Roomba 555 review

by Marcel 20 May 2011

Roomba 555

I've wanted an iRobot Roomba since they first came out back in 2002, but I found the price much too high, and as I didn't really need one I decided to wait a while...

I wish I hadn't waited now, this thing is teriffic!

Unpacking the box reveals the unit itself, docking station with power adaptor, one virtual wall unit and various user manuals. Getting the Roomba operational was a breeze, I plugged in the docking station placed the Roomba in front of it and pressed the 'Dock' button. The Roomba made its way onto the docking platform and started charging.

While it did this I read up on how to program the roomba (you can set a daily schedule) and best practises for docking station placement, floor clutter etc.

Within a few hours the Roomba was fully charged and I was ready to get vacuuming, I couldn't wait! (a first for me...)  I presses the big 'Clean' button and after playing a short jingle off it went off on its pseudo-random course. I had the Virtual wall unit set up so that the Roomba was confined to the kitchen so I could keep an eye on it. The kitchen is approx. 3x4 metres and it took about 20 minutes before the Roomba decided it was finished and made its way back to the docking station.

It cleaned surprisingly well, getting into areas that I am usually too lazy to vacuum. The Roomba founds it's wauy under the heating, the table and the kitchen stepladder. Also it cleaned the skirting boards exceptionally well with its side brushes. 20 minutes may seem a long time, considering I can clean the kitchen in a few minutes, but, the Roomba does a better job than me and I can go and do smething else. (i don't sit around watching my dishwasher do it's thing either...)

After programming the Roomba to start cleaning every night at 2am I placed the dock in it's permanent position under the bookcase and before going to bed I sprinkled some coffee around the living room and kitchen to see if the Roomba would get it all.

The next morning the Roomba was happily in the docking station under the bookcase and all the 'test' spots were clean! I hadn't noticed a thing sleeping contentedly while the ground floor of my housed was being cleaned.

I've had the unit for a little over a week now, and I never want to be without a Roomba ever again. The only thing I have to do is empty the dust continer every few days and I've removed cat hairs from the brushes twice, this only takes a couple of minutes to do and I expect to only have to do it once a week now that the bulk of the dirt is gone.

I definitely recommend the iRobot Roomba 555 Vacuum Cleaning Robot you can get it from Amazon.


Logitech Squeezebox Touch review

by Marcel 6 May 2011

Logitech Squeezebox Touch

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my experience with the Squeezebox Radio and Spotify. I was so impressed with this network radio that I decided to get the Squeezebox Touch as well!

Unpacking the Touch from the very nice (and classy looking) packaging revealed the player, the necessary audio and network cables, a cleaning cloth and the user manual.

Setting the unit up was a breeze, connection to the WiFi network was much easier than the radio due to the on-screen keyboard, and after connecting to the squeezebox server and to my amplifier music was being played within about 15 minutes.

The integration of the two seperate units is also very good, you can use one unit to control the other(s), synch them to play the same music, and also control them from your PC. The synching option is terrific! having both players play the same song is something I had always wanted. I now have the SB Radio in the back garden and the SB Touch in the living room playing the same music perfectly in synch. It also works with Spotify!

I was very happy with the quality of the audio, but I am no audiophile, with only an average amplifier so I cannot give much of an opinion here. According to reviews I have read the audio quality of better than that of the Sonos systems, but either way I am quite pleased with the way it sounds.

The navigation is very user friendly with it's clear to read touch screen, searches are stored so you can easily find music you last played by album, artist, title etc. 

I'm very impressed with both my Squeezebox players, I want an extra radio now to replace my alarm clock (and maybe another for in the office!) I can't recomen them enough.

You can but the Logitech Squeezebox Touch at Amazon 


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