360 Botslab P7 Robot Vacuum & Mop: hair today, mop tomorrow (review)

360 Botslab P7 Robot Vacuum & Mop review
100% human

The dream is at last a reality: A robot vacuum cleaner that can navigate your (small to medium, single-level) house, remember where it has cleaned, follow up with a (manually-engaged) mopping mode, and all for less than $500 thanks to the P7 Robot Vacuum.

Until recently, a robot vac has been something of a luxury purchase. Even today you can still drop $2,899 on iRobot’s top Roomba S9+, and the middle range across all brands sits at $899-$1,399. Well now the P7 is here as an ultra-cheap, ultra-basic robot vac, and it does its best to tick all the boxes. Big suction power at a claimed 2700Pa? Tick. An app that works? Tick. Bossy cleaning lady voice? Tick. Mop function built-in to the vac? Ti.. well, sort of.

Review: 360 Botslab P7 Robot Vacuum & Mop

Australian website360 | Botslab
Price$499 RRP
Warranty1 year
Other  Read more robotics reviews on GadgetGuy

First impressions

If you’ve ever bought a budget cordless vacuum cleaner, then you’ll find the unboxing and set-up of your new P7 pretty familiar. There’s a basic wall-wart, a little dock with springy metal bits to charge the vac, and a collection of parts that don’t look like anything until you read the manual and realise you’ve been holding them upside-down. In place of a traditional vac’s car and furniture attachments, the P7 has a transparent mopping reservoir – alarmingly called the ”electrical water tank” – and you’ll need to swap the dust bin for this if you want to use the mopping mode. There are also two whisker-like spinning brushes as part of the device’s cleaning functions.

Design and ergonomics

For some reason, the robot vacuum market has determined that the less-expensive devices need to be circular, rather than the sort of capital-D shape of the top-end models. This can lead the P7 to struggle to get into tight corners, and so that’s where the side brushes earn their salt. Such as by brushing any loose salt, dust, or other grit, into the maw of the machine.

Despite the 360 branding, the P7 Robot Vacuum doesn’t have a pop-up LIDAR or camera cluster at its central axis, rather the sensors are arranged in an arc around the front. It managed our couches-and-consoles living room layout easily enough, although that lack of top bulge meant the P7 did manage to jam itself under one of our couches. For many users, this will actually be a plus since the bot is very flat and will slide under higher-sitting furniture with ease.

360 Botslab P7 Robot Vacuum & Mop height

When it comes to human input, the P7 is easy to use, thanks to its basic control layout. This consists of a power button, and three other buttons you poke until it does something: clean, return to its base, or “learn the room” which means trundling about scanning rather than sucking.

All these actions are announced by a surprisingly loud female robot voice, whose authoritative “Begin cleaning now!” makes it sound like she’s commanding the robot to do things. Which is fun.

There’s also a remote control for people simultaneously too lazy to walk over to push a button on the robot vacuum or to set up the app on their phone, and a sort of brush-thing called a “cleaning tool”.

Set up

Like all the best household robotics, the P7 offers essentially two kinds of setup. The one for technophiles, and the one for the rest of us. For the rest of us, simply plug in the dock, shove the bot up against the metal springy things and – “BEGIN CHARGING!” Bloody hell, my heart… this robot sure knows how to make its presence felt.

This is where the technophile setup comes in, via the Botslab app. This lets you fiddle around with various settings and also register the robot vacuum with Google or Alexa so you too can order this thing to clean your house using your own commanding voice.

Vacuuming vs mopping with the P7 Robot Vacuum

A couple of years ago, a vac/mop combo meant a secondary, usually white and slightly sad-looking smaller robot following the big black robot around. Then, last year, the vacbots assimilated the mopbots, and now vac+mop is considered standard functionality, even at $499.

In the case of the P7, we should really describe the mopping function as semi-integrated. The electrical water tank (again, their term, not mine) replaces the dust bin, to enable vac+mop mode. For a more powerful and HEPA-filtered “larger volume clean” of the “vacuum only function”, you’ll need to swap the tank out for the dust bin again. If it sounds fiddly, that’s because it is.

Also, neither receptacle is especially generous for the modern bloated floorplan of the Aussie suburban home – at a claimed 680ml, the dust bin fills almost immediately in any home that has, say, at least one boisterous two-year-old Labrador. Other breeds may vary.

My point being, if you run an open house and don’t make people take their shoes off, the amount of general grit and “stuff” (technical cleaning term) on your floors will have the robot routinely shouting “EMPTY DUST BIN NOW! BEEEEEEP!”

There are three cleaning modes, including “auto” (use sensors to cover the entire accessible floor area), “edge clean” (just the edges of the room), and “spot clean” which starts at a spot and then spirals out. The manual calls the spot a “garbage concentrated area” which will only be true for some homes.

P7 Robot Vacuum cleaning performance

The manufacturer claims the P7 has 2700Pa of suction power, and a HEPA filter in the dust bin, and while it would be difficult to prove or challenge either of these claims, in vac-only mode the bot did a decent job on our mix of wool carpet and tiles. That I had to constantly empty the bin of Labrador hair at least speaks to the P7’s ability to deal with the stuff, right? 

As for the mopping mode, the manual sternly advises that you vacuum at least three times first “to reduce excessive dirt build-up on the mop.” After this, the results on my tiled floors were… smeary. Perhaps I hadn’t vacuumed enough, although at this price, expecting sparkling hard surfaces as well as a decent vacuum is a bit much. For freshening up already reasonably clean floors, though, the mop does a decent job. Don’t forget to install the “mop cloth”. It doesn’t work without the “mop cloth”.

GadgetGuy’s take

This is a basic robot vacuum with a bonus mopping function that works okay, and it costs $499 so what do we really have to complain about? Do we really need to call out the power-pack’s cable which seems to have been specially designed for the P7 to run over and tangled up in its br- “CLEAR BRUSH HEAD! BEEEEEP!” Ugh. The voice really is very loud.

This machine also requires constant cleaning, to keep it constantly cleaning, which some users are going to find just a little too recursive. The P7 Robot Vacuum best suits either someone who wants to see what living with a vacbot is like without having to spend the price of a high-end laptop, or for the budget-conscious time-poor of us living in little flats. Really little flats.

360 Botslab P7 Robot Vacuum & Mop
At less than $500, the P7 Robot Vacuum does a good job of even handling Labrador hair, although it does require a bit of manual handling.
Features
8
Value for money
7
Performance
7
Ease of use
9
Design
7
Positives
Cheap and easy to set up
Has all the features you’d expect, as long as you don’t expect too much of any individual feature
Vacuums and mops almost in one
Can handle pet hair
Dual side brushes effective in corners and awkward spots
Negatives
Dust bin and electric water tank receptacles too small for average Aussie home
Switching from vac-only to vac+mop is fiddly and water tank has two parts (mop cloth and tank)
Basic cleaning modes mean app, remote control, and Google/Alexa connectivity are almost redundant
Requires constant cleaning using the “cleaning tool”
Loves to eat its own power cord, seriously.
7