Saturday, March 18, 2006
Consumer Reports gives thumbs down for Scooba
Updated 4/16: Bummer. But like I said, we gotta face the music, even't when it ain't pretty.
Consumer Reports gave a thumbs down to Scooba -- the first major publication to do so. (Link includes Scooba video report from CBS4 in Boston). The station talked to a Consumer Reports tester who tried varies dried-on stains and reported that it didn't always get the stains up, particularly in corners (duh!) or around toilets (double duh!)
"So at this point, Consumer Reports says stick with a mop and bucket. For hundreds less, you'll get your floors a lot cleaner -- including the corners.
The Scooba is made by the iRobot company who told NewsChannel 4 the Consumer Reports tests didn't reflect the intent of the machine. It said Scooba was never really designed to be a robotic paper-towel cleaning dried up spills--it's designed to keep your floor clean through continuous worry-free operation."
Another Consumer Reports-TV link here adds this caveat to the negative review:
"Consumer Reports says the Scooba does do a decent job of cleaning lightly-soiled floors while you sit back and relax. It will take about 45 minutes for a mid-size kitchen, but when it's done, you do have to clean the Scooba brush, filter and tank."
UPDATED: The Consumer Reports Scooba Review is also now available for free at its home page.
I love Consumer Reports, particularly for their reviews of automobiles, but I can't help but thinking that they are hopelessly slow to embrace new technologies. The higher the technology, the harder the time CR has evaluating it. (Their reviews of computers are simply awful, for example).
I also love how CR uses the old "for hundreds less" argument about mops and buckets. You can get your dishes clean "for hundreds less" by hand washing them too. It's about having a Robot do the work FOR YOU. Is that so hard to understand?
UPDATED: Positive Scooba reviews have since come out from the Chicago Tribune, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, and the Boston Herald.
FYI, the best deal on Scooba currently is $275 with free shipping.
Tags: iRobot, Roomba, Scooba, Consumer Reports, IRBT, Robot, Scooba video, Scooba+review, robotic mop