The thing that sticks out at you most about the second member of the Roomba 900 series is the robotic vacuum’s price. At $700, it’s not cheap, really, but it’s at least slightly more within reach than its $900 predecessor, the 980 — a move that comes as a handful of manufacturers have undercut the Massachusetts-based company in the space it helped pioneer.
The 960 maintains a number of the mapping advancements introduced in its older sibling, along with the mobile app connectivity that finally brought the line into the cloud-connected era. The lower price is thanks in part to the robot’s utilization of an older-gen cleaning system (on par with what you’ll find on the 800 series), along with smaller battery — listed at 75 minutes to the 980’s 120.
The new Roomba is available now in the U.S. and Canada through iRobot’s site.
Also new is iRobot HOME App functionality for the company’s Braava jet line, making it possible for users to start and stop the mopping robot with an iOS or Android device via Bluetooth.