Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra review
Image: Roborock.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra review: the best robot vacuum there is

8.8

I have been testing robot vacuum cleaners for well over a decade no­w, and still haven’t yet found one that does an equally good job as a human would. However, this Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is the best robot vacuum cleaner I have ever tried. It passed most of my tests with flying colours, and were it not for the extremely high price tag, I would recommend this as the model everyone in the market for a robot go out and buy.

This Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra can vacuum and mop at the same time, wash its own pads, empty and refill its own tanks and bins, and navigate itself around the home. While it’s far from being the only model to claim to do that, it’s the first that’s done it in a way where I haven’t immediately felt I needed to clean sections it missed. It’s also the first that I haven’t felt I needed to fully supervise to make sure it didn’t eat cables or socks.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra review

First impressions

My first impression of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra was that it seemed hella fancy (that’s a technical term). It wasn’t the black monolith I was used to seeing from these kinds of models. Don’t get me wrong, its home is still large and black, but it wasn’t as dominant as some of the competitor models I’ve tried.

Setting it up was incredibly easy, and the app was quite intuitive. I was also extremely impressed that during its mapping it not only took pictures of where all the cables in my home are littered, but remembered to avoid them next time it cleaned.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra robot in dock
Image: Alice Clarke.

Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra specifications

DimensionsRobot 350 x 353 x 103 mm Dock 409 x 419 x 470 mm
ConnectivityOnboard water tank capacity
Max suction10,000pa
On board water tank capacity100ml
Dustbin Capacity270ml
Mop Vibration FrequencyUp to 4000 Times/Min
Max run time180 minutes
Charging time<4 hours
Price (RRP)$2,999
Warranty24 months
Official websiteRoborock Australia

Annoyingly, Roborock doesn’t quote the suction speeds in air watts, which is a more accurate indicator of actual suction than pascals (Pa), but that also puts them on par with nearly every other vacuum cleaner brand (except Dyson).

The more pressing stats here are the max run time of 180 minutes, the four-hour charging time (which is quite good given everything it’s got going on), and the 270mL bin size. The thing to keep in mind with the bin size is that if it’s also mopping, it returns to the auto-empty station a few times, so it’s not as pressing as it would be on a machine without an auto-empty station.

Some people will love that the vacuum cleaner has a camera they can use to check in on their pets or home security, some people will be deeply uncomfortable about having that. Whichever side of the fence you land on, it’s just something to be aware of.

Design

I really like the aesthetics of this robot. I do wish it was white so it blended a bit better into the room, though that would be a staining nightmare. The black is sleek; every part of the auto-empty station seems to have earned its place and is easy to use and access. The robot itself is both noticeable when it’s out and about (so you don’t trip over it), but unassuming enough that it doesn’t become a feature of the room it lives in.

S8 MaxV Ultra Lifestyle robot and dock
Image: Roborock.

One aspect of the design I really like is the Extra Edge rotating mop that comes out to do the edges. It’s an elegant solution. I found it still didn’t quite get properly into the corners, but it got closer than my lazy self would and sometimes that’s enough.

However, as a counterbalance, only having one spinning brush to encourage debris into the yawning mouth of the vacuum cleaner seems like under-kill. The front spinning brush bar on the Dyson 360 Vis Nav seems like a better design choice. That said, I had no complaints with forgotten debris or anything like that, so it is somewhat more effective than I feared.

Cleaning performance

I was blown away by the cleaning performance of the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra. I am so used to mopping robots just limply dragging around a lightly damp cloth. But this does a proper job of cleaning my floor, partially because when it goes back to wash its little feet every 15 minutes it also analyses how dirty the water is and determines if certain areas need a second pass.

Having it seamlessly switch between mopping hard floors and vacuuming carpets means it’s something I’ve been able to set and forget. I tested it on rugs (one thin, one thick), hardwood flooring and tiles, with a variety of detritus (including flour, sugar, yarn offcuts, dust, and dryer lint). In every test, I was really impressed by how everything got cleaned. It might not have always been clean on the first pass, but by the time the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra finished its journey, the room was clean to a high standard.

Most robot vacuum cleaners are either great at cleaning, or great at maps. I’ve had some that were terrible at both, but only one that’s excelled at both, and that’s the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra.

My apartment has been undergoing a lot of changes in the time I’ve been reviewing the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra because we’ve been preparing for a baby. Rugs have come and gone, baby gyms have been added, drum kits removed, and cables moving from one place to another. Yet, in all of this, at most, I’ve had to stop the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra and remove a cable or sock from its jaws twice per clean. It actually remembers where it encountered obstacles last time and either avoids or inspects the area again before proceeding.

The best clean I ever got from a robot vacuum cleaner was the Dyson 360 Vis Nav, but its enthusiasm for running into all my furniture at full speed (killing several of my potted plants) took it down in my estimation. In comparison, the clean from the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is almost as good, but its respect for the objects in my home means that it is a significantly superior vacuum cleaner that I can actually recommend to people who want their home clean and unharmed.

Who is the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra for?

People who really value not having to clean their floors themselves. The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is really a showpiece for the best of what autonomous cleaning is capable of in 2024.

At $2,999.00, it is absolutely not going to be in the budget for most people. But those who can afford it are going to be as impressed as I am. It’s not perfect, I think we’re still another 10 years away from robot vacuum cleaners having the same abilities as an actual, human cleaner.

However, it’s more than good enough for most people who just want their floor clean without any effort or fuss on their part.

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Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra
The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is really a showpiece for the best of what autonomous cleaning is capable of in 2024.
Features
9.5
Value for money
5.5
Performance
9.5
Ease of use
10
Design
9.5
Positives
Amazing cleaning performance
Excellent navigation functionality
Can vacuum and mop at the same time
Negatives
Extremely expensive
Only a single spinning brush for edge cleaning
8.8