like
Obviously, there is plenty to like here, but that's what you expect when buying a vacuum that costs as much as a brand-new laptop or eBike, right? Having the auto-emptying dock is one of those things you never know you're missing when you don't have it. I never really minded having to empty the dust bin on my other vacs every few cycles, but now it's such a great feeling to just let it do what it does best and not have to think about it. Weeks in and I still haven't emptied the dust bin.
The upgraded sonic mopping is also wonderful. For the first time, I can say that the mop job is actually worth doing, not just an afterthought. I used to not worry about mopping with my S5 — or I'd mop manually after it ran — but now I look forward to how great my floors loop after an intense clean.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra: What I don't like
Outside the biggest factor, the hard-to-swallow price tag, there isn't a ton not to like with the S7 MaxV Ultra. One of my main gripes is how loud the emptying and mop washing is. Huge deal? Not really, but it makes you think a bit before you run the vacuum. For those that typically automate for when they're out of the house, this isn't an issue, but if you're the work-from-home type or want to clean while you're sitting on the couch, it's something to keep in mind.
One other issue I experienced, which thankfully won't be something I have to deal with too often, is the intense stink of the dirty water tank. I imagine this is just from the dirty water sitting for weeks at a time and could possibly be prevented by more frequent changes, however. Roborock does off a cleaning solution (opens in new tab) that they said may help with the smell, but I have yet to try it.
Also, something to note, while the mop does clean itself, it still requires a bit of hands-on to keep it tidy. It definitely got a bit gunking over the last few weeks. There was quite a bit of buildup inside the dock that I had to clean out a few times. Obviously, this isn't 100% avoidable, and light years better than cleaning daily or after each cycle, but it was still a pain to remember at times before it got overrun with crud.
The S7 MaxV Ultra also takes up a good deal more space than other, solo robo-vacs. You'll need a good amount of floor space to put the entire setup, and probably somewhere a bit out of sight as well (like in a corner or under a table).
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra: The conclusion
As I said previously, I've had a few different robo-vacs over the past few years. I wasn't ever really disappointed with the performance of any of them. It wasn't until I started using the S7 MaxV Ultra that I truly realized the capabilities of robotic vacuums and how truly autonomous and self-contained they can be. I'm able to run cleaning cycles — both vacuuming and mopping — without needing to worry about emptying the dust bin or filling the mop tank before every cycle.
Is it perfect? No. Is it close? Absolutely. Aside from the few minor issues I experienced, the S7 MaxV Ultra is a true beast of a vacuum. The sonic mopping is a true game-changer, and having clean water and a dust bin at the ready really makes this a hands-off vacuum that you'll fall in love with. Swallowing the huge price tag will absolutely be the most off-putting factor for many people, though